The Dukes of Hamilton

Douglas-Hamilton Coat of ArmsLord Hamilton and Earl of Arran

In 1445 the 5th Baron of Cadzow's son and heir James Hamilton, was created a Lord of Parliament and became James Hamilton, 1st Lord Hamilton (?-1479). He married Mary Stewart, daughter of King James II in about 1474. 

In 1490, their son James Hamilton (c.1475-1529) who was aged 15, married Elizabeth, the 13-year-old widow of Thomas Hay of Hoprew. But it was later discovered that Thomas Hay was actually still alive and the marriage was annulled. 

James became privy councillor to James IV and helped arrange the marriage of the James IV to Princess Margaret Tudor of England. As a reward he was created him Earl of Arran in 1503. The Earl's second marriage to Janet Beaton (bef. 1499-1522) produced his heir James Hamilton, 2nd Earl of Arran (1515-1575). 

The 2nd earl was chosen as Regent of Scotland between 1542 and 1554 and guardian of the young Mary, Queen of Scots. He was created Duc de Châtellérault of France in 1548.

The 2nd earl was succeeded by his eldest son James Hamilton (1533/1538-1609) who had been proposed as a husband to Queen Elizabeth of England in 1561. In 1562 he was declared insane and in 1581 he resigned the Earldom to James Stewart of Bothwellhaugh. In 1586 his resignation was ruled by the Court of Session to be the act of a madman and his honours were restored.


Earl of Angus, Marquess and Duke of Hamilton

The 3rd earl's younger brother John Hamilton (c.1535-1604) was appointed to administer his brother’s estates. He was created Marquess of Hamilton and Lord Aven on 17 April 1599. His son James Hamilton (1589-1625) was created 1st Lord Aberbrothwick in the peerage of Scotland on 5 May 1608. Upon the death of his uncle in 1609 he became the 4th Earl of Arran and the 5th Lord Hamilton. 

He was created Earl of Cambridge and Baron of Innerdale in the peerage of England on 16 June 1619. 

His son James Hamilton (1606-1649) was created Duke of Hamilton, Marquess of Clydesdale, Earl of Arran and Cambridge and Lord Aven and Innerdale 12 April 1643. 

His son Charles Earl of Arran died young and the duke's titles passed to his brother William Hamilton (1616-1651) who had already been created Earl of Lanark and, Lord Machansyre and Polmont in the peerage of Scotland on 31 March 1639. Upon his death, with no male heirs to claim the titles, the Earldom of Arran became dormant. All of the other titles in the peerages of England and Scotland that had been granted after 1643 became extinct. 

The dukedom and the other minor titles devolved upon the 1st Duke's eldest surviving daughter Anne (c. 1631-1716), who became Duchess of Hamilton in her own right.

James, 4th Duke, was the first to adopt the name Douglas-Hamilton (though some will say this happened later).


James, 1st Duke of Hamilton
William, 2nd Duke of Hamilton
William, 3rd Duke of Hamilton 24 DEC 1634 d: 18 APR 1694
James, 4th Duke of Hamilton 11 APR 1658 d: 15 NOV 1712
James, 5th Duke of Hamilton 5 JAN 1701/02 d: 9 MAR 1741/42
James, 6th Duke of Hamilton 10 JUL 1724 d: 18 JAN 1758
James, 7th Duke of Hamilton 18 FEB 1755 d: 1799
Douglas, 8th Duke of Hamilton b: 24 JUL 1756
Archibald, 9th Duke of Hamilton 15 JUL 1740 d: 16 FEB 1819
Alexander, 10th Duke of Hamilton 3 OCT 1767 d: 18 AUG 1852
William, 11th Duke of Hamilton 19 FEB 1811 d: 16 JUL 1863 in Paris
William, 12th Duke of Hamilton 12 MAR 1845 d: 16 MAY 1895
Alfred, 13th Duke of Hamilton 1862 - 1940
Douglas, 14th Duke of Hamilton 1903 - 1973
Angus, 15th Duke of Hamilton 1938 - 2010
Alexander Douglas, 16th Duke of Hamilton 1978 -  


See also:

Descendants of the 1st Duke of Hamilton
The Douglas-Hamilton family