Wednesday, 30 September 2020

The Hamilton Baronets (1660)

CLAUD HAMILTON (1546-1621), youngest son of James, 2nd Earl of Arran and Duke  of Châtellerault, by his wife, the Lady Margaret Douglas (eldest daughter of James, 3rd Earl of Moreton), one of the most zealous partisans of MARY, Queen of Scots, whose loyalty JAMES VI of Scotland rewarded, in 1587, with a grant of the whole barony of Paisley, and the dignity of BARON PAISLEY.

His lordship married Margaret, only daughter of George, 5th Lord Seton, and had issue,
JAMES, his successor;
Margaret; Margaret.
He was succeeded by his eldest son,

JAMES (1575-1618), 2nd Lord Paisley, who espoused Marion, daughter of Thomas, 6th Lord Boyd, and had issue,
James, his successor;
William, 1st Baronet (c1605-80);
Claud, 2nd Baron Hamilton of Strabane;
GEORGE, of whom we treat;
Anne; Mary; Lucy; Margaret; Isobel.
His lordship was created, in 1603, Baron Abercorn, with remainder to his heirs male, and assigns whatever; and advanced, in 1606, to the dignities of Baron Hamilton, Mountcastle and Kilpatrick, and EARL OF ABERCORN.

He was subsequently called by summons to the house of peers in Ireland, by the same title; and having obtained a large grant of land in the barony of Strabane, erected a strong castle, and a schoolhouse, and church, with a town of about eighty houses there.

His fourth son,

THE HON GEORGE HAMILTON (c1607-79), of Donalong (Dunnalong), County Tyrone, and Nenagh, County Tipperary, a faithful adherent of THE CHARLESES, was rewarded with a baronetcy in 1660, designated of Donalong [Dunnalong], County Tyrone, and Nenagh, County Tipperary.

Sir George married, in 1629, Mary, third daughter of Thomas, Viscount Thurles, and sister of James, 1st Duke of Ormonde, and had issue,
JAMES, his successor;
George, Comte de Hamilton;
Anthony, Lieutenant-General;
Thomas, Captain;
Richard, Lieutenant-General;
John, Major-General;
Elizabeth, m Philibert, Count de Gramont;
Lucia; Margaret.
He was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR JAMES HAMILTON, 2nd Baronet (c1620-73), MP for Strabane, 1666, who wedded, in 1661, Elizabeth, daughter of John, 1st Baron Colepeper, and had issue,
JAMES, his successor;
George, Colonel;
Sir James was succeeded by his eldest son,

JAMES (c1661-1734), MP for County Tyrone, 1692-9, who espoused, in 1684, Elizabeth, daughter of  Sir Robert Reading, 1st Baronet, and had issue,
JAMES, his successor;
George, MP;
Charles, MP;
Elizabeth; Mary; Jane; Philippa.
Captain Hamilton, who succeeded his cousin as 6th Earl of Abercorn, declined assuming the title of baronet upon the demise of his grandfather in 1679, and was known simply as "Captain Hamilton."

Sir George Hamilton, 1st Baronet

THE PERIOD immediately after the Flight of The Earls in 1607 was marked largely by relative peace; however, instability was never far from the horizon.

The 1641 rising led by Sir Phelim O'Neill, of Caledon, was the next major event to beset the district.

After the capture of Dungannon, Charlemont and Mountjoy, Sir Phelim attacked Strabane and carried off Lady Strabane, daughter-in-law of Lord Abercorn.

Colonel Sir George Hamilton retook Strabane three days later with an expeditionary force of Scottish soldiers.

Derrywoon Castle is now within the grounds of Baronscourt, near Newtownstewart, seat of the Hamiltons, Dukes of Abercorn.

A report on the Plantation from 1622 noted that Sir George had 
"begun to build a fair stone house, 4 storeys high, which is almost finished, and a bawn of stone and lime, 90 foot long, 70 foot broad and 14 foot high".
When the compilers of the report arrived at the site they found ‘good store of workmen there upon it’ and were informed that when it was finished Sir George intended to live there himself.

The building was destroyed in the 1640s and by the time of the Civil Survey (1654-56) it was described as a ruinous castle burned by the rebels [and] not yet re-edified’.

There is no evidence that it was rebuilt.

Hamilton was one of the proprietors of the silver mines of Knockaunderrig before the English Civil War.

Hamilton's early advancement was hindered by his Catholicism, but he was appointed a colonel of foot, 1649, and upheld the Royalist cause in Ireland.

He was the commander at Nenagh when Ireton arrived to besiege it for the Parliamentarians in October, 1650.

Initially defiant, Hamilton surrendered to Ireton when the latter threatened to breach the walls with artillery.

Hamilton's Irish lands were confiscated and he went into exile in Paris.

Upon the Restoration, he was high in favour with CHARLES II and was rewarded with a baronetcy in 1660.

Regarding Nenagh in County Tipperary, in 1648 Owen Roe O'Neill took Nenagh Castle.

Lord Inchiquin re-took it that same year and, when Cromwell arrived in Ireland, Nenagh was being held by Sir George Hamilton.

In October, 1650, Cromwell's son Ireton arrived at and demanded the surrender of the town.

Hamilton initially refused, but when field artillery was put in place in front of the town's walls he wisely yielded.

See Duke of Abercorn for further succession.

James, 5th and present Duke of Abercorn, KG, is the 15th Hamilton Baronet.

First published in April, 2011.

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