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William, 3rd Duke of Hamilton







William, 3rd Duke of hamiltonWilliam, 3rd Duke of Hamilton was not a Hamilton by birth. Born Lord William Douglas, he was the son of William Douglas, 1st Marquess of Douglas and his second wife Lady Mary Gordon, a daughter of George Gordon, 1st Marquess of Huntly, he fought in the royalist army in the mid-1650s.

Lord William Douglas was created 1st Earl of Selkirk in 1646 at the age of 11, and in 1656 married Anne, 3rd Duchess of Hamilton in her own right. At her request, Charles II made him Duke of Hamilton.

IThe Duke of Hamilton supported John, Duke of Lauderdale in the early stages of his Scottish policy, in which he adopted a moderate attitude towards the Presbyterians, but the two were soon alienated, through the influence of the Countess of Dysart, according to Gilbert Burnet, who spent much time at Hamilton Palace in arranging the Hamilton papers. With other Scottish noblemen who resisted Lauderdale’s measures Hamilton was twice summoned to London to present his case at court, but without obtaining any result.

President of the Scottish Privy Council in the 1680s, he occupied other high offices including that of Lord High Admiral and was an extraordinary Lord of Session.

However, he was dismissed from the Privy Council in 1676, and on a subsequent visit to London, Charles II refused to receive him. On the accession of James II he received numerous honours, but he was one of the first to enter into communication with the Prince of Orange. He presided over the Convention of Edinburgh, summoned at his request, which offered the Scottish crown to William and Mary in March 1689.


His death took place at Holyrood Palace on 18 April 1694. His wife survived until 17 April 1716.








Lord Selkirk, married Anne Hamilton, 3rd Duchess of Hamilton and bore eleven children by her:
Lady Mary Hamilton (1657–1666)
James Hamilton, 4th Duke of Hamilton (1658–1712)
Lord William Hamilton (abt 1659–1688)
Lady Catherine Hamilton (1662–1707)
Charles Douglas, 2nd Earl of Selkirk (abt 1662-abt 1739)
John Hamilton, 1st Earl of Ruglen (abt 1664–1744)
George Hamilton, 1st Earl of Orkney (1666-abt 1737)
Lady Susannah Hamilton (1667-abt 1737
Lady Margaret Hamilton (1668–1731)
Lord Basil Hamilton (1671–1701)
Lord Archibald Hamilton (1673–1754)






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Last modified: Friday, 17 May 2024