James Hamilton, 1st Earl of Abercorn

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James Hamilton, 1st Earl of Abercorn PC (12 August 1575[1] – 23 March 1618).


He was the eldest son of Claud Hamilton, 1st Lord Paisley (4th son of James Hamilton, 2nd Earl of Arran), and of Margaret, daughter of George Seton, 5th Lord Seton.

Hamilton was made Sheriff of Linlithgow in 1600, received large grants of lands in Scotland and Ireland, was created in 1603 Baron Abercorn, and on 10 July 1606 was rewarded for his services in the matter of the union by being made Earl of Abercorn and Lord Paisley, Hamilton, Mountcastell and Kilpatrick. He married Marion, daughter of Thomas Boyd, 6th Lord Boyd, and left nine children:

He died on 23 March 1618. His heirs, Earls of Abercorn, heads of the Hamilton family, became Marquesses of Abercorn in 1790, and Dukes of Abercorn in 1868; the 2nd Duke of Abercorn (b. 1838) being a prominent Unionist politician and chairman of the British South Africa Company. The present Dukes are descended from his fourth son, Sir George, the issue of the three elder being extinct.


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