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Sir George Hamilton, 1st Baronet, of Donalong

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Detail from a portrait of Sir George Hamilton, 1st Bt, by an unknown artist, National Portrait Gallery, (NPG1468)
Detail from a portrait of Sir George Hamilton, 1st Bt, by an unknown artist, National Portrait Gallery, (NPG1468)

Sir George Hamilton, 1st Baronet (c. 1607 – 1679) was a Scottish-Irish baronet, who fought for the royalists under his brother-in-law James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormond during the Irish Confederate Wars and the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. He was father of Antoine Hamilton, author of the Mémoires du comte de Grammont, of Richard Hamilton, Jacobite general, and of Elizabeth, Countess de Gramont, "la belle Hamilton".

Birth and origins

George was born about 1607,[1] probably in Paisley, Scotland. He was one of the eight[a] or nine[2] children, and the fourth of the five sons, of James Hamilton and his wife Marion Boyd. His father had been created 1st Earl of Abercorn by James VI and I in 1606. His paternal grandfather was Claud Hamilton, the 1st Lord of Paisley. George's mother was the daughter of Thomas Boyd, 6th Lord Boyd of Kilmarnock in Scotland.

Family tree
George Hamilton with wife, parents, and other selected relatives. Earls 3 to 5 are not shown. Earl 3 descends from Earl 2. Earls 4 & 5 descend from Claud Hamilton of Strabane.
1st Ld


d. 1616
1st Earl


d. 1632

d. bef.
2nd Earl

d. c. 1670
2nd Baron
of Strabane

d. 1638
1st Bt.

c. 1607 –

d. 1680
d. 1676
c. 1655 –
d. 1691
c. 1630 –

d. 1709
d. 1687
R. N.
6th Earl

c. 1661 –
d. 1692
d. 1737
XXXEarls of
This family tree is partly derived from the Abercorn pedigree pictured in Cokayne.[3] Also see the lists of siblings and children in the text.

He appears below among his brothers as the fourth son:

  1. James (died 1670), who became the 2nd Earl of Abercorn;
  2. Claud (died 1638), who established himself in Ireland;
  3. William (died 1681), who became Baronet Hamilton of Westport and represented Henrietta Maria, Charles I's widow, at the pope;[4][5][6]
  4. George (c. 1607 – 1679), the subject of this article; and
  5. Alexander (died before 1669), who became the founder of the German branch of the Hamiltons.

His sisters were:

  1. Anne (1592–1620), who married Hugh, 5th Lord Sempill in 1611;[7]
  2. Margaret; and
  3. Lucy.

His father had been a Protestant, but his mother, Marion Boyd, was a recusant, who brought him, like all his siblings, up as a Catholic. His uncle George of Greenlaw pushed in the same direction.[8]

Father's and grandfather's successions

He was about 11 years old on 23 March 1617/8[b] when his father, the 1st Earl of Abercorn, died.[9] His father had been one of the biggest undertakers in James VI and I's 1611 Plantation of Ulster and had as such acquired large estates in Ireland, mainly around Strabane in County Tyrone. His eldest brother, James, inherited his father's title of Earl of Abercorn, but the Irish estates were shared among the younger sons according to his father's will. The lion's share, including Strabane, went to George's elder brother Claud. George inherited Donalong,[10] which would later appear in the territorial designation of his baronetcy in 1660. His father had predeceased his grandfather, the 1st Lord Paisley, who died three years later in 1621.[11] George's eldest brother James, the 2nd Earl of Abercorn inherited at that time the title of Lord Paisley and the Scottish lands of the family.

George also became the owner of land around Roscrea and Nenagh in northern Munster, perhaps at his father's death or when his uncle George of Greenlaw and Roscrea died. He also became owner, together with Sir Basil Brooke and Sir George Russell of the Knockaunderrig silver mine at Knockanroe in the Silvermine Mountains south of the village of Silvermines, which is south of Nenagh.[12]

While serving in the army

In 1627 he succeeded Sir Roger Hope to the command of a company of foot in the Irish Army.[13]

Sir George Hamilton, 1st Bt, by an unknown artist, National Portrait Gallery, (NPG1468)
Sir George Hamilton, 1st Bt, by an unknown artist, National Portrait Gallery, (NPG1468)

In 1629 he married Mary Butler, youngest daughter of Thomas Butler, Viscount Thurles.[14] Her eldest brother, James Butler, at that time styled Viscount Thurles, thereby became his brother-in-law. In 1640, James Butler, by then Earl of Ormond, was appointed commander-in-chief of the Irish army.

In 1632 his mother died in the Canongate in Edinburgh.[15]

In 1641, at the beginning of the Irish Rebellion he was, during a visit to England, suspected to support the rebellion as he was Catholic. He was arrested and shortly held at the Tower of London but was soon released on bail.[16] In that same year Phelim O'Neill burned Strabane Castle and sent him Jean Gordon, his brother Claude's widow and her children who had been living in Strabane Castle.[17]

On 2 February 1641/2 the Knockaunderrig Silver Mine, which Sir George operated together with Sir Basil Brooks and Sir William Russell, was attacked by local rebels under the leadership of Hugh O'Kennedy and 32 protestant English miners seem to have been killed.[18]

In September 1646, during the Irish Confederate Wars while he was elsewhere, Owen Roe O'Neil, a Confederate leader, attacked and captured Roscrea Castle where his wife and children lived. The confederates spared his family but put everybody else to the sword.[19][20] Owen O'Neill was leading his army south after his victory over the Scottish Covenanters at Benburb in June and was now attacking the royalists as directed by Rinuccini, the papal nuncio.[21][22]

In January 1649 he was appointed receiver-general of the revenues for Ireland succeeding to Lord Roscommon.[23] He was also made a colonel of foot in the Irish army and upheld the Royalist cause against Cromwell. In 1650 he was governor of Nenagh castle for his brother in law, James Butler, at that time the 12th Earl of Ormond, leader of the royalists. At the end of 1650 he defended the castle against the Parliamentarian army under Henry Ireton, which attacked it on the way from the siege of Limerick back to their winter quarters at Kilkenny. He surrendered the castle on 10 November 1650 after Ireton had menaced to breach its walls with artillery.[24][25]

French exile (1651–1661)

His Irish lands were confiscated, and in spring 1651 he and his family followed Ormond into French exile. They first went to Caen[26] where Ormond's wife Elizabeth Preston lived since 1648.[27] Ormond introduced him to Charles II's exile court at the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye.[28] His wife went to Paris where she lived in the convent of the Feuillantines. In 1656 or 1567 Charles sent him, together with Donough MacCarty, 2nd Viscount Muskerry to Madrid on a fruitless diplomatic mission.[29]


In 1660, after the Restoration, he returned to London and stayed at the court of Charles II at Whitehall. In that same year the king created him Baronet of Donalong and Nenagh for his services to the royal cause. The two places mentioned in the territorial designation of the baronetcy are both in Ireland but quite far from each other. Donalong (also called Dunnalong) is in County Tyrone, Ulster, whereas Nenagh is in County Tipperary, Munster. However, sources differ on whether this baronetcy is in the Irish baronetage, the Scottish baronetage, or in that of Nova Scotia. Burke (1869),[30] Millar (1890),[31] and Cokayne (1903)[32] say it is Irish. Burke (1949) says it is Scottish.[33] Lodge (1789) says the baronetcy is in the baronetage of Nova Scotia.[34]

Marriage and children

In 1629 George Hamilton married Mary Butler, youngest daughter of Thomas Butler, Viscount Thurles.[14][35] They had nine children: six sons and three daughters.

The nine children were:

  1. James (died 1673), who became ranger of Hyde Park and lost a leg in a sea-fight;[36]
  2. George (died 1676), who was killed in French service at the Col de Saverne.[37]
  3. Elizabeth (1641–1708), who was a famous beauty and married Philibert de Gramont;[38]
  4. Anthony (1646-1720), who fought for the Jacobites and wrote the Mémoires du comte de Grammont;[39]
  5. Thomas (died 1687), who served in the Royal Navy and died in Boston, Massachusetts;[40][41][42]
  6. Richard (died 1717),[43] who fought for the Jacobites and was taken prisoner at the Boyne.[44]
  7. John (died 1691), Colonel in the Irish army, comte de Hamilton, was killed in the Battle of Aughrim;[45]
  8. Lucia (died 1676), who married Sir Donough O'Brien in 1674.[46]
  9. Margaret, who married in July 1674 Mathew Forde of Seaforde County Down and Coolgreany County Wexford.[47]


He died in 1679 at the age of 71 or 72 years.[33] He was succeeded by his grandson James Hamilton, 6th Earl of Abercorn.

Notes and references

  1. ^ As listed below.
  2. ^ a b c d The dual year shows that this Julian date falls into the next year when the start of the year is adjusted from 25 March to 1 January. See Old Style and New Style dates.
  1. ^ a b Cokayne 1903, p. 305, line 4: "... was b. probably about 1607;"
  2. ^ Millar 1890, p. 177, left column, line 22"Abercorn married Marion, eldest daughter of Thomas, fifth Lord Boyd, by whom he had five sons and four daughters."
  3. ^ Cokayne 1910, p. 4: "Tabular pedigree of the Earls of Abercorn"
  4. ^ Millar 1890, p. 177, line 32: "Sir William, the third son, represented Henrietta Maria, when queen dowager, at the papal court."
  5. ^ Burke 1869, p. 2, right column, line 80: "William (Sir), m. Jane dau. of Alexander Colquhoun, Laird of Luss, and widow of Alan, Lord Cathcart, but left no issue."
  6. ^ Paul 1904, p. 47: "Sir William died at South Shields, 25 June 1681"
  7. ^ Paul 1910, p. 555: "He [Hugh Sempill] married in 1611 (...) first Anne Hamilton, eldest daughter of James, 1st Earl of Abercorn."
  8. ^ Wasser 2004, p. 838: "... was raised, along with his siblings, by his uncle, Sir George Hamilton of Greenlaw, who converted them to Roman Catholicism."
  9. ^ a b Cokayne 1910, p. 3, line 1: "He [James Hamilton] d. v.p. at Monkton 23 Mar. and was bur. 29 Ap. 1618 in the Abbey Church, Paisley, age 43."
  10. ^ Lodge 1789b, p. 110: "The great proportion and manor of Donalong on his third son George and his heirs ... [footnote]"
  11. ^ a b Holmes 2004, p. 778, right column: "Lord Claud lived in retirement for over twenty years, dying in 1621, and was buried in Paisley Abbey"
  12. ^ Gleeson 1937, p. 106: "In the times of Charles I, Sir G. Hamilton procured the concession for mine royal and had expended several 1000 pounds."
  13. ^ Lodge 1789b, p. 117: "On 16 October 1627 he succeeded Sir Roger Hope (who died 7 September) in the command of his company in the army."
  14. ^ a b c Burke 1949, p. 3, right column, line 2: "[George] m. (art. dated 2 June, 1629) Mary 3rd dau. of Thomas Viscount Thurles and sister of the 1st Duke of Ormonde. He d. 1679. She d. Aug 1680, ..."
  15. ^ a b Cokayne 1910, p. 3, line 3: "His widow, a prominent Rom. Cath., who was excpmmunicated in the kirk of paisley on 20 Jan. 1628, d. in the Canongate, Edinburgh, 26 Aug., and was bur. 13 Sep. 1632 with her husband."
  16. ^ a b Sergeant 1913, p. 145, line 16: "Although arrested as a Papist in 1641, during a visit to England, sent to the Tower, and deprived of his commission in the army, ... "
  17. ^ Graham 1841, p. 277: "He carried the unfortunate lady to his castle at Kinnaird, where he kept her two or three days, and then sent her to Sir George Hamilton ..."
  18. ^ Gleeson 1937, p. [] 109: "... the alleged murder of 32 Protestants, men, women and children, at the mine workings ..."
  19. ^ a b Sergeant 1913, p. 145, line 21: "For some reason, when the rebel leader Owen O'Neill took Roscrea, Tipperary, the home of the Hamiltons, in September 1646, and put the inhabitants to the sword, he spared Lady Hamilton and her young children ..."
  20. ^ Carte 1851, p. 265: "... after taking Roscrea on Sept. 17, and putting man, woman, and child to the sword, except sir G. Hamilton's lady, sister to the marquis of Ormond, ..."
  21. ^ Hayes-McCoy 1990, p. 197: "He [Owen Roe O'Neill] listened to the nuncio's plea, 'quitted the opportunity of conquest in Ulster' and marched south."
  22. ^ Coffey 1914, p. 178: "Now seemed the time to follow up the victory of Benburb and subdue the whole North of Ireland; but it was not to be for letters from the Nuncio cause O'Neill to withdraw from the North and move South ..."
  23. ^ Clark 1921, p. 5: "In January 1649, after the piece between the Lord Lieutenant and the Confederates, Sir George was appointed Receiver-General of the Revenues for Ireland, in the place of the Earl of Roscommon who had died."
  24. ^ a b Warner 1768, p. 228: "... taking Nenagh and two other castles, on the tenth of November, he came to his winter quarters at Kilkenny."
  25. ^ R. Y. 1833, p. 298, line 10: "The terrible Ireton, when Cromwell left him as his deputy in Ireland, on his way to the siege of Limerick in 1651 battered it from the high ground to the east, and the garrison, finding it untenable, surrendered it at discretion, when, as local tradition has it, Ireton caused its Governor to be hung out of the topmost window of the keep."
  26. ^ a b Millar 1890, p. 177, left column, line 46: "... the Marquis of Ormonde, whom he [Sir George Hamilton] followed to Caen in the spring of 1651 with his wife and family."
  27. ^ Carte 1851, p. 384: "The marchioness of Ormond had landed in that country on June 23d [1648], with her three sons and two daughters, and had taken up her residence at Caen"
  28. ^ Williams 2014, p. 261: "... Ormond's Roman Catholic brother-in-law Sir George Hamilton, were incorporated into the exiled court at Paris through Ormond's good word."
  29. ^ Clark 1921, p. 9: "A little later [in 1657], Charles .. despatched Sir George Hamilton and his brother-in-law, Lord Muskerry, to Madrid to find out whether it would be agreeable to the King of Spain that the Irish now in Spain and those who would come over from the French should be sent immediately into Ireland."
  30. ^ Burke 1869, p. 2, right column, bottom: "George (Sir) of Donalong, co. Tyrone, and Nenagh, co. Tipperary, created a baronet of Ireland, in 1660, for his services to the royal cause."
  31. ^ a b Millar 1890, p. 177, left column, line 48: "On the Restoration he returned to England, was created a baronet of Ireland in 1660, and received other grants from Charles II in recompense for his services."
  32. ^ Cokayne 1903, p. 305, line 7: "the Restoration about which period (1660?) he is said to have been created a baronet [I.] ..."
  33. ^ a b c Burke 1949, p. 3, right column, top: "George (Sir), 1st Bt of Donalong, co. Tyrone and Nenagh, co. Tipperary created baronet of Scotland about 1660; m (art. dated 2 June 1629) Mary 3rd dau. of Thomas Viscount Thurles and sister of the 1st Duke of Ormonde. He d. 1679. She d.Aug 1680, ..."
  34. ^ Lodge1789b, p. 111: "Sir George Hamilton, Baronet of Nova Scotia, ancestor to the present Earl of Abercorn."
  35. ^ Lodge 1789a, p. 40, line 14: "Mary, married to Sir George Hamilton, ancestor by her to the Earl of Abercorn, and died in August 1680."
  36. ^ Burke 1949, p. 3, right column, line 6: "James Col. ... he d.v.p. of a wound received in a naval engagement with the Dutch, 6 June 1673 and was buried in Westminster Abbey."
  37. ^ a b Sergeant 1913, p. 217: "At the beginning of June [1676] he took part in the battle of Zebernstieg [Col de Saverne] and was engaged in covering the French retreat on Saverne when he was killed by a musket-shot."
  38. ^ Burke 1869, p. 3, left column, line 29: "Elizabeth, the beautiful and accomplished wife of Philibert, comte de Grammont; she d. 1708."
  39. ^ Burke 1949, p. 3, right column, line 17: "Anthony, the celebrated Count Hamilton, author of 'Mémoires de Grammont', Lieut.-Gen. in the French service, d. 20 April 1719, aged 74."
  40. ^ Burke 1869, p. 3, left column, line 25: "Thomas, in the sea service; d. in New England."
  41. ^ Clark 1921, p. 74: "[Thomas Hamilton] rendered James no small service in capturing, off the west coast of Scotland, some of the ships which the Earl of Argyle had equipped to aid Monmouth in his rising."
  42. ^ Sewall 1878, p. 176: "May 9 [1687]. Hamilton, Capt. of the Kingsfisher dies."
  43. ^ Burke 1869, p. 3, left column, line 26: "Richard, lieut.-gen., d. in France."
  44. ^ Boulger 1911, p. 155: "Richard Hamilton had been wounded and taken prisoner by the time that William's cavalry came down from Donore on the right flank of the Irish infantery commanded by him in and behind Oldbridge."
  45. ^ Burke 1869, p. 3, left column, line 27: "John, Colonel in the army of James II., killed at the battle of Aughrim."
  46. ^ Burke 1869, p. 3, left column, line 31: "Lucia, m. to Sir Donogh of Lamineagh, Bart"
  47. ^ Burke 1869, p. 3, left column, line 33: "Margaret, m. to Mathew Forde, Esq. of Seaforde."
  48. ^ Debrett 1816, p. 93, line 7: "d. of a wound in 1673 received commanding a regiment of foot, on board of the navy, with the Duke of York in one of his sea expeditions against the Dutch."
  49. ^ Paul 1904, p. 57, line 3: "His regiment being embarked on board the navy, in one of the expeditions of the Duke of York against the Dutch, Colonel Hamilton had one of his legs taken off by a cannon ball of which wound he died 6 June 1673, ..."

External links

Baronetage of Ireland
Preceded by
New Creation
(of Donalong, Tyrone)
Succeeded by
James Hamilton

This page was last edited on 11 January 2020, at 16:35
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