HAMILTON, Lord Archibald (1673-1754), of Riccarton, nr. Linlithgow, and Motherwell, Lanark.
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Family and Education
bap. 17 Feb. 1673, 7th s. of William Douglas Hamilton, 3rd Duke of Hamilton [S], by Anne, suo jure Duchess of Hamilton, da. and h. of James, 1st Duke of Hamilton [S] niece and h. of William, 2nd Duke of Hamilton. m. (1) Anne (d.1709), da. of Charles, 2nd Baron Lucas of Shenfield, and wid. of Edward Cary of Caldecote, s.p.; (2) 17 Dec. 1718, Anne (d.29 Mar. 1719), da. and h. of Claud Hamilton and wid. of Sir Francis Hamilton, 3rd Bt., of Killaugh, co. Down, s.p.; (3) 29 Sept. 1719, Lady Jane Hamilton, da. of James, 6th Earl of Abercorn [S], 4s. 4da.
Lt. R.N. July 1690, capt. Sept. 1693; gov. of Jamaica 1710-16; ld. of Admiralty 1729-38; cofferer and surveyor gen. to Prince of Wales 1738-47; ld. of Admiralty 1742-6; gov. of Greenwich Hospital 1746-d.
Appointed governor of Jamaica after serving in the navy and sitting for Lanarkshire, Hamilton was brought home in 1716 under arrest on a charge concocted by the local opposition. Acquitted by a board of Trade inquiry,1 he was re-elected for Lanarkshire in 1718, voted with the Government, and was appointed a lord of the Admiralty in 1729. In 1735 his wife became the mistress of Frederick, Prince of Wales, who gave her a post in his wife’s household on his marriage in 1736. According to Hervey, Hamilton was
of so quiet, so secure and contented a temper, that he seemed cut out to play the passive character his wife and the Prince had graciously allotted to him.
He absented himself from the division on the Prince’s allowance in 1737, soon after which he was turned out
without the least notice given him, or knowing his offence, only [because] his lady is in the service of the Princess of Wales.
Compensated with a post in the Prince’s household, he voted with the Opposition till Walpole’s fall, except on the motion for the removal of Walpole in February 1741, when he withdrew. He was one of the Prince’s servants who obtained office in the new Government, returning to his former post at the Admiralty. In 1746 he was the only member of the Admiralty board not to resign with the Pelhams, on whose return to office he was transferred to the governorship of Greenwich Hospital. Shortly before this his wife, having used her position to such effect that the Prince was told by Carteret that he really ‘must not promote nobody but Hamiltons, and have a Scotch colony about him’,2 had been dismissed by Frederick with a pension of £1,200 a year, ‘for giving him William Pitt as a rival’. Hamilton himself retained his post under the Prince till 1747, when he was turned out for refusing to follow him into opposition. Offered a pension of £1,200 a year by the Prince, he gratefully accepted
but returned in an hour with a letter from his wife, to say that, as his Royal Highness was angry with her husband, it was not proper for either of them to take their pensions.3
He died 5 Apr. 1754.