Biography of Douglas-Hamilton, William (Duke of Hamilton) - Archontology
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Douglas-Hamilton, William (Duke of Hamilton)

William Douglas-Hamilton

b. 24 Dec 1634/3 Jan 1635
d. 18/28 Apr 1694, Holyrood

Title: President of the Estates
Term: 14/24 Mar 1689 - 5/15 Jun 1689
Chronology: 14/24 Mar 1689, elected, meeting of the Convention of the Estates, Edinburgh [1]
5/15 Jun 1689, Royal Commission appointing him the King's Commissioner to the Estates read out, meeting of the Convention of the Estates, Edinburgh [1]
Names/titles: Original name: William Douglas; family name changed to Douglas-Hamilton (1660); Earl of Selkirk, Lord Daer and Shortcleuch [4/14 Aug 1646 - 6 Oct 1688]; Duke of Hamilton, Marquess of Clydesdale, and Lord Aven, Innerdale, Machanshire, and Polmont [12/22 Oct 1660 - 18/28 Apr 1694]
A descendant of King James IV; eldest son of William 1st Marquis of Douglas; married (29 Apr/9 May 1656) to Anne Hamilton, daughter of the first duke of Hamilton, who on the death of her uncle, the second duke, succeeded him in the titles; was created Duke of Hamilton, etc. for life only (12/22 Oct 1660) on the petition of his wife; was sworn of the Scottish Privy Council; took up a strong presbyterian attitude; was appointed President of the Estates (1667) by special letter from King Charles II, who summoned the convention for the purpose of voting money for the king's troops; with other Scottish noblemen resisted the measures advocated by John Maitland, 1st Duke of Lauderdale, who was Lord President of the Privy Council of Scotland (1672-1681); was ejected from the Privy Council (1676); on the accession of James VII he was reinstated in the Scottish Privy Council and made a commissioner of the treasury; was appointed an extraordinary lord of session (1686); sworn of the English Privy Council (14/24 Apr 1687); incurred suspicion by some intercepted correspondence with William Prince of Orange; presided at the meeting of Scottish nobility and gentry in London (7/17 Jan 1689 - 14/24 Jan 1689) which offered William to assume the administration of affairs in Scotland; elected President of the Convention of the Estates, which offered the crown of Scotland to William and Mary; on the convention being turned into a Parliament, he was appointed royal commissioner; in 1688 he surrendered his earlier peerages, passing them to a younger son in an extremely complicated arrangement, known as the "Hamilton Dance"; in 1690 retired into private life for a time; again served as royal commissioner in April 1693; was reappointed an extraordinary lord of session (Dec 1693).
Biographical sources: "Dictionary of National Biography", ed. by Leslie Stephen (Adamant Media Corporation, 2001), 15:370-372.

[1] Proceedings of the Estates in Scotland 1689-1690.
Image: portrait by Sir Godfrey Kneller.