Anne Hamilton, 3rd Duchess of Hamilton

Anne Hamilton, 3rd Duchess of Hamilton

Anne Hamilton, 3rd Duchess of Hamilton (6 January 1631, London – 17 October 1716) was a Scottish noblewoman.

The daughter of Sir James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Hamilton and 3rd Marquess of Hamilton, Scottish General and premier peer of the realm, and Lady Mary Feilding, daughter of William Feilding, 1st Earl of Denbigh and Lady Susan Villiers, a sister of George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham.

She was born at the Palace of Whitehall in London, where her mother was a Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Henrietta-Maria, Queen-consort of Charles I.


Following the 1st Duke's execution for his part in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms in 1649, his brother, William, Earl of Lanark, inherited the titles and lands. William died from wounds received at the Battle of Worcester in 1651, whilst leading his regiment into some of the thickest of the fighting. In his will made at the Hague in 1650, he stipulated that the Lady Anne was his heir, over and above his own children, (all daughters, his only son having died in childhood).

Lady Anne became the Duchess of Hamilton, with the subsidiary titles Marchioness of Clydesdale, Countess of Arran, Lanark and Cambridge, the Lady Aven, Innerdale, Machanshire and Polmont. [Scots Peerage Vol IV,p.381] [The Dukedom of Châtellerault had been forfeit in 1559, though reaffirmed for the 12th Duke of Hamilton by Napoleon III]

Through paternal descent, Anne had a claim to the throne of Scotland, although this was dependent upon the failure of the House of Stewart. She was descended from James II through the marriage of the 1st Lord Hamilton to the Princess Mary of Scotland. Her great great grandfather, the 2nd Earl of Arran, had been heir apparent from the death of Regent Albany until the birth of James VI, and had served as Regent of Scotland during Queen Mary's childhood and absence in France.

Marriage and issue

She was wed in 1656, at the kirk of Corstorphine near Edinburgh, to William Douglas, 1st Earl of Selkirk, a younger son of William, 1st Marquess of Douglas. William was created Duke of Hamilton, and given the rest of his wife's subsidiary titles, for his lifetime, and in 1660 assumed the surname Douglas-Hamilton. Between 1657 and 1671, the couple would produce 13 children.

*Lady Mary Hamilton (1657-1666)
*James Hamilton (1658-1712), later 4th Duke of Hamilton
*Lord William Hamilton (1659-1681)
*Lady Anna Hamilton (1661-1663)
*Lady Catherine Hamilton (1662-1707), married John Murray, 1st Duke of Atholl
*Charles Hamilton (1664-1739), later 2nd Earl of Selkirk
*John Hamilton (1665-1744), later 1st Earl of Ruglen and 3rd Earl of Selkirk
*George Hamilton (1666-1737), later 1st Earl of Orkney
*Lady Susan Hamilton, married 1st John Cochrane, 4th Earl of Dundonald, 2nd John Hay, 2nd Marquess of Tweeddale
*Lady Anna Hamilton (1669 "died in infancy")
*Lord Basil Hamilton (1671-1701)
*Lord Archibald Hamilton (1673-1701)

Duchess Anne died at Hamilton on the 17th of October 1716, and is buried there, in the Bent Cemetery.

Building works

After her marriage Duchess Anne and her husband set about laying the foundations for what would be, under later Dukes, the largest private residence in the western hemisphere, Hamilton Palace.

This was constructed on the site of what was commonly called either the 'Palace' or 'The Orchard', a courtyard style building in the "Low Parks of Hamilton". The Hamiltons had lived in the "Low parks" the more formal area of their estate, in the Clyde valley, since the fourteenth century.

In 1684 she commissioned the architect, James Smith to remodel the existing buildings, removing the southern part of the previous courtyard building on the site and increasing the scale of the edifice to form a U-shaped mansion house.

Today, the Palace is no more, and the "Low Parks" now form part of Strathclyde Park, having been given to the nation in lieu of death duties upon the passing of the 14th Duke of Hamilton in 1973.




*Balfour Paul, Sir James "The Scots Peerage IX Vols." Edinburgh, 1907
*Marshall, Dr. Rosalind K. "The Days of Duchess Anne-Life in the Household of the Duchess of Hamilton 1656-1716". Edinburgh: Tuckwell press. 1973(2000ed.)

External links

* [ Royal Commission on Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland, Reconstruction of Hamilton Palace]

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