- Alexander Hamilton, 10th Duke of Hamilton
Born on 3 October 1767 at St James Square, London, he was educated at Harrow School and at Christ Church, Oxford University.
Hamilton was a Whig, and his political career began in 1802, when he became MP for Lancaster. He remained in the House of Commons until 1806, when he was appointed to the Privy Council, and Ambassador to the court of St. Petersburg until 1807; additionally, he was
Lord Lieutenant of Lanarkshirefrom 1802 to 1852. He received the numerous titles at his father's death in 1819. He was Lord High Stewardat King William IV's coronation in 1831 and Queen Victoria's coronation in 1838, and remains the last person to have undertaken this duty twice. He became a Knight of the Garterin 1836. He held the office of Grand Master of the Freemasons [Scotland] between 1820 and 1822. He held the office of President of the Highland and Agricultural Society [Scotland] between 1827 and 1831. He held the office of Trustee of the British Museum between 1834 and 1852.
He married Susan Euphemia Beckford, daughter of
William Beckfordand Lady Margaret Gordon, on 26 April 1810 in London, England.
Hamilton was a well-known dandy of his day. An obituary notice states that "timidity and variableness of temperament prevented his rendering much service to, or being much relied on by his party ... With a great predisposition to over-estimate the importance of ancient birth ... he well deserved to be considered the proudest man in England." Lord Lamington, in The Days of the Dandies, wrote of him that 'never was such a magnifico as the 10th Duke, the Ambassador to the Empress Catherine; when I knew him he was very old, but held himself straight as any grenadier. He was always dressed in a military laced undress coat, tights and Hessian boots, &c'. Lady Stafford in letters to her son mentioned 'his great Coat, long Queue, and Fingers cover'd with gold Rings', and his foreign appearance. According to another obituary, this time in Gentleman's Magazine he had 'an intense family pride'.
Hamilton had a strong interest in
Ancient Egyptian mummies, and was so impressed with the work of mummy expert Thomas Pettigrewthat he arranged for Pettigrew to mummify him after his death. He died on 18 August 1852 at age 84 at 12 Portman Square, London, England and was buried on 4 September 1852 at Hamilton Palace, Hamilton, Scotland. In accordance with his wishes, Hamilton's body was mummified after his death and placed in a sarcophaguson his estate.
His collection of paintings, objects, books and manuscripts was sold for £397,562 in July 1882. The manuscripts were purchased by the German government for £80,000. Some were repurchased by the British government and are now in the British Museum.
* [http://www.npg.org.uk/live/search/portrait.asp?search=ss&sText=10th+duke+of+hamilton&LinkID=mp01995&rNo=1&role=sit Portrait]
* [http://www.thepeerage.com/p10947.htm/ The Peerage.com]
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