James Hamilton, 3rd Duke of Abercorn

James Hamilton, 3rd Duke of Abercorn

James Albert Edward Hamilton, 3rd Duke of Abercorn, KG, KP, PC (30 November 1869 – 12 September 1953) was a British Unionist politician and nobleman who became the first Governor of Northern Ireland.

Born in Hamilton Place, Piccadilly, London, the eldest son of James Hamilton, 2nd Duke of Abercorn, and godson of the Prince of Wales, he was educated at Eton and subsequently served first in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers until 1892 when he joined the 1st Life Guards. In the 1900 General Election, he was elected Unionist Member of Parliament for Londonderry City, and three years later he became Treasurer of the Household, a post he held until the fall of Balfour's Conservative administration in 1905.George Edward Cokayne and The Hon Vicary Gibbs, "Complete Peerage" (St Catherine's Press, London, 1910) vol. I p. 10]

After serving for a time as an Opposition whip, Hamilton succeeded his father as third Duke of Abercorn in 1913, and nine years later was appointed Governor of the newly-created Northern Ireland. He also served as Lord Lieutenant of Tyrone from 1917 until his death, and as a major in the North Irish Horse.Charles Mosley (ed.), "Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage, 107th edition" (Burke's Peerage and Gentry LLC, 2003) vol. I p. 6] He proved a popular royal representative, and was reappointed to the post in 1928 after completing his first term of office. In 1931, he declined the offer of the Governor Generalship of Canada, and three years later he was again reappointed Governor for a third term. He remained in this capacity until his resignation in July 1945."The Times (London)", Monday, 14 September 1953 p. 10 col. D]

The Duke was made a Knight of St Patrick in 1922, and six years later became a Knight of the Garter. In the latter year, he was also the recipient of an honorary degree from the Queen's University of Belfast, and received the Royal Victorian Chain in 1945, the same year he became a Privy Counsellor.

Family and Children

On 1 November 1894 he married Lady Rosalind Cecilia Caroline Bingham (1869–1958), daughter of Charles George Bingham, 4th Earl of Lucan (1830–1914) and Lady Cecilia Catherine Gordon-Lennox (1838–1910, daughter of the 5th Duke of Richmond and Lennox) at St. Paul's Church, Knightsbridge.

They had three daughters and two sons:
*Lady Mary Cecilia Rhodesia Hamilton (1896–1984), who married twice, firstly in 1917 Capt/Maj. Robert Orlando Rudolph Kenyon-Slaney (1892–1965), with whom she divorced in 1930, and secondly in 1930 Sir John Gilmour, 2nd Baronet. With her first husband she had two sons and a daughter, and with her second husband one son.
*Lady Cynthia Elinor Beatrix Hamilton (1897–1972), who married in 1919 Albert Edward John Spencer, 7th Earl Spencer (1892–1975). They had a son and two daughters. By their son they became grandparents of Diana, Princess of Wales.
*Lady Katherine Hamilton (1900–1985), who married in 1930 Lt-Col. Sir Reginald Henry Seymour (1878–1938), a descendant of the 1st Marquess of Hertford.
*Sir James Edward Hamilton, 4th Duke of Abercorn (1904–1979)
*Lord Claud David Hamilton (1907–1968), who worked as a barrister in the Inner Temple, and who in 1946 married Genesta Mary Heath. He was her third husband, and they had no offspring.

The Duke died at his London home in 1953, and was buried at Baronscourt, County Tyrone.

tyles from birth

:1869–1885: Lord James Hamilton, Lord Paisley:1885–1913: Lord James Hamilton, Marquess of Hamilton:1913–1953: "His Grace" The Duke of Abercorn


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