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The son and successor of this ill-fated Duke of Hamilton was father of James and Archibald, the sixth and ninth Dukes. The marriage of the former supplies another romantic episode in the history of the Hamiltons. At the time of which we are speaking, the sisters Gunning reigned supreme at the Courts of Dublin and St. James's. They were the daughters of Mr. Gunning, of Castlecoote, in the county of Roscommon, a gentleman of county position and fair descent, and were, through their mother, granddaughters of Viscount Bourke, of Mayo. Horace Walpole declared them to be the handsomest women alive. "They can't walk in the park or go to Vauxhall," he writes to Sir Horace Mann, "but such crowds follow them that they are generally driven away." Some years after, he again speaks of the "two beautiful sisters Gunning," and adds that they were at once exalted almost as high as they could be—were Countessed and double Duchessed." The elder sister, Maria Gunning, became the wife of the sixth Earl of Coventry; and the younger, Elizabeth Gunning, married, first, James, sixth Duke of Hamilton; and secondly, John, fifth Duke of Argyll. Thus she was "double-duchessed," and, as a climax to her honours, was created a Peeress in her own right as Baroness Hamilton. The great-great-grandson of her first marriage is the present Earl of Derby, and of her second, the great-great-grandson is the Marquis of Lorne, whose father, the Duke of Argyll, inherits from Elizabeth Gunning her barony of Hamilton. A portrait of this celebrated lady, painted by Catherine Read, was engraved by J. Finlayson and published in 1770; it is now reproduced in our Engraving.

Source: The Illustrated London News, No.2254—Vol. LXXXI, Saturday, July 15, 1882, p.70