Home Back

For a century and a half after Sir Walter's time, his descendants, the Lords of Cadzow, ranked as powerful Barons, but it was the marriage of James, Lord Hamilton, sixth Lord of Cadzow, with the Princess Mary, eldest daughter of James II, King of Scotland, that placed the Hamiltons amongst the first magnates of their country. The son of this Royal alliance, James, second Lord Hamilton, was created Earl of Arran in 1503, and became Lieutenant-General of the Kingdom, Warden of the Marches and one of the Lords of the Regency in 1517. In 1513 he had the command of a body of 3000 troops sent to assist Louis XII. of France against the English, and it thus happened that he was abroad on the fatal day of Flodden. His son James, second Earl of Arran, the wise and renowned Regent of Scotland, was made in 1549 by Henry II. of France, Duke of Chatelherault, in Poictou, in requital of the Earl's sanction of the projected match between the infant Queen Mary and the Dauphin. Seven years before, the Parliament of Scotland had passed an act declaring the Earl of Arran second person of the realm and nearest to the throne failing the issue of "their Sovereign Lady." The Regent Duke of Chatelherault's youngest son, Lord Claud Hamilton, commanded the vanguard for Queen Mary at Langside; he was eventually created Lord Paisley, and founded the noble house of Abercorn. The Due of Chatelherault's eldest son, James, third Earl of Arran, was very unfortunate. Originally destined by Henry VIII. as husband for Princess Elizabeth, he aspired, after that project was abandoned, to the hand of the beautiful Queen of Scots; but, his suit rejected, his love, inflamed by disappointment, gradually preyed on his reason, and he was declared insane. In his time the fortunes of his house suffered great depression. In point of fact, the generous devotion of the Hamiltons to the cause of their Queen, Mary Stuart, occasioned their temporary obscurity and almost their total ruin. Even their titles were usurped by James Stewart of Ochiltree.

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