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At length, the Act of forfeiture being annulled, the family position was regained. Lord John Hamilton, the Regent's second son, returned from banishment and was created Marquis of Hamilton in 1599. Twelve years before, in 1587, when Queen Mary was under sentence of death, her Majesty took a ring; from her finger, and desired one of her attendants to deliver it to Lord John Hamilton, as her dying memento, and as a lasting evidence of her feeling towards a family which had ever proved faithful, loyal, and devoted to her. This ring, poor Mary Stuart's parting gift, was at all times preserved with anxious and loving care at Hamilton Palace, and is not, we most fervently hope, included in the auction. James, second Marquis of Hamilton, fourth Earl of Arran, and first Earl of Cambridge, K.G., only son of Lord John, died at Whitehall in 1625, not without suspicion of having been poisoned by Buckingham. He was father of the two first Dukes, James and William, gallant cavaliers, who both perished in the cause of the King, the first on the scaffold and the second from a wound received on the field of Worcester. By the marriage of the first Duke with Lady Mary Feilding, daughter of the Earl of Denbigh, there was a daughter, Anne Duchess of Hamilton, heiress of her illustrious family, who gave her hand to one not less high-born than herself, William Douglas, Earl of Selkirk, son of William, Marquis of Douglas. This union was prosperous, and produced, besides the fourth Duke of Hamilton, the Earls of Orkney, Ruglen, and Selkirk, and Lord Archibald, father of Sir William Hamilton, Ambassador at Naples, the illustrator of Grecian antiquities. But during Cromwell's usurpation, this Anne Duchess of Hamilton, the proudest and richest heiress in Scotland, was at one time so reduced in circumstances as to be dependent for her daily subsistence on the industry of a young companion and friend, Miss Maxwell, of Calderwood, who was an expert semptress, and maintained herself and her impoverished mistress by the produce of her needle. Better days, however, came, and the Duchess, restored to her inheritance, rewarded her preserver with a gift of Craignethan Castle, in Lanarkshire, which, after Miss Maxwell's marriage to Mr. Hay, gave designation to the respectable Scottish family of Hay, of Craignethan. The Duchess of Hamilton's eldest son, James, Earl of Arran, fourth Duke of Hamilton, K.G. and K.T., one of the most distinguished and honoured statesmen of his time, was in 1712 created Duke of Brandon in the Peerage of Great Britain; but the House of Lords then resolved that no Peer of Scotland could after the Union be created a Peer of Great Britain. This resolution, was however, rescinded seventy years after.

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