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The seventh Duke of Hamilton, Elizabeth Gunning's eldest son, became, at the death of Archibald Duke of Douglas, heir male and chief of the illustrious house of Douglas, and inherited the titles of Marquis of Douglas, Earl of Angus, and Lord of Abernethy and Jedburgh Forest; but the succession to the great Douglas estates was disputed by Archibald Stewart, son of Sir John Stewart, of Grandtully, and the Lady Jane Douglas, his wife. Thus arose the memorable Douglas case, which created a sensation similar to the Tichborne trial in our own day. Public excitement ran so high that feuds were engendered among the upper classes and riots among the people. The most learned and distinguished men in Great Britain entered the arena, and throughout Europe the conflicting claims were warmly discussed. Dr. Johnson took up the cudgels for the Duke of Hamilton, while, curiously enough, Boswell was for his opponent. "It was said, I know not on what authority (we quote Sir Walter Scott), that Boswell headed the mob which broke the windows of some of the Judges, and of Lord Auchinleck, his father, in particular." An appeal to the House of Lords finally decided the cause in favour of Mr. Stewart. The counter-litigant, the Duke of Hamilton, a youth of much promise, died in his fifteenth year, in 1769, and lies buried in Hamilton, with a graceful inscription from the pen of Dr. Moore. His only brother, Douglas, eighth Duke, was succeeded by his uncle, Archibald, ninth Duke, whose son and successor, Alexander, tenth Duke of Hamilton and seventh Duke of Brandon, K.G., F.R.S., F.S.A., was the accomplished nobleman who devoted a long lifetime to the formation of the wondrous collections that rendered Hamilton Palace so famous. By his refined taste, varied learning, vast wealth, and anxious search, the treasures which have just been dispersed were mainly brought together. His marriage, too, with the daughter and heiress of William Beckford, of Fonthill Gifford, Wilts, gave eventually to Hamilton Palace the choicest portions of the library and collections of the author of "Vathek."

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