Lord Archibald Hamilton

Lord Archibald Hamilton of Riccarton and Pardovan (1673 – 5 April 1754) was a Scottish officer of the Royal Navy, and Whig politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1708 and 1747. In the 1690s, he was active in the English Channel pursuing French privateers, including Tyger out of St Malo. He commanded the third-rate HMS Boyne at the Battle of Vigo Bay in October 1702 and then commanded the third-rate HMS Eagle at the Battle of Málaga in August 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession. He was a controversial Governor of Jamaica. He then joined the Board of Admiralty, ultimately serving as Senior Naval Lord.

Lord Archibald Hamilton
Archibald Hamilton of Riccarton and Pardovan.jpg
Lord Archibald Hamilton
Died5 April 1754
Allegiance Kingdom of Great Britain
Service/branch Royal Navy
Commands heldHMS Sheerness
HMS Lichfield
HMS Berwick
HMS Expedition
HMS Torbay
HMS Boyne
HMS Eagle
HMS Royal Katherine
Greenwich Hospital
Battles/warsWar of the Spanish Succession
Spouse(s)Anne Cary Lucas
Anne, Lady Hamilton
Lady Jane Hamilton
ChildrenCharles Hamilton
Elizabeth Greville, Countess of Warwick
Frederic Hamilton
Archibald Hamilton
William Hamilton
Jane Cathcart, Lady Cathcart

Naval careerEdit

Hamilton was baptized on 17 February 1673, the youngest son of William Douglas-Hamilton, Duke of Hamilton and Anne Hamilton, 3rd Duchess of Hamilton, Hamilton studied at Glasgow University and was then sent to study under the Astronomer Royal, John Flamsteed, in London before taking a commission in the Royal Navy aboard the third-rate HMS Resolution.[1] Promoted to post-captain on 11 September 1693, he was given command of the fifth-rate HMS Sheerness in 1694 and of the fourth-rate HMS Lichfield in 1697.[2] In December 1695 he was active in the English Channel pursuing French privateers, including Tyger out of St Malo, an encounter commemorated in a painting by Willem van de Velde the Younger.[3]

Hamilton went on to take command of the third-rate HMS Berwick in 1698, of the third-rate HMS Expedition in 1699 and of the third-rate HMS Torbay in 1702.[2] After that he became captain of the third-rate HMS Boyne in September 1702 and commanded her at the Battle of Vigo Bay in October 1702 during the War of the Spanish Succession.[2] He took command of the third-rate HMS Eagle in 1704 and commanded her at the Battle of Málaga in August 1704.[4] He became captain of the second-rate HMS Royal Katherine in 1706.[2]

Political careerEdit

After his naval career, Hamilton saw a place in parliament as a way of finding favour with the Government and hopefully a lucrative office. At the 1708 general election, Hamilton stood for Parliament at Great Marlow, and also at the family seat of Lanarkshire. He was defeated at Marlow, but was returned in a hard-fought contest as Member of parliament (MP) for Lanarkshire. He opposed the Treason Act of 1709, which altered Scottish law in direct contravention of the safeguards included in the Union, but his opposition was short lived as he sought payment for arrears with his pension. He supported the ministry in the vote for the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell and with the support of the Duke of Marlborough was appointed Governor of Jamaica in May 1710.[4]

Hamilton did not stand at the 1710 general election and took up his post in Jamaica in 1711.[4] He played a controversial role in setting up some of the founders of the infamous Bahamanian pirate gang, including Henry Jennings, Francis Fernando, and Leigh Ashworth, for which he was arrested and brought back to England in 1716 by the Royal Navy.[5] He was acquitted by a board of Trade inquiry and released.[4]

Hamilton was returned as MP for Lanarkshire at a by-election on 23 December 1718. He retained his seat at the 1722 British general election , with the help of his 19-year-old nephew, the 5th Duke of Hamilton, a Tory who was actually on the opposing side politically. He was returned again unopposed for Lanarkshire at the 1727 British general election[6] and joined the Board of Admiralty under the Walpole–Townshend ministry in May 1729.[7] He was advanced to First Naval Lord in June 1733[8] He did not stand at the 1734 British general election, but was returned as MP for Queenborough at a by-election on 22 February 1735. After he failed to support a bill for the Prince of Wales's allowance,[4] he was forced to stand down as First Naval Lord in March 1738.[7] However he was appointed cofferer and surveyor general to the Prince of Wales in 1738. He did not stand at the 1741 British general election, but was returned as MP for Dartmouth at a by election on 27 March 1742.[6] He rejoined to Board, as Senior Naval Lord again,[8] in March 1742 under the Carteret ministry and remained on the Board until the Broad Bottom ministry fell in February 1746.[7] He served as Governor of Greenwich Hospital from 1746 until his death. He kept his post under the Prince of Wales until 1747, when he was turned out for refusing to follow him into opposition. He gratefully accepted a pension of £1,200 a year offered by the Prince. [4]

For much of his life, Hamilton lived at Park Place at Remenham in Berkshire.[9] He died on 5 April 1754.[4]


Hamilton's first wife was Anne Cary (née Lucas) (a daughter of Charles Lucas, 2nd Baron Lucas and mother of the Lucius Cary, 6th Viscount Falkland). She died in 1709 and Hamilton then married Anne, Lady Hamilton (widow of Sir Francis Hamilton, 3rd Baronet). His second wife died in 1719 and later that year, he married Lady Jane Hamilton (a daughter of the 6th Earl of Abercorn). Hamilton and his third wife later had six children:[10]

Elizabeth Hamilton, later Countess of Warwick (1720–1800), and her brother William Hamilton (1730–1803) (William Hoare)


  1. ^ Marshall, pp. 145–146
  2. ^ a b c d "Lord Archibald Hamilton". Three Decks. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  3. ^ "Lord Archibald Hamilton in the Lichfield engaging the St. Malo Privateer Tyger, 11 December 1695". Sothebys. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Hamilton, Lord Archibald (1673–1754), of Motherwell, Lanark., and Riccarton and Pardovan, Linlithgow". History of Parliament. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  5. ^ Woodard, pp. 122–131, 142–43, 196
  6. ^ a b "HAMILTON, Lord Archibald (1673–1754), of Riccarton, nr. Linlithgow, and Motherwell, Lanark". History of Parliament Online (1715–1754). Retrieved 1 December 2018.
  7. ^ a b c "Sainty, JC, Lord High Admiral and Commissioners of the Admiralty 1660–1870, Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 4: Admiralty Officials 1660–1870 (1975), pp. 18–31". Archived from the original on 7 October 2014. Retrieved 4 September 2009.
  8. ^ a b Rodger, pp. 51–52
  9. ^ "Park Place". Parks and Gardens. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  10. ^ Johnston, G. Harvey (1907). "The heraldry of the Douglases; with notes on all the males of the family, descriptions of the arms, plates and pedigrees". W. and A.K. Johnston.


External linksEdit

Parliament of Great Britain
New constituency Member of Parliament for Lanarkshire
Succeeded by
Sir James Hamilton, Bt.
Preceded by
James Lockhart
Member of Parliament for Lanarkshire
1718 – 1734
Succeeded by
Lord William Hamilton
Preceded by
Richard Evans
Sir George Saunders
Member of Parliament for Queenborough
1735 – 1741
With: Richard Evans
Succeeded by
Richard Evans
Thomas Newnham
Preceded by
George Treby
Walter Carey
Member of Parliament for Dartmouth
1742 – 1747
With: Walter Carey
Succeeded by
Walter Carey
John Jeffreys
Government offices
Preceded by
Thomas Handasyde
Governor of Jamaica
Succeeded by
Peter Heywood
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Charles Wager
Senior Naval Lord
Succeeded by
Lord Harry Powlett
Preceded by
Lord Harry Powlett
Senior Naval Lord
Succeeded by
Lord Vere Beauclerk
Preceded by
Sir John Balchen
Governor, Greenwich Hospital
Succeeded by
Isaac Townsend