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James Douglas Hamilton, 4th duke of

Hamilton, James Douglas, 4th duke of, 1658–1712, Scottish nobleman. He served at the courts of Charles II and James II and remained, after his grudging acceptance of William III, a sympathizer with the Jacobites. He became duke of Hamilton in 1698 and, although he had opposed the union of Scotland with England, entered the united Parliament as a representative Scottish peer in 1708. Coming into favor with the Tory regime after 1710, he was made privy councilor (1710), duke of Brandon (1711), and ambassador to Paris (1712). He was killed in a duel by Lord Mohun before he could go to France. Suspicion of foul play caused the Tories to accuse the Whigs of murdering him, alleging that the Whigs feared he was about to engineer a Jacobite restoration from France. The duel is described in Thackeray's Henry Esmond.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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