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John Hamilton Hamilton, 1st marquess of

Hamilton, John Hamilton, 1st marquess of, 1532–1604, Scottish nobleman; second son of James Hamilton, 2d earl of Arran. He was in his earlier years hostile to Mary Queen of Scots, but he later became her supporter and as a result forfeited his lands. In revenge he was party to the murder (1570) of the regent, James Stuart, 1st earl of Murray. In 1573 Hamilton represented his family at the Pacification of Perth, when the Hamiltons acknowledged Mary's son, James VI (later James I of England), as king. The death of his father in 1575 made him the nearest heir to the throne of Scotland and placed him at the head of the Hamilton family because of the insanity of his elder brother James, 3d earl of Arran. In 1579 proceedings were started against him in connection with Murray's murder, and he fled to England, where he tried unsuccessfully to secure support. With other banished lords he returned to Scotland in 1585, was reconciled with James, and thereafter enjoyed possession of his family's estates and the favor and confidence of the king. He was created marquess in 1599.

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

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