Charles Hamilton, Count of Arran

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Charles Hamilton
Comte d'Arran
Predecessornew creation
SuccessorCharles Hamilton James
Born(1691-03-30)30 March 1691
Cleveland House, London
Died13 August 1754(1754-08-13) (aged 63)
Paris, France
BuriedSaint-Pierre de Montmartre, Paris
Noble familyDouglas-Hamilton
Spouse(s)Antoinette Courteney of Archambaud
IssueCharles Hamilton James,
Count of Arran
FatherJames Hamilton, 4th Duke of Hamilton
MotherLady Barbara FitzRoy

Charles Hamilton (30 March 1691 – 13 August 1754) was the natural born son of James Hamilton, Earl of Arran and Lady Barbara FitzRoy.[1]

Early life[edit]

Hamilton was born in London in his maternal grandmother the Duchess of Cleveland's house, Cleveland House.[2] He was born to the Earl of Arran, the future 4th Duke of Hamilton and his mistress Lady Barbara FitzRoy herself the natural daughter of Charles II of England and Barbara Villiers, Duchess of Cleveland.[3] After his birth, his mother was sent out to become a Nun in the English Priory of St. Nicholas, at Pontoise in Normandy, France, taking the name Sister Benedicta, where she later became prioress in 1721. Hamilton himself was raised by her mother, the Duchess of Cleveland.[4]

Life in France[edit]

In 1698 on the marriage of his father to Elizabeth Gerard, Charles was sent to France. He was put under the aegis of the Charles Middleton, 2nd Earl of Middleton, James II's and James III's Secretary of State. While in France Hamilton was styled as the Count of Arran or in French as it would have been Comte d'Arran.[4][5] Also while in France, Hamilton met and married his wife, Antoinette Courteney, daughter of Charles Courteney of Archambaud and Elizabeth Wyatt. Charles Courteney was a descendant of Francis Courtenay, de jure 4th Earl of Devon. Hamilton and Antoinette Courteney had one son.[3]

While he was styled Count of Arran or Comte d'Arran in France, it is unknown whether he was truly ennobled as Comte or if this was purely honorary. The title can clearly be seen to be a reference to the Earldom of Arran, the subsidiary title of the Dukes of Hamilton, his father's family. There is a strong possibility that it was a genuine title bearing in mind he was from exceptional lineage and even related to the Kings of France. Through his Great-Grandmother Henrietta Maria of France, Louis XIV would have been his First Cousin once-removed and Louis XV his Second Cousin, twice removed. Therefore with this close relationship between him and the Kings of France the strong likelihood is that it was a genuine title, although there is little evidence to prove this.[3] If it was a genuine title then his male line descendents would be entitled to be Comte d'Arran.[1]

On the death of his father, in the celebrated Hamilton–Mohun Duel of 1712 Charles Hamilton issued a challenge to his father's claimed killer Lieutenant-General George Macartney, however this was turned down. After that Hamilton travelled to Switzerland and spent his time living between there and Paris. While in Switzerland he pursued Alchemy and also had a close friendship with George Keith, 10th Earl Marischal. Hamilton also wrote a book, "Transactions During the Reign of Queen Anne, From the Union to the Death of that Princess" which was posthumously published by his son in 1790.[3]

Hamilton died in Paris on the 13th August 1754 and was buried in Saint-Pierre de Montmartre, Paris. His estate was left in its entirety to his son.[6]


Charles Hamilton married Antoinette Courteney, daughter of Charles Courteney of Archambaud and Elizabeth Wyatt, in 1737 in Paris, France. They had one son together:[3]

The surname was taken due to Charles Hamilton wishing to change away from the Hamilton family, so taking his father's first name as his children's surname.



  1. ^ a b Sir James Balfour (1904). The Scots Peerage: founded on Wood's edition of Sir Robert Douglas's The Peerage of Scotland: Volume I. David Douglas. p. 32.
  2. ^ Allen Andrews (1970). The Royal Whore: Barbara Villiers, Lasy Castlemaine. Chilton Book Company.
  3. ^ a b c d e f William Anderson (1877). The Scottish nation; or, the Surnames, Families, Literature, Honours and Biographical History of the People of Scotland by William Anderson. p. 421.
  4. ^ a b Margaret Mary Pearson (1956). Bright Tapestry. Harrap. p. 22.
  5. ^ H.C.G. Matthew (1995). Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press.
  6. ^ Peter and Roger Powell Beauclerk-Dewar (2006). Right Royal Bastards: The fruits of passion. Burke's Peerage and Gentry. p. 42.

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