The Duke of Hamilton

Born(1862-03-06)6 March 1862
Died16 March 1940(1940-03-16) (aged 78)
(m. 1901)
ChildrenDouglas Douglas-Hamilton, 14th Duke of Hamilton
Lady Jean Douglas-Hamilton
George Douglas-Hamilton, 10th Earl of Selkirk
Lady Margaret Douglas-Hamilton
Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton
Lord David Douglas-Hamilton
Lady Mairi Nina Douglas-Hamilton
Parent(s)Captain Charles Douglas-Hamilton
RelativesJames Hamilton, 4th Duke of Hamilton (great-great-great-grandfather)

Lieutenant Alfred Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, 13th Duke of Hamilton and 10th Duke of Brandon TD, DL (6 March 1862 – 16 March 1940) was a Scottish nobleman and sailor.

Life and succession

Hamilton was born at Shanklin, Isle of Wight, in 1862, the son of Captain Charles Douglas-Hamilton (1808–1873). His grandfather is Augustus Hamilton, son of Charles Powell Hamilton, himself a grandson of the 4th Duke of Hamilton. As a young man he had the rank of lieutenant in the Royal Navy,[1] and gained a reputation for being able to dive under the keels of the battleships on which he served, without any equipment, reappearing on the opposite side of the ship to the amazement of his crewmates. He was persuaded to leave in 1888 by his fourth cousin the twelfth Duke in 1890. There was a quite serious possibility that Alfred would provide a good match for the heirless twelfth duke's daughter, Lady Mary. These hopes of maintaining continuity were dashed however in 1890, when Hamilton was partially paralysed by a rare tropical disease he had caught whilst on his last tour of duty. Hamilton recovered however and succeeded in 1895. Whilst inheriting all entailed property and assets from his cousin and a £1 million debt, a large share of the Hamilton lands and properties went to Lady Mary, latterly the Duchess of Montrose. The properties that left the Hamilton family at this time included Brodick Castle on Arran, which had been owned by the Hamiltons for 500 years.

One property that did not leave the family was Hamilton Palace, the main family seat, of which he was heredity keeper, a position held by other Duke's of Hamilton too.[1] However, the Duke had offered the palace to the Navy during World War I for use as a hospital. Following the end of the war it was considered necessary to demolish it due to subsidence, blamed on the family's own coal mines. Hamilton moved to Dungavel House, which had previously been a Hamilton shooting lodge on moorland close to Strathaven.

Hamilton was honorary lieutenant-colonel of the 4th Battalion, Highland Light Infantry.

He was also honorary colonel of the 6th Battalion, the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles).

Hamilton died shortly after his 78th birthday, on 16 March 1940 at the family's property in Dorset, Ferne House.

Marriage and issue

Hamilton married on 4 December 1901, at the parish church in Newton Tony, Wiltshire, to Nina Mary Benita Poore, daughter of Major Robert Poore,.[2] She was the founder of the Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society. They had four sons and three daughters:[1]

Hamilton's sons made RAF history by all being of the rank of Squadron Leader or above at the outbreak of World War II.


  1. ^ a b c (Hesilrige 1921, p. 435)
  2. ^ "Court circular". The Times. No. 36630. London. 5 December 1901. p. 6.

Works cited

Peerage of Scotland Preceded byWilliam Douglas-Hamilton Duke of Hamilton 1895–1940 Succeeded byDouglas Douglas-Hamilton Earl of Selkirk 1895–1940 Succeeded byGeorge Douglas-Hamilton Peerage of Great Britain Preceded byWilliam Douglas-Hamilton Duke of Brandon 1895–1940 Succeeded byDouglas Douglas-Hamilton