Birth Dateabt 1475
Birth PlaceBrodick Castle, Isle Of Arran, Scotland
Death Date1529
Death PlaceKinneil House, Isle Of Arran, Scotland
MotherPrincess Mary STEWART Of Scots , F (1453-1488)
ChildrenJohn , M (~1510-1571)
 John , M (~1511-<1574)
 Jean / Janet , F (~1512-)
 Jean , F (~1514-~1545)
 Isabella , F (~1516-<1571)
 Jean , F (~1517-)
 James , M (~1518-1585)
 Janet / Jane , F (~1527-<1551)
 Elizabeth , F (~1528->1548)
Notes for James (Spouse 1)
II. James, second Lord Hamilton, son of the preceding by his marriage with the Princess Mary, succeeded his father on 6 November 1479, when only a few years old, but the date of his birth is not certainly known, though it was probably 1475.

He is first named on record in 1481, when he had a sasine from the Crown of the barony of Hamilton, and of one-half of Crawfordjohn. On 8 september 1482, he had a precept from Malise, Earl of Menteith, for infefting him as heir of his father in the lands of Elliestoun, co. Linlithgow, but it is not said he was then of age. Nor could he have been of age when, on 1 August 1489, he received from King James IV in person a formal investment in the office of Sheriff of Lanark, which had been held by his father, and he took the oath of administration.

In 1494 and 1495 he had sasine of Corsbaskat, Machanshire, Cormunnock, Finnart, and other lands. In 1500 or 1501, King James IV, his cousin, with whom he was a favourite, gave him a gift of the ward and relief duties of some of his lands, and in September 1502 he sent dogs to the King, and the present of a crane in the following year.

Between April and August 1502, he was sent to Denmark on a naval expedition to aid in acting against the Swedes, and assisted in releasing Queen Christina of Denmark from captivity.

Lord Hamilton was present at the King’s marriage to Margaret Tudor at Holyrood on 8 August 1503, and no doubt shone resplendent in the costume of white damask flowered with gold of which we hear in the Treasurer’s accounts. He was, on the same day, raised to the dignity of EARL OF ARRAN, though the actual grant of lands and earldom of arran was not made until the 11 August. They were bestowed, it is said, for his nearness of blood, his services, and specially for his labours and expenses at the time of the royal Marriage.

In May 1504, he started from Dumbarton on an expedition to the Isles under special commission from the King, and then or later, his house in Arran appears to have been forcibly taken possession of, as in April 1505, warlike preparations were made to ’sege Watte Steward in Lord Hamilton’s house.’

Between September 1506 and January 1506-7, the famous Sir Anthony D’Arcy visited Scotland and challenged its chivalry in the lists; it is said Lord Hamilton had many ‘notable encounters’ with him, and they seem to have been fairly well matched. It was then, or in 1508, he took part in the famous tournament and show of arms organised by King James IV, who, as the Black Knight, played the champion of the Black Ladywith the mekle lippis.’ The King himself appears to have been the most successful in the lists, but the Earl of Arran is said to have gained the greatest honour as the best archer on horse or foot then in Scotland. It appears that he kept a stud of horses at Kinneil, to which the King paid a visit in July 1508.

Between 1508 and 1513, little is recorded about the Earl. But shortly before Flodden, King James intrusted him with command of a considerable fleet intended to serve on the coat of France and co-operate with the Scots army by intercepting Lord Thomas Howard the admiral. Unhappily, Arran bungled his commission, did nothing, except a futile raid on Carrickfergus, and returned home only in November 1513, bringing with him but a remnant of the fleet with which he sailed.

He intrigued against the Duke of Albany when the latter came to Scotland as Governor, was deprived of the sheriffship of Lanark, was twice besieged and twice made peace with the Regent. Albany returned to France for a time in June 1517, and Arran was one of six Regents appointed to govern Scotland in his absence.

In September 1517, Sir Anthony d’Arcy was murdered, and Arran was appointed by the Council Warden of the East March, and in the following year led an expedition against the Homes and others implicated in the murder. This appointment and the power thus thrown into Arran’s hands roused the jealousy of the Earl of Angus, another Regent, from which arose a long-continued conflict, or series of conflicts, for supremacy between the rival factions of Douglases and Hamiltons. One of the most serious of these, and accompanied with much bloodshed, was the skirmish known as ‘Cleanse the Causeway’ on 30 april 1520, when Arran and his followers were defeated, and himself and his son, James, driven from the town of Edinburgh

It has been suggested, chiefly on the ground that a ship is referred to as hired for him, that he went to France at this time to hasten Albany’s return, and the he came back with the Duke, but he was still in Scotland on 10 July 1520, when he entered into a bond at Glasgow with the Kers, who at that time were, on personal grounds, in opposition to the Douglas faction. He may have gone to France in the interval, but appears to have returned before 19 January 1520-21, when the town of Edinburgh bound itself to him in manrent service.

He had been Provost of the burgh, but was shut out by the Angus party, and an attempt by him to enter the town in person was repulsed with bloodshed. Now, for a time at least, his friends had gained the upper hand. Albany’s return to Scotland in November 1521 was a support to Arran, and Angus was banished to France, and was absent from Scotland until November 1524.

Meanwhile, Albany left Scotland finally in May 1524, and Arran joined Queen Margaret in her intrigues on behalf of her son, the young King, who was recognised as King, and chose his officers on 31 July of 1 August 1524. But, after a time, the rule of the Queen and Arran excited discontent, and Angus was invited back to Scotland. After February 1525, he had regained his former influence, and Arran at first joined with him in the conduct of public affairs, but later he stood aloof.

He was, however, in the Parliament of July 1525, named one of the lords who were to guard the King in turn, but though concessions were made to him for the sake of peace, he withdrew from public life. Towards the close of 1525, he joined a powerful combination of nobles, with the Queen, to wrest by for the young King from the Douglases, but when the critical moment arrived, and Angus marched against them to Linlithgow, Arran retired, and forced the Queen to withdraw with him to Hamilton, while their followers submitted to Angus. Arran also allowed himself to be won over, and in September 1526 he joined Angus with a large force against his own nephew, John, Earl of Lennox, who was defeated at linlithgow on 4 Sepember and slain by Arran’s son, Sir James Hamilton of finnart. Arran was found weeping over the slain Earl, and pronouncing his eulogy.

Little is recorded of his later history, but he was present in the Parliment of September 1528, when his rival, Angus, and other Douglases were forfeited, and on 16 November of the same year he had a grant of the lands and lordship of Bothwell which had belonged to Angus.

He did not long survive this, and died on or about 26 March 1529,

when he made his will and gave up an inventory of his effects at his place of Kinneil.

The first Earl of Arran was only twice married.

(1) His first wife was Elizabeth Home, daughter of Alexander, second Lord Home; she is distinctly called his spouse in a Crown charter of date 28 april 1490, to James, Lord Hamilton and Elizabeth Home of the lands of Kinneil, to be held in conjunct fee, and to the heirs lawfully born betwixt them. (It is usually said that the Earl’s first wife was Beatrix Drummond, daughter of John, first Lord Drummond. His relations with her will be noticed later, but there are two independent and contemporary testimonies to the fact the Elizabeth Home was the Earl’s first wife.)

The first, probably the earliest in point of date, is a letter of 17 December 1542, when viscount Lisle and bishop Tunstall of Durham wrote to King Henry VIII the information of Sir George Douglas in reference to Elizabeth Home that the Governor Arran was the next heir to the throne after the infant Queen, that his father’s first wife was still living, and that he was born of his father’s second wife, Janet Beaton, cousin of the Cardinal. The second testimony is that of John Knox, who, writing about 1566, expressly says that the Earl’s first wife was Elizabeth Home, from whom he was divorced and that the Governor was son of his second marriage.

There is thus evidence, apart from the charter of 1490 cited above, that Elizabeth Home was the Earl’s first wife, and though they were divorced, that event did not take place at the earliest until 1504. The whole circumstances of the divorce are peculiar. It would appear that Elizabeth Home had been married to Thomas Hay, son and apparent heir of John, Lord Hay of Yester. It is said he had gone abroad, and was believed to be dead. But her father and mother were apparently not married till after 30 May 1476, and she must have been very young when, in april 1490, she is described as Lord Hamilton’s wife. He first marriage must, therefore, have taken place when she was quite a child.

Sometime before November, the Earl of Arran raised an action against his wife, stating that though they were married and had lived as man and wife, he was not bound to adhere to her or show her a husban’d affection, because a marriage had formerly been solemnised between and the above-named Thomas Hay. The latter was dead before the divorce was pronounced, but it was proved by the depositions of witnesses that he had appeared before a notarty to object, and had asserted that Elizabeth Home was his lawful wife, and therefore could not rightly be joined in marriage to Hamilton. The date when this assertion was made is not given, but there is evidence that Thomas Hay, whether he had been abroad or not, was in Scotland on 20 june 1491, a year after his alleged wife’s marriage to Hamilton.

If he took proceedings then, it is strange that the divorce was not pronounced until 1504. Further, the sentence of divorce, though pronounced in that year, was repeated in similar terms on 11 March 1509-10, which corroborates a statement made by Sir George Douglas in 1542 that the Governor’s father lived with his first wife twenty years, a period represented by the years between 1490 and 1510. It is thus evident that the divorce of 1504 was considered doubtful by contemporaries, and that the parties separated finally only after the renewal of the sentence.

Elizabeth Home survived he husband and died in 1544, her brother George, Lord Home, being retoured her nearest heir in July 1546, in the lands of Friarness, co. Berwick, in which he was infeft on 10 July 1546.

(2) the Earl married, secondly, Janet Beaton, said to be a daughter of Sir David Beaton of Creich, widow of Sir Robert Livingstone of Easter Wemyss and Drumry, who was killed at Flodden. their banns of marriage were published on 2, 9, and 11 November 1516, and they were married between that date and 23 November, when they had a joint charter of the lands of Kinnell.

Janet Beaton died about 1522,

and by her the Earl had issue, two sons and a daughter:

1. James, who succeeded as second Earl.
2. Gavin, who is styled brother-german of the Earl of Arran in a series of Crown charters, …
3. Helen, designed in her father’s will his ‘lawful and firstborn daughter, married to Archibald, Fourth Earl of Argyll, apparently before her father’s death, with a dowry of £1666, 13s. 4d.

The Earl had several natural children:

1. Sir James Hamilton, the eldest natural son, had a Crown charter on 3 November 1507, of the lands of Finnart, co. Renfrew, from which he took his chief designation. …
2. John, designed son of the Earl and commendator of Paisley, in his father’s testament. He was born about 1510. …
3. John Hamilton, styled variously of Samuelston and of Clydesdale, …
4. James, designed in a Crown charter of 1539 as brothe of John Hamilton of Clydesdale, and son of Elizabeth Lindsay …
5. James, designed in the charter of 1539 as brother of Sir James Hamilton of Finnart. …

The first Earl had also a number of daughters, who, as Helen, Countess of Argyll, is the only daughter described as lawful, were probably all illegitimate:

6. Anna, described as a natural daughter … married … Hugh, fifth Lord Somerville
7. Margaret, married … to Andrew Stewart, Lord Avondale …
8. Jean, … or Janet, married to Alexander Cunningham
9. Isabella, married to John Bannatyne of Corehouse,
10. Jean, married to David Boswell of Auchinleck
11. Jean, named in her father’s will in 1529 as ‘now married to the first-born son of the Lord Somerville,’ …
12. Elizabeth, married … to Robert, son and heir of Robert, Master of Sempill,
13. Janet or Jane, ‘natural daughter of the late Earl of Arran,’ married to William Stewart

Source: THE SCOTS PEERAGE, ed. by Sir James Balfour Paul, Vol IV, Edinburgh, 1906, pp. 355-65.

James Hamilton, 1st Earl of Arran
and 2nd Lord Hamilton (ca. 1475–1529) was a Scottish nobleman and first cousin of James IV of Scotland.

He was the only son of James Hamilton, 1st Lord Hamilton, and his wife, Mary Stewart, Countess of Arran. Mary was a daughter of King James II of Scotland and his Queen consort Mary of Guelders, and was a sister of King James III of Scotland.

Hamilton succeeded to his father's lordship and inherited his lands when his father died in 1479. In 1489 his first cousin King James IV made him Sheriff of Lanark, a position his father had previously had, and a Scottish Privy Counsellor. By 28 April 1490 he was married to Elizabeth Home, daughter of Alexander Home, 2nd Lord Home.

Between April and August 1502, he commanded a naval fleet sent to help King Hans of Denmark, James IV's uncle, defeat a Swedish rebellion. He negotiated James's marriage to Margaret Tudor and was present at the wedding on 8 August 1503. On the same day Lord Hamilton was created Earl of Arran, with the formal grant three days later, "for his nearness of blood" and his services at the time of the marriage. He was appointed Lieutenant General of Scotland and in May 1504 commanded a naval expedition to suppress an uprising in the Western Isles.

In September 1507, James IV sent Hamilton as his ambassador on a diplomatic mission to the court of Louis XII of France. When returning in early 1508, he was briefly detained in the Kingdom of England by Henry VII, who was suspicious of a renewal of the Auld Alliance between Scotland and France.

When Henry VIII of England joined the War of the League of Cambrai by invading France in 1513, Scotland came under pressure to support France against England. Hamilton was given command of the Scottish naval fleet. He first sailed to Ulster and attacked Carrickfergus, the main English stronghold there. The fleet then sailed to France, arriving there in September 1513, too late to be much help as the Scottish army had been defeated at the Battle of Flodden in England on 9 September, with James IV being killed in battle.

During the minority of King James V he opposed Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus and the English party. He plotted against the Regent John Stewart, 2nd Duke of Albany. He was president of the council of regency during Albany's absence in France from 1517 to 1520.

He was defeated in an attempt to overpower Angus in the streets of Edinburgh in 1520, a riot known as "Cleanse the Causeway". He was again a member of the council of regency in 1522 and Lieutenant of the South. He joined the Queen Dowager Margaret Tudor in ousting Albany and proclaiming James V in 1524.

Hamilton was compelled by Henry VIII of England to readmit Angus to the council. He supported Angus against John Stewart, 3rd Earl of Lennox in 1526 at the Battle of Linlithgow Bridge, but on the escape of James V from the Douglases, Hamilton received Bothwell from Angus's forfeited estates.

(1) Hamilton was married firstly, c.1490, to Elizabeth Home, daughter of Alexander Home, 2nd Lord Home. The marriage was dissolved in 1506, when it was found that her first husband Thomas Hay, a son of John Hay, 1st Lord Hay of Yester, was still alive at the time of the wedding.

In November 1504 Hamilton had been granted a divorce from Elizabeth Home on the grounds that she had previously been married to Thomas Hay. Hay had apparently left the country and was thought to be dead when Hamilton married Home in or before 1490, but in fact he did not die until 1491 or later. This award of divorce was repeated in 1510, suggesting that Hamilton had continued living with her after 1504, and was held by some to undermine the dissolution of the first marriage as invalid. It is likely that the real motive for divorcing Elizabeth was that she had not born any children and that Hamilton wanted a legitimate heir – he already had several illegitimate children, his eldest illegitimate son being James Hamilton of Finnart. The complicated legal issues of the second marriage would continue to trouble his heir, whose legitimacy was questioned by his rivals in 1543.

(2) In November 1516 Hamilton married Janet Bethune of Easter Wemyss, daughter of Sir David Bethune of Creich, and widow of Sir Robert Livingstone of Easter Wemyss, who had been killed in the Battle of Flodden Field.

Arran and Janet Bethune had four children before Janet died c. 1522:

1. Helen Hamilton, who married Archibald Campbell, 4th Earl of Argyll
2. James, 2nd Earl of Arran and later Duke of Châtelherault and governor of Scotland during the minority of Mary, Queen of Scots
3. Janet Hamilton, who married Alexander Cunningham, 5th Earl of Glencairn
4. son name unknown.

Hamilton had further illegitimate issue.

1. James Hamilton of Finnart
2. Elizabeth Hamilton, married Thomas of Kirkton Weir born about 1570.
3. John Hamilton, Abbot of Paisley and treasurer of Scotland.

Children of James Hamilton and his mistress Beatrix Drummond, daughter of John Drummond, 1st Lord Drummond and his wife Lady Elizabeth Lindsay:

1. Margaret Hamilton, married Andrew Stewart, 2nd Lord Avondale and 1st Lord Ochiltree
2. Sir John Hamilton of Samuelston (aka Clydesdale John), married Janet Home, only legitimate daughter and heiress of Alexander Home, 3rd Lord Home

Source: Wikipedia:,_1st_Earl_of_Arran
Last Modified 6 Feb 2016Created 9 Jan 2017 using Reunion for Macintosh