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The Scottish Nation

ABERCORN, Marquis of, a peerage held by a branch of the Hamilton family, descended from Lord Claud Hamilton, third son of James, second earl of Arran and first duke of Chatelherault. Lord Claud, who was distinguished for his zealous and steady attachment to Mary Queen of Scots, was created a peer by her son, James VI., 29th July 1587, by the title of Lord Paisley. He died in 1622, aged 78. He married Margaret, only daughter pf George, sixth Lord Seton, and had by her one daughter, Margaret, married to William, first marquis of Douglas, and four sons, of whom James, the eldest, was created Baron Abercorn, 5th April 1603, and, on 10th July 1606, advanced to the dignity of earl of Abercorn, baron of Paisley, Hamilton, Mountcastle, and Kilpatrick. Having zealously promoted the scheme known in history as the plantation of Ulster—formed on his accession to the English throne, by King James I. for the pacification and colonization of the north of Ireland—the earl of Abercern was by letter from James to the lord—deputy called to the parliament of Ireland, in 1613, and 20th May 1615, was appointed of the council of the province of Munster, and had a large grant of lands in the barony of Strabane, county Tyrone.

      The earl died 16th March 1618, and, in his lifetime, his son James was crested, 18th October 1616, a peer of Ireland, by the title of Baron Strabane; which peerage he resigned in favour of his brother Cloud 11th November 1633. He succeeded as 2d earl of Abercorn; on the death of his son, George. third earl, the male line failed in the eldest branch, and the titles devolved en Claud, fifth Lord Strabane, grandson of Claud, second Lord Strabane. Cloud, fourth earl of Abercorn, adhered to James VII. at the Revolution, and was at the siege of Londonderry. After the defeat of the Boyne, he embarked for France, but was killed on the voyage in 1690. His brother, Charles, fifth earl, gave in his adhesion to King William’s government, and died in June 1701 without surviving issue. The titles devolved on James, descended from the Hon. Sir George Hamilton, fourth son of the first earl. James, sixth earl of Abercorn, was created baron of Mountcastle and viscount of Strabane, 9th September 1701. John James Hamilton, 9th earl of Abercorn, was advanced to the dignity of a peer of Great Britain, 1st Oct. 1790, by the title of marquis of Abercorn, and dying 27th, January 1818, was succeeded by his grandson James. The head of this family is the heir male of the noble and illustrious house of Hamilton. The estate of Abercorn, from which the title is derived, is in Linlithgowshire, and formerly belonged to Sir John the Graham, the ‘fidus Achates’ of Wallace, who fell in the battle of Falkirk in 1298. The name is derived from Aber, beyond, and corn, a corruption of Carron.

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