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The Scottish Nation

BARGENY, Baron, a title (now dormant) in the peerage of Scotland, first conferred, in 1639, on Sir John Hamilton of Carriden, only son of Sir John Hamilton of Letterick, natural son of John first marquis of Hamilton. The father of the first peer had obtained a legitimation under the great seal 22d December 1600, and acquired considerable estates in the counties of Ayr and Lanark. Among the rest he had charters of Bargeny, which had formerly belonged to the Kennedys, Carlok, and other lands in Ayrshire, 23d December 1631. From the former his son, the first lord, took his designation. This peerage was created with limitation to the heirs male of the first lordís body. In 1648 Lord Bargeny accompanied the duke of Hamilton, in his unfortunate expedition into England, and was excepted by Cromwell out of his act of grace and pardon, 12th April, 1654. He died April 1658. He married Lady Jean Douglas, second daughter of William first marquis of Douglas, and had two sons and five daughters.

      The older son, John, second Lord Bargeny, was served heir to his father 17th October, 1662. His liberal principles made him obnoxious to the ministry of Charles the Second, and he was imprisoned in Blackness castle in November 1679. From thence he was removed to Edinburgh, and indicted for high treason, for having compassed the life of the duke of Lauderdale and others of the nobility, encouraged rebellion to the sovereign, and openly declaimed against episcopacy, then the established religion in Scotland. From want of evidence, however, this indictment was not brought to trial. A letter from the king, dated 11th May 1680, was laid before his privy council in Scotland, bearing that his majesty had received a petition from Lord Bargeny, representing his fatherís loyalty and sufferings, and declaring his innocence of the crimes laid to his charge; in consequence of which he was released, on finding security to stand trial, in fifty thousand merks. After being set at liberty he discovered that Cunningham of Mountgrennan and his servant, two of the prisoners taken at Bothwell-bridge, were suborned by Sir Charles Maitland of Hatton and Sir John Dalrymple, to give false evidence against him. Their depositions, which also affected the duke of Hamilton, were prepared beforehand, and they were promised a share of the confiscated estates; but when the trial approached, their consciences revolted against the crime. Lord Bargenyís evidence was ready to be produced before parliament, 28th July 1681, but the duke of York interposed to prevent inquiry. [Andersonís History of the House of Hamilton, p. 218.] His lordship entered heartily into the Revolution, and in 1689 he raised a regiment of six hundred foot for the public service. He died 25th May 1693. He was twice married, first, to Lady Margaret Cunningham, second daughter of William ninth earl of Glencairn, lord high chancellor of Scotland, and had issue two sons and a daughter; the latter, named Nicolas, married to Sir Alexander Hope of Kerse, baronet; secondly, in 1676, to Lady Alice Moore, dowager countess of Clan Brassil, eldest daughter of Henry first earl of Drogheda, by whom he had no children. His eldest son, John, Master of Bargeny, died before his father. He married, 19th June 1688, Jean, daughter of Sir Robert Sinclair of Longformacus, baronet, and had one daughter, Joanna, heiress of Bargeny, married, in 1707, to Sir Robert Dalrymple of Castleton, knight.

      The younger son, William, succeeded his father in 1693, and became third Lord Bargeny. He took the oaths and his seat in the Scotch parliament 9th May 1695, and exerted himself in opposition to the treaty of Union in 1706. He died about 1712. He was twice married, first to Mary, eldest daughter of Sir William Primrose of Carrington, sister of the first viscount Primrose, by whom he had a daughter, the Hon. Grizel Hamilton, married 15th February 1713 to Thomas Buchan of Cairnbulgh, advocate; and secondly, to Margaret, eldest daughter of Robert Dundas of Arniston, a lord of session, sister of the first President Dundas, by whom he had a son,

      James, fourth Lord Bargeny, born 29th November 1710. He succeeded his father in 1712, and competed his education by visiting foreign countries, as appears from Hamilton of Bangourís epitaph on the companion of his travels, who,

                        ďWith kind Bargeny, faithful to his word,
                        Whom heaven made good and social, though a lord,
                        The cities viewed of many-languaged menĒ

His lordship died unmarried at Edinburgh, 28th March, 1736, in the 26th year of his age, and was buried, 5th April, in the Abbey-church of Holyrood-house. The title has remained dormant ever since. A competition arose for the estate, between first, the children of Joanna, Lady Dalrymple, only daughter of John, Master of Bargeny; secondly, the children of the Hon. Mrs. Buchan of Cairnbulgh, daughter of the third lord; and thirdly, Sir Alexander Hope of Kerse, son of the Hon. Nicolas Hamilton, daughter of the second lord. It was ultimately decided in the House of Lords in favour of the first, by whose representative, Henrietta Dundas Dalrymple, Duchess de Coigny, daughter of the late Sir Hew Dalrymple Hamilton of North Berwick, baronet, it came to be possessed.

      The murder of the young Kennedy of Bargeny by the earl of Cassillis in December 1601, led to the dark and bloody deeds which form the subject of the Auchindrane tragedy, dramatised by Sir Walter Scott, and included in Pitcairnís Criminal Trials, arising out of the feuds between the earls of Cassillis and the lairds of Bargeny. See CASSILLIS, earl of.

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