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HADDINGTON, Viscount of, a title (extinct) in the peerage of Scotland, conferred in 1600, on Sir John Ramsay, brother of George, first Lord Ramsay of Dalhousie (see RAMSAY, surname of), for having been instrumental in saving the life of James the Sixth, in the mysterious affair called the Gowrie conspiracy. He was a favourite page of the king, and, on that occasion, when his majesty had retired with Alexander Ruthven, brother of the earl of Gowrie, he agreed to take charge of a hawk for one of the servants, while the latter was at dinner. On the alarm arising that the king had ridden forth, Ramsay hurried to the stable for his horse, and in doing so, he heard the king’s voice at the window of Gowrie house, crying, “I am murdered! Treason! My lord of Mar, help! Help!” On which, running up a back staircase, he rushed against the door of the chamber, and burst it open, when he found Alexander Ruthven struggling with the king, who, on seeing him, exclaimed, “Fy! Strike him low, he has secret armour on.” Casting from him the hawk which still sat upon his hand, Ramsay drew his dagger, and plunged it twice in Ruthven’s body, and the king, exerting all his strength, threw him down stairs, where he was despatched by Sir Thomas Erskine and Hugh Herries, the king’s physician. The earl, supported by seven of his attendants, in attempting to force his way into the house, was encountered by Ramsay, who pierced him through the heart, and forced his attendants to retreat. For this signal service the king heaped dignities upon him, and retained him constantly in his favour. On being created viscount of Haddington he received, for an augmentation of honour, an arm holding a naked sword and a crown in the midst thereof, with a heart at the point, to impale with his own arms, and the motto, “Haec dextra vindex principis et patriae.” Besides being viscount of Haddington and Lord Ramsay of Barns in the peerage of Scotland, he was, in 1620, created a peer of England, by the titles of earl of Holdernesse and baron of Kingston upon Thames, with this special addition of honour that upon the 5th of August annually, the day appointed to be observed in giving thanks to God for the king’s preservation, he and his male heirs for ever should bear the sword of state before the king, in remembrance of his happy deliverance. He died, without surviving issue, in 1625, when his titles became extinct.


HADDINGTON, Earl of, a title in the peerage of Scotland, conferred in 1627 on Sir Thomas Hamilton, an eminent advocate and judge, a memoir of whom is given below. His title was at first earl of Melrose, but eight years afterwards it was changed to Haddington. The first earl’s grandfather was Thomas Hamilton of Orchartfield, Bathgate, and Ballencrieff, second son of Hugh Hamilton of Innerwick, descended from a branch of the Hamiltons of Cadzow, the original stock of the ducal family of Hamilton. This Thomas Hamilton of Orchartfield was killed at Pinkie, 10th Sept. 1547, leaving two sons, Thomas his successor, and John, a secular priest, a memoir of whom, from a sketch by the accurate Lord Hailes will be fund below. The elder son, Sir Thomas Hamilton of Priestfield, was knighted before 1597, and had a charter, 30th May 1597, of the estates of Balbyn and Drumcairn in Perthshire, which his father had received in excambion with James Hamilton of Innerwick, for the lands of Ballencrieff in Linlithgowshire, and another of Priestfield the same year. By the influence of his son, the first earl of Haddington, he was admitted a lord of session 29th May 1607, when he took the judicial title of Lord Priestfield, but the following year resigned his seat on the bench to his second son, Sir Andrew Hamilton of Redhouse, an estate which he received in marriage with the daughter and sole heiress of John Laing of Redhouse, also one of the lords of session. Sir Andrew, on being raised to the bench on 28th June 1608, assumed the judicial title of Lord Redhouse. He was a privy councillor to King James the Sixth, and died in 1637. A younger brother, Sir John Hamilton of Magdalens, was also a lord of session under the title of Lord Magdalens, having been appointed to a seat on the bench on 27th July 1622. As he held also the appointment of lord clerk-register, conferred the same year, he was obliged, in February 1626, to resign his seat on the bench, in accordance with a resolution of Charles the First that officers of state should not be lords of session. At the same time he was removed from the exchequer, but to this latter situation he was restored on 12th July following. He was again admitted to a seat on the bench, as an extraordinary lord, on 2d November 1630; and died at Holyroodhouse on 28th November 1632. A fourth son of Sir Thomas Hamilton, Lord Priestfield, was Patrick Hamilton of Little Prestoun, secretary to his brother, the earl of Haddington, and founder of the family of Fala. Alexander, the fifth and youngest son, a general of artillery, had a high command in the army sent to the assistance of the king of Sweden, under the first duke of Hamilton in 1631, and died in 1649.

      The first earl of Haddington was thrice married. By his first wife, a daughter of Borthwick of Newbyres, he had an only daughter; by his second wife, a daughter of Foulis of Colinton, county of Edinburgh, he had three sons and six daughters; and by his third wife, a daughter of Ker of Ferniehirst, and the widow of Sir Patrick Hume of Polwarth, he had an only son, the Hon. Robert Hamilton of Wester Binning, who was killed at Dunglass castle, when that fortress was blown up in 1640, as afterwards related.

      Thomas, the eldest son, second earl of Haddington, born 25th May 1600, succeeded his father in 1637. In the great civil war he adhered to the cause of the Covenanters, and was appointed colonel of one of their regiments. In 1640, when General Leslie marched into England, Lord Haddington was left in Scotland, to watch the motions of the garrison of Berwick. He fixed his quarters at Dunglass castle, in the county of Haddington, where a considerable quantity of gunpowder was stored up. On the 30th of August, about midday, as he was standing in the court of the castle, reading a letter which he had received from General Leslie to a number of gentlemen, the powder-magazine blew up, and one of the side walls in its fall overwhelmed his lordship and all his auditors, except four who, by the force of the explosion, were thrown to a considerable distance. The earl’s body being found among the ruins, was buried at Tyninghame. With his lordship was killed, besides his youngest son, several of his kinsmen of the name of Hamilton. Scotstarvet states that a report prevailed that a faithless page, an English boy of the name of Edward Paris, in resentment of the earl’s jestingly saying to him that his countrymen were a pack of cowards to suffer themselves to be beaten, and to run away at Newburn, thrust a red-hot iron into a barrel of gunpowder, and so was killed with the rest. This incident is often erroneously connected with Dunglass castle on the Clyde, though the two places are separated by the whole breadth of the island. The second earl was twice married: first to Lady Catherine Erskine, fourth daughter of the seventh earl of Mar, and by her had Thomas, third earl, John, fourth earl, two other sons, and a daughter; and, secondly, to Lady Jean Gordon, third daughter of the second marquis of Huntly, and by her had a posthumous daughter.

      Thomas, third earl, was a boy under thirteen years of age at the time of his father’s death. Soon after he visited the Continent, and espoused by contract at Chatillon in France, 8th August 1643, Henrietta de Coligny, eldest daughter of Gaspard, Count de Coligny, and great-granddaughter of Admiral Coligny, celebrated for her wit, beauty, and adventures, afterwards the countess de la Suze. He died of consumption, 8th February 1645, while scarcely eighteen years old. His brother John succeeded as fourth earl, and died 1st September 1669. By his countess, Lady Christian Lindsay, second daughter of the fifteenth earl of Crawford, he had an only son, Charles, fifth earl, and three daughters, the eldest of whom, Lady Margaret, married John, earl of Hopetoun, who was drowned on his voyage to Scotland when accompanying the duke of York, 5th May 1682.

      Charles, fifth earl, born in 1650, married Lady Margaret Leslie, eldest daughter of John, duke of Rothes, lord-high-chancellor of Scotland. On her father’s death in 1681, the dukedom became extinct, but the countess succeeded as countess of Rothes. The earl died in 1685, aged 35, and the countess in 1700. They had three sons; John, who succeeded as eighth earl of Rothes (see ROTHES, earl of); Thomas, in whose favour his father resigned his earldom of Haddington, and to whom a new patent, with the former precedency, was granted; and Charles, who died young.

      Thomas, the second son, became sixth earl of Haddington. Born 29th August, 1680, he was trained up in whig principles, under the care of his uncle, Adam Cockburn of Ormiston, and distinguished himself as a warm supporter of the liberty of the people. He had a charter of the earldom of Haddington, 25th February 1687, and another of the hereditary office of keeper of the park of Holyroodhouse, 23d January 1691. He was a zealous supporter of the treaty of union. On the breaking out of the rebellion of 1715, he accompanied the duke of Argyle to Stirling, 16th September, and served as a volunteer under his grace, two months afterwards, at the battle of Sheriffmuir, where he received a wound in the shoulder, and had a horse shot under him. In 1716 he was appointed lord-lieutenant of the county of Haddington, and invested with the order of the Thistle, being also constituted one of the lords of the police. The same year he was elected one of the sixteen representative Scots peers, and rechosen at the general elections of 1722 and 1727. He died at New Hailes, 28th November, 1735, in his 55th year. To this earl have been attributed a collection of Fescennine verses, published surreptitiously at Edinburgh, and afterwards at London, with the titles of ‘Forty Select Poems, on several occasions,’ and ‘Tales in Verse, for the amusement of Leisure Hours.’ He is the author of ‘A Treatise on the manner of Raising Forest Trees,’ in a letter to his grandson, dated at Tyninghame 22d December 1733. Published at Edinburgh in 1761. Subjoined is his portrait, in the character of Simon the Skipper, from an engraving in Park’s edition of Walpole’s Royal and Noble Authors, vol. V.:

[portrait of Thomas 6th earl of Haddington]

      At the age of sixteen, his lordship had married his cousin, Helen, only daughter of John Hope of Hopetoun, and had two sons and two daughters. The elder son, Charles Lord Binning, author of several elegant poems, a memoir of whom is afterwards given in larger type, died before his father. The second son, the Hon. John Hamilton, a member of the faculty of advocates, died in 1772. The younger daughter, Lady Christian Hamilton, married Sir James Dalrymple of Hailes, baronet, and was mother of the celebrated Sir David Dalrymple, Lord Hailes. Lord Binning had married Rachel, youngest daughter, and at length sole heiress, of George Baillie of Jerviswood, by whom he had five sons and three daughters. Thomas, the eldest, born in October, 1720, became, on the death of his grandfather, seventh earl of Haddington. George, the second, on succeeding to his maternal grandfather’s estate of Jerviswoode, took the name of Baillie, and died at Mellerstain, 16th April 1791, aged 74. The Hon. Charles Hamilton, the youngest son, entered the army. He died governor of Blackness castle in 1806, in his 79th year.

      The eldest son, Thomas, 7th earl of Haddington, was educated at the university of Oxford, and in 1740, accompanied by his brother George, he set out on his travels to the continent. Both brothers became members of the “Common room,” established at Geneva the same year. His lordship died at Ham in Surrey, May 19, 1794, in his 74th year. He was twice married; first, to Mary, daughter of Rowland Holt, Esq. of Redgrave, Suffolk, by whom he had 2 sons, Charles, 8th earl of Haddington, and Hon. Thomas Hamilton, who died young; and 2dly, to Anne, eldest daughter of Sir Charles Gascoigne, knight, issue one daughter, who died in infancy.

      Charles, 8th earl, born July 5, 1753, was, when Lord Binning, captain of the grenadier company of the duke of Buccleuch’s fencible regiments in 1778. In 1804, he was appointed lord-lieutenant of Haddingtonshire, and at the general election of 1807, was chosen one of the 16 representative Scots peers. He died March 17, 1828.

      His only son, Thomas, 9th earl, born at Edinburgh, June 1, 1780, was educated at the university of his native city, and graduated at Oxford. In July 1802, he was elected M.P. for St. Germains; in 1807 for Cockermouth; and for Callington, at the general election the same year. He was afterwards member for Rochester, and a commissioner for the affairs of India. In 1814 he was sworn a privy councillor. In July 1827, in his father’s lifetime, he was created a peer of the United Kingdom as Baron Melros of Tyningham, and in 1828 he succeeded his father. In December 1834, he was appointed lord-lieutenant of Ireland, but continued in that post only to the following April. He was first lord of the admiralty from Sep. 1841 to Jan. 1846, when he was constituted lord-privy-seal, but retired from that office in the following July. In 1843 he received £43,000, as remuneration for the office of hereditary keeper of Holyrood Park, that office being then abolished. He married Lady Maria Parker, daughter of 4th earl of Macclesfield, without issue. He died Dec. 21, 1858.

      He was succeeded in all his titles, except that of Baron Melros, by his cousin, George Baillie, Esq. of Mellerstain and Jerviswoode, grandson of Hon. George Hamilton; born in 1802, married in 1824 Georgina, daughter of Archdeacon Robert Markham; issue, 5 sons and 3 daughters. His eldest son, George, Lord Binning, born in 1827, married Helen, daughter of Sir John Warrender, Bart., with issue. By royal license, dated Dec. 31, 1858, he was authorized to take the surname of Arden in addition to Baillie. (See BAILLIE.) In April 1859, the 10th earl assumed, by royal license, the additional original surname of Hamilton.

      The earl’s sisters and brothers were, by royal warrant, 1859, raised to the rank of an Earl’s children. They are, 1. Eliza, born in 1803, married in 1821, 2d marquis of Breadalbane. 2. Charles Baillie, born in 1804, admitted advocate 1830, sheriff of Stirlingshire, 1853, lord advocate of Scotland, 1858, M.P. for Linlithgowshire, 1859, a lord of session as Lord Jerviswoode same year, married in 1831, Hon. Anne Scott, 3d daughter of Hugh, Lord Polwarth, with issue. 3. Robert, major in the army, born in 1807. 4. Rev. John Baillie, born in 1810, married, with issue. 5. Capt. Thomas Baillie, R.N., born in 1811. 6. Mary, born in 1814, married in 1840, Lord Haddo, who succeeded as 5th earl of Aberdeen in Dec. 1860, with issue. 7. Georgina, born in 1816, married in 1835, Lord Polwarth, with issue. Her ladyship died in April 1859. 8. Catherine Charlotte, born in 1819, married in 1840, 4th earl of Ashburnham, with issue. 9. Grisel, born in 1822.


HADDO, Lord, a secondary title of the earl of Aberdeen. See GORDON OF Haddo.

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