James Hamilton, 3rd Duke of Abercorn

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His Grace
The Duke of Abercorn
James Hamilton 3rd Duke of Abercorn.png
The duke as Marquess of Hamilton in 1899.
Governor of Northern Ireland
In office
Monarch George V
Edward VIII
George VI
Preceded by New office
Succeeded by Earl Granville
Personal details
Born (1869-11-30)30 November 1869
Hamilton Place, Piccadilly, London
Died 12 September 1953(1953-09-12) (aged 83)
London, England
Nationality British
Political party Unionist
Spouse(s) Lady Rosalind Bingham
Children 5
Religion Anglican

James Albert Edward Hamilton, 3rd Duke of Abercorn, KG, KP, PC (30 November 1869 – 12 September 1953), styled Marquess of Hamilton between 1885 and 1913, was a British peer and Unionist politician. He was the first Governor of Northern Ireland, a post he held between 1922 and 1945. He was a great-grandfather of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Background and education

Born in Hamilton Place, Piccadilly, London, he was the eldest son of James Hamilton, 2nd Duke of Abercorn, and godson of the Prince of Wales. His mother Lady Mary Anna was the fourth daughter of Richard Curzon-Howe, 1st Earl Howe.[1] He was educated at Eton and subsequently served first in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers until 1892 when he joined the 1st Life Guards. Hamilton was later transferred as major to the North Irish Horse.[1]

In early 1901 he accompanied his father on a special diplomatic mission to announce the accession of King Edward to the governments of Denmark, Sweden and Norway, Russia, Germany, and Saxony.[2]

Political career

In the 1900 general election, Hamilton stood successfully as Unionist candidate for Londonderry City, and three years later he became Treasurer of the Household, a post he held until the fall of Balfour's Conservative administration in 1905.[3] After serving for a time as an Opposition whip, Hamilton succeeded his father as third Duke of Abercorn in 1913. In 1922 he was appointed Governor of the newly created Northern Ireland. He also served as Lord Lieutenant of Tyrone from 1917 until his death, having previously been a Deputy Lieutenant for County Donegal.[4] Abercorn proved a popular royal representative in Northern Ireland, and was reappointed to the post in 1928 after completing his first term of office. In 1931, he declined the offer of the Governor Generalship of Canada, and three years later he was again reappointed Governor for a third term. He remained in this capacity until his resignation in July 1945.[5]

Abercorn was made the last non-royal Knight of the Most Illustrious Order of Saint Patrick in 1922, and six years later became a Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter. In the latter year, he was also the recipient of an honorary degree from the Queen's University of Belfast, and received the Royal Victorian Chain in 1945, the same year he was sworn of the Privy Council.

Family and children

Abercorn married Lady Rosalind Cecilia Caroline Bingham (1869–1958), only daughter of the 4th Earl of Lucan and his wife Lady Cecilia Catherine Gordon-Lennox (1838–1910, daughter of the 5th Duke of Richmond) at St. Paul's Church, Knightsbridge, on 1 November 1894.[3] They had three daughters and two sons:

Abercorn died at his London home in 1953,[5] and was buried at Baronscourt in County Tyrone.



  1. 1.0 1.1 Dod (1915), p. 40
  2. "The King - the special Embassies" The Times (London). Saturday, 23 March 1901. (36410), p. 12.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Cokayne (1910), p. 10
  4. 4.0 4.1 Burke (2003), p. 6
  5. 5.0 5.1 The Times (London), Monday, 14 September 1953 p. 10 col. D


  • Cokayne, George Edward (1910). Vicary Gibbs (ed.). The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom. vol. I. London: The St Catherine Press Ltd.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Burke, John (2003). Charles Mosley (ed.). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage, 107th edition. vol. I. Wilmington, Delaware: Burke's Peerage and Gentry Llc.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Charles Roger Dod and Robert Phipps Dod (1915). Dod's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage of Great Britain and Ireland for 1915. London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent and Co. Ltd.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Arthur John Moore
Member of Parliament for Londonderry City
1900 – 1913
Succeeded by
David Cleghorn Hogg
Political offices
Preceded by
Victor Cavendish
Treasurer of the Household
Succeeded by
Sir Edward Strachey, Bt
New office Governor of Northern Ireland
Succeeded by
The Earl Granville
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Edward Archdale
Lord Lieutenant of Tyrone
Succeeded by
James Ponsonby Galbraith
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
James Hamilton
Duke of Abercorn
Succeeded by
James Hamilton