William Hamilton (geologist)

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William Hamilton (geologist)
Member of Parliament
for Newport
In office
22 July 1841 – 26 August 1847
Serving with John Heywood Hawkins
Prime Minister Robert Peel
Preceded by William John Blake
Charles Wykeham Martin
Succeeded by William Plowden
Charles Wykeham Martin
Personal details
Born William John Hamilton
(1805-07-05)5 July 1805
Wishaw, Lanarkshire
Died 27 June 1867(1867-06-27) (aged 61)
Political party Conservative
  • Martin Trotter (m. 1832; d. 1833)
  • Margaret Frances Florence Dillon (m. 1838)
Relations Frederick W. Hamilton (brother)
Frederick Hamilton (nephew)
John Udny (grandfather)
  • Robert William Hamilton
  • Margaret Wilhelmina Hamilton
  • Florence Selina Hamilton
  • Victoria Henrietta Hamilton
  • Alexander Charles Hamilton
  • Constantine Henry Hamilton
  • Archibald William Hamilton
Parents William Richard Hamilton
Julia Udny
Education Charterhouse School
Alma mater University of Göttingen
Occupation Geologist

William John Hamilton FRS (5 July 1805 – 27 June 1867) was a British geologist who served as a Conservative Member of Parliament.

Early life

Hamilton was born in Wishaw, Lanarkshire on 5 July 1805. He was the eldest son of William Richard Hamilton, FRS, and the former Julia Udny. His younger brothers were Alexander Edmund Hamilton (who drowned in India in 1827),[1] Capt. Henry George Hamilton of the Royal Navy (father of Adm. Sir Frederick Hamilton),[1] Charles Anthony Hamilton (who worked in the Privy Council office),[1] Arthur Richard Hamilton,[1] and Gen. Frederick William Hamilton.[2][3]

His paternal grandfather was Anthony Hamilton, the Archdeacon of Colchester. His maternal grandparents were John Udny, British Counsul at Venice and Leghorn, and Selina Shore Clevland (a daughter of John Clevland MP). His uncle, Lt.-Col. John Robert Fullerton Udny inherited Udny Castle in Aberdeen from his uncle, Robert Udny, the prominent merchant and art collector.[1]

He was educated at Charterhouse School and the University of Göttingen.[4]


He became a fellow of the Geological Society of London in 1831. In 1835 he made a geological tour of the Levant with Hugh Edwin Strickland, continuing on his own through Armenia and across Asia Minor. This journey was described in Researches in Asia Minor, Pontus, and Armenia (1842). Hamilton was the first known person to have successfully climbed Mount Erciyes.

He was a Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Newport, Isle of Wight, from 1841 to 1847.[5]

Hamilton was president of the Royal Geographical Society for 1848–1849 and of the Geological Society between 1854 and 1866. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1855.[6] He was elected as a member of the American Philosophical Society in 1862.[7]

He made excursions in France and Belgium and wrote on the rocks and minerals of Tuscany, the agate quarries of Oberstein, and on the geology of the Mayence basin and the Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel) district.[8]

Personal life

On 26 April 1832, Hamilton married Martin Trotter, a daughter of John Trotter. Before her death in March 1833, they had a son:[4]

  • Robert William Hamilton (1833–1883), who married Charlotte Maria Palmer, a daughter of Lt.-Col. George Palmer.[4]

On 26 July 1838, he married the Hon. Margaret Frances Florence Dillon, a daughter of Henry Augustus Dillon-Lee, 13th Viscount Dillon, and Henrietta Browne (sister to Dominick Browne, 1st Baron Oranmore and Browne). They had six children:[4]

Hamilton died in London in 1867, his wife survived him.[9]


As his son Alexander died without surviving male issue, his grandson Robert Hamilton-Udny (son of his youngest son Archibald), inherited the title of 10th Lord Belhaven and Stenton.[10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage. Burke's Peerage Limited. 1878. pp. 97–99. Retrieved 11 February 2022.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Death of Distinguished Fifeshire Veteran". Dundee Courier. 7 October 1890. p. 3.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. London Lady's Newspaper & Pictorial Times, 16 June 1860
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume II, page 95.
  5. "Mr William Hamilton (Hansard)". Retrieved 16 August 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Fellows Details". Royal Society. Retrieved 19 August 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "APS Member History". search.amphilsoc.org. Retrieved 20 April 2021.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8.  Stephen, Leslie; Lee, Sidney, eds. (1890). [https%3A%2F%2Fen.wikisource.org%2Fwiki%2FHamilton%2C_William_John_%28DNB00%29 "Hamilton, William John" ] Check |ws link in chapter= value (help). Dictionary of National Biography. 24. London: Smith, Elder & Co.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. 9.0 9.1 Mosley, Charles, ed. (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes. Wilmington, Delaware, US: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd. p. 330. OCLC 745497791.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 10.0 10.1 Peter W. Hammond, editor, The Complete Peerage or a History of the House of Lords and All its Members From the Earliest Times, Volume XIV: Addenda & Corrigenda (Stroud, Gloucestershire, U.K.: Sutton Publishing, 1998), page 82

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
William John Blake
Charles Wykeham Martin
Member of Parliament for Newport
With: John Heywood Hawkins
Succeeded by
William Plowden
Charles Wykeham Martin