Hamilton, John (d.1693) (DNB00)

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HAMILTON, JOHN, second Lord Bargeny (d. 1693), was the eldest son of Sir John Hamilton, first lord, who was only son of Sir John Hamilton of Lettrick, a natural son of John, first marquis of Hamilton [q. v.], and was created Lord Bargeny in 1639; the first Bargeny was a strong royalist, and accompanied James, duke of Hamilton, on his expedition into England in 1648; he died in April 1658, having married Lady Jean Douglas, second daughter of William, first marquis of Douglas. The second lord was served heir to his father 17 Oct. 1662. Although he did not formally join the covenanters, he refused to sign the bond of 1678, by which the subscribers obliged themselves that neither they, their wives, children, nor servants should frequent conventicles in time coming (Wodrow, Sufferings of the Church of Scotland, ii. 410). His doubtful attitude towards the government having brought him under suspicion, he was, in November of the following year, sent a prisoner to Blackness Castle (ib. iii. 235). Thence he was removed to Edinburgh, where, on 24 Feb. 1680, he was indicted of having in 1674 and 1675 cursed some of the chief nobility 'because they would not make themselves the heads of the fanatics:' of having in 1677 or 1678 expressed his public regret that the Duke of Lauderdale had not been assassinated either by the English or the covenanters; of corresponding with John Welsh and other leaders of the covenanters; and of inducing various persons to join the 'Westland army.' From want of evidence, however, the indictment was not brought to trial. In consequence of a letter from the king of 11 May 1680, stating that he had received a petition from Lord Bargeny, representing his father's loyalty and sufferings in the cause of the king, and protesting his own innocence of the charges against him, he was on 3 June set at liberty on giving caution to appear when called under a penalty of fifty thousand merks (Fountainhall, Hist. Notices, p. 264). After obtaining his liberty he affirmed that he had discovered that Cunningham of Mountgrennan and his servant, two of the prisoners taken at Bothwell Bridge, had been suborned by Charles Maitland of Hatton and Sir John Dairymple to give false evidence against him—depositions having been prepared for them—to which they promised to swear, but that their courage failed them on the days fixed for trial. He presented a petition to this effect to parliament, and was ready to produce his evidence before it 28 July 1681, but the Duke of York interposed to prevent inquiry (ib. p. 310; Burnet, Own Time, ed. 1828, p. 339). On 11 Dec. 1684 Bargeny was pursued before the 'commissary court of Edinburgh by Sophia Johnston for seduction under promise of marriage.' On the case going against him he 'advertised the cause to the lords,' on the ground that 'such promises were only probable;' and at the same time brought an action against the pursuer and her brother, a druggist's apprentice, for having threatened to murder him unless he married her. At the bar (she was much transported with passion against my lord, calling him a false villain' (Fountainhall, Hist. Notices, pp. 579-580). There is no information as to how the case ended. Bargeny was a hearty supporter of the revolution of 1689, and raised a regiment of six hundred foot on behalf of the Prince of Orange. He died 20 May 1693. By his first wife, Lady Margaret Cunningham, second daughter of William, ninth earl of Glencairn, lord high chancellor of Scotland, Bargeny had two sons, John, master of Bargeny, who predeceased his father, and William, third lord Bargeny, and one daughter, Nicolas, married to Sir Alexander Hope of Kerse. By his second wife, Lady Alice Moore, eldest daughter of Henry, first earl of Drogheda, dowager of Henry Hamilton, second earl of Clanbrassill, he had no issue.

[Wodrow's Sufferings of the Church of Scotland; Lauder of Fountainhall's Historical Notices (Bannatyne Club); Lauder of Fountainhall's Observes (Bannatyne Club); Burnet's Own Time; John Anderson's House of Hamilton, 1825; Douglas's Scottish Peerage, ed. Wood, i. 194-7.]

T. F. H.