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[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists of English School; Chambers's Biog. Dict. of Eminent Scotsmen, ii. 205, 206; Nagler's Künstler-Lexikon; Michaelis's Ancient Marbles in Great Britain; Hamilton's Letters to Lord Lansdowne; Ellis's Townley Gallery.]
for instance, a torso of a Discobolos (sold to Lord Lansdowne) into a ‘Diomede carrying off the Palladium.’ He was the regular agent for Charles Townley, then forming his important collection of marbles, now in the British Museum (Ellis, Townley Gallery, index, and Brit. Mus. Guide to the Græco-Roman sculptures, where details as to the finding of the sculptures are recorded). Townley contributed to the excavation expenses of Hamilton and Jenkins. Extracts from Hamilton's letters to Townley are given in Dallaway's ‘Anecdotes,’ pp. 364–81. William, second earl of Shelburne, afterwards first Marquis of Lansdowne, when forming his fine collection at Lansdowne (originally Shelburne) House, purchased largely from Hamilton's excavations made in 1770–80. Hamilton (letter, 18 Jan. 1772) said that he meant to make the Shelburne House collection famous throughout the world. His letters to Lord Lansdowne, written 1771–9, and published from the manuscripts at Lansdowne House by Lord E. Fitzmaurice (Academy, 1878, 10, 17, 24, 31 Aug., 7 Sept.; reprinted, Devizes, 1879, 8vo), give an account of their transactions. Among other antiquities he sold Lord Lansdowne for 200l. a statue of Paris found in Hadrian's villa, and then sent him for 150l. a ‘sweet pretty statue representing a Narcissus (Apollo Sauroktonos), of the exact size of the Paris, and, I imagine, will suit it for a companion, without waiting for a Venus.’ He also sold him a Hermes (and a bust of Antinous) for 500l (see Michaelis, Ancient Marbles, p. 464). Hamilton further sold ancient sculptures to James Smith-Barry of Marbury Hall, Cheshire, to Thomas Mansel-Talbot, and to Lyde Brown. He had some share in forming the sculpture collection of the second Lord Egremont at Petworth.
HAMILTON, GAVIN (1753–1805), friend of Burns, was the son of John Hamilton, a native of Kype, Lanarkshire, who settled in Mauchline, Ayrshire, as a writer or solicitor, in the first half of the eighteenth century. Gavin was one of a family of three sons and two daughters, their mother's name being Jacobina Young. By his second wife, said to be a daughter of Mr. Murdoch, Auldhouse, John Hamilton had a son and a daughter, the latter afterwards being Mrs. Adair, Burns's ‘Sweet flower of Devon.’ Hamilton, following his father's profession, became one of the leading men in Mauchline, and, siding with the ‘New Light’ clergy in the great ecclesiastical dispute of his time, was the object of a bitter attack by the kirk session of Mauchline, who belonged to the whig or ‘Auld Light’ party. They found him contumacious regarding a ‘stent’ or tax for the poor, the collection and distribution of which, under his management, were marked by inexplicable irregularities; and they further charged him with breaking the Sabbath, and neglecting church ordinances and family worship. Above all, in his own defence, Hamilton had written an ‘abusive letter’ to the session.
The farm of Mossgiel, in the neighbourhood of Mauchline, was rented from the owner by Hamilton, and farmed under him on a sub-lease by Burns and his brother. This interested Burns in his case, and gave additional point to the powerful ecclesiastical satires which he wrote between 1785 and 1789. Hamilton is specially banned by ‘Holy Willie’ as one that ‘drinks, and swears, and plays at cartes.’ He was apparently a man in advance of his time, whom persecution urged into a more pronounced attitude of revolt than he would spontaneously have adopted. Ayr presbytery, to which Hamilton appealed, after a long and wearisome contest, decided in his favour (July 1785), and the session gave him a certificate clearing him from ‘all ground of church censure’ (Chambers, Burns, i. 135). Burns remained his steadfast friend; wrote to him some of his most interesting letters; honoured him with a vigorous and clever ‘Dedication;’ and composed for him an epitaph, the spirit of which tradition endorses, to the effect that he was a poor man's friend unworthily persecuted. Hamilton's wife was Helen Kennedy, daughter of Kennedy of Daljarroch, Ayrshire—hence the ‘Kennedy's far-honoured name’ of the ‘Dedication’—and he had a family of seven children, to several of whom Burns makes affectionate reference in his letters. Hamilton died on 8 Feb. 1805.[Cromek's Reliques of Burns; Lockhart's Life of Burns; Burns's Works, especially the editions of Chambers and W. Scott Douglas; Dr. Edgar's Old Church Life in Scotland; special information communicated by the Rev. Dr. Edgar, Mauchline.] Lord GEORGE, Earl of Orkney (1666–1737), general, was fifth son of William, earl of Selkirk (eldest son of William, marquis of Douglas), who became Duke of Hamilton in 1660, and his wife Anne, duchess of Hamilton [see under Douglas,