1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hamilton, Elizabeth
HAMILTON, ELIZABETH (1758–1816), British author, was born at Belfast, of Scottish extraction, on the 21st of July 1758. Her father’s death in 1759 left his wife so embarrassed that Elizabeth was adopted in 1762 by her paternal aunt, Mrs Marshall, who lived in Scotland, near Stirling. In 1788 Miss Hamilton went to live with her brother Captain Charles Hamilton (1753–1792), who was engaged on his translation of the Hedaya. Prompted by her brother’s associations, she produced her Letters of a Hindoo Rajah in 1796. Soon after, with her sister Mrs Blake, she settled at Bath, where she published in 1800 the Memoirs of Modern Philosophers, a satire on the admirers of the French Revolution. In 1801–1802 appeared her Letters on Education. After travelling through Wales and Scotland for nearly two years, the sisters took up their abode in 1803 at Edinburgh. In 1804 Mrs Hamilton, as she then preferred to be called, published her Life of Agrippina, wife of Germanicus; and in the same year she received a pension from government. The Cottagers of Glenburnie (1808), which is her best-known work, was described by Sir Walter Scott as “a picture of the rural habits of Scotland, of striking and impressive fidelity.” She also published Popular Essays on the Elementary Principles of the Human Mind (1812), and Hints addressed to the Patrons and Directors of Public Schools (1815). She died at Harrogate on the 23rd of July 1816.
Memoirs of Mrs Elizabeth Hamilton, by Miss Benger, were published in 1818.