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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V02, Page 644 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JAMES HAMILTON, 3rd earl (c. 1537-1609), was styled earl of Arran after the creation of his father as duke of Chatelherault in 1549; the latter title did not descend to him, having been resumed by the French crown. His father's ambition destined him for the hand of Mary queen of Scots, and his union with the princess Elizabeth was proposed by Henry VIII. as the price of his father's adherence to the English interest. He was early involved in the political troubles in which Scotland was then immersed. In 1546 he was seized as a hostage at St Andrews by the murderers of Cardinal Beaton and released in 1547. In 1550 he went to France, was given the command of the Scots guards, and in 1557 distinguished himself in the defence of St Quentin. He became a strong adherent of the reformed doctrine. His arrest was ordered by Henry II. in 1559, Mary (probably in consequence of his projected union with Elizabeth which would have raised the Hamiltons higher than the Stuarts) declaring her wish that he should be " used as an arrant traitor." He, however, escaped to Geneva and then to England, and had an interview with Elizabeth in August. He returned to Scotland in September, where he supported his father's adherence to the lords of the Congregation against Mary of Lorraine, upheld the alliance with Elizabeth, and became one of the leaders of the Protestant party in the subsequent fighting, in particular organizing, together with Lord James Stuart (afterwards earl of Murray), in 1560, a stubborn resistance to the French at Dysart, and saving Fife. In November 1559 he had declined Bothwell's challenge to single combat. Subsequently he signed the treaty of Berwick, became one of the lords of the Congregation, and was appointed a visitor for the destruction of the religious houses. The same year proposals were again made for his marriage with Elizabeth, which were rejected by the latter in 1561; and subsequently after the death of Francis II. (in December 1560), he became, with the strong support of the Protestants and Hamiltons, a suitor for Mary, also without success. He was chosen a member of her council on her arrival in Scotland in 156r, but took up a hostile attitude to the court in consequence of the practice of the Roman Catholic religion. He now showed marked signs of insanity, and was confined in Edinburgh Castle, where he remained till May 1566. He had then lost the power of speech, and from 1568 he lived in retirement with his mother at Craignethan Castle, while his estates were administered by his brother John, afterwards 1st marquess of Hamilton. In 1579, at the time of the fresh prosecution of the Hamiltons, when the helpless Arran was also included in the attainder of his brothers and his titles forfeited, the castle was besieged on the pretence of delivering him from unlawful confinement, and Arran and his mother were brought to Linlithgow, while the charge of his estates was taken over by the government. In 158o James Stewart (see below) was appointed his guardian, and in 1581 acquired the earldom; but his title and estates were restored after Stewart's disgrace in 1586, when the forfeiture was repealed. Arran died unmarried in March 16og, the title devolving on his nephew James, 2nd marquess of Hamilton.
End of Article: JAMES HAMILTON

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