Earls of Melrose (1619)
1st Earl of Melrose, Thomas Hamilton, b.1563, a.1619, d.1637
Thomas Hamilton was a descendant of the younger son of Walter de Hamilton, 1st Laird of Cadzow (from whose older brother the main Hamilton line springs). His father was Thomas Hamilton of Priestfield, who sat as a judge in the Court of Session as Lord Priestfield. He was educated at Edinburgh High School and Paris University and became an Advocate in 1587, and a Lord of Session in 1592, using the title Lord Drumcairn. He became Lord Advocate in 1596, Lord Clerk Register in 1612 and Lord President of the Court of Session in 1616. He was a great ally of King James VI, and entrusted with much of the responsibility for governing Scotland after the King moved to London in 1603, and was made Secretary of State for Scotland in 1612. In 1613 he was created 1st Lord Binning and in 1619 he was created 1st Earl of Melrose and 1st Lord Byres and Binning, the use of the name Melrose because he owned lands that once belonged to Melrose Abbey, although he was never happy with this title. When John Ramsay, 1st and last Viscount of Haddington, died in 1626, Hamilton petitioned to have his earldom renamed, and in 1627 he was created 1st Earl of Haddington, this being with the King’s agreement and in exchange for the title Earl of Melrose.
Earls of Haddington (1627)
1st Earl of Haddington, Thomas Hamilton, b.1563, a.1627, d.1637
He resigned as Secretary of State for Scotland on the death of James VI, but agreed to take up the post of Keeper of the Privy Seal, which post he held from 1627 until his death. In 1628 he purchased the Tyninghame estate in East Lothian, and he also obtained the barony of Cowdenknowes near Earlston.
2nd Earl of Haddington, Thomas Hamilton, b.1600, a.1637, d.1640
Son of the 1st Earl and Margaret Foulis (b.?, d.1609). An high-profile Covenanter, he was made a Privy Counsellor in 1635. During the Second Bishop’s War he was appointed as a Major-General in the Covenanter Army. He was killed in an huge explosion that ripped apart Dunglass Castle, where he was serving as Governor.
3rd Earl of Haddington, Thomas Hamilton, b.1626, a.1640, d.1645
Son of the 2nd Earl and Lady Catherine Erskine (b.?, d.1635), daughter of Sir John Erskine, 2nd Earl of Mar.
4th Earl of Haddington, John Hamilton, b.1626, a.1645, d.1669
Younger brother of the 3rd Earl. A Royalist, he was made a Privy Counsellor at the Restoration.
5th Earl of Haddington, Charles Hamilton, b.c.1650, a.1669, d.1685
Son of the 4th Earl and Lady Christian Lindsay (b.?, d.1704), daughter of John Lindsay, 17th Earl of Crawford. The 5th Earl married Margaret Leslie, Countess of Rothes. She was re-granted the earldom of Rothes under the stipulation that it did not unite with that of her husband, and so the two earldoms went to two different sons, with Rothes, being the senior title, going to the elder.
6th Earl of Haddington, Thomas Hamilton, b.1680, a.1685, d.1735
Younger son of the 5th Earl and Margaret Leslie, Countess of Rothes. He remained loyal to the King during the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715 and fought on the government side at the Battle of Sheriffmuir. He was a Representative Peer from 1716 to 1734 and Lord-Lieutenant of Haddingtonshire. He was also made Hereditary Keeper of Holyrood Park. In 1717 he was invested as a Knight of the Thistle. His eldest son, Charles Hamilton, Lord Binning, was created Knight Marshall of Scotland in 1718 but pre-deceased his father.
7th Earl of Haddington, Thomas Hamilton, b.1721, a.1735, d.1794
Grandson of the 6th Earl and Helen Hope (b.c.1677, d.1768), sister of Charles Hope, later 1st Earl of Hopetoun, and son of Charles Hamilton, Lord Binning (b.1697, d.1732) and Rachel Baillie (b.?, d.1773), daughter of George Baillie of Jerviswoode and Mellerstain.
8th Earl of Haddington, Charles Hamilton, b.1753, a.1794, d.1828
Son of the 7th Earl and Mary Holt (b.?, d.1785), daughter of Sir John Holt, Lord Chief Justice from 1689 to 1709. He was a Representative Peer from 1807 to 1812 and Lord-Lieutenant of Haddingtonshire from 1804 to 1823.
9th Earl of Haddington, Thomas Hamilton, b.1780, a.1828, d.1858
Son of the 8th Earl and Lady Sophia Hope (b.?, d.1813), daughter of John Hope, 2nd Earl of Hopetoun. He studied at the University of Edinburgh and Christ Church College Oxford, and then moved straight into Parliament as a Tory MP. In 1809 and later from 1814 to 1822 he was Commissioner on Indian Affairs, and was made a Privy Counsellor in 1814. He returned to Oxford to complete an MA in 1815, before continuing as an MP. He was created 1st Baron Melrose of Tyninghame in 1827 for his support of Prime Minister George Canning. He was Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland from 1834 to 1835 and First Lord of the Admiralty from 1841 to 1846, when he moved to hold the Lord Privy Seal. In 1844 he was invested as a Fellow of the Royal Society, and he was made a Knight of the Thistle in 1853. When he died, without children, his UK barony became extinct.
10th Earl of Haddington, George Baillie-Hamilton, b.1802, a.1858, d.1870
The 7th Earl’s younger brother, George Hamilton (b.?, d.1797) had inherited the lands of his maternal grandfather, George Baillie of Jerviswoode and Mellerstain, and changed his name to Baillie. He married Eliza Andrews, and their son, also George Baillie (b.1763, d.1841), was an MP for Berwickshire from 1796 to 1818. He married Mary Pringle (b.?, d.1865), daughter of Sir James Pringle, 4th Baronet Pringle of Stichill, and they had a large family, of whom the oldest surviving son became the 10th Earl, and changed his name to include both sets of ancestors. An advocate by training, he was a Representative Peer from 1859 to 1870, and Lord in Waiting (a government whip) from 1867 to 1870, and in 1868 was also Lord High Commissioner of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
11th Earl of Haddington, George Baillie-Hamilton, b.1827, a.1870, d.1917
Son of the 10th Earl and Georgina Markham (b.?, d.1873). He was a Representative Peer from 1874 to 1917 and Lord-Lieutenant of Haddingtonshire from 1876 to 1917. He was made Brigadier-General of the Royal Company of Archers in 1892 and he was Yeomanry Aide-de-Camp to Queen Victoria from 1893 to 1901 and then briefly for King Edward VII. In 1902 he was invested as a Knight of the Thistle.
12th Earl of Haddington, b.George Baillie-Hamilton, b.1894, a.1917, d.1986
Grandson of the 11th Earl and Helen Katharine Warrender (b.?, d.1889), daughter of Sir John Warrender, 5th Baronet Warrender of Lochend, and son of George Baillie-Hamilton, Lord Binning (b.1856, d.1917) and Katharine Augusta Millicent Salting (b.?, d.1952). Educated at Eton and RMC Sandhurst, he fought and was wounded in the First World War, reached the rank of Captain in the Scots Greys and was decorated with the Military Cross. He was a Representative Peer from 1922 to 1958. He reached the rank of Wing Commander in the RAF Volunteer Force and Major in the Territorial Army Armoured Car Company. He was made a Captain in the Royal Company of Archers and a Knight of the Thistle in 1952. He was also Lord-Lieutenant of Berwickshire from 1952 to 1970.
13th Earl of Haddington, John George Baillie-Hamilton, b.1941, a.1986
Son of the 12th Earl and Sarah Cook (b.?, d.1995). As well as being 13th Earl, he is 13th Lord Binning and 13th Lord Byres and Binning.
The courtesy title for the heir is Lord Binning.
Last updated: 20/01/2011