Sir James Hamilton, Viscount Claneboy

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Hamilton, Sir James, Viscount Claneboy, a Scotch gentleman, was, in 1587, with his friend James Fullerton, sent to Ireland by James VI. of Scotland (afterwards James I.), "in order to hold a correspondence with the English of that kingdom," writes Lodge, "and inform his Majesty, from time to time, of the state, condition, inclinations, and designs of the Irish in case of Queen Elizabeth's death; they disguised the cause of their errand (that they might execute it the better) by taking upon them to teach school." Their place of instruction was the Corporation City Free School, possibly for the children of freemen only; it was situated in Schoolhouse-lane, near Christ Church. James Ussher, afterwards the celebrated Archbishop, was one of their pupils. [In 1603, Fullerton was appointed Clerk of the Cheque and Muster-Master General; within a couple of years he was made Commissioner of Wards and Liveries, was knighted, made Ambassador to France, and was buried in Westminster Abbey, in 1630.]

Hamilton was made a Senior Fellow of Trinity College, and received still higher honours and rewards than his companion, being made a Sergeant-at-Law, Privy-Councillor, and named Commissioner of Wards and Liveries and Commissioner for the plantation of Longford. "In 1622, he was raised to the peerage with the titles of Claneboy and Hamilton. He lived to be 84 years old, having had 'three ladies, the two first of whom proved but little comfort to him.' He had large estates at Bangor, County Down, where he built a church inside the ruins of the old abbey, in which he was buried in 1643. He had on his (estates six parishes, which he planted with pious Scotch ministers;' and while he sheltered his own chaplains from the Episcopal constables, it is remarkable that he continued the persecution of the other Irish northern Puritans." His son James was created Earl of Clanbrassil.

Sources

216. Lodge's Peerage of Ireland, Revised and Enlarged by Mervyn Archdall. 7 vols. Dublin, 1789.

233. Manuscript and Special Information, and Current Periodicals.

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