Hamilton, James Hamilton, 3d marquess and 1st duke of

Hamilton, James Hamilton, 3d marquess and 1st duke of,

1606–49, Scottish nobleman; grandson of John Hamilton, 1st marquess of Hamilton. He succeeded (1625) his father as marquess of Hamilton and earl of Cambridge and was appointed (1628) privy councilor in Scotland. He raised (1630) an army to fight under Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden in the Thirty Years War, but his expedition ended in disaster (1633). As Charles I's commissioner in Scotland, he tried to conciliate the CovenantersCovenanters
, in Scottish history, groups of Presbyterians bound by oath to sustain each other in the defense of their religion. The first formal Covenant was signed in 1557, signaling the beginning of the Protestant effort to seize power in Scotland.
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 in 1638 and, failing, led a force against them in the first Bishops' War. Later his attempt to come to terms with Archibald Campbell, 8th earl of ArgyllArgyll, Archibald Campbell, 8th earl of and 1st marquess of,
1607–61, Scottish statesman.
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, apparently gave rise (1641) to the obscure plot known as the Incident, devised by James Graham, 5th earl of MontroseMontrose, James Graham, 5th earl and 1st marquess of
, 1612–50, Scottish nobleman and soldier.
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, to seize and probably murder Hamilton, his brother William (later 2d duke of Hamilton), and Argyll. Hamilton escaped and managed to retain the confidence of the king, being created duke in 1643. In 1644, however, he was imprisoned by Charles on suspicion of treachery, and he was freed only by parliamentary troops in 1646. In 1648, Hamilton secured ratification in the Scottish Parliament of the agreement known as the Engagement between Charles and the Scots and led the Scottish army that invaded England. Defeated at Preston, he was captured, tried by the same court that condemned Charles, and executed.