The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

 
 
 
Marquis of Douglas

Marquis of Douglas


A carte-de-visite portrait of the Marquis of Douglas (1845-1895)

William Alexander Louis Stephen Douglas-Hamilton, Marquis of Douglas, succeeded his father in 1863 and became the 12th Duke of Hamilton at the age of eighteen. When his cartoon appeared in Spy in 1873, the accompanying commentary informed the magazine’s readers that 'it is the curse of his life that he has never learnt to find pleasure in aught but idleness, [while] public affairs…appear to be the special object of his aversion.' However, the same piece went on to say that in spite of these failings, 'he has in him the making of a gentleman whose life should be a service to his country. All that has ever been objected to him was such follies as few untamed youths in his position would have avoided….in the graver matters he is a generous-minded and perfectly honourable man.'

According to another contemporary source, quoted in the Complete Peerage: 'Had he not been unweighted by any sense of responsibility and beset by all the deadly sins in a far greater degree than perhaps any other young nobleman of his standing, he might have been a strong plain man, and successful in many ways... at Christchurch he went in for boxing, as he went in later for horse-racing, yachting and other amusements... He was full bodied, of a rudely ruddy complexion, had a powerful neck, and seemed strong enough to fell an ox with his fist... He had a frankness of speech bordering on rudeness.'

In 1873 he married a daughter of the 7th Duke of Manchester. A daughter was born in 1884. The Duke of Hamilton died in Algiers on 16 May 1895 at the age of fifty. Since he left no male heir, the title passed to a descendant of the 4th Duke. His ten-year-old daughter, Lady Mary Louise Hamilton, inherited Brodick Castle and later married the 6th Duke of Montrose.

Photographed by Disdéri of Paris.



 

Code: 125526
 
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© Paul Frecker 2018