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Hugh or Hugo Hamilton (c.1607-1678), Colonel and Baron de Deserf (a corruption of ‘Dalserf’ in Scotland) in Sweden, and first Baron Hamilton of Glenawly, Co. Fermanagh, was the second son of Malcolm Hamilton, archbishop of Cashel and Emly (d.1629) and his first wife Mary, daughter of Robert Wilkie of Sauchtonhill. His grandfather was Archibald Hamilton of Dalserf, Lanarkshire. 

Although Hugh Hamilton was born in Ireland, his parents were both Scottish and he was known to speak Scots.

In 1624 Hugh Hamilton went to Sweden (may be the same as [SSNE 2580]) to undertake military service there.

By 1630 Hugh Hamilton was serving as a lieutenant-colonel in, firstly, John Seaton’s [SSNE 3476] and then, secondly, George Cunningham’s [SSNE 2118] regiments. Hugh became a full colonel of a recruited regiment in 1632 (although one source erroneously notes that promotion as having occurred in 1638).

In February 1632 Colonel Hugh Hamilton and Captain James Montgomery [SSNE 1632] received 6 month travel passes.

By 1638 Hugh Hamilton was noted as a good soldier with an excellent service record by the Swedish Riksråd (State Council). Also in 1638, a Colonel Hamilton, probably Hugh, was awarded funds along with a Colonel Leslie to recruit 1000 Scots each for their regiments.

In August 1641 Hugh Hamilton was appointed colonel of an Ingermanland regiment of 1200 men, subsequently taking over a Riga regiment and remaining in Livonia until 1644.

Hugh Hamilton supplied vital information to the Swedes regarding the Danish king Christian IV’s plans to increase his navy, and was subsequently appointed colonel of the Uppland regiment. This placed him in command of an officer cohort which included some 12 Scots, where William Philip [SSNE 4803] served as his second-in-command.

In 1646 Hamilton was the commandant of a Swedish garrison in Greifswald, on the Baltic coast of Pomerania.

Hugh Hamilton was knighted in 1648. At this point he was named as "tutor and testamentar" to Robert Cunningham [SSNE 7107], the son of Colonel Alexander Cunningham [SSNE 2115] who died around this time. Robert was then returned to Scotland where he was kidnapped and eventually murdered.

Despite this unhappy development, the Swedish State Marshall, Svante Sparre, instigated the process of making Hugh Hamilton a baron in 1649, citing his merits and his land-holdings in Sweden.

In 1651 Hugh Hamilton and his regiment of Uppland infantry were summoned to Stockholm to attend Queen Kristina's coronation.

It was not until 1654 that Hugh Hamilton was naturalised and introduced into the Swedish House of Nobility as Baron de Deserf along with his half-brother Louis/Ludovick, who had joined him in Sweden in 1645. Hamilton became baron of Ljung and lord of Slefringe in Åtvid parish, Östergötland. 

In that same year Hugh Hamilton served as a royal guard at king Karl X’s wedding.

During Swedo-Danish hostilities in 1657 Hugh Hamilton was commissioned to undertake the defence of Värmland.

Hugh Hamilton was thrice married: in April 1637 to Margareta Forrat [SSNE 6267], widow of Sir James Spens of Wormiston [SSNE 1642]; after 11 May 1659 to Susan Balfour [SSNE 6270], daughter of Sir William Balfour of Pitcullo; and thirdly to ‘Jacomina’, about whom nothing is known. 

At some point during the late 1630s Hugh Hamilton had a house built on Norrmalm (in an area now known as Östermalm), near Strandvägen at Ladugårdslandet (not too far from what is now Nybrokajen). This house was then sold to Count von Dohna who in turn sold it to Admiral Hans Williamson Clerck [SSNE 4160]. Given the dates we can be sure that the house on Strandvägen would have been the home of Hugo and his first wife, Margaret Forratt.

In March 1661 Hugh Hamilton was created Lord Hamilton, Baron of Glenawly by Charles II, and introduced to the House of Lords in June.

Hugh Hamilton obtained a departure pass from the Swedish king on 1 December 1662 and returned to Ireland, along with Louis, who died on the journey. Hamilton’s only son, William, second baron of Glenawly, died at the age of 20, when the title became extinct. Hugh also had three daughters.

Hugh Hamilton settled on his elder brother Archibald’s estate at Ballygally, co. Tyrone. However, Hamilton maintained correspondence with Karl XI of Sweden and returned to Sweden in c.1669-70 in order to pursue revenues from the sale of his estates in Uppland. During this trip, Hamilton claimed his debts exceeded 2000 Rixdaler and claimed to be broke. Though it is not known what the outcome of the case was, in 1678 he gave the interest of £20l in perpetuity to the parish of Erigilkeroy, to be disbursed annually. He died in Ireland in April 1678. One of his daughters, Brita Margareta [SSNE 6386], married Gustav Adolf Skytte [SSNE 4921], the grandson of the Scottish lady, Maria Neave [SSNE 6272].



R. Monro, His Expedition with the Worthy Scots Regiment called Mac-Keyes (2 vols., London, 1637), II, The List of the Scottish Officers in Chiefe; Swedish Krigsarkiv Muster Roll, 1642/9; 1643/2; 1645/3,25; 1646/2,17; 1647/3,16; 1648/2,16-18; 1649/2,10,11,17,18; 1650/4; 1651/3,12; Swedish Krigsarkiv, Vigo Key Arkiv, Hamilton to Kammarpresident Baner, 09/09/1670; Several letters can be found in 'Krigskollegium Kancelliet ; Adressatregistratur till Krigskollegiets Registratur 1631-1654' from 28/8/1641 - including "24/7/1649 att hans svåger Alexander Forrat är bliven efter hans begäran inrymd Breitenbachs komp, alltså ville han i Forrats stalle till lojt forestalla fanriken Krister Philp" - and "23/7/1650 beordras att hålla sitt regemente parat att marschera hit till kröningen på vidare order and 4/9/1650 att komma hit med hela sitt reg Upplands knektar till d. 12 hujus Kungl Maj kröningsakt att uppvakta" - The letters continue until 26/9/1651.

See also Bertil C. Barkman and  Sven Lundkvist, Kungl. Svea Livgardes Historia, III:II. 1632 (1611) – 1660 (Stockholm, 1966), pp.121, 133; Swedish Riksarkiv, P. Sondén, Militärachefer i svenska arméen och deras skrivelser; Swedish Riksarkiv, Personregister over skrivelser till Kungl. Maj:t 1650-1840, Hugo Hamilton to the King, 8/1/1663 and 13/12/1665; Rikskansleren Axel Oxenstiernas skrifter och brefvexling, first series, VII, pp.791-2; Svenska Adelns Ättartavlor, vol. 6, pp.452-453; Lt. Col. George Hamilton, A History of the House of Hamilton, (Edinburgh, 1933); George E. Cockayne, Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, 2nd. ed., (London, 1887-1898), vol.3; S. Bergh and B. Taube, eds., Sveriges Ridderskaps och Adels Riksdags Protokoll, vols. 4-6, (Stockholm, 1871-1877); B. Schlegel and C. A. Klingspor, Den med sköldebref forlanade men ej a Riddarhuset introducerad Svenska Adelns Ättar-taflor (Stockholm, 1875) p.112; N. A. Kullberg, Severin Bergh, Per Sondén, eds., Svenska Riksrådets Protokoll, vols. 1- 18, Stockholm (1878-1959); Generalstaben, Sveriges Krig från Lech till Lützen, vol.6, (Stockholm, 1939); L. W. Munthe, Kongliga Fortifikationens Historia II, (Stockholm, 1906); R. Pentland Mahaffy, ed., Calendar of State Papers Ireland 1660-1662 (London, 1905); De La Gardiska Archivet, ed. P. Wieselgren, (Lund 1837), part 9, p.95; Svenska Män och Kvinnor, vol. 7, p.94; Old DNB article by “ H. M. C.”; Stair Society, Selected Judiciary Cases, 1624-1650 (3 vols., 1953-1974), III, pp.826-832; Steve Murdoch, Network North: Scottish Kin, Commercial and Covert Associations in Northern Europe, 1603-1746 (Brill, Leiden, 2006), pp.230, 232, 235, 361-364; A. Grosjean and S. Murdoch, Alexander Leslie and the Scottish Generals of the Thirty Years' War 1618-1648 (Pickering and Chatto, 2014), pp.151, 157-160, 162, 166, 179; F. Bedoire, Stormaktstidens Norrmalm, (Stockholm, 2023), p.266.


Much of Hamiton's correspondence is found in: Riksarkivets ämnessamlingar. Personhistoria https://sok.riksarkivet.se/bildvisning/A0069704_00209#?c=&m=&s=&cv=208&xywh=1771%2C2226%2C4218%2C2432

Please note, it is mixed through with his nephew's correspondence (see below).

For his dealings with the Spens estate see: https://sok.riksarkivet.se/bildvisning/A0073861_00391#?c=&m=&s=&cv=390&xywh=859%2C45%2C3649%2C2105

He also wrote in support of (or was mentioned in correspondence with) his step-son, Axel Spens [SSNE 1643] on several occasions. See those letters in: https://sok.riksarkivet.se/bildvisning/A0073861_00082#?c=&m=&s=&cv=81&xywh=3267%2C1388%2C2602%2C1500


He also had dealings with Sohia Reutter, Axel's widow regarding the estate in the 1660s. See variously the letters in https://sok.riksarkivet.se/bildvisning/A0073861_00119#?c=&m=&s=&cv=118&xywh=3121%2C2822%2C3120%2C1799

The lands owned by Hamilton (as noted by his nephew, also Hugh Hamilton [SSNE 2583]).


Swedish Riksarkivet, Biographica 5 E01463 5/8: "My Lord Glennalys estate in Sweden which comprise:

1.lands which off my Ld bought of the crown 

2.a debt with the crown was owing to one Col Gordon this my Ld bought or gott crown lands in payment 

3.a donation which was given my Ld by Queen Christina

4.lands for levies which my Ld brought to Sweden

5.lands bought off gentlemen the morgages are the donation which my Ld had of the crown, the nature of them was by good ma

charged into it of a ...and all this will what after would make the estate..., was confirmed by Queen Christina, by King Charles X and after his death by the Queen Dowager and the regent and lastly by King Charles XI this present king. 

Upon my lord's coming to Ireland his lordship sold a great part of his estate, the remaining part was from time to time ...

of the following reasons:

1.Crown lands are valued and sold by their rents and duties, these duties are of several kinds, one of which are days works with the boores, or tennants as well of gentleman's estates as crown boores are obliged to give towards keeping the king's country houses in repair, this was not included in the value of these lands which my Ld held of the crown. My brother was brought to Anan me for this and paid the most of it, with moneys which he in his former acctnt to Conig makes appear, and how much this did mount to, the usmme of the cost of liquidation as my brother's account can give satisfaction.

2.As to the point after the first claime was made, there was another soon after made, and that was for woods which my Ld ...the boors to cultivate, and make somewhat arable, getting by this some small addition of yearly rents,and as I suppose on the getting of the estate, my Ld had liberty for doing of this, being limited which was observed the court said, that where this was done was a large wilderness and counted a royalty, where no such liberty by law could be granted. I suppose some part of the estate went away on this account.

As to my lord's buying another plantation it ought first to be made appear (say they)how much my lord paid for it, and also he has paid the full, yet no arrears of pay which I suppose this was, by an act of parliament in this king's time ought to have

they calculate how much my Ld yearly enjoyd without deductions what [or which] rents, since his having the estate, and with this pays him if not more his principle.

3.all donations say they are as well by the old acts of Parliament as by one in this king's reign ought to be deducted to the crown, this notwithstanding my lord's donation was charged into the nature of a ..., cut him out of part of his estate and I suppose there are those who have suffered by my ld on this account as also are the ...of the days works which I have formerly spoken of

4 As to my lord's plantations for levies, they will first have it made appear what it cost my Ld to this. Notwithstanding the bulk of it is owned in the crown's grant which one might suppose, gave my Ld a just title to the part of his estate and although the worth of the thing were taken granted, yet the reason moved in the 2nd point of this relation, took away the last part of his lordship's estate, and if those accts got their way would have taken away much more. This is as neare as I can remember a true relation of the affairs of my Ld Glenawly's affairs in Sweden and what I have sd is not their case

but as manys I hear as in the little manner, have been concerned, and besides what I have said, theirs is an act of parliament made in the year 1686, which has cutt many out of their estates, but cannot certanly tell if it has arrested my Lord's ... or not, it was found that all those who had crown mortgages being formerly an allowed sume, 6 or 8 the rent should be reduced to 5, and the surplus from the time of possession to be accounted for the forme of defending the desire for reducing my lord's estate can always on me be had in Stockholm; all other writings concerning my Lds title to the estate are to be found with my brother, I mean as many as my Ld left with him; my brother's former accnts and that which I have left with Capt Cory/Conig makes him indebted 8 dollars copper moneys which I have no order to pay and take a general discharge by Me Hugh Hamilton Dublin November the 3d 1690."


Service record

Arrived 1624-01-01, as OFFICER
Departed 1629-12-31, as OFFICER
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY
Arrived 1630-01-01, as LT. COLONEL
Departed 1631-12-31, as LT. COLONEL
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY
Arrived 1631-01-01, as LT. COLONEL
Departed 1640-12-31, as COLONEL
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY
Arrived 1641-01-01, as COLONEL
Departed 1645-12-31, as COLONEL
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY
Arrived 1646-01-01, as COMMANDANT
Departed 1648-12-31, as COMMANDANT
Arrived 1649-01-01, as COLONEL
Departed 1660-12-31, as COLONEL
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY