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Hugo Hamilton was born 20 May 1655 in Ireland in Mone Castle, the son of John Hamilton of Balygally and Jane Sommerwell/Sommerville.

In 1672 he entered British military service in the infantry.

Two years later he became a 'ryttare' in Charles II's lifeguard cavalry, and in 1678 he became a cornett with another cavalry regiment. He seems to have arrived in Sweden in 1680, called there by his elder brother, Malcolm [SSNE 2605].

On 30 July 1681 he received his first commission in Swedish service as an ensign in his brother's lifecompany. Two years later he became a lieutenant in the same regiment having moved to Captain von Schwartzenhoff's company, but by 22 September he was transported to lt. col Ridderhielm's company of Colonel Gustaf Makeleer's recruited regiment [also known as Prince Karl's lifereg infantry]. The colonel, who was his brother's brother in law in 1685, recommended Hamilton's promotion to a captaincy in the Alfsborg regiment(although one source has him as captain in the Liferegiment infantry in 1686). Hamilton preferred to be in the recruited reg which saw more action since Makeleer's were garrison troops stationed in Gothenburg, Nya Alfsborg, Bohus, Marstrand and Varberg.Because of this, Hamilton traded places with the youngest captain in Makeleer's regiment, which was confirmed by the king on Makeleer's recommendation. Karl XI had given William of Orange 'hjaelptrupper', or auxilliaries, in 1688 for his British campaigns, but Hamilton was not amongst the first wave. However, in 1690, Hamilton obtained paid leave to study the art of war abroad (Sweden was at peace and had been for a while) and he went to Britain were he joined the other foreign protestant soldiers and he probably served at the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland. It is probably during this time that he shipped goods to London in 1691 as appeared on the Gothenburg shipping lists. Indeed from 1691 to 1697 Hamilton apparently shipped goods every year: in 1692 to Amsterdam; in 1693 to London, in 1694 to London and Hull; in 1695 to London and Hamburg; in 1696 to Hull; and in 1697 to King's Lynn. Captain Hamilton provided a relation of Lord Glenawly's estate in Ireland dated Dublin 3 November 1690, in which he detailed the history of his father's land acquisitions and sellings in Sweden. In 1691 he was in Flanders, probably with the Scots Brigade. He thereafter returned to his old regiment in Sweden. Captain Hamilton queried his right to inherit his uncle, Baron Hugo Hamilton's [SSNE 2582] land in Ireland, but a letter of attestation dated Gothenburg 13 February 1692 confirms that the Baron's daughters were his legal inheritors. On 14 January 1693, Hamilton became a major of the Västgötadals regiment. Both Hugo and his brother Malcolm had been made barons on 12 April 1689 and they had been introduced to the Riddarhus in 1693 as Hamilton of Hageby. Hamilton was promoted to major in 1698. When 20 years of Swedish peace finally ended in 1700, Hugo Hamilton's regiment were mobilised to defend against any possible Norwegian attack, but they never saw action. In February 1703, Hugo became lieutenant colonel of the Älfsborg regiment, and just a few weeks later the king appointed him colonel and chief of a new (femmaenningsreg) regiment. By July 1703 Hamilton told the king that he had mustered a regiment (consisting of östergötland, Jönköping, Kalmar and Kronoberg troops) and divided it into companies and appointed officers which were accepted by the defence commission. Since the Stockholm garrison was on the field with the king, the defence commission called Hamilton's troops in to help defend the capital when Russian prisoners were being brought in. This role lasted from 1704-1709 when Hamilton's regiment replaced the lifeguard. Hamilton was on a low salary for the expensive city life (and he had a large family to support). When Denmark learned of the defeat at Poltava in 1709, they opportunistically declared war on Sweden on 18 October. Hamilton's troops were then garrisoned at Malmo. For a few days Hamilton held the command before overall reponsibility was handed over to General Carl Gustav Skytte. He became a major-general in 1711 and in the Riddarhus in 1713 he oppossed the decision to assign the Regentship of the government to Ulrika Elenora. Around 1715 Hamilton became engaged in Karl XII's unsuccessful Norwegian campaign, partly with his regiment, but also as commandant and vice-governor in Gothenburg in 1716. Beyond his military role in Sweden, during 1715 there were also plans that Hamilton should lead a Swedish expedition to Scotland in support of the Jacobite uprising, and this was specifically because of his Scottish origins. Karl XII had been approached to support James VII and II's son, the 'Old Pretender', against George I of Great Britain, who as Elector of Hannover had previously been hostile towards Sweden. The Pretender's councillor, the Duke of Berwick and the Swedish ambassador in Paris, Erik Sparre proposed that Hamilton should lead the Swedish forces. These would be sent from Gothenburg to Scotland. The reason for this choice was his "Scottish" background, but he appears to have had some other connections with the Jacobites anyway. When a Jacobite emissary was to visit Sweden in 1716, he was advised to get in touch with Hamilton and only undertake his journey if Hamilton supported it. It is unknown when Hamilton developed Jacobite sympathies, but many of his friends were also amongst the Pretenders' supporters. At the end of 1715, the French ambassador, Croissy, informed his government that Karl XII liked his invasion plan, and that Hamilton should be sent to Scotland with 4,000 men as soon as possible, but this never occurred as the rising ended in 1716 before the Swedes had mobilised. On the return of Karl XII to Sweden, Hamilton was appointed Lieutenant-General and Governor of Vasternorrlands Len (1716). He was charged to raise supplies for the army and has a favourable record in Swedish history. The opposition he organised against the Russians in 1719 in the region of Gavle prevented his opponents from plundering the region. The same year he became "generalfaltygmastare" and moved to Stockholm. The following year he commanded the troops from Norrland, but nothing spectacular arose out of his command. He returned to Politics in 1720 where he spoke in the Swedish Riksdag that year and in 1723. This was one of his final acts as he died on 19 January 1724. Hugo Hamilton married Anna Margaretha Henriksdotter, daughter of councillor Henrik Arvidsson and Margaretha Jacobsdotter Lintzai [Lindsay] in Gothenburg and together they had 14 children. Of the 8 sons who survived to adulthood, 7 became military men, 5 during their father's lifetime.


Swedish Riksarkivet, Biographica 5 E01463 6/8: "upå h. capitein Hugo Hammelton begieran att bekomma Attest om han är arfvinge till hans Sahl.Fader-Brodersche Baron Hugo Hammeltons Quarlåtesche so betygas hermedh och för bennemde Baron Hugo Hammelton effter sigh lembnade twenne döttrar some äru retta arfwingar effter sonen och en bondegård uthi Irland detta hafwer jagh sanningen til styrcke […] förwägrad kunnat af med detta som medh egen handig underskift och wahnlighe […] bekräffta, Gottenb. D. 13 February 1692"


Much of his correspondence is found in Riksarkivets ämnessamlingar. Personhistoria  (as in Biographica above) but mixed in with his uncle Hugh Hamilton's [SSNE 2582]  . Scroll through to find it: https://sok.riksarkivet.se/bildvisning/A0069704_00217#?c=&m=&s=&cv=216&xywh=898%2C1960%2C4218%2C2432

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."


Sources: Swedish Riksarkiv, P. Sondén, Militärachefer i svenska arméen och deras skrivelser; Swedish Riksarkiv, Biographica 5, E01463 5/8 - "Hugo Hamilton's Relation of Lord Glenawly's Estate in Ireland, Dublin, 3 November 1690; E01463 6/8, Gothenburg, 13 February 1692; Göteborg Landsarkiv (GLA) Förteckning över Landshövdingens i Göteborg och Bohus Län - Skrivelser till Kungl. Maj:t 1657-1840 - 03/07/1697, 27/11/1698; Göteborg landsarkiv, W. Berg, Genealogiska anteckningar om Göteborgs släkter, ser. 2, vol.5-6 (1939); Swedish Krigsarkiv, Muster Roll, 1683/8, 17,19; 1684/1; 1685/13,19,F.164; 1687/7; 1689/8; 1690/1,6,8; 1691/6,11; 1692/1; 1693/1; 1694/1,2,15; 1695/1-3; 1696/1; 1697/1; 1698/1; 1699/1; 1700/1; Swedish Krigsarkiv, KRA/0388 'Stora Nordiska Kriget, Ostra Kustforsvaret', vol. II, "Skrivelser till och fran General Hugo Hamilton" c.1715; P. Sörensson, Generalfälttygmästaren Hugo Hamilton en karolinsk krigare och landshöfding, (Stockholm, 1915); Svenska Man och Kvinnor III (Stockholm, 1946), p.269; H. Marryat, One Year in Sweden, including a visit to the isle of Gotland (London, 1862); A. Lewenhaupt, Karl XII:s Officerare Biografiska anteckningar (2 vols., Stockholm, 1920), I, p.272; Swedish Riksarkiv, Drottning Hedvig Eleonoras Livgedningsakter Arkiv: Skrivelser till general guvernör Gustaf Soop och Carl Gyllenstierna från enskilda personer: B. Till Carl Gyllenstierna - Hugh Hamilton af Hageby 1703-1717, K788, 60; Swedish Riksarkiv, Drottning Hedvig Eleonoras Arkiv, vol. 1. Enskilda Personer till Hedvig Eleonora, K172 - Hugo Hamilton, 1670, 1714, 2; Swedish Riksarkiv, Register över Kungl. Brev avseende Gävle - Hugo Hamilton, 1717-1719, 9 letters; C. Dalhede, Handelsfamiljer på Stormaktstidens Europamarknad (3 vols., Partille, 2001)III, cdrom; Steve Murdoch, Network North: Scottish Kin, Commercial and Covert Associations in Northern Europe, 1603-1746 (Brill, Leiden, 2006), pp.119, 232-233, 316, 320, 326, 328, 362-364.

Service record

Arrived 1680-01-01, as ENSIGN
Departed 1689-12-31, as CAPTAIN
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY
Arrived 1690-01-01, as CAPTAIN
Departed 1691-12-31, as CAPTAIN
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY
Arrived 1692-01-01, as CAPTAIN
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY
Arrived 1715-01-01, as COMMANDANT, VICE-GOVERNOR