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Frederick Hamilton (soldier): Wikis

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Sir Frederick Hamilton (1590–1647) was the youngest son of Claud Hamilton, 1st Lord Paisley. He was given lands in Leitrim, in the northwest of Ireland in 1622.

Over the next two decades he increased his estate to 18,000 acres (73 km²) and built Manorhamilton Castle[1] around which grew the town of Manorhamilton.

In November 1631, Sir Frederick entered Swedish service and became colonel of a Scottish-Irish regiment which served in Germany for 15 months. They fought General Tott's army in the Elbe and Weser basins and the Rhineland. After spending a few years back in Leitrim he unsuccessfully attempted to re-enter Swedish service in September 1637.

During the Irish Rebellion of 1641, Manorhamilton came under constant siege, but the castle remained intact. After the 1643 Cessation he became a colonel of a regiment of horse in the army of the Solemn League and Covenant in Scotland and Northern England, while still retaining his foot regiment in western Ulster.

In 1642, in punishment for cattle raids by the O'Rourke clan, he sacked the nearby town of Sligo, burning several buildings to the ground, including Sligo Abbey. He then retreated back to manorhamilton.

Local legend tells that on the way over the mountains to Manorhamilton, some of Hamilton's men became lost in heavy fog. A guide on a white horse offered to lead them safely over the mountain, but intentionally led the men over a cliff and to their doom. This legend is the subject of a short story by W. B. Yeats, entitled The curse Of The Fires And Of The Shadows

In 1647, Sir Frederick left the then disbanding Scottish army and returned to Edinburgh, where he died later that year in relative poverty. He had lost all his estates in Ireland and received very little compensation or financial support for his military efforts from the English parliament. His youngest son Gustavus was raised to the Peerage of Ireland as Viscount Boyne.

Manorhamilton Castle was burned by the Royalist Earls of Clanrickard in 1652. It was used as a garrison for some time afterwards before being abandoned and quickly falling into ruins. The Castle ruins have now been renovated and are open to the public who can view artefacts from the period in the Castle Heritage Centre or take a guided tour of the grounds.

References

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