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William Hamilton, 2nd Duke of Hamilton.

William Hamilton, 2nd Duke of Hamilton KG (1616 – 12 September 1651) was a Scottish nobleman who supported both Royalist and Presbyterian causes during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms.

He was created Earl of Lanark in 1639, and in the next year became Secretary of State for Scotland. Arrested at Oxford on the orders of King Charles I in 1643 for "concurrence" with his brother the Duke of Hamilton, he escaped and was temporarily reconciled with the Presbyterian party.

After taking part in the Battle of Kilsyth on the covenanter side, he was sent by the Scottish Estates of the Realm to treat with Charles I at Newcastle in 1646, when he sought in vain to persuade the king to consent to the establishment of Presbyterianism in England. On 26 September 1647 he signed, on behalf of the Scots, the treaty with Charles known as the "Engagement", at Carisbrooke Castle, and helped to organize the Second English Civil War.

In 1648 he fled to Holland. The following year he succeeded to the Dukedom of Hamilton on his brother's execution, making him the most senior figure among the Scots Royalist exiles. He returned to Scotland with King Charles II in 1650, but, finding a reconciliation with the Marquess of Argyll impossible, he refused to prejudice Charles’s cause by pushing his claims.

He lived in retirement until the Scottish invasion of England during the Third English Civil War, when he acted as colonel of a regiment drawn mainly from his tenantry.

He died from the effects of wounds received at the Battle of Worcester, at The Commandery, Charles II's headquarters in that city.

He left no male heirs, and the dukedom of Hamilton devolved on the 1st duke’s eldest surviving daughter Anne, who became Duchess of Hamilton in her own right.

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Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Stirling
Secretary of State, Scotland
1641—1649
With: Sir Robert Spottiswood 1644
Succeeded by
The Earl of Lothian
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
James Hamilton
Duke of Hamilton
1649–1651
Succeeded by
Anne Hamilton
Earl of Arran
1649–1651
Succeeded by
William Douglas-Hamilton
New creation Earl of Lanark
1649–1651
Peerage of England
Preceded by
James Hamilton
Earl of Cambridge
4th creation
1649–1651
Extinct
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