(1568–4th December 1639)
Brother and legal advisor of Sir James Hamilton
Just as with the Montgomery brothers, Sir Hugh and Bishop George, the Hamiltons also had influential family connections during the Settlement and Plantation. James was the eldest of six brothers – the others were Archibald, Gawin, John, William and Patrick. Gawin, John, William and Patrick would later follow James to Ulster. The Hamilton Manuscripts say that the family “abounded in natural affection toward each other”.
John was born and educated in Scotland, and came to Ulster as James’s legal advisor. He later purchased large estates around County Armagh (where he and his descendants established Hamiltonsbawn, Newtownhamilton, and Markethill) and also in County Cavan (near Coroneary, Bailieborough and Hansborough). Nearby the County Armagh lands were the Acheson estates, established by Archibald Acheson, a fellow Scot who had arrived in Ulster from Gosford, East Lothian around 1610, with Scottish families as his new tenants.
John Hamilton is described in The Hamilton Manuscripts as “… a prudent person, and painfull man …” (p. 44). He married Sarah Brabazon, daughter of Lord Brabazon of Roscommon, and they had five children. (Sarah Brabazon was the sister of Bishop George Montgomery’s wife Elizabeth).
When John Hamilton died he was buried at Mullabrack, Markethill in County Armagh, where Scotsman Robert Mercer (formerly a schoolmaster at Ellon in Aberdeenshire) had been minister since around 1617. When Sarah Hamilton died, a memorial to her was erected inside the church. Rev Mercer was killed and both the church and monument were destroyed during the 1641 rebellion.
(NB – do not confuse this John Hamilton with Sir John Hamilton, second son of Claud Hamilton.)