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Sir Thomas Hamilton


(1st Earl of Haddington; Lord Drumcairn)

1563 - 1637

Politician, lawyer and judge. The son of a judge, Hamilton was educated in Paris. He was appointed an Advocate (1587) and later a Lord of Session (1592), as Lord Drumcairn, and was widely regarded as an able administrator and shrewd lawyer. He held great influence with King James VI (1566 - 1625) who referred to him as 'Tam o' the Cowgate'. In 1604, James appointed Hamilton to a commission to explore fuller union with England. He became Secretary of State for Scotland (1612) and President of the Court of Session (1616). He was given the Earldom of Melrose in 1619, which was later exchanged for the Earldom of Haddington (1626).


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