Ian Robertson Hamilton

1925 - 2022

Nationalist and lawyer. Born in Paisley, Hamilton was educated at the John Neilson School there and Allan Glen's School in Glasgow. He went on to attend the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh. After service in the Royal Air Force, Hamilton was called to the Bar in 1954. He occupied a succession of legal positions; becoming Advocate Depute in 1962, Director of Civil Litigation in Zambia (1964-66) and was appointed Honorary Sheriff of Lanark in 1967.

Hamilton is however principally remembered as the leader of a group of students who stole (or 'repatriated' depending on your viewpoint) the Stone of Destiny in 1950. This stone had been central to the coronations of the kings and queens of Scotland for centuries. With three other Nationalists, Hamilton had removed the stone from Westminster Abbey and taken it back to Scotland, where it was eventually recovered from Arbroath Abbey. With John MacCormick (1904-61), in 1953, Hamilton was also at the centre of a legal case which argued that Queen Elizabeth II should be styled Queen Elizabeth I in Scotland.

He settled latterly in North Connel (Argyll and Bute), where he died. His funeral was held in Connel Village Hall and he was buried in the grounds of his home. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described him as a giant of the independence movement.

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