James Hamilton, 5th Duke of Abercorn

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The 5th Duke of Abercorn Allan Warren.jpg
Portrait by Allan Warren, 1990
Chancellor of the Order of the Garter
Assumed office
17 October 2012
MonarchElizabeth II
Charles III
Preceded byThe Lord Carrington
Lord Steward
In office
MonarchElizabeth II
Preceded byThe Viscount Ridley
Succeeded byThe Earl of Dalhousie
Lord Lieutenant of Tyrone
In office
20 March 1987 – 4 July 2009
MonarchElizabeth II
Preceded byJohn Hamilton-Stubber
Succeeded byRobert Lowry Scott
Member of the House of Lords
In office
4 June 1979 – 11 November 1999
Preceded byJames Hamilton, 4th Duke of Abercorn
Succeeded byHouse of Lords Act 1999
Member of Parliament
for Fermanagh and South Tyrone
In office
15 October 1964 – 29 May 1970
Preceded byLord Robert Grosvenor
Succeeded byFrank McManus
Personal details
Born (1934-07-04) 4 July 1934 (age 88)
Political partyUlster Unionist
(m. 1966; died 2018)
ChildrenJames Hamilton, Marquess of Hamilton
Lady Sophia Hamilton
Lord Nicholas Hamilton
Parent(s)James Hamilton, 4th Duke of Abercorn
Hon. Kathleen Crichton

James Hamilton, 5th Duke of Abercorn, KG (born 4 July 1934),[1] is a British nobleman, peer, and politician. He became Duke of Abercorn in the Peerage of Ireland on the death of his father in June 1979. He is the son of James Edward Hamilton, 4th Duke of Abercorn, and Hon. Kathleen Crichton. He is a former politician and Lord Steward of the Household.


Educated at Eton College and the Royal Agricultural College, in 1953 he was commissioned into the Grenadier Guards as Second Lieutenant Lord James Paisley,[2] and then promoted to Lieutenant in 1955.[3] He quit Active Service and was absorbed into Regular Army Reserves a year later.[4] In 1964 he became Ulster Unionist MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone (when he held the courtesy title Marquess of Hamilton), succeeding his cousin, Lord Robert Grosvenor (later Duke of Westminster). He held his seat in the 1966 election but lost it to Frank McManus in 1970 by 1,423 votes.[5] In 1970 he served as High Sheriff of Tyrone.[6] In 1974 he joined Ulster Defence Regiment,[7] but left the regiment and remained in the British Army in the Volunteer List in 1980.[8] From 1986 to 2009 he was the Lord Lieutenant of County Tyrone. In 1999, he was appointed a Knight of the Order of the Garter.[9] He was Colonel of the Irish Guards from 2000 to 2008.[10] Additionally, he was appointed Lord Steward of the Household in 2001, serving until 2009.[citation needed]

He owns more than 15,000 acres (61 km2). His seat is Baronscourt, near Newtownstewart, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. The Dukedom of Abercorn is in the Peerage of Ireland and did not carry an entitlement to a seat in the House of Lords, but until 1999 the Duke was entitled to sit there under his subsidiary title Marquess of Abercorn, in the Peerage of Great Britain. He was appointed Chancellor of the Order of the Garter on 17 October 2012.[11]

In 1987, he served as a judge in Prince Edward's charity television special The Grand Knockout Tournament.


In 1966 he married Alexandra Anastasia "Sacha" Phillips (1946–2018), eldest daughter of Lt.-Col. Harold Pedro Joseph Phillips (1909–1980) and Georgina, Lady Kennard (1919–2011), elder daughter and co-heiress of Sir Harold Wernher, 3rd Baronet, of Luton Hoo, Bedfordshire. Alexandra Anastasia Phillips was the elder sister of Natalia, widow of the 6th Duke of Westminster. The Duke and Duchess of Abercorn had two sons and one daughter, who married journalist Anthony Loyd.[12] He is also a relative of Diana, Princess of Wales as he is the first cousin of Diana's father, the 8th Earl Spencer. The duke's father was the brother of Diana's grandmother, Cynthia Spencer, Countess Spencer.


Coat of arms of James Hamilton, 5th Duke of Abercorn
Arms of James Hamilton, 5th Duke of Abercorn.svg
A Coronet of a Duke
Out of a Ducal Coronet Or an Oak Tree proper fructed and penetrated through the stem transversely by a Frame-Saw proper framed Gold the blade inscribed with the word "Through"
Quarterly: 1st and 4th, Gules three Cinquefoils pierced Ermine (Hamilton); 2nd and 3rd, Argent a Lymphad with one mast the sail furled and oars out Sable (Arran)
On either side an Antelope Argent horned unguled ducally gorged hoofed and the Chain reflexed over the back Or
Sola Nobilitas Virtus (Virtue is the only nobility)
Order of the Garter
Garter Banner of the 5th Duke of Abercorn.svg The banner of the Duke of Abercorn's arms used as knight of the Garter depicted at St George's Chapel


  1. ^ "Abercorn, James Hamilton". Who's who 1998 : an annual biographical dictionary. New York: St. Martin's Press. 1998. p. 2. ISBN 0312175914.
  2. ^ "No. 39944". The London Gazette (1st supplement). 21 August 1953. p. 4582.
  3. ^ "No. 40400". The London Gazette (1st supplement). 4 February 1955. p. 775.
  4. ^ "No. 40802". The London Gazette (1st supplement). 8 June 1956. p. 3436.
  5. ^ Michael Stenton and Stephen Lees, "Who's Who of British Members of Parliament", vol. IV (Harvester Press, 1981), p. 149.
  6. ^ "No. 2596". The London Gazette (1st supplement). 9 January 1970. p. 13.
  7. ^ "No. 46500". The London Gazette (1st supplement). 24 February 1975. p. 2558.
  8. ^ "No. 48229". The London Gazette (1st supplement). 23 June 1980. p. 9002.
  9. ^ "No. 55466". The London Gazette (1st supplement). 23 April 1999. p. 4575.
  10. ^ "No. 56020". The London Gazette (1st supplement). 7 November 2000. p. 12480.
  11. ^ "No. 60301". The London Gazette (1st supplement). 17 October 2012. p. 19937.
  12. ^ Montague-Smith, Patrick W., ed. (2008). "Abercorn, Duke of (Hamilton) Sat as Marquess of Abercorn (GB 1790) (Duke I 1868, Bt I 1660)". Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage 2008. London: Debrett's Peerage Limited.

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Fermanagh and South Tyrone
Succeeded by
Court offices
Preceded by Lord Steward
Succeeded by
Military offices
Preceded by Colonel of the Irish Guards
Succeeded by
Honorary titles
Preceded by Lord Lieutenant of Tyrone
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chancellor of the Order of the Garter
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by Duke of Abercorn
James Hamilton
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by Gentlemen
The Duke of Abercorn
Succeeded by