HAMILTON, James, 1st Viscount Claneboye (1559-1643). Political conspirator.
Lengthy Autograph Letter Signed to his brother, 3 pages folio (tipped to an album leaf, repairs to the central fold), Killeleagh, 12 April 1642. Sending money to defray costs of the Chapel, bemoaning the trouble caused by the regiment camped on his land and the false report of his death, sending news of his brother's son and reporting a ship sent off shore by the wind.
Written in remarkably clear handwriting for one in his eighty-third year, the letter shows a firmness of mind as well as of hand. The son of a Scottish vicar, Hamilton had been a spy in Ireland for James I who subsequently sent him to London to negotiate for the succession to the English throne. The year prior to this letter, at the outbreak of the Rebellion of 1641, he was commissioned to raise and arm the Scots in the north of Ireland. He carried out his commission with such thoroughness that Ulster was preserved entirely free from disturbance. A staunch supporter of Presbyterianism, he filled his Irish lands with Scottish ministers.
I heard by Tweedy that some foolish lying reporte of my death put you & by sister & your family into great anguish. Though I thank God I be readie for death at all times yet I doe not love to have my friends put in griefe with the lying report ... . I heard Robt Rosse was a special bearer of it there as a thing certain ... and his sonne heere, who hath been upon some practises to draw in Sir James Montgomerie upon my lande with his Regiment, & to trouble the rest of the people & hath been very slow to pay me my Rent, which is very needfull in this time. But were not slow to give to others gratis. ...'
Illustration is of the third and last page