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Haddington, Earl of
Blazon of arms: Quarterly: 1st and 4th grand quarters, 1st and 4th, Gules , on a chevron between three cinquefoils Argent, a buckle Azure between two ermine spots, all within a bordure Or charged with eight thistles Vert, for Hamilton of Byres; 2nd and 3rd, Argent, a fess wavy between three roses Gules, barbed and seeded Proper, for the title of Melros; 2nd and 3rd grand quarters, Sable, the sun in his glory between nine stars, three, two, three, and one Argent for Baillie.

SOURCE/NOTES & CREDITS: Illustration for background, blazon and some text from “The Scots Peerage”, Vol IV, 1907, pp 303-329 and additional text from the Wikipedia article on the Earls of Haddington.

Thomas Hamilton, 1st Earl of Haddington which Earldom is a title in the Peerage of Scotland. It was created in 1627 for the noted Scottish lawyer and judge Thomas Hamilton, then 1st Earl of Melrose. He was Lord President of the Court of Session from 1616 to 1625. Hamilton had already been created Lord Binning in 1613 and Lord Binning and Byres, in the County of Haddington, and Earl of Melrose, in the County of Roxburgh, in 1619. These titles were also in the Peerage of Scotland. The title of the earldom derived from the fact that he was in possession of much of the lands of the former Melrose Abbey. However, Hamilton was unhappy with this title and wished to replace it with "Haddington".

However, the title of Haddington was then held by John Ramsay, 1st Earl of Holderness and 1st Viscount of Haddington, who was famous for protecting the life of James VI in the Gowrie affair, but on whose death in 1626 both peerages became extinct.

In 1627 he relinquished the earldom of Melrose and was instead created Earl of Haddington on 17 August 1627, with the precedence of 1619 and with limitation to his heirs male bearing the surname of Hamilton. This derived from the fact that he considered it a greater honour to take his title from a county rather than from an abbey. Hamilton was a member of the prominent Scottish family of that name and descended from John de Hamilton, younger son of Walter de Hamilton (or Walter Fitzgilbert), who was granted the feudal barony of Cadzow and who is also the ancestor of the Dukes of Hamilton and Dukes of Abercorn. Lord Haddington was succeeded by his eldest son as the second Earl.

The title is extant today in the person of the 14th Earl.

The artwork is an interpretation of John Hamilton Gaylor.

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Zetland_(1).jpg Wigtown_(1).jpg Haddington.jpg Ramsay_22.jpg 2023_1021_Seal_of_Sir_William_Wallace_SM1.jpg
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