Hamilton, Charles (1704 -1786)

Charles Hamilton was born in Dublin, the ninth son of fourteen children of James Hamilton, 6th Earl of Abercorn, and Elizabeth Reading. He was the second youngest child of eight. He was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford, where he graduated in 1723. He spent much time in Italy in 1725 and 1732, where he amassed a considerable collection of antiquities and paintings, and studied landscape painting. Hamilton represented Strabane in the Irish House of Commons between 1727 and 1760. He also sat for Truro, Cornwall, in the British House of Commons from 1741 to 1747. In March 1747 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 1738, he was made a Clerk of the Household to Frederick, Prince of Wales, through the influence of his sister, Lady Jane Hamilton, the Prince’s mistress. Between 1736 and 1737 Hamilton purchased some 300 acres of land near Cobham in Surrey to form the estate of Painshill, and began to lay out much of the ornamental landscape, including the lake, planting many new tree species, particularly those from North America. In 1743 he was appointed Receiver General of His Majesty's Revenues in Minorca, retaining his post in the Prince’s household till February 1747, when he was dismissed with his brother-in-law, Lord Archibald Hamilton. From this time, he devoted more time working on Painshill. He also laid out the gardens of Holland House in Kensington, London, for his friend Henry Fox in the late 1740s. The loss of his post in Minorca between 1757 and 1763 due to military action, caused him significant financial hardship. In March 1766, Hamilton mortgaged his estate for £6,000, but attempts to resolve his financial difficulties failed, and in 1771 he was forced to sell Painshill. He spent the rest of his life in retirement, ultimately settling at Bath. Hamilton's first wife had died young, leaving two daughters, Jane and Sarah. Hamilton was married again in 1764 to Agnes Cockburn of Ayr, Scotland. She too died young, at the age of 39, in 1772. In 1773 Hamilton settled in The Royal Crescent, Bath, England, and the following year married Frances Calvert. Over the next few years, he worked on the gardens at Bowood in Wiltshire, England for his friend, Lord Shelburne. He died at his house on Lansdown Hill, Bath on 18 September 1786.
Stamp(s) Stamp Information
Hamilton, Charles (1704 - 1786) (Stamp 1) Crest: Out of a ducal coronet an oak tree traversed with a frame saw
Heraldic Charges: saw, Heraldic Charges: tree (oak)