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Claud Hamilton, Lord Paisley













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CLAUD HAMILTON PAISLEY, Lord (c. 1543-1622), Scottish politician, was a younger son of the 2nd earl of Arran. In 1553 he received the lands of the abbey of Paisley, and in 1568 he aided Mary Queen of Scots to escape from Lochleven castle, afterwards fighting for her at the battle of Langside. His estates having been forfeited on account of these proceedings, Hamilton was concerned in the murder of the regent Murray in 1570, and also in that of the regent Lennox in the following year; but in 1573 he recovered his estates. Then in 1579 the council decided to arrest Claud and his brother John (afterwards 1st marquess of Hamilton) and to punish them for their past misdeeds; but the brothers escaped to England, where Elizabeth used them as pawns in the diplomatic game, and later Claud lived for a short time in France. Returning to Scotland in 1586 and mixing:again in politics, Hamilton sought to reconcile James VI. with his mother; he was in communication with Philip II. of Spain in the interests of Mary and the Roman Catholic religion, and neither the failure of Anthony Babington's plot nor even the defeat of the Spanish Armada put an end to these intrigues. In 1589 some of his letters were seized and he suffered a short imprisonment, after which he practically disappeared from public life. Hamilton, who was created a Scottish baron as Lord Paisley in 1587, was insane during his concluding years. His eldest son James was created earl of Abercorn (q.v.) in 1606.



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