Sir James Hamilton (of Finnart)

(c. 1496—1540)

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(b c. 1496; d Edinburgh, 15 Aug 1540). Scottish architect. He was the great-grandson of King James II of Scotland (reg 1437–60) and the illegitimate son of James, first Earl of Arran; but for his illegitimacy he would have been heir to the throne. One of the key figures in the Scottish Renaissance court of King James V (reg 1513–42), he was ambassador to France (1517–18), leader of the Scottish army (1523), Captain of Home Castle, Dumbarton Castle, Blackness Castle and Linlithgow Palace, Lord of the Privy Council, Master of the King's Stables and Master of Works Principal, his remuneration being double that of the highest royal officials. Hamilton may have been Scotland's first architect. Recorded involvement in building includes a fortified villa at Craignethan (from 1532), Linlithgow Palace (from 1534), Boghouse of Crawfordjohn (1535), the state prison of Blackness (1535), the manor house in Greenock (1538) and the royal palace at Stirling (1538–40). It is possible that he was also responsible for the rebuilding of Home Castle (1518–19), Cambusnethan (1523), Cadzow Castle (1525), extensions to his town house in Linlithgow (1531), alterations to the castle of Avendale (1533) and to Dean Castle (1535), Kilmarnock.


From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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