Anthony Hamilton


Life
1645-1720 [Count Hamilton]; b. Roscrea [var. Co. Tyrone]; son of Sir George Hamilton, and connected with the Duke of Ormonde through his mother; his br. James Hamilton, Earl of Abercorn, was groom to Charles II; became friendly with Philibert, Count de Gramont when the latter came to England; in 1663 Gramont married his sister ‘La Belle Elisabeth’ (1641-1708); recruited for Louis XIV in Limerick, 1671; received Catholic Mass publically as Governor of in Limerick, 1685; present at Siege of Enniskillen; lost action at Newtown Butler, 31 July 1689;
 
his br. Richard sent by William III to parley with the Catholics but deserted to Tyrconnell, commanded the Siege of Derry, and was captured at the Boyne; fought at battle of the Boyne but from Aughrim; followed James II into exile at Germain-en-Laye; friendly with the Berwick’s, espec. Henrietta Bulkeley, sis. of the Duchess Laura, for whom he wrote four burlesque fairy-tales in French; issued Epistle [to] Comte de Grammont, and received praise from Boileau, encouraging him to writing Memoires de Count de Gramont from dictation of his brother-in-law, treating brilliantly of amorous life and politics at the court of Charles II;
 
the Memoires appeared anonymously in 1713 and was translated by Horace Walpole as Memoirs [… &c.] (1772), and subsequently edited by Walter Scott in 1811 with additional notes by Mrs. Jameson; a French edition was produced by M. de Lescure in 1876; Oeuvres completes, 1749-76; produced French paraphrase of Pope’s Essay on Man in heroic couplets; d. Germain-en-Laye; there is a biography by Ruth Clarke (1921). RR CAB ODNB PI JMC DIB DIW OCFL DUB OCIL

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Works
Ouevres melée, prose et verse
(1731); History of the May Flower [Fleur d’Epine]: A Circassian Tale (1746); M. Renouards, ed., Ouevres de Comte Anthony Hamilton (Paris 1749); Ouevres divers (Londres 1776); M. Lewis E. T. Beyle, and C. Kenney, trans., Fairy Tales and Romances [Bohn’s Extra Vol.] (1846); Memoires du Chevalier de Grammont, precedé d’une notice sur la view et les ouvrage par M. Auger [1st ed. 1812] (1857); Do., with notice par Saint-Beuve (Garnier 1866; rep. 190[?]); Horace Walpole, trans. and notes, Memoirs of Count Grammont Containing the History of the English Court under Charles II [1772]; Do., Sir Walter Scott, ed. and intro. as Memoirs ... by Anthony Hamilton ([q. pub.] 1811), and Do., with Additional Notes by Scott & Mrs Anna Brownell Jameson (1846); and Do., rep. edn. (London: Sonnenheim & Co. 1876); Ruth E[lvira] Clark, Anthony Hamilton, Life and Work (1921), xii, 362pp.; Peter Quennell, trans. Memoirs (London: Routledge 1930).

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References
Justin McCarthy, ed., Irish Literature (Washington: Catholic Univ. of America 1904), extract from Grammont, ‘Nothing Venture, Nothing Have’. AND NOTE that there is an English court saying, ‘the memory of Gramont’, alluding to the occasion when he seduced a girl and, being pursued by her armed brothers on the way from London, admitted that he had promised to marry her but had ‘forgotten’ (See Brewer’s Dictionary of Fact and Fable).

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Dictionary of National Biography, calls him the son of Sir George Hamilton and related maternally to Duke of Ormonde through 11th Earl; eldest brother, James, Earl of Abercorn, a bedchamber groom to Charles II, died in action against Dutch, monument raised by Ormond in Westminster; a second brother raised a body of gens d’arme Anglais for Louis XIV, for which Anthony was recruiting in Limerick in 1671; in 1685, he received Mass publicly as Governor; participated in Siege of Enniskillen, and lost heavily at Newtown Butler, 31 July 1689; present at the Boyne but not Aughrim. In France he was intimate with the household of the Berwicks, especially the Duchess’s sister Henrietta Bulkeley, to whom he addressed coureous pieces of poetry and letters. His fables were written on various courtly pretexts, such as the naming of the estate of the Comtesse Grammont (‘Belier’, a pseudo-etymological tale with echoes perhaps of dinnshencas). Another piece is a satire on the fashionable imitations of the Arabian Nights’ Entertainments, which, he says, are ‘plus Arabe qu’en Arabie’ [echo of Lynch’s phrase, ‘hiberniores quam hibernes’]; encouraged to write Memoirs by a complementary response from Boileau to his Epistle [to] Comte de Grammont, sometimes published with the Memoirs. The Memoirs deals with mostly amatory intrigues in the court of Charles II 1662-64, and is a classic for its brilliancy and vivacity. It occupies a unique position in French literature as being a classic the language by a foreigner. Hamilton also produced a paraphrase of Pope’s Essay on Man in French alexandrines. See also Richard Ryan, Biographia Hibernica: Irish Worthies (1821), Vol. II, p.289-92.

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Cathach Books (Cat. 1996/97) lists Memoirs of Count Grammont contining the History of the English Court under Charles II. Translated, with notes, by Horace Walpole and with additional notes, by Sir Walter Scott and Mrs Jameson (London: Sonnenheim & Co. n.d.).

Belfast Central Public Library holds Gramont I/920; The Actions of the Enniskillenmen; and also under A. Hamilton but another author, Federalism and Home Rule, by ‘Pacificus’ (1910) [FED].

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