Solomon Hamilton (1753–1820) of  Ballyedmond & Calcutta

 son of James Hamilton, of Newry, and Mary Speer of Stewartstown.

Timeline:

  • 1754-01-07: Solomon Hamilton and his brothers, Robert and William, were cited in the last will and testament of their maternal grandfather, Robert Spear (the younger) of Stewartstown. Mr Spear’s will provided that if his son, Solomon Speer, should die without issue, then Mr Spear's lands and tenements would fall to his nephew, Solomon Hamilton. [1]
  • 1767-08-01: The will of Solomon’s father, James Hamilton of Newry, was written on 1st August 1767, and proved 26th October 1767. The document cited Solomon’s mother, Mary, himself and his siblings Robert, William, Mary, and James, and his uncles, William and Robert. [22]
  • 1770-02-06: Death and burial of his uncle, Solomon Speer, in Liverpool. [2]
  • 1770-05-19: Belfast News-Letter – Legal notice placed by Solomon Hamilton-Speer (having adopted the Speer surname as his grandfather’s will required), to assert his claim to the estate of the late Solomon Speer and to caution the tenants of Soarn, Lislee, Leck, and Cratley, not to pay their rents to the widow of the late Solomon Speer, Mrs Ann Crawford (formerly Speer, née Ledlie, maternal aunt to Solomon Hamilton-Speer). [3]
    Subsequent transactions show that control of the estate remained in the hands of Ann Crawford and her husband, Robert; and Mr Hamilton abandoned the double-barrelled surname.
  • 1777-06-23: Marriage licence bond for Solomon Hamilton of the City of Dublin, Esq’re, and Martha Costly of the parish of St Nicholas Within, Spinster. [4]
  • 1790-01-20: Memorial no. 415-230-273520 – an indenture of mortgage whereby, for the consideration of £300, James Hamilton of Greenfield, county Armagh, Gent., transferred right and title to three leaseholds in the town of Newry to Solomon Hamilton, Esq., then of London. [5]
    As a son of William Hamilton (d.1776) of Newry, James Hamilton of Greenfield was first cousin to Solomon Hamilton.
  • 1792-10-15: Memorial no. 458-189-294827 – an indented deed of conveyance whereby, for the consideration of £2,520, Joseph Pollock of Dublin, Esq., sold Ballyedmond townland, in the parish of Kilbroney and county of Down, to Solomon Hamilton of Fort Hamilton, Esq. [6] 
  • 1793-06-02: Memorial no. 471-541-300434 – an indented deed of mortgage whereby, for the sum of £525, James Hamilton of Greenfield, county Armagh, conveyed several leaseholds, with a clause of redemption, to Solomon Hamilton of Fort Hamilton, county Down. The leasehold properties included a farm in Gorah [Goragh] townland in the parish of Killevy and Manor of Mullyglass, county Armagh, and three tenements in the town of Newry. The witnesses included James Hamilton of Dublin, Gent., and Mary Hamilton, the younger, of Newry, Spinster. [7]
    As a son of William Hamilton (d.1776) of Newry, James Hamilton of Greenfield was first cousin to Solomon Hamilton.
    The witnesses were Solomon Hamilton’s brother and sister.
  • 1799-08-21: Resident of Calcutta no later than this date. Solomon Hamilton's name was recorded in a long list of signatories to a letter addressed to the Rt. Hon. Richard, Earl of Mornington, Governor General of Fort William in Bengal, to express their collective and sincere congratulations on the conclusion of the late War with Tippoo Sultaun. [8]
  • c1799–1820 in Calcutta: Aside from entries in directories, otherwise there are scant references to Solomon Hamilton’s time in India. William Hickey, an English attorney of Irish origin, committed to the permanent record, his dim view of Solomon Hamilton’s professional ethics and methods. [9]
  • While these should be viewed with the knowledge that both gentlemen were competing for legal business in Calcutta, nonetheless Hickey’s notes provide some insights into the legal machinations of late 18th century India.
  • 1806: Several references cite a visit made by Maria Edgeworth (1768–1849), the author, to visit her aunt, Mrs Hamilton, in Ballyedmond. [10] Miss Edgeworth is also said to have recorded her comments about the house at Fort Hamilton.
    ☛ This is a curious and difficult statement to reconcile, as Solomon Hamilton’s wife was said to have died before he went off to India. [21] Indeed, the National Library of Ireland (Dublin) holds an undated letter, written by Maria Edgeworth from Fort Hamilton, and citing her visit there in 1806. The letter was addressed to Mrs Stuart [Stewart].[11]
    It appears that Solomon Hamilton’s brother, Robert Hamilton, was a sometime resident of Fort Hamilton, though during which specific period is yet unknown. [18]
  • 1807-02-18: Memorial no. 596-465-408777 – indented deeds of lease and release whereby, for the consideration of £3,500, Solomon Hamilton, Esq., of Calcutta, formerly of Fort Hamilton in county Down, sold Ballyedmond townland and Fort Hamilton house to Alexander Stewart, Esq. [12]
  • 1819: Listed as an Advocate, employed by the Supreme Court of Judicature in Calcutta. [23]
  • 1820-03-25: Death, and burial in South Park street cemetery in Calcutta.[13] Born in September, 1853, per the inscription on gravestone:
       
     Solomonis Hamilton,
       
     Armigeri Advocati Hoc memoriam
         Coluit Liberorum Amor Natus in Hibernia.
         
    September MDCCLIII. Obit eheu Calcutta, Mul-
         
    tis amatas dinque deflendus Mort MDCCCXX. [14]
  • 1820-04-03: Solomon Hamilton’s last will and testament (written 29th March 1815) was sworn in the Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort William in Bengal. [15] His last will and testament included the following relatives:
    • sons, Augustus Frederic Hamilton and George Hamilton;
    • daughter, Charlotte (wife of Capt. John Bennett, 17th Regiment of Foot
    • daughter, Mary;
    • Maria, the mother of his daughters, Charlotte and Mary;
    • daughter, Eliza, wife of Mr. Law of Belfast;
    • children of his late sister, wife of John Lloyd Saunderson of Moy; and
    • nephew, Capt. Robert Henry Hamilton, 76th Regiment of Foot.

      Mr Hamilton also made a rather mysterious reference when he bequeathed to his daughter, Charlotte,  “the Miniature of the Lady after  whom she was called.” Additionally, he named a Mrs Harding who appears to have been a near relative.

Postscripts:

  • 1882-08-12: More than sixty years after his death, Solomon Hamilton’s grandson —James Sylvius Law— was sought by Messrs Cowie and Co., merchants, Calcutta, or Roberts, Morgan, and Co., solicitors, of same place, in order to obtain his share in his grandfather’s estate. When last heard of, some forty years previously, Mr Law was practising law in Dublin. In the interim, his mother, Eliza Dunlop, formerly Law (née Hamilton), died in 1880 in New South Wales. [16]This fact had probably precipitated the publication of the notice in The Times (London) and its reprinting in several Irish newspapers.
  • 1910: Dr Francis C. Crossle submitted a series of articles under the heading, “Old Rostrevor,” to The Newry Reporter. In the third installment, Dr Crossle stated, “William Hamilton Maxwell, a scion of the ancient Nithsdale family, the Maxwells of Caerlaverock, and on the maternal side descended from the Hamiltons of Ballyedmond, was born in Newry on 30th of June, 1792.” [17] ☛ This statement is curious, as William Hamilton Maxwell was the son of Solomons first cousin, Elizabeth Hamilton, daughter of Solomon’s uncle William Hamilton (d.1776).
  • 1955-11-11: The Portadown Times featured a short article detailing the connection between Mullavilly townland, in the parish of Kilmore, with two houses named Mulla Villa in New South Wales. Both houses were associated with Eliza Hamilton Dunlop and her husband, David. [19]
    Solomon’s father, James (d.1767), held a lease in Mullavilly, and the family connection with this townland probably predates James’ time.
    Interestingly, a town in Hindustan, in Mysore, had been named Mullavilly by c.1806. It was situated 22 miles east of Seringapatam[20]

Links:

Sources and notes:

1.

Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Belfast. Copy will of Robert Speer [Spear] of Stewartstown (dated 18 Aug 1753; codicil dated 7 Jan 1754; proved 26 Feb 1754). PRONI ref. D2315/2/3. Transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick, 2015-08-16.

2.

Church of England. Parish of St Peter, Liverpool, Lancashire. Burial of Solomon Spears, cabinet maker, 6th February 1770. Original record: Liverpool Record Office; Liverpool, England; Reference Number: 283-PET-1-4. Digital image online at ancestry.ca (accessed by Alison Kilpatrick by subscription, 2018-10-24).

3.

Belfast News-Letter, 22 May 1770 (pg 3). Legal notice placed by Solomon Hamilton-Speer, asserting his claim to the lands and property of the late Solomon Speer, who died at Liverpool in February, 1770 (dated 19 May 1770). Digital image online at ancestry.ca (accessed by subscription, and transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick, 2018-08-24).

4.

(a) Deputy Keeper of Ireland (Dublin). Index To The Act Or Grant Books, And To Original Wills, Of The Diocese Of Dublin 1272-1858 (26th, 30th And 31st Reports, 1894, 1899), pg 381. Digital image online at findmypast.co.uk (accessed by Alison Kilpatrick by subscription, 2018-10-31).
(b) Betham, Sir William (1779–1853).
Betham’s Genealogical Abstracts. [No.] 306 Hamilton Solomon of the City of Dublin Esq’re and Martha Costly of the Parish of S’t Nich’s within Sp’r 23’rd June 1777. Digital image online at findmypast.co.uk (accessed by Alison Kilpatrick by subscription, 2018-10-31).

5.

Registry of Deeds, Ireland (Henrietta Street, Dublin). Memorial no. 415-230-273520: Hamilton to Hamilton (dated 20 January 1790; registered 13 February 1790). Microfilm copy held by the Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. Archival ref. FHL film no. 534023; digital image online at www.familysearch.org. Transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick, and submitted to www.irishdeedsindex.net, 2018-11-24.

6.

Registry of Deeds, Ireland (Henrietta Street, Dublin). Memorial no. 458-189-294827: Pollock to Hamilton (dated 15 October 1792; registered 3 December 1792). Microfilm copy held by the Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. Archival ref. FHL film no. 545040; digital image online at www.familysearch.org. Transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick, and submitted to www.irishdeedsindex.net, 2018-11-24.

7.

Registry of Deeds, Ireland (Henrietta Street, Dublin). Memorial no. 471-541-300434: Hamilton to Hamilton (dated 2 June 1793; registered 21 August 1793). Microfilm copy held by the Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. Archival ref. FHL film no. 545046 (digital images obtained in Salt Lake City, 2016-05-11). Transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick, and submitted to www.irishdeedsindex.net, 2018-11-25.

8.

Addresses Presented by the Inhabitants of Madras, Bombay and Calcutta to the Governor General, congratulating him on the successful termination of the fourth Mysore War. Place of publication and publisher not identified. (pp 8-9).

9.

Hickey, William, and Alfred Spencer, Ed. Memoirs of William Hickey. Vol. III (1782–1790). 5th ed. London, et al Hurst & Blackett, 1923. Extracts re: Solomon Hamilton (1753–1820) transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick, 2018-11-25.

10.

For example: (1) Ferres, Timothy William. Lord Belmont in Northern Ireland. “Ballyedmond Castle.” (12 March 2018) Online at lordbelmontinnorthernireland.blogspot.com/2012/11/ballyedmond-castle.html (accessed 2018-11-10).
(2) Northern Irish Heritage Gardens Trust. Register of Parks, Gardens and Demesnes of Special Historic Interest. “Ballyedmond. County Down (Registered Site – Area Plan Newry & Mourne 16).” Online at www.nihgt.org/resources/images/Register%20of%20Parks%20Gds%20&%20Demesnes%20-%20Northern%20Ireland-NIEA.pdf (accessed 2018-11-10).

11.

National Library of Ireland. Undated letter from Maria Edgeworth to Mrs. Stuart of Rostrevor, Co. Down; c.1806. Archival ref. MS 49,419. Catalogue entry online at catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000359815 (accessed 2018-11-10): "At the end of the letter is written 'Fort Hamilton, Sunday morn' – Edgeworth visited Fort Hamilton in Northern Ireland in 1806. There is a reference at the beginning of the letter to the fact that Maria Edgeworth is returning to Mrs. Stuart 'Carr's Stranger in Ireland, with many thanks,' especially Mrs. Stuart's politeness’ … in sending it to her before she had read it herself.' Sir John Carr's 'Stranger in Ireland; or, A tour in the southern and western parts of that country in the year 1805' was first published in 1806 in London and subsequently in the same year in Philadelphia [the NLI has both publications in Special Collections at J 9141 and LO 5367 respectively]. Edgeworth says in her letter that Mrs. and Miss Buxton send their respects to Mrs. Stuart '.. for the amusements they have enjoyed in reading Carr's book.'"

12.

Registry of Deeds, Ireland (Henrietta Street, Dublin). Memorial no. 596-465-408777: Hamilton to Stewart (dated 18 February 1807; registered 18 May 1808). Microfilm copy held by the Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. Archival ref. FHL film no. 545060; digital image online at www.familysearch.org. Transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick, and submitted to www.irishdeedsindex.net, 2018-11-26.

13.

(a) Death:—East India Register (1822). Death notice for Salomon [sic] Hamilton, 25 March 1820. Extract: “Salomon Hamilton, Esq.” Transcribed by FIBIS Volunteers, and hosted online at Families in British India Society, www.fibis.org (accessed by Thorby Walker, and confirmed 2018-12-03).
(b) Burial:—British India Office. Ecclesiastical Returns. Burial of Solomon Hamilton, Barrister at Law, 26th March 1820, aged 70 years. Archival ref. IOR N-1-1, folio 439. Digital image online at findmypast.co.uk (accessed by Alison Kilpatrick by subscription, 2018-10-28).

14.

Holmes and Co. The Bengal Obituary. Gravestone inscription for Solomon Hamilton, attorney, born September 1753 in Ireland, died in Calcutta in 1820. (pg 140) London: W. Thacker & Co., and Calcutta: St Andrew’s Library, 1851.

15.

The British Library. India Office. The last will and testament of Solomon Hamilton (1753–1820) of Calcutta, with index entry and inventory. Original records held by The British Library (Kew). Archival refs. (1) Last will and testament, L-AG-34-29-32; (2) Inventory, L-AG-34-27-68, folio 2051. Digital images online at findmypast.co.uk (accessed by subscription, and abstracts prepared by Alison Kilpatrick, 2018-11-25).

16.

Northern Constitution (Coleraine, county Derry), 12 August 1882 (pg. 5). “Next of Kin;” in search of James Sylvius Law, grandson of Solomon Hamilton (d.1820), barrister, and son of Mrs Eliza Law who married David Dunlop of Coleraine. Digital image online at The British Newspaper Archive, www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk (accessed by subscription, and transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick, 2018-11-25).

17.

Newry Reporter, 10 February 1910 (pg. 6). “Old Rostrevor. Lecture by Dr. Crossle. Third Instalment." Digital image online at The British Newspaper Archive, www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk (accessed by subscription, and transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick, 2018-11-26).

18.

Ulster Gazette, 29 May 1852 (pg 3). Death notice: "On the 25th instant, at Portadown, at the advanced age of ninety-four years, Mrs Margaret Hamilton, relict of the late Robert Hamilton, Esq., Solicitor, Fort Hamilton, County Down.” Digital image online at the British Newspaper Archive, www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk (accessed by subscription, and transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick, 2018-11-22).

19.

Portadown Times, 11 November 1955 (pg 3). “As we look around,…” retrospective of Mullavilly, county Armagh, and the Wollombi, New South Wales connection via David Dunlop and Eliza Hamilton Dunlop. Digital image online at the British Newspaper Archive, www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk (accessed by subscription, and transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick, 2018-11-27).

20.

Encyclopedædia Perthensis; or, Universal Dictionary of Knowledge. Vol. XV. Extract: “MULLAVILLY, a town of Indostan, in Mysore, 22 miles E. of Seringapatam.” (pg 385.) Perth: printed for C. Mitchel and Co. (pub. 1806?).

21.

Lydon, Jane, and Lyndall Ryan, eds. Remembering the Myall Creek Massacre. Includes a biographical sketch of Eliza Hamilton Dunlop (1796–1880). Sydney, New South Wales: NewSouth Publishing, 2018.

22.

Betham, Sir William. Genealogical Abstracts of Records of the Prerogative Court of Armagh. Abstract: "100 Hamilton James Newry C'o Down / Merchant dated 1'st Aug't 1767 proved / 26'th Oct 67 / Wife Mary H – Son Robert H – Son / William H – Daur Mary H – Sons / Solomon H & James H, Brothers W’m & Rob[t].” (pg 35.) Original record held by the National Archives of Ireland (Dublin); archival ref. Phillips Mss., Series H 1763–1780. Digital image online at findmypast.co.uk (accessed by Alison Kilpatrick by subscription, 2018-11-10).

23.

The East-India Register and Directory for 1819. 2nd ed. Extrract: “Law Department. Supreme Court of Judicature. [chief justice and two puisne justices listed first, then:] Advocates: Solomon Hamilton [plus eight other advocates]. (pg 125.) London: Cox and Baylis, 1819.

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