Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Hugh Hamilton DD Bishop of Ossory (1729 - 1805) 1790s

Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828)

Hugh Hamilton DD Bishop of Ossory (1729 - 1805), Gilbert Stuart
Oil on canvas
18th Century
30 x 25 inches 76 x 63.5 cm
Miss Hewitt, Milford on Sea; John Levy Galleries New York 1938; Private Collection Michigan
Walter Strickland A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913 Vol II p415; Mantle Fielding Paintings by Gilbert Stuart not mentioned in Mason's Life of Stuart; Penn Magazine of History and Biography vol.38 1914 p.324 No.63; Lawrence Park Gilbert Stuart An Illustrated Descriptive List of His Works Compiled by Lawrence Park 1924 p.381 - 382 No.373
Engraved W Evans 1807

Hugh Hamilton was the eldest son of Alexander Hamilton MP of Knock, County Dublin and his wife Isabella Maxwell. He was descended from Hugh Hamilton who had settled in Ireland during the reign of King James I. An ancestor from earlier in the family history was the Royal Scottish architect Sir James Hamilton of Finart (d.1540).

Hamilton entered Trinity College Dublin in November 1742 and graduated BA in 1747, MA in 1750 and BD in 1759. He received his doctorate in divinity in 1762. After a failed attempt in the previous year he was elected a fellow in 1751. In 1759 he was appointed Erasmus Smith''s professor of Natural Philosophy, and at about the same time was elected to the Royal Society and the Royal Irish Aacdemy. Science was not to be his vocation, however, and in 1764 he resigned his fellowship and was instead presented by the college to rectory of Kilmacrenan in the diocese of Raphoe. In 1767 he resigned this preferment and was collated to the vicarage of St anne''s Dublin. He became Dean of Armagh in 1768 and in 1796 was promoted to the see of Clonfert and Kilmacduagh, whence he was translated in 1799 to Ossory.

He died December 1st 1805, having married Isabella Wood of Rossmead Co. Westmeath, niece of the Earl of Kingston. in 1772, by whom he had five sons and two daughters. He wrote both on scientific and religious matters, and his publications include ''De Sectionibus Conicis Tractatus Geometricus,'' London, 1758; ''Philosophical Essays on Vapours,'' &c., London, 1767; ''An Essay on the Existence and Attributes of the Supreme Being,'' Dublin 1784. ; ''Four Introductory Lectures on Natural Philosophy.'' His principal works were collected and republished, with a memoir and a frontispiece engraving of this portrait, by his eldest son, Alexander Hamilton. His son George (1781 - 1830) was also a biblical scholar.
Philip Mould Ltd, 18-19 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5LU.Copyright Philip Mould Ltd.