HAMILTON, Duchess of, Mary Louise

1854 - 1934

Mary Louise, Duchess of Hamilton 1854-1934

As Mary Louise Elizabeth Montague, she was born at Kimbolton Castle, Huntingdonshire on 27 December 1854, eldest daughter of William Drogo Montagu, 7th Duke of Manchester, of Kimbolton, Huntingdonshire and his wife Luise Friederike Auguste Gräfin von Alten. She married on 10 December 1873, William Alexander Louis Stephen Douglas-Hamilton, 12th Duke of Hamilton (1845-1895). They had extensive estates in Scotland and Berkshire and the 4,939-acre estate of Easton Park, Suffolk. In 1882, she exhibited from Easton Park at Ipswich Fine Art Club, a watercolour ‘Shiloh’. As the Duchess and the 12th duke had only one child, Lady Mary Louise Hamilton (1884-1957), he was succeeded in title by a distant kinsman, Alfred Douglas Douglas-Hamilton. The 12th Duke's detailed will left his trustees the power to sell the Suffolk Glemham Estate and apply the proceeds, and that of some moveable property, including the duke's yacht, towards paying off the debts on the Easton Estate. The Arran and Easton Estates were to be held for the young Lady Mary, only 10-years-old at the duke's death, during her lifetime and, once the debts secured over them had been paid off, for her children in fee. The Duchess Mary married secondly the 6th Duke of Montrose and 3rdly on 20 July 1897, Robert Carnaby Forster, who died on 23 June 1925 and they lived at Easton Park, Wickham Market, Suffolk. Mary died at Brodick Castle on the Isle of Arran, an island in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland, on 10 February 1934, when the Easton estates were sold. The Hamilton Estates were burdened with payment of the debts over the Arran and Easton Estates as well as those over the Hamilton Estates themselves, and once all the debts were paid off the Hamilton Estates were to be held under a Strict Deed of Entail for successive Dukes of Hamilton. Additionally, the Trustees were given power, in their sole discretion, 'to entirely displenish and dismantle Hamilton Palace' as it was 'no longer used by the duke as a residence' and take down and remove the building or allow the same to fall into disuse'.