abercorn, duke of - Abercorn, DUKE OF; abercorn, duke of - Title held by the Hamilton family. It originated in 1603, when James, eldest son of Lord Claud Hamilton, was created baron of Abercorn. I n 1606 the barony became an earldom, and in 1790 a marquessate. James Hamilton (1811-85) succeeded his grandfather as second marquess in 1818, and was made a duke in 1868. Groom of the stole to the Prince Consort 1846-59, he was lord-lieutenant of Ireland, June, 1866-Feb., 1868, and 1874-76. He died Oct. 31, 1885, and was succeeded by his eldest son James (1838-1913), long the chairman of the British South Africa Company, after whom townships in N. and S. Rhodesia have been named. The 3rd duke, James (b. 1869), became the first governor of Northern Ireland in Dec., 1922, and was reappointed in 1928,1934, and 1940, retiring in Sept., 1945.