Papers of General Sir Ian Standish Monteith Hamilton (1853-1947)

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 237 Coll-325
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      6 letters, 2 photographs.
  • Location
      Gen. 1730 (Hamilton); Gen. 1952/2/17; Gen. 1995/35

Scope and Content

Hamilton's papers consist of correspondence of a general nature, both manuscript and typescript. There is, for example, correspondence with the Lord Provost of Glasgow seeking information about an ancestor, and a letter to J. Ward about an article by Viscount Castlerosse.

Administrative / Biographical History

Ian Standish Monteith Hamilton was born on 16 January 1853, in Corfu, Greece. He was the eldest son of Colonel Christian Monteith Hamilton. He was educated at Cheam and Wellington, and then entered the army in 1873. He served in the Afghan War 1878-1880, the Boer War 1881, the Nile Expedition 1884-1885, and the Burmese Expedition 1886-1887, during which he became a Lieutenant-Colonel. In 1891 he received the D.S.O. and was promoted to Colonel and then after serving with the Chitral relief force in 1895, he became a Companion of the Bath. Between 1899 and 1901 Hamilton served in South Africa and was promoted to Major-General. He was created Knight Commander of the Bath in 1901. He was Chief-of-Staff to Lord Kitchener (1850-1916), 1901-1902, and then commanded mobile columns in the western Transvaal, after which he was promoted to Lieutenant-General. Between 1903 and 1904 he was Quartermaster General to the Forces. He then served as the Military Representative of India with the Japanese Field Army in Manchuria, 1904-1905, and as General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Command, 1905-1909. Hamilton was Adjutant-General to the Forces and 2nd military member of the Army Council, 1909-1910, and General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Command and Inspector-General of the Overseas Forces, 1910-1915. He was created a Knight Grand Cross of the Bath in 1910, and became a General in 1914. He commanded the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force in 1915, and was created Knight Grand Cross of St.Michael and St.George in 1919. Hamilton was Rector of Edinburgh University, 1932-1935. His publications include A staff officer's scrap-book (1906), Gallipoli diary (1920), When I was a boy (1939), and Listening for the drums (1944). General Sir Ian Standish Monteith Hamilton died on 12 October 1947.

Access Information

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.

Acquisition Information

Letters at Gen. 1952 acquired among miscellaneous Scottish letters and writs, 1974, Accession no. E74.7. Letter to J. Ward, acquired February 1976, Accession no. E76.10.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Who was who 1941-1950. London: Adam and Charles Black, 1952.

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.

Related Material

The UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes: papers, 1873-1953, King's College London, Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, Ref. KCLMA Hamilton, and correspondence with Basil Liddell-Hart, 1921-1942, Ref. KCLMA Liddell Hart B H NRA 19291 Liddell Hart, and also correspondence with Major John North and miscellaneous papers (26 items), 1934-1941, Ref. KCLMA North NRA 23076 North; report on Japanese medical arrangements, 1904, Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine, Ref. RAMC; correspondence with Herbert Asquith, Oxford University, Bodleian Library, Special Collections and Western Manuscripts, Ref. MSS Asquith NRA 12685 Asquith, and correspondence with Lewis Harcourt, 1911, Ref. MSS Harcourt NRA 3679 Harcourt; correspondence with Sir John de Robeck, 1915-1920, Cambridge University, Churchill Archives Centre, Ref. DRBK NRA 12660 de Robeck, and letters to Sir Henry Babington Smith, 1896-1910, Ref. HBS71 NRA 32442 Smith; correspondence with Sir John Ewart, Private, Ref. NRA(S)0370 NRA 11854 Ewart; correspondence with Lord Haldane, 1907-1935, National Library of Scotland, Manuscripts Division, Ref. MSS 5908-6109 passim, and letters and cards to William Will, 1919-1945, Ref. Acc 7534 NRA 40771 Will; correspondence with Lord Keyes, 1925-1929, British Library, Manuscript Collections, NRA 13484 Keyes; correspondence with Lord Kitchener, 1903-1915, Public Record Office, Ref. PRO30/57 WO159 NRA 7283 Kitchener; correspondence with John St Loe Strachey, 1909-1915, House of Lords Record Office, the Parliamentary Archives, Ref. Strachey papers NRA 19285 Strachey; letters (16) to Spenser Wilkinson, 1898-1931, National Army Museum, Department of Archives, Photographs Film and Sound, Ref. 9011-42 NRA 6700 Wilkinson; and, letters relating to West Yorkshire Regiment, 1921-1923, Sheffield Archives.