Topic: George Hamilton

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George Hamilton (April 13, 1781 – January 7, 1839) was a lumber baron and public official in Upper Canada.

Hamilton was born at Hamwood House, in County Meath, Republic of Ireland in 1781 and came to Quebec City sometime before 1807. He was a descendant of the Hamiltons of Killyleagh Castle, Co. Down, and the third son of Charles Hamilton (d.1818), who built Hamwood House, and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Crewe Chetwood of Woodbrook, Queen's County.

He and his brother, William, were merchants importing Madeira wine and selling other goods. In 1809, they set themselves up in the timber trade in Lower Canada, exporting lumber and supplying shipbuilders. As a result of a timber operator being unable to honour his contract, they became owners of a mill at Hawkesbury, Ontario associated with lumbering along the Rideau River. During the War of 1812, George served in the Quebec militia reaching the rank of major. When his brother retired, he moved to Hawkesbury to look after the mill. In 1816, Hamilton became a Justice of the Peace and judge in the new Ottawa District Court of Upper Canada. During the 1820s, a downturn in the timber trade resulted in hard times for the Hamilton family and the business teetered on the edge of bankruptcy.

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