A vignette of The Duke of Hamilton is provided by Lord Lamington in his The Days of the Dandies, London, 1890; 'never was such a magnifico as the 10th Duke, the Ambassador to the Empress Catherine; when I knew him he was very old, but held himself straight as any grenadier. He was always dressed in a military laced undress coat, tights and Hessian boots, &c'. Lady Stafford in letters to her son mentioned 'his great Coat, long Queue, and Fingers cover'd with gold Rings', and his foreign appearance. (The Complete Peerage, 1916, vol. VI, p. 274.)
He had been educated at Harrow and Christ Church, Oxford and subesquently travelled extensively on the Continent, most productively in Italy were he acquired a great love of the arts. His political career started in the House of Commons with Hamilton serving as M.P. for Lancaster from 1802 until 1806 when he was sent as ambassador to the court in St. Petersburg. He remained there until 1808 due to his infatuation with Countess Potocka. However, he instead eventually returned to England and married his cousin Susan Euphemia Beckford, (1786-1859) daughter of the celebrated collector William Beckford, in 1810
He succeeded his father in 1819, and he improved the family estates and greatly added to the art collections. The collection filled the vast family seat Hamilton Palace in Lanarkshire. His facination with Egypt manifested itself at his burial when he was buried in "oriental" style having been embalmed in Ancient Egyptian manner.