Lady Mary Walker or Hamilton (née Leslie)

8th May 1736 - 1821


Youngest daughter of Alexander Leslie, 5th Earl of Leven and 4th Earl of Melville and his second wife Elizabeth nee Monypenny. Married Dr James Walker of Inverdovat, a physician in Edinburgh in 1762. They had several children (at least three sons and one daughter; other reports give 10 children). Her husband moved to Jamaica in the 1770s where he became a prison physician. Lady Mary became an author, according to her own account, in order to "cloath, feed, and educate" her children who had been "abandoned by their father".

By 1782, Lady Mary had formed a long-term extra-marital relationship with George Robinson Hamilton, 'a cousin of Alexander, 10th Duke of Hamilton' [this claim has been dropped from the most recent online entry in the ODNB] and owner of Success estate in St James, Jamaica. They lived in Lille, France, and had at least two daughters together, one of whom was Sophia St John Hamilton Alderson (q.v.). Hamilton died in 1797, leaving his estate in trust for the benefit of Lady Mary. After his death she moved to Amiens.

In 1815 Lady Mary travelled to Jamaica to investigate her Jamaican property which was making a profit of only £400 a year, having previously generated £3,000 a year. On returning to Britain she lived with her widowed daughter Sophia and died in Brompton, Middlesex in 1821.


Dorothy McMillan, ‘Walker , Lady Mary (1736–1822)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [, accessed 24/11/2015] and Dorothy McMillan, ‘Walker , Lady Mary (1736–1822)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [, accessed 2 March 2017]

Further Information

Maiden Name
Dr James Walker of Inverdovat
Ten children.

PROB 11/1660/30 - precis.

Rt. Hon. Lady Mary Walker, late of Woburn Place in St Pancras but now of Brampton in Middlesex, widow, commonly called Lady Mary Hamilton.

I am possessed of a bond from George Robinson Hamilton Esquire deceased bearing date on or about 01/05/1782 by which he became bound to me in the penal sum of £12,000 conditioned for payment by him his executors or administrators unto me, my executors, administrators or assigns of the sum of £6,000 with lawful interest for the same 12 calendar months after the same should be demanded. The said George Robinson Hamilton by his last will and testament in writing bearing the date 20/11/1786 he devised to me during my natural life with full power to bequeath at my death the sum of £10,000 sterling and that during my life the interest, rents and profits of the said bequest from and after his decease should be regularly paid to me for my private use by the trustees therein named. So I do bequeath the said sum of £10,000 and all my other personal and real estate as follows.

To my daughter Sophia Saint John Hamilton Alderson, the widow of Dr Alderson, £5,000. To my son Lieut. Col. Leslie Walker £3,000 (the payment of this postponed until after the said sum of £5,000 is fully satisfied). All rest and remainder to my daughter Sophia.

My daughter and William Peatt Litt of Berkeley Square, Middlesex, to be executors.

Signed 19/04/1819.

Proved in London 05/07/1822 by Sophia St John Hamilton Alderson.

Oxford DNB Entry

Associated Estates (1)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1797 [SY] - 1821 [EY] → Trust beneficiary

Relationships (2)

Mother → Natural Daughter
Extra-marital relationships

Addresses (3)

Lille, France
Amiens, France
Melville House, Monimail, Cupar, Fife, North-east Scotland, Scotland