Walter Fitz-Gilbert, from whom descended the Dukes of Hamilton, was ancestor of this family. During the Scottish War of Independence he held Bothwell Castle for the English, but later transferred his support to Robert the Bruce. He was rewarded with the Barony of Cadzow. In 1445 the 6th Lord Cadzow was created Lord Hamilton and later the titles of the Marquis (in 1503) and Duke of Hamilton (1599) were conferred on the family. The Hamilton chiefs held many high offices and the 1st Duke was given hereditary keepership of the Palace of Holyroodhouse. There were many important branches of this family.