HE is remembered in history as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and, more recently, his story has been brought to life in a Broadway show. 

But, did you know Alexander Hamilton, the face of the $10 bill, could trace his family history back to a castle ruin on the outskirts of Stevenston? 

George Washington's right hand man and the inspiration behind one of the most successful shows of all-time has been thrust back into the spotlight in recent days after Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical made its way onto streaming service Disney+. 

During his life, Hamilton became an influential interpreter and promoter of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the founder of the polity's financial system, the Federalist Party, the United States Coast Guard, and the New York Post newspaper.

Glasgow Times: George WashingtonGeorge Washington

As the first Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton was the main author of the economic policies of Washington's administration. 

He played a crucial role in laying the foundations of the America we know today, before he was shot dead at just the age 47 (or 49) by Aaron Burr in a duel. 

At this point you might be wondering what exactly this has to do with Scotland?

Well, it doesn't take long for Hamilton's Scottish roots to be mentioned with the show opening: "How does a b****d, orphan, son of a w***e. And a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot. In the Caribbean by providence impoverished. In squalor, grow up to be a hero and a scholar?"

Hamilton, son of a Scotsman from Ayrshire, grew up on the West Indian island of Nevis (now part of modern day Saint Kitts and Nevis). Given the lyrics to the show's opening, you've probably already guessed he had to endure a difficult upbringing. 

His father, James Hamilton, was the fourth son of the Laird of Grange, also named Alexander. He moved to the Caribbean instead of pursuing an education at the University of Glasgow like his brothers.

It was there, it’s thought, on January 11, 1755, that his son Alexander was born, though the date is uncertain. Some scholars believe it was two years later. 

It was a birth out of wedlock, explaining a later remark from President John Adams, who once described him as “the b*****d brat of a Scottish peddler”. His father had an affair with Rachel Fawcett Lavien, who was of British and French Huguenot descent.

It was to be a troubled childhood. His parents had a difficult relationship though it lasted many years – he had a brother born two years before him. His father deserted the family forcing Hamilton to take his first job at the age of 11 to help make ends meet. The death of his mother left him abandoned and orphaned aged just 13 in 1768.

Taken in by an older relative and thereafter by a local merchant, the young man soon began to excel in commerce and trade. Such was his evident talent that businessmen soon pooled funds to send him to America for an education.

He made swift progress in the US devoting time to writing about politics. One report says he left the college he was attending to report on the Boston Tea Party, the first big revolt against the British.

Glasgow Times: Alexander Hamilton is regarded as one of America's Founding Fathers Alexander Hamilton is regarded as one of America's Founding Fathers

By 1779 he’d garnered many battle honours and attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. This brought him to the attention of Washington, who appointed him his assistant and trusted adviser.

After the war, he graduated in law and commenced practice at the Bar in New York where he was a prominent figure. However, it was in politics and government that he was to excel and leave his real legacy. Influential in the drafting of the US Constitution, he was a delegate for New York and wrote the Federalist Papers.

He remains the arch Federalist in the arguments that have raged on down through the years between state and federal rights.

When Washington was elected President, he appointed Hamilton First Secretary of the Treasury.

Plenty more was still to come for the lad with Ayrshire in his blood, until he was killed by Burr in 1804. 

His legacy, however, lives on in wallets across America and TV screens around the world.