Gustavus Hamilton, 1st Viscount Boyne

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Gustavus Hamilton
Viscount Boyne
SuccessorGustavus, 2nd Viscount Boyne
Died16 September 1723
FamilyHouse of Hamilton
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Brooke
Frederick, Gustavus, Henry, & others
FatherFrederick Hamilton
MotherSidney Vaughan

Gustavus Hamilton, 1st Viscount Boyne PC (Ire) (1642–1723) fought for the Prince of Orange during the Williamite War in Ireland defending Coleraine in 1689, fighting at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, fording the Shannon at the second Siege of Athlone in June 1691, and fighting at Aughrim in July. He was ennobled by King George I.

Birth and origins[edit]

Gustavus was born in 1642,[a] probably in Manorhamilton Castle, County Leitrim, Ireland, built by his father. He was a younger son of Frederick Hamilton and Sidney Vaughan.[2][4][3] His father was the founder of a cadet branch of the House of Hamilton through the intermediate of the House of Abercorn, being the fifth and youngest son of Claud Hamilton, 1st Lord Paisley, and brother of James Hamilton, 1st Earl of Abercorn. This cadet branch would become the noble branch of the viscounts of Boyne[5] when Gustavus was created Viscount Boyne near the end of his life. Gustavus's mother was a daughter of Sir John Vaughan, who had been governor of Londonderry.[6]

His father named him for the Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus for whom he had fought during the Thirty Years' War in Germany.[7]

Family tree
Gustavus Hamilton with wife, parents, and other selected relatives.[b]
1st Ld


d. 1616
1st Earl


d. 1614
& Roscrea

d. bef. 1657
b. c. 1629
d. bef. 1646
James of

d. 1652


d. 1721
c. 1663 – 1715

d. 1748
c. 1685 –



XXXSubject of
the article
XXXEarl of
*d.v.p. = predeceased his father (decessit vita patris)

Early life[edit]

Gustavus Hamilton studied at Trinity College, Dublin[1] but seems to have abandoned his studies without obtaining a degree. In 1672 he went to France and became a captain in the regiment of Sir George Hamilton, a younger son of his cousin Sir George Hamilton, 1st Baronet, of Donalong. Gustavus returned in 1676,[12] after Sir George's death. Soon afterwards Gustavus was made a captain in the Irish Army.[13]

Marriage and children[edit]

Hamilton married Elizabeth Brooke, second daughter of Sir Henry Brooke, knight, of Brookeborough, County Fermanagh.[14]

Gustavus and Elizabeth had four children, three sons and a daughter:

  1. Frederick (died 1715), married Sophia Hamilton in 1707[15] and had a son who became the 2nd Viscount[16] but died young predeceasing his parents[17]
  2. Gustavus of Red Wood, King's County (died 1734), MP for Donegal[18]
  3. Elizabeth, married Charles Lambart[19]
  4. Henry (1692–1743), MP for Donegal[20]

In Ireland[edit]

In 1677 Hamilton accompanied James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormond, to Oxford where he was awarded the degree of a Doctor of Civil Law by the University of Oxford.[21] He was sworn of the Privy Council of England on the accession of King James II of England in 1685.[22] Shortly after this appointment he quit this King's service[23] and retired to his estate in Fermanagh.

Williamite War[edit]

At the Glorious Revolution, Hamilton was appointed colonel of the 20th Foot by William of Orange in 1689 and fought with his regiment in the defence of Coleraine.[24] Driven from there by Richard Hamilton, he fell back on Enniskillen, of which he was appointed governor.[25] In 1689 he was attainted by the Patriot Parliament.[26]

On 1 July 1690, at the Battle of the Boyne, his horse was shot under him and he almost killed.[27]

In June 1691 he fought at the Siege of Athlone under Ginkel where on 30 June Gustavus took part in the daring attack over a ford on the River Shannon that captured the town.[28] In this attack he commanded the cavalry together with General Thomas Tollemache while the infantry was commanded by Mackay, Tettau, Monceau de la Melonière and the Prince of Hesse.[29]

In July he fought at the Battle of Aughrim. Ginkel organised his army in 4 divisions numbered from the north to the south and in two lines. Gustavus with his regiment was in the front line of the second division, i.e. a centre-right position.[30]

Later life[edit]

In 1691 Hamilton was appointed Vice-Admiral of Ulster, an honorary position, which he held until 1710 when he passed it on to his son Frederick. It reverted to him on Frederick's unexpected death on 10 December 1715.[31] He therefore was Vice-Admiral of Ulster again from 1716 until his death in 1723.[32][33]

Hamilton was promoted brigadier-general in 1696[34] and major-general in 1704.[35]

In May 1710, Hamilton was sworn of the Privy Council of Ireland for Queen Anne.[36]

From 1692 to 1714, Hamilton sat in the Irish House of Commons. In that period general elections were held in 1692, 1695, 1703, and 1713. He was elected for Donegal County in 1692,[37] 1695,[38] and 1703.[39][40] In the general election of 1713 he was elected for Strabane Borough and sat until 1714.[41]

He bought land near Slane in County Meath from the Osborne family and built Stackallan House (also spelled Stackallen).[42][43]

In 1715 he was elevated to the Peerage of Ireland as Baron Hamilton of Stackallan, in the County of Meath by King George I.[44] On 20 August 1717, Hamilton was further honoured by the King, when he was created Viscount Boyne, in the Province of Leinster, also in the Irish Peerage.[45]

His wife died in 1721.[46]

Death, succession, and timeline[edit]

Lord Boyne died on 16 September 1723 [47] and was buried in the church of Stackallan.[48] His eldest son Frederick having predeceased him in 1715, Boyne was succeeded by his grandson Gustavus as the 2nd Viscount Boyne.[49]

See also[edit]

Notes, citations, and sources[edit]


  1. ^ Gustavus was born in 1642 according to Paul[1] and Murtagh[2] but was previously stated as 1639 by Henderson[3]
  2. ^ This family tree is partly derived from the Abercorn pedigree pictured in Cokayne.[8] Also see the lists of siblings and children in the text.


  1. ^ a b c Paul 1904, p. 45, line 21: "Gustavus born in 1642, entered Trinity College as a Fellow Commoner 17 April 1661, aged nineteen ..."
  2. ^ a b c Murtagh 2004, p. 809: "Hamilton, Gustavus, first viscount Boyne (1642–1723), army officer, was the third son of Frederick Hamilton ..."
  3. ^ a b Henderson 1890, p. 159: "Hamilton, Gustavus, Viscount Boyne (1639–1723) was the second son of Sir Frederick Hamilton ..."
  4. ^ Burke 1949, p. 239, right column, line 28: "Gustavus Hamilton, 1st Viscount Boyne, b. about 1640, was a distinguished military officer in the service of William III."
  5. ^ Lodge 1789b, p. 172: "This noble branch of the house of Hamilton derives from Sir Frederick, the fifth and youngest son of Claud Lord Paisley ..."
  6. ^ Lodge 1789b, p. 174: "He [Frederick Hamilton] married Sidney, daughter and heir to Sir John Vaughan, a captain in the Irish army, Privy Counsellor and Governor of the county and city of Londonderry."
  7. ^ Wills 1841, p. 359: "His youngest son Gustavus, so called after the Swedish king ..."
  8. ^ Cokayne 1910, p. 4: "Tabular pedigree of the Earls of Abercorn"
  9. ^ Paul 1904, p. 45, line 34: "Christiana m. [married] at Coleraine in 1649 as his second wife Sir George Munroe of Newmore ... "
  10. ^ Paul 1904, p. 45, line 3: "Frederick, died unmarried before his father, being killed in the wars in Ireland."
  11. ^ Paul 1904, p. 45, line 6: "James of Manor Hamilton, died 27 December 1652, married in 1647 or 1648 his cousin Catherine, daughter of Claud Lord Strabane ..."
  12. ^ a b c Murtagh 2004, p. 810, left column, line 1: "... joined the army, serving 1672 to 1676 as captain in France in Sir George Hamilton's regiment."
  13. ^ Daniell 1907, p. 18: "March 9. [1675]. The King to the Lord Lieutenant. Recommending Capt. Gustavus Hamilton to be captain of the first foot company that shall fall void in the Irish army ..."
  14. ^ Debrett 1828, p. 765 line 26: "... m. [married] Elizabeth, da. [daughter] of Sir Henry Brooke, of Brooke's Borough, co. Fermanagh, knt, and by her had issue ..."
  15. ^ a b Lodge 1789a, p. 10: "Sophia married 1 September 1707 to Frederick Hamilton, Esq. father of Gustavus, Lord Boyne;"
  16. ^ Burke 1949, p. 239, right column, line 40: "Frederick, m. [married] 1 September 1707, Sophia, sister of the 1st Earl of Clanbrassil and dau. [daughter] of James Hamilton, of Tollymore."
  17. ^ Debrett 1828, p. 765 line 29: "Frederick, m. [married] 1707 Sophia, sister of James, Viscount Limerick, and d. [died] 1715 leaving issue Gustavus 2nd viscount."
  18. ^ Burke 1949, p. 239, right column, line 44: "Gustavus of Red Wood, King's co., M.P. for the co. Donegal ..."
  19. ^ Burke 1949, p. 240, left column: "Elizabeth, m. Charles Lambart, of Painstown, M.P., grandson of the 1st Earl of Cavan, and had issue."
  20. ^ a b Burke 1949, p. 239, right column, line 52: "Henry, M.P. for Donegal and Collector of the Port of Cork, b. Feb 1692;"
  21. ^ a b Lodge 1789b, p. 175, line 12: "... and attending the Duke of Ormond, Chancellor of Oxford, to that university, had the degree of Doctor of Laws conferred on him 6 August 1677."
  22. ^ a b Lodge 1789b, p. 175, line 14: "On the accession of K. James II. he was sworn on the Privy Council;"
  23. ^ Lodge 1789b, p. 175, line 15: "... but being a steady asserter of the laws of his country, he quitted that King's service on his open violation of them and was attainted by his parliament."
  24. ^ Webb 1878, p. 241: "At the beginning of the war of 1689–'91, the Protestants of Coleraine entrusted him [Gustavus Hamilton] with the defence of their town."
  25. ^ Macaulay 1855, p. 141: "Gustavus Hamilton, a gentleman who had served in the army, but who had been recently deprived of his commission by Tyrconnell, and had since been living on an estate in Fermanagh, was appointed governor and took up his residence in the castle."
  26. ^ a b Murtagh 2004, p. 810, left column, line 9: "... was attainted by the Jacobite parliament in 1689."
  27. ^ a b Lodge 1789b, p. 175, line 35: "... he headed a regiment at the battle of the Boyne, where having his horse killed under him, he narrowly escaped death."
  28. ^ a b Lodge 1789b, p. 175, line 38: "... he waded the Shannon at the head of the grenadiers and storming the town of Athlone, he was appointed, upon its surrender, Governor thereof."
  29. ^ Boyle 1867, p. 262, penultimate line: "... a strong supporting column of cavalry commanded by General Talmash and Colonel Gustavus Hamilton and by 2000 chosen infantry troops under the direction of Mackey, Tettau, La Mellioneire, and the Prince of Hesse."
  30. ^ Boyle 1867, p. 294: "The second division, front, presents the regiments of Kirke, Gustavus Hamilton, Herbert, Lord George Hamilton, Foulke, Bellasis, and Brewer;"
  31. ^ a b Cokayne 1912, p. 267, line 9: "... [Frederick] d. v.p. 10 Dec. 1715."
  32. ^ "Institute of Historical Research - Vice Admirals of the Coasts from 1660". Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 26 April 2009.
  33. ^ Debrett 1828, p. 765 line 24: "... was appointed vice-admiral of the province of Ulster."
  34. ^ a b Lodge 1789b, p. 176, line 1: "... made Brigadier-General of his [William's] armies 30 May 1696."
  35. ^ Haydn 1851, p. 333: "Major-Generals ... Jan. 1, 1704. Gustavus, Viscount Boyne: distinguished himself at the battle of the Boyne, whence his title: died Sept. 1723."
  36. ^ a b Lodge 1789b, p. 176, line 10: "In May 1710, being of distinguished zeal for the Protestant interest, he was sworn of her Majesty's privy council ..."
  37. ^ a b House of Commons 1878, p. 611a: "1692 - 22 Sept. Gustavus Hamilton Rosguill Donegal County"
  38. ^ House of Commons 1878, p. 611b: "1695 – 6 Aug. Gustavus Hamilton Rosguill Donegal County"
  39. ^ House of Commons 1878, p. 645: "Gustavus Hamilton, esq. / Donegal County"
  40. ^ Burke 1949, p. 239, line 33: "... he was M.P. for Donegal 1692–9 and 1703–7."
  41. ^ a b House of Commons 1878, p. 651: "Gustavus Hamilton, esq. Strabane Borough"
  42. ^ "1712 – Stackallan House, Co. Meath". Archiseek - Irish Architecture. 26 June 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  43. ^ Lewis 1840, p. 573: "Stackallen House is the handsome residence of Viscount Boyne, whose ancestor Gustavus ..."
  44. ^ a b Cokayne 1912, p. 266, line 34: "He was on 20 October 1715, cr. [created] Baron Hamilton of Stackallan [I. [Ireland]]."
  45. ^ a b Cokayne 1912, p. 266, line 35: "... was cr. [created] on 20 Aug. 1717, Viscount Boyne in the province of Leinster [I. [Ireland]]."
  46. ^ a b Cokayne 1912, p. 267, line 3: "... she [Elizabeth] d. [died] at Stackallan, co. Meath, 28 Dec. 1721."
  47. ^ a b Lodge 1789b, p. 176, line 11: "... departed this life 16 September 1723, in the 84 year of his age ..."
  48. ^ Brewer 1826, p. 204: "His Lordship died in September, 16th, 1723 in the 84th year of his age, and is buried in the church of Stackallan ..."
  49. ^ Debrett 1828, p. 765 line 35: "The viscount d. 16 Sept. 1723 and was succeeded by his grandson Gustavus, 2nd Viscount ..."
  50. ^ Fryde et al. 1986, p. 44, line 17: "Charles I. ... exec. 30 Jan. 1649 ..."
  51. ^ Fryde et al. 1986, p. 44, line 39: "Charles II. ... acc. 29 May 1660 ..."
  52. ^ Fryde et al. 1986, p. 44, line 46: "James II. ... acc. 6 Feb. 1685 ..."
  53. ^ Fryde et al. 1986, p. 45, line 31: "Anne ... acc. 8 Mar. 1702 ..."
  54. ^ Fryde et al. 1986, p. 45, line 38: "George I ... acc. 1 Aug. 1714;"


Parliament of Ireland
Preceded by
Member of Parliament for Donegal County
With: Charles Hamilton 1692–1695
Henry Conyngham 1695–1707
Frederick Hamilton 1707–1713
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Strabane
With: Oliver McCausland
Succeeded by
Military offices
Preceded by Colonel of Gustavus Hamilton's Regiment of Foot
Succeeded by
John Newton
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Vice-Admiral of Ulster
Succeeded by
Preceded by Vice-Admiral of Ulster
Succeeded by
Peerage of Ireland
New creation Viscount Boyne
Succeeded by
Baron Hamilton of Stackallan