Gustavus, the youngest son of Sir Frederick Hamilton, was born in Manorhamilton Castle in May 1643. At the age of eighteen he entered Trinity College Dublin, but left there without graduating and joined the army in Ireland. While stationed in Oxford in the late 1670s he was conferred with an honorary doctor of laws degree from that university. Gustavus was appointed by James II to the Privy Council, but he resigned his position because of James’ Catholicising policies. When William of Orange was received as king of England in November 1688, Gustavus changed his allegiance from James II to William. He was appointed Governor of Coleraine and later colonel of the 20th Foot Regiment. He took part in the Battle of the Boyne (during which his horse was shot under him and he was almost killed), the Siege of Athlone, the Battle of Aughrim and the Siege of Limerick. As a reward for his good service he was promoted first to the rank of brigadier-general and later to that of major-general. Gustavus served as Vice-Admiral of Ulster from 1691 until 1710 and again from 1716 until his death in 1723. He sat in the Irish House of Commons for County Donegal from 1692 to 1713. Subsequently he was returned for Strabane until 1715. He was granted 3,500 acres of confiscated land at Stackallan in Co. Meath where he built an imposing residence. In 1715 he was elevated to the peerage and two years later created Viscount Boyne. He married Elizabeth Brooke of Brookeborough in Co. Fermanagh and they had three sons and a daughter. Gustavus died in 1723 at the age of eighty.