Hamilton, George Alexander (1802–71), politician, was born 29 August 1802 at Tyrellas, Co. Down, elder son among two sons and one daughter of the Rev. George Hamilton, of Hampton Hall, Co. Dublin, and Anna Hamilton (née Pepper). His grandfather was George Hamilton, baron of the exchequer. Educated at Rugby School and Trinity College, Oxford, he graduated BA in 1821. Becoming involved in politics after leaving university, he stood for a seat in parliament in Dublin city in the 1826 general election, but was narrowly defeated. He contested this constituency a further four times, and was successively defeated in 1830, 1832, and 1835. On this third occasion, though, a petition was presented which led to his taking the seat from Daniel O'Connell (qv) after a year-long inquiry. This petition was aimed at damaging O'Connell and putting him to expense, and was part of the conservative protestant opposition to him. Declared elected on 26 May 1836, Hamilton lost again in the election the following year, defeated by O'Connell. During this campaign a large sum of money, known as the Spottiswoode subscription, was raised by English protestants to defray his expenses.
A fervent supporter of the protestant interest in Ireland, and a steady opponent of O'Connell, he was honorary secretary of the Lay Association for the Protection of Church Property, formed in 1834. In 1843 he returned to parliament as MP for the university of Dublin (1843–59). At Westminster he was uncompromising in his defence of Irish ascendancy interests and helped form the Conservative Society of Ireland. He opposed both the reform bill and educational reforms in Ireland. Appointed to the first administration of Edward Stanley (qv), earl of Derby, in 1852, he was briefly financial secretary to the treasury (March–December), and was permanent secretary to the treasury (March 1858–January 1859) in Derby's second Conservative government.
Sworn a PC 7 August 1869, he was appointed one of the three commissioners of church temporalities in 1870. He had opposed the previous year's disestablishment of the church of Ireland; his effectiveness on the commission was hampered by his failing health. He was also a JP and DL for Co. Dublin. He died 17 September 1871 at Kingstown, Co. Dublin. He married (1 May 1835) Amelia Fancourt Uhthoff, daughter of Joshua Andrew Uhthoff, of Bath; they had no children.