Hamilton, William (d. 1729), clergyman and author, was the second son of James Hamilton (1638–c.1689), archdeacon of Raphoe and chaplain to the earl of Arran (qv). James was at the siege of Derry, and took a prominent part in negotiations in the spring of 1689 between Derry leaders and Jacobite commanders.
William, who had at least two brothers and two sisters, attended TCD, graduating BA 1691, MA 1696 and LLB 1700. He was appointed archdeacon of Armagh in 1700. Several of his sermons have been printed, including one preached before the house of commons in 1725; but his best known publication was his biography of James Bonnell (qv), the exemplar of lay anglican piety, published in 1703 and often reprinted. He married in 1701 Catherine Leslie (1682–1740), daughter of Henry Leslie (qv), archdeacon of Down; they lived at Caledon, Co. Tyrone, and had at least ten children.
William's elder brother Andrew Hamilton (1669–1753) was archdeacon of Raphoe from 1690 (or perhaps 1698) until his death. His wife was Anne, daughter of Henry Conynghame, who ran away from boarding school at the age of 12 to marry him, before 1703. Among their children was Henry (1710–82) of Castle Conynghame, who was MP for Londonderry borough, 1747–60 and 1761–8, and Killybegs, 1768–82, and was made a baronet in 1775.
They were probably first cousins to Andrew Hamilton (d. 1690/1?), a prominent figure in the defence of Enniskillen. He was rector and prebendary of Kilskerry, and probably son of a previous incumbent and namesake, who in turn was probably brother to their father James. The owner of a considerable estate he was among the protestants of Enniskillen who associated for their own defence against Jacobite forces in December 1688. He raised a troop of horse and a company of foot, and suffered much damage to his own property at the hands of Jacobites. In August 1689 he was sent by the governor and officers of Enniskillen as agent to William III (qv) and Mary, and wrote a well known memoir of his experiences, A true relation of the actions of the Inniskilling men . . . (1690).