Sir Archibald Acheson, 1st Baronet

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Sir Archibald Acheson by George Jamesone, 1631

Sir Archibald Acheson of Glencairn, 1st Baronet, (1583 – 9 September 1634) was a Scottish jurist.


Acheson was the son of Captain Patrick Acheson and Martha Drummond.[1]

On 31 March 1620, "Archibald Acheson, a Scotchman", was knighted at Theobalds by King James 1st,[2] and in 1621 he was appointed Master in Chancery of Ireland[citation needed]. Sometime before 25 October 1626 he was appointed a Lord of Session of Scotland as 'Lord Glencairn'.[3] On 21 October 1627 he was appointed by King Charles 1st, Royal Secretary of State of Scotland.[4] On 1 January 1628, he was made a Baronet of Nova Scotia.[5]


In 1610 numerous land grants were made in the county of Armagh, precinct of Fewes. One is of 2000 acres to Sir James Douglas, Knt., of Spott, Haddingtonshire, subsequently sold the next year to Henry Acheson, who afterwards sold it to Sir Archibald Acheson. A further 1000 acres originally granted to Henry was also sold on to Sir Archibald Acheson in 1628.[6] Acheson does not ever appear to have resided in Ireland, however, and his position in the Court of Chancery there appears titular; his judicial duties were all in Scotland, he nevertheless became a "denizen" of Ireland on 12 February 1618, presumably in order to qualify for the lands he was receiving from his brother, Henry Acheson of Dromlech, co.Armagh. Certainly Sir Archibald's second son, George, resided in Ireland.[7]


Acheson wed Agnes Vernor[8] at some point before 1610, fathering an eldest son, Patrick Acheson, 2nd Baronet (c.1611-1638).[9] Sir John Scot (1754) states that this son died after his first year of marriage, to an English heiress, without issue.

After his first wife died, Sir Archibald remarried in 1622, Margaret, daughter of Sir John Hamilton and Johanna Everard, by whom he had a son, George (1629-1685).[10]

By his first wife he had a daughter, Jean, who married Sir Lewis Lauder of Over Gogar & Alderston, Knt., (c1599-c1640), Sheriff-Principal of Edinburgh and son of Sir Alexander Lauder of Haltoun, Knt.[11][12] They had at least three known children. Jean was still living on 3 April 1663 as "relict of Sir Lewes Lauder of Over Gogar".[13]

He may have had another daughter by one of his marriages, Isabella Acheson of Gosford, who married Hector Og Maclean (1583–1623). Sources list her as the daughter of "Sir Archibald Acheson", but because of her age, she may have been the daughter of Captain Patrick Acheson or one of his siblings. If she was the same age as Hector Og Maclean, she would have been born in 1583 and would have had her first child around 1600 at age 17. If she was the daughter of Sir Archibald Acheson she would be born no earlier than 1610 the year Archibald married; this would make her at least 20 years younger than Hector Og Maclean, and would make her the same age as her own children. This is the error in the standard genealogy.[14][15]

His eldest son Patrick succeeded him to the baronetcy but having died without issue several years after his father, whereupon the title passed to his half-brother George Acheson, 3rd Baronet, who relocated to Ireland and in 1657 was High Sheriff of counties Armagh and Tyrone.[16]


  1. ^ William White (Sheffield, England) (1913). "Notes and queries, Volume 128". Sir Archibald Acheson, ancestor of the Earls of Gosford, was the son of Capt. Patrick Acheson ...
  2. ^ Shaw, William A., The Knights of England, vol.2, London, 1906, p.175.
  3. ^ The Great Seal of Scotland (printed editions) no.1007 of that date.
  4. ^ The Great Seal of Scotland, no.1158 confirmation on that date.
  5. ^ John Debrett (1828). Debrett's Peerage of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Sir Archibald Acheson, of Gosford, secretary of state for Scotland, was created a Baronet September 1628, from whom descended ...
  6. ^ Hanna, Charles A., The Scotch-Irish, 2 vols., 1902. p.506, chapter xxxv: "The Ulster Plantation from 1610 to 1630".
  7. ^ Townend, Peter, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 105th edition, London, 1970, p.1139.
  8. ^ Townend, Peter, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 105th edition, London, 1970, p.1139.
  9. ^ The Great Seal of Scotland, no.2185 confirmed at Edinburgh 27 March 1650, describes him as the "son and heir of Lord Archibald Achesone, Royal Secretary to Charles 1st."
  10. ^ Scot, Sir John, of Scotstarvet,1754
  11. ^ Crawford, Donald, editor, Journals of Sir John Lauder, Lord Fountainhall, 1665-1676, Edinburgh, 1900, p.191.
  12. ^ The Great Seal of Scotland, no.1614, confirmed 17 March 1645.
  13. ^ Books of Council & Session, National Archives of Scotland, Deed recorded 3 April 1663.
  14. ^ Genealogical Collections Concerning Families in Scotland. 1900. He married first the 2d daughter of Colin Mackenzie of Kintail, predecessor of the present Earl of Seaforth, by whom he had Eachin Mor his eldest Son, who succeeded him, and Lauchlan, who also succeeded him. He married again a daughter of Atcheson of Gosefoord, by whom he had Donald, of whom Brolos is descended and John Duidh.
  15. ^ John Patterson MacLean (1889). A History of the Clan MacLean from Its First Settlement at Duard Castle, in the Isle of Mull, to the Present Period: Including a Genealogical Account of Some of the Principal Families Together with Their Heraldry, Legends, Superstitions, Etc. R. Clarke & Co. MacLean of Duard, and his brother Lachlan, having delayed to find the required sureties, were committed to ward in Edinburgh castle, whence he was liberated in a very short time, and allowed to live with Acheson of Gosford, his father-in-law, under his own recognizance of £40,000, and his father-in-law's for 5000 merks, that he should remain there until permitted by the council to return to the Isles. ... Hector Og died in the year 1618, in the fortieth year of his age, he was twice married: first, to Janet, daughter of Cailean Cam, 11th MacKenzie of Kintail, by whom he had Hector Mór, his heir and successor, and Lachlan; also one daughter, Florance, who married John Garbh, 7th MacLean of Coll. His second wife was Isabella, daughter of Sir Archibald Acheson of Gosford, by whom he had Donald, first MacLean of Brolass, John Dubh, predecessor of the counts MacLean of Sweden, and a daughter, Isabella, who died unmarried; the marriage of Florance to John Garbh affords an insight into marriage customs as practiced by the MacLeans. She was given a dower which consisted of a hundred and eighty kine, with the stipulation that if she became a widow, her jointure should be three hundred and sixty. Doubtless the number was reckoned according to the wealth of the contracting parties.
  16. ^ Townend, 1970, p.1139.

External links[edit]

Baronetage of Nova Scotia
Preceded by
(new creation)
(of Glencairny)
Succeeded by
Patrick Acheson