Sir Archibald Macdonald

Sir Archibald Macdonald was born in 1746 on the Isle of Skye. He was the third son of Sir Alexander Macdonald, the 7th Baronet of Skeat, Isle of Skye, and Lady Margaret Montgomerie. He lived at Kemnal Manor between 1798 and 1806.

Alexander died in the year that Archibald was born, and the baronetcy passed to his eldest son, James. James was an accomplished scholar, and became known as the Marcellus of the North. He was given a public funeral when he died, aged only 24, funded by the Pope, Clement XII. The title passed to Alexander’s second son, Alexander.

McDonald Gilray PrintArchibald became a barrister, and was clearly moving in influential circles. He was appointed as Solicitor General in 1784, and Attorney General in 1788, before being appointed Baron of the Court of Exchequer in 1793. He features here in a Gilray print, Ancient Music, of 1787, middle left, reading the music.

He had married Lady Louisa Leveson-Gower, daughter of the Marquess of Stafford, in 1777, and they had three children:

• Louise, who died apparently unmarried in 1862
• James, born in 1784. He married three times, including the daughter of the 4th Earl of Albemarle, who was also the 4th Baronet of Ashford,
• Caroline Diana, who married the Rt Rev Dr John Randolph, who was chaplain to Queen Victoria, and Prebendary in St Paul’s Cathedral.

Archibald was created 1st Baronet Macdonald of East Sheen on 27th November 1813. He had left Chislehurst by 1806 and moved to Park House Hanwell. If he had stayed in Chislehurst, would he have elected 1st Baronet of Chislehurst?

He died in May 1826. His title was passed onto his son, but became extinct in 1919 on the death of his great grandson.