|Acheson, Earls of Gosford|
coat of arms
Sir Archibald Acheson, 6th baronet (1718-90), who was an MP in the Irish Parliament for thirty-five years, was created 1st Baron Gosford in 1776 and 1st Viscount Gosford in 1785. In the 1780s he remodelled and modernised Gosford House, but it was burned down in about 1805, shortly before the death of the 2nd Viscount, who had been created 1st Earl of Gosford in 1806. The 2nd Earl (1776-1849), who married the only daughter and heiress of Robert Sparrow of Worlingham Hall (Suffolk), began the rebuilding of Gosford to the designs of Thomas Hopper as a vast neo-Norman castle in 1819-21: a project which was only completed by his son in 1862. The 2nd Earl also expanded his Co. Armagh estate to about 12,000 acres by purchasing most of the property of the Richardson family of Richhill (his mother’s family) and all the surviving property of the Graham family, formerly of Ballyheriden (the latter rounding off the existing Gosford estate in the manor of Drumorgan, round Hamiltons Bawn). In 1835, the 2nd Earl was created Baron Worlingham of Beccles in the UK peerage, giving him a seat in the House of Lords, and sent to North America as Governor of Lower Canada, 1835-38. He became separated from his wife, who returned to live at Worlingham Hall until her death in 1841, after which it was sold.
Clonkearney Manor (Armagh)
Descent: Sir Archibald Acheson, 1st bt. (d. 1634); to son, Sir Patrick Acheson, 2nd bt. (1611-38); to half-brother, Sir George Acheson, 3rd bt. (1629-85).
Gosford House, later Gosford Castle (Armagh)
|Gosford Castle: view from the open courtyard|
The rather grim though undeniably impressive exterior, all executed in crisp ashlar, is essentially Picturesque in its composition of square and circular masses, but lacks the harmonious qualities evident in Hopper's other and later great neo-Norman castle at Penrhyn in north Wales.
|Gosford Castle, showing the entrance block (with round towers) added by Burn in 1859-62|
Descent: Sir George Acheson, 3rd bt. (1629-85); to son, Sir Nicholas Acheson, 4th bt. (c1656-1701); to son, Sir Arthur Acheson, 5th bt. (1688-1749); to son, Sir Archibald Acheson, 1st Viscount Gosford (1718-90); to son, Sir Arthur Acheson, 1st Earl of Gosford (c1742-1807); to son, Sir Archibald Acheson, 2nd Earl of Gosford (1776-1849); to son, Sir Archibald Acheson, 3rd Earl of Gosford (1806-64); to son, Sir Archibald Acheson, 4th Earl of Gosford (1841-1922); to son, Sir Archibald Acheson, 5th Earl of Gosford (1877-1954); to son, Sir Archibald Acheson, 6th Earl of Gosford (1911-66), who sold 1958.
Worlingham Hall (Suffolk)
|Worlingham Hall as engraved in 1818.|
The Achesons of Gosford
Acheson, Sir Nicholas (c.1656-1701), 4th bt. Only son of Sir George Acheson (1629-85), 3rd bt. and his first wife, Nichola, dau of Sir Robert Hannay, bt. High Sheriff of Armagh, 1695; MP for Co. Armagh 1695-99. He married 1686, Anne (d. c.1743), only dau of Thomas Taylor of Kells (Meath), and had issue:
Third but oldest surviving son of Sir Arthur Acheson (1688-1749), 5th bt. and his wife Anne (d. 1737), dau of Philip Savage; born 1 September 1718 and baptised 29 September 1718. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin; MP in Irish parliament for Dublin University 1741-60, County Armagh 1761-76; Enniskillen, 1776. High Sheriff of Armagh 1751 and Cavan, 1761; Deputy Governor of Co. Armagh, 1756-61; appointed to the Privy Council of Ireland 1770. Succeeded his father in the baronetcy 8 February 1748/9, and was created 1st Baron Gosford of Market Hill, 20 July 1776 and 1st Viscount Gosford of Market Hill, 20 June 1785. He married 1740 Mary (d. May 1792), yst dau of John Richardson of Rich Hill (Armagh) and had with other issue who died unmarried:
(1) Sir Arthur Acheson (c.1742-1807), 2nd Viscount and later 1st Earl of Gosford
Acheson, Sir Archibald (1806-64), 3rd Earl of Gosford. Son of Sir Archibald Acheson (1776-1849), 2nd Earl of Gosford, and his wife Mary (d. 1841), dau of Robert Sparrow of Worlingham Hall (Suffolk); born in Portland Place, Marylebone, 20 August 1806. Educated at Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1825; BA 1828) and built up a remarkable library at Gosford which was sold after his death. Liberal MP for Co. Armagh, 1830-47; Lord Lieutenant of Co. Armagh, February-June 1864; Honorary Col., Armagh Militia. He was created Baron Acheson of Clancairney (Armagh), 18 September 1847, and succeeded his father as 3rd Earl of Gosford, 27 March 1849; KP 22 February 1855. He married, 22 June 1832, Lady Theodosia Brabazon (1808-76), only dau of John Chambré Brabazon (1772-1851), 10th Earl of Meath and had, with other issue:
Acheson, Group Capt. Sir Archibald Alexander John Stanley (1911-66), 6th Earl of Gosford. Son of Sir Archibald Charles Montagu Brabazon Sparrow Acheson (1877-1954), 5th Earl of Gosford and his first wife Mildred (d. 1965), dau of John Ridgely Carter; born 14 January 1911. Educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge (BA, LLB 1932, MA 1946). Assistant Air Attaché, Paris, 1938-40; served in Royal Air Force in World War II (Group Capt.), commanding 613 Squadron and 32 Wing; Parliamentary Secretary, MoD, 1946-57; Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs 1957-58; Lord in Waiting (Gov. Whip), 1958-59; Member of Council, British Olympic Association 1954; Vice-President RAF Association; Chairman, British Road Federation; elected FRSA, and appointed Officer of Legion of Honour (USA). He married 1st, 14 December 1935 (div. 1960), Francesca Augusta Maria, elder dau of Francesco Cagiati of Rome and 2nd, 21 September 1960, Cynthia Margaret (1911-2015), dau of Capt. Henry Cave West MC RHA and widow of Maj. James Pringle Delius (d. 1944) and had issue:
Location of archives
This page was first published 7 March 2013 and was revised 2 April and 30 August 2015 and 4 December 2016.