Friday 8 March 2013

(11) Achmuty alias Auchmuty of Brianstown and Kilmore House

Auchmuty of Brianstown
This family traces its descent from Capt. Arthur Auchmuty (1600-98), a descendant of an ancient Scottish family of that name from Fife, who settled at Brianstown (Co. Longford) in the reign of Charles I.  The family name is spelled in a remarkable variety of forms, including Ahmuty, Achmuty, Auchmuty and Aghmooty. Brianstown was rebuilt as a two-storey Georgian house in 1731, by Samuel Achmuty (d. 1766).  The estate passed from father to son until the mid 19th century, when on the death of Thomas Gordon Achmuty without male issue, it passed to his daughter Bridget Domvile Achmuty, who married Capt. Henry Musters (of the Chaworth-Musters of Annesley and Colwick family).  The Musters seem to have sold up in the early 20th century, probably soon after the death of J.G. Musters in 1917.

Dr. Arthur Auchmuty (d. 1749), the brother of the builder of Brianstown, married Mary, the daughter and eventual sole heiress of James Lawder of Kilmore House (Roscommon). Either he or his son, Thomas Auchmuty (d. 1775) inherited Kilmore through this connection, and like Brianstown it descended through the generations, passing to James Auchmuty (d. 1809) and then to his brother, another Dr. Arthur Auchmuty (1769-1845), who as a naval surgeon amputated Lord Nelson's right arm in 1797. Dr. Auchmuty had no sons, and the estate passed to his younger daughter, Judith (d. c.1864), who married Horatio Nelson Lawder (d. 1877) and thus carried the estate back to the family from which it had come more than a century before. Their son, Arthur Auchmuty Lawder (d. 1882), was the last member of the family to own the estate, which was sold after his death, apparently to John Jones (d. 1906) who had been the family's agent at Kilmore and resident in the house after Horatio Nelson Lawder built a more modern residence at Aghamore (Leitrim).

Brianstown (Longford)

Brianstown House today, following early 20th century rebuilding. © National Inventory of Architectural Heritage
The original house on the site (possibly built c.1640 or c.1654) was rebuilt in 1731 as a two-storey five bay house on a basement for Samuel Achmuty, whose arms and motto are in the tympanum above the door.  It was gutted by fire in 1922 and rebuilt in the 1930s as a single storey above the basement, with a narrow entrance set between two small windows and held together by a border of raised quoins.  Similar quoins frame the windows of the outer bays, and the top storey had them too.  A high hipped roof was pierced by two dormer windows.  The house looked very much like Barretstown (Kilkenny), and was on the cusp between the Dutch-inspired Beaulieu tradition and the 18th century Palladian classicism  that was reaching Ireland in the 1730s.

Descent: Arthur Auchmuty (1600-98); to grandson, Thomas Achmuty (d. 1712); to son, Samuel Achmuty (d. 1766); to son, Thomas Achmuty (d. 1772?); to son, Samuel Achmuty, lieutenant-colonel of the Longford militia (d. 1829); to son Thomas Gordon Achmuty (d. after 1850); to daughter, Margaret Domvile Achmuty (d. 1883), first wife of Capt. Henry Musters (1812-96); to son John George Musters (1844-1917)... Andrew McHugh (fl. 2011). 

Kilmore House (alias Aghaward), Kilmore, Roscommon

Kilmore House (Aghaward) marked on the 6" OSI map
The house, known also as Aghaward in the mid 19th century, is said to have been built in about 1630 for the Rt. Rev. Edward King, Bishop of Elphin, but its external appearance suggests it may be rather later in date, and could perhaps have been built for James Lawder, who married Deboragh Doherty of Kilmore shortly before 1709. The house has a regular four-bay two storey front with a narrow round-headed doorway and narrow side-lights; at the northern end there is a short return wing which may represent the survival of an earlier building.  

The house descended in the 18th century to the Auchmutys, through the marriage of the first Dr. Arthur Auchmuty to Mary, the daughter and eventually sole heiress of James Lawder. Another branch of the Lawder family continue to live at another house in Kilmore called Lowfield until the murder of a later James Lawder during a burglary there in 1779. This has sometimes caused confusion as to when the Auchmutys acquired the property.  The estate was sold c.1884, after the death of Arthur Auchmuty Lawder, and the house has since been modernised and is used as a farmhouse.

Descent: James Lawder (fl. 1709); to daughter Mary, wife of Dr. Arthur Auchmuty; to son, Thomas Auchmuty (d. 1775); to son, Dr. Arthur Auchmuty (1769-); to daughter, Alicia Jane, wife of Robert Ross Auchmuty RN (d. 1844); to sister, Judith Marcella (fl. 1842), wife of James Lawder; to son, Arthur Auchmuty Lawder (d. by 1884); sold to John Jones (1831-1906); to son, Dr. Bolton Charles Jones (d. 1942), who sold to Thomas Gilfillan (fl. 1921); to son, Thomas Gilfillan (d. 1989); to son, Joe Gilfillan (fl. 2017).

Auchmuty of Brianstown

Achmuty, Capt. Arthur (c.1600-98). Possibly the son of John Achmuty; born c.1600.  Assisted the defence of Castle Forbes against the Irish rebels, 1641.  He married Martha (parentage unknown) and had issue:
(1) Arthur Achmuty (d. 1696) (q.v.)
(2) Capt. John Achmuty MP (?1649-1722) of Newtown Flood (Longford); married Isabella, daughter of Rev. James Stirling, rector of Temple Michael, and had issue five sons and two daughters;
(3) Catherine Achmuty; married William Lawder esq. (d. 1715) of Bunnybeg (Leitrim).
He settled at Brianstown in the reign of King Charles I.
He died in 1698 at an advanced age.

Achmuty, Arthur (d. 1696).  Elder son of Capt. Arthur Achmuty (c.1600-98) and his wife Martha.  He married Elizabeth, daughter of David Rhynd of Enniskillen, merchant, and had issue:
(1) Thomas Achmuty (1679-1712) (q.v.);
(2) Margaret Achmuty; married Anthony Jessop esq. of Doory Hall, Ballymahon (Longford);
(3) Martha Achmuty; married Capt. Deane;
(4) Isabella Achmuty; married Morgan Galbraith esq.;
(5) Jane Achmuty; married Francis Fetherston esq.;
(6) Elizabeth Achmuty; married  Lt. Carruthers.
He died in the lifetime of his father in 1696.

Achmuty, Thomas (1679-1712).  Son of Arthur Achmuty (d. 1696) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of David Rhynd of Enniskillen, merchant, born 1679.  He married Dorcas, daughter of Samuel Towneley of Moygne Hall (Cavan) by his wife Dorcas, daughter and co-heir of Roger Moygne, and had issue:
(1) Samuel Achmuty (d. 1766) (q.v.);
(2) John Achmuty; died at sea;
(3) Thomas Achmuty (d. 1758); married 9 February 1732, Ann King and had issue two daughters (one of whom married John Daniel (1734-90) and was ancestor of the Tyssen-Amherst family, Barons Amherst of Hackney); died 7 February 1758;
(4) Towneley Achmuty of Dublin (d. 1758); married 1st, Margaret French, and had issue three sons and one daughter; married 2nd, Letitia Wetherall, and had further issue two sons and one daughter;
(5) Arthur Achmuty MD (d. 1749) of Shervogne [for whom see below, under Auchmuty of Kilmore House].
He inherited Brianstown from his grandfather in 1698.
He died in 1712.

Achmuty, Samuel (1700-66).  Eldest son of Thomas Achmuty (d. 1712) and his wife Dorcas, daughter of Samuel Towneley of Moygne Hall (Cavan); born 1700.  He married 1st, Mary (d. 1761), eldest daughter of John King of Charlestown (Roscommon), grandson of Rt. Rev. Edward King, \Bishop of Elphin, and 2nd, 15 October 1763, Sarah Handcock (d. 1787), and had issue:
(1.1) Thomas Achmuty (d. 1762) (q.v.);
(1.2) Elizabeth Achmuty; married, as his first wife, Sir Ralph Fetherston, 1st bt. (d. 1780) but had no issue;
(1.3) Frances Achmuty; married 1st, 1761, Robert Hanley and 2nd, Capt. Francis Piers;
(1.4) Dorcas Achmuty; married 1766, John Bomford/Bombard esq. of Dublin;
(1.5) Col. Arthur Achmuty (1729-93); governor of Dynapore; married 1766 at Calcutta, Ursula de Cruz and had issue six sons and three daughters;
(1.6) Judith Achmuty (d. 1829), married her cousin, Thomas Achmuty (d. 1757) [for whom see below, under Auchmuty of Kilmore House];
(1.7) Rev. Samuel Achmuty (1740-1800); vicar of Ballymahon; married 1st, his cousin, Susannah Maria (1742-90), daughter of Francis Savage, and had issue two sons and four daughters; married 2nd, Sarah King (d. 1799); died 9 May 1800.
He inherited Brianstown from his father in 1712 and rebuilt the house.
He died 18 January 1766 in Jervis St., Dublin. His wife died 2 September 1761.

Achmuty, Thomas (d. 1762). Eldest son of Samuel Achmuty (d. 1766) and his first wife Mary, daughter of John King of Charlestown (Roscommon).  Captain, 27th Regiment of Foot.  He married Isabella (d. 1777), daughter and heir of Col. Archibald Gordon (who was a scion of the Earls of Huntly and was killed at the taking of Havanna in 1762) and had issue:
(1) Samuel Achmuty (1755-1829) (q.v.).
He died in the lifetime of his father in August 1762. His widow died in 1777.

Achmuty, Samuel (1755-1829). Son of Thomas Achmuty (d. 1762) and his wife Isabella, daughter of Col. Archibald Gordon, born 1755. An officer in the 2nd Regiment of Horse (Cornet, 1773) and later Lt-Col. of the Longford militia; JP; High Sheriff of Co. Longford, 1789.  He married February 1777, Elizabeth Domvile Savage (b. 1758), only daughter of Francis Savage esq. of Ballygawly, Co. Sligo by his second wife Bridget, daughter of Rear-Adm. Christopher Pocklington, and had issue:
(1) Thomas Gordon Achmuty (1778-c.1851) (q.v.);
(2) Gen. Sir Samuel Benjamin Achmuty* (1780-1868), born 28 April 1780; an officer in the army (Ensign, 1797; Lt. by 1800; Capt., 1805; Maj., 1813; Br. Lt-Col. 1814; Col., 1831; Maj-Gen. 1841; Lt-Gen. 1848; Gen. 1860); appointed KCB, 1857 and GCB, 1861; married, 1817, Mary Buchanan (d. 1869); died at Pau (France), 30 April 1868;
(3) Francis Achmuty (d. 1788);
(4) Archibald Gordon Achmuty (b. & d. 1785);
(4) Lt. Charles Achmuty (c.1788-1810), an officer in the army (Cornet, 1808); died at Coimbra (Portugal);
(5) Anna Maria Auchmuty;
(6) Isabella Gordon Achmuty;
(7) Elizabeth Domvile Achmuty.
He inherited Brianstown from his grandfather in 1766 and came of age in 1776.
He died 16 February 1829.
* Care is needed to distinguish this officer from his distant kinsman, Lt-Gen. Sir Samuel Auchmuty (1756-1822).

Auchmuty, Thomas Gordon (1778-c.1851).  Eldest son of Lt-Col. Samuel Achmuty (1755-1829) and his wife Elizabeth Domvile, daughter of Francis Savage esq. of Ballygawly (Sligo), born 1778. An officer in the army (Lt., 1799; retired after 1811) and later Captain of the Killashee Infantry Yeomanry; JP and DL for Co. Longford; High Sheriff of Co. Longford 1824. He married, 2 Sept. 1811 in Worcester, Bridget Domvile Pocklington (d. 1873), seventh daughter of Charles Pocklington esq (who assumed the name of Domvile under the will of the Rt. Hon Sir Compton Domvile, bt) and sister of Sir Compton Domvile of Santry Court (Co. Dublin), and had issue:
(1) Margaret Domvile Auchmuty (c.1813-83) (q.v.).
He inherited Brianstown from his father in 1829.
He died in about 1851*. His widow died at Brianstown, 2 August 1873.
* Some sources state that he died in about 1844, and the will of a Thomas Gordon Auchmuty was proved in that year: however, his address was in County Derry, and newspaper references to an assault on Thomas Auchmuty at Brianstown in 1851 make it more likely that he survived to the 1850s. He was dead by 1857, when Col. Henry Musters was 'of Brianstown'.

Auchmuty, Margaret Domvile (1812-83). Only child of Thomas Gordon Achmuty (1778-c.1851) and his wife Bridget Domvile, seventh daughter of Charles Pocklington (later Domvile), born 5 July and baptised at Matlock (Derbys), 7 July 1812. She married, 28 May 1839 at Newtownforbes, Col. Henry Musters (1813-96), third son of John Musters of Colwick Hall (Notts) and had issue:
(1.1) Auchmuty Henry Musters (1843-83); secretary to the Grand Jury for Co. Longford; died 20 September 1883; administration of goods granted 15 February 1884 and 11 May 1901 (effects £137);
(1.2) John George Musters (1844-1917) (q.v.);
(1.3) Charles Ralph Auchmuty Musters (1846-71); an officer in the Royal Marines (2nd Lt. 1865; Lt. 1867); died in a climbing accident in Norway, 28 September 1871; adminstration of goods granted 11 May 1901 (effects £5);
(1.4) Caroline Alicia Victoria Musters (1849-98), born 28 June and baptised 29 July 1849; married 1st, 20 June 1874 and 68 St Stephen's Green, Dublin (by special licence), as his second wife, Capt. the Hon. Thomas Oliver Westenra Plunkett (1838-89), son of  Thomas Oliver Plunkett, 12th Baron Louth, but had no issue; married 2nd, 4 July 1892, her cousin Annesley Horace Packe (1866-1950), civil servant, son of Capt. Horatio Packe RN; died 30 July 1898; will proved 1 October 1898 (estate £10,406).
She and her husband succeeded to the Brianstown estate in Co. Longford on the death of her father c.1855.
She died at Brianstown, 14 January 1883. Her widower married 2nd, 2 August 1883, Maria Eliza (d 1892), daughter of John Atkinson of Dublin and widow of Patrick Plunket (d. 1859)  and died in Jersey, 11 May 1896.

Musters, John George (1844-1917) of Brianstown (Longford).  Second son of Col. Henry Musters (1813-96) and his first wife, Margaret Domville (d. 1856), daughter and heir of Thomas Gordon Auchmuty of Brianstown; born 26 October 1844. An officer in the Royal Navy (Cdr. by 1888; Capt. by 1910). He married 1st, 29 November 1888 at St Mary, Donnybrook (Co. Dublin), Edith Elizabeth (c.1864-1910), daughter of Frederick Manders, and 2nd, 5 June 1912 at Horbury (Yorks), Mary Elizabeth, daughter of John Kennedy, bank manager, and had issue:
(1.1) John Domvile Auchmuty Musters (1892-1979) (q.v.). 
He inherited Brianstown from his father in 1896.
He died 16 November 1917 at Brianstown. His first wife died 25 November 1910. His widow died 16 December 1954; her will was proved in Dublin, 1 March 1955 and in London, 5 April 1955 (estate in Ireland, £2,961 and in England, £346).

Musters, John Domvile Auchmuty (1892-1979). Only son of John George Musters (1844-1917) and his first wife, Edith Elizabeth, daughter of Frederick Manders, born 10 December 1892. A submarine commander in the Royal Navy (entered service, 1905; midshipman,, 1910; Sub-Lt., 1913; Lt., 1915; Lt-Cdr., 1923; Cdr., 1929; retired as Capt., 1944) who was awarded the DSC in the First World War. He married 1st, 27 February 1915 at St Michael & All Angels, Portsmouth (Hants) (div.), Olga Gertrude Helena (1894-1987), daughter of Cdr. Benjamin Barnes RN; 2nd, Oct-Dec 1936 (div.), Julia Enid (1901-77), daughter of Gerard Walter Matthew, and 3rd, Apr-Jun 1946, Lucy Theodosia Gascoigne (1901-80), daughter of Edmund Henry Fowle and widow of Giles Robert Pretor-Pinney (1897-1942), and had issue:
(1.1) John Vivian Auchmuty Musters (1917-2013), born 7 May 1917; an officer in the Royal Navy (Cdr.), who served in the Second World War; married, 11 September 1943, Ann Rosemary, daughter of Capt Leonard Garbett, CBE, RN, of Stretton Grandison (Herefs), by and had issue, two sons and two daughters; died aged 95 in Nelson (New Zealand), 10 February 2013;
(1.2) Patrick Thorvald Auchmuty Musters (1923-2003), born 4 March 1923; educated at Imperial Service College, Windsor; an officer in the Royal Artillery and Royal Marines (Maj.); awarded DFC; married, 24 March, 1948, Nancy Stella (1924-2015), daughter of Allan Havelock-Allan (1874-1949), and had issue one son and three daughters; died at Market Overton (Rutland), 3 April 2003;
(1.3) Rodney Michael Auchmuty Musters (1924-2005), born 20 September 1924; educated at Imperial Service College, Windsor; an officer in the Royal Marines; died 21 September 2005 and was buried at Haycombe Cemetery, Bath, 12 April 2006;
He inherited Brianstown from his father in 1917 but sold it soon afterwards; it burnt down in 1926.
He died at Gloragh House, Ashford (Co. Wicklow), 25 January 1979, and was buried at Nun's Cross (Co. Wicklow); his will was proved in London, 13 November 1979 (estate in England & Wales, £3,817). His first wife died 16 December 1987; her will was proved 12 July 1988 (estate under £70,000). His second wife died at Egloskerry (Cornw.), 12 June 1977; her will was proved 8 September 1977 (estate £94,218). His widow died 2 August 1980; her will was proved 17 June 1981 (estate in England & Wales £15,242).

Auchmuty of Kilmore House

Auchmuty, Dr. Arthur (d. 1749). Youngest son of Thomas Achmuty (1679-1712) of Brianstown [for whom, see above] and his wife Dorcas, daughter of Samuel Towneley of Moygne Hall (Cavan). Doctor of Medicine. He married Mary, daughter and eventually sole heir of James Lawder of Kilmore (Roscommon), and had issue:
(1) Thomas Auchmuty (d. 1775) (q.v.);
(2) Deborah Auchmuty;
(3) Elizabeth Auchmuty.
He lived at Shervoge (Longford). Either he or his son inherited Kilmore House from his wife's family.
His will was proved in 1749. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Auchmuty, Thomas (d. 1775). Only son of Dr. Arthur Auchmuty (fl. 1712) and his wife Mary, daughter of James Lawder of Kilmore (Roscommon). He married, 17 November 1757, his cousin Judith (d. 1829), daughter of Samuel Achmuty of Brianstown, and had issue:
(1) James Auchmuty (d. 1809); married Marcella (who m2, November 1811, Richard Chaplin of Woodburn, Carrickfergus (Down)), daughter of James Lawder Kelly esq. of Churchborough (Roscommon) but had no issue; died 6 February 1809; will proved in the Prerogative Court of Ireland, 1810;
(2) Sidney Eliza Auchmuty; married, 1797, John Kirkwood and had issue;
(3) Letitia Forbes Auchmuty; married, 1794, Mark Anthony Tisdall of Dublin, barrister-at-law;
(4) Dr. Arthur Auchmuty (1769-1845) (q.v.).
Either he or his father inherited Kilmore House from his mother's family, but he lived chiefly in Dublin. After his death, the estate passed to his two sons in turn.
He died 5 June 1775. His widow died in 1829.

Auchmuty, Dr. Arthur (1769-1845). Younger son of Thomas Auchmuty (d. 1775) and his wife Judith, daughter of Samuel Achmuty of Brianstown, born 29 September 1769. There is some suggestion that he was trained as a surgeon at Edinburgh, but his name does not appear on the official list of medical graduates of that university. He was a surgeon in the Royal Navy for fifteen years from 1796 and in 1797 he amputated Lord Nelson's arm after he had been wounded; a sword given to him by the Admiral to commemorate this event was treasured in the family for several generations; the saw with which the deed was performed is now in the National Maritime Museum. JP for Roscommon and Leitrim. He married 1st, 26 June 1801, Emily, daughter of James Lawder Kelly esq. of Churchborough (Roscommon), and 2nd, 6 February 1812 at St Anne, Dublin, Harriet Bourne (c.1767-1871), and had issue:
(1.1) Alicia Jane Auchmuty (c.1807-73); married, 27 August 1822, Lt. Robert Ross Auchmuty RN (1789-1844) and had issue three sons and three daughters; died 10 January 1873; will proved 12 September 1873 (effects under £100)
(2.1) Judith Marcella Auchmuty (d. c.1864) (q.v.).
He inherited Kilmore House from his elder brother c.1806. 
He died at Kilmore House, 30 January 1845. His first wife died between 1809 and 1812. His widow died at Aghamore, reputedly aged 104, on 27 December 1871.

Auchmuty, Judith Marcella (d. c.1864). Daughter of Dr. Arthur Auchmuty (1769-1845) and his second wife, Harriet Bourne. She married, 21 September 1842 at Kilmore, Horatio Nelson Lawder JP DL, and had issue:
(1) Arthur Auchmuty Lawder (d. 1882) (q.v.);
(2) Christopher Richard Lawder (d. 1891); died 9 January 1891; administration granted to his sister, 27 July 1891 (effects £438);
(3) Harriet Alice Lawder (fl. 1891); married, March 1866, Thomas Whelan, sub-inspector of constabulary.
Her husband inherited Kilmore House in her right on the death of her father in 1845. He may have abandoned the house for a new one at Aghamore (Leitrim), on which it was said in 1884 that he had spent £2,500.
She died in about 1864. Her husband married 2nd, 9 May 1866, Barbara Mary, daughter of John Whelan of Rath (Wicklow) and 3rd, Katherine Louisa (d. 1900), fourth daughter of Dr. David Brereton MD of Dublin (who m2, Thomas Ievers of Dingle (Kerry)) and died 1 August 1877; administration of his goods was granted 24 August 1877 and again 12 June 1882.

Lawder, Arthur Auchmuty (d. 1882). Elder son of Horatio Nelson Lawder of Kilmore House and his wife Judith Marcella, younger daughter of Dr. Arthur Auchmuty (1769-1845) of Kilmore House, born after 1842. An officer in the Leitrim Rifle Regiment of Militia (Lt., 1865). He married, 10 May 1877 at St Stephen, Dublin, Martha Maria (b. 1858), youngest daughter of John Whelan of Rath (Wicklow), and had issue:
(1) Esther Lawder (b. 1878), born 27 June 1878.
He inherited Aghamore and Kilmore House from his parents; both were apparently sold in 1884 after his death.
He died at Maryborough (Co. Leix), 9 April 1882.


Burke's Landed Gentry, 1850, p.2; M. Bence-Jones, A guide to Irish country houses, 2nd edn, 1988, p. 47; Casey & Rowan, The buildings of Ireland: North Leinster, 1993, p. 437; _The_Achmuty_Family_;;

Location of archives

Achmuty of Brianstown: miscellaneous deeds and family papers, 1696-1920 (Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, 1040/100-102).

Coat of arms

Auchmuty of Brianstown and Kilmore House: Argent, a broken spear bendwise between two spur rowels of six points, azure, pierced of the field.

Can you help?

Here are a few notes about information and images which would help to improve the account above. If you can help with any of these or with other additions or corrections, please use the contact form in the sidebar to get in touch.
  • Can anyone supply a photograph of Kilmore House in Co. Roscommon? This needs to be carefully distinguished from many other houses of the same name.
  • Can anyone provide additional information about the genealogy of this family?

Revision and acknowledgements

This account was first published 8 March 2013, revised 11th May 2014, extended to cover the Auchmutys of Kilmore House, 21 February 2017, and updated 20 August 2020 and 14-15 July 2021. I am grateful to Annette Miller for additional information and to Dart Montgomery for a correction.


  1. There are some papers of the Auchmuty family in the Wiltshire and Swindon Archives. I have a digital copy of a lease to various tenants, includng my ancestor William Moffatt, from Arthur Auchmuty that is dated in 1696. That is the earliest document in the bundle, but there are later ones.

    1. Thank you for this reference, which I have now included in the blog post.

  2. There are still Auchmutys in Roscommon, some families live near Lecarrow in Carrownure House and another family live near Roscommon Town in Ballygalda House


Please leave a comment if you have any additional information or corrections to offer, or if you are able to help with additional images of the people or buildings in this post.