Sir Archibald Macdonald, 1st Baronet

For other people with the same name, see Archibald Macdonald (disambiguation).
Macdonald's wife Louisa, Lady MacDonald, by Angelica Kauffman, 1767

Sir Archibald Macdonald, 1st Baronet (13 July 1747 – 18 May 1826) was a British lawyer and politician.


Archibald Macdonald was the posthumous son of Sir Alexander Macdonald, 7th Baronet, and younger brother of the 8th baronet (see Baron Macdonald), but was brought to England in the aftermath of Culloden to complete his education at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford. He was called to the bar at Lincolns Inn in 1770. In 1777, he married Lady Louisa Leveson-Gower daughter of the Earl Gower, then Lord President of the Council.


He was Member of Parliament for Hindon in Wiltshire (1777–1780) and then for Newcastle-under-Lyme (1780–1792), a seat where his father-in-law had a strong influence. In politics, he followed the political lead of his father-in-law.


He was appointed as second judge of the Carmarthen circuit in Wales in 1780. He was knighted on 27 June 1788. He was promoted to Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer from 1790, the least important of the Westminster law courts. He served in this post until he retired in 1813, due to failing eyesight. He also served as the prosecutor in Thomas Paine's sedition trial over the publication of Rights of Man in 1792.


On his retirement from the court he was created a baronet on 27 November 1813.


Parliament of England
Preceded by
Richard Smith
Henry Dawkins
Member of Parliament for Hindon
With: Henry Dawkins
Succeeded by
Lloyd Kenyon
Nathaniel William Wraxall
Preceded by
Viscount Chewton
Viscount Trentham
Member of Parliament for Newcastle-under-Lyme
With: Viscount Trentham 1779–1784
Richard Vernon 1784–1790
John Leveson-Gower 1790–1792
William Egerton 1792–1793
Succeeded by
Sir Francis Ford
William Egerton
Legal offices
Preceded by
Sir James Eyre
Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer
Succeeded by
Sir Vicary Gibbs
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baronet
(of East Sheen)
Succeeded by
James Macdonald
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