AYLMER, Matthew (c.1658-1720), of Westcliffe, nr. Dover, Kent.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



15 Dec. 1697 - 1713
1715 - 18 Aug. 1720

Family and Education

b. c.1658, 2nd s. of Sir Christopher Aylmer, 1st Bt., of Balrath, co. Meath by Margaret, da. of Matthew Plunkett, 5th Baron Louth [I]. m. bef. 1694, Sarah, da. of Edward Ellis of London, 2s. 2da. cr.Lord Aylmer, Baron of Balrath [I], 1 May 1718.

Offices Held

Lt. R.N. 1678, capt. 1679, r.-adm. 1693, v.-adm. 1693, adm. of the fleet 1708, c.-in-c. 1709-11, 1714-18; commr. of the navy 1694-1702; gov. Deal castle 1701; gov. Greenwich and ranger of Greenwich Park 1714; ld. of Admiralty 1717-18; r.-adm. of Great Britain 1717-d. ; master of Greenwich Hospital for life 1718.


After a distinguished naval career Aylmer was brought into Parliament on the Admiralty interest. A strong Whig, he was appointed commander-in-chief of the fleet in 1709, but was superseded soon after the Tories came into power in 1710. Reinstated on George I’s accession, he was made a lord of the Admiralty in 1717 but retired in 1718, being succeeded on the Admiralty board by his son-in-law, Sir John Norris. He died 18 Aug. 1720. According to a contemporary he had

a very good head, indefatigable and designing; is very zealous for the liberties of the people; makes a good figure in the Parliament as well as the fleet; is handsome in his person.1

To which Swift added: ‘A virulent party man, born in Ireland’.2

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Romney R. Sedgwick


  • 1. John Macky, Mems. of the Secret Service, 166.
  • 2. Prose Works (1902 ed.), x. 285.