Matthew Aylmer was a Rear Admiral and commander in Chief of the British fleet. He was created first Baron Aylmer. Matthew as the second son of Sir Christopher Aylmer of Balrath, Co. Meath and was born about 1650. Matthew and his brother George recruited forces to go and fight the French in Holland. Entering the Navy as a lieutenant in 1678 and was advanceD to captain the following year. In 1680 Matthew Aylmer and a number of other captains were accused of being Catholics and therefore disloyal. For most of the next ten years Matthew served in the Mediterranean. Returning to England in 1688 he supported William and the Revolution and this was the making of his career. In 1690 he took part in the action at Beachy Head and in 1692 the action at Barfleur. In 1693 he was made a Rear Admiral and advanced through the ranks until he was made Commander in Chief in 1698. Aylemer served as a Whig M.P for Portsmouth and Dover. He retired in 1702 as the result of the appointment of Admiral Churchill to the Admirality. When Churchill retired in 1709 Aylmer returned as Commander-in-chief of the fleet. In July 1710 Aylmer captured a French warship and a French merchantman. In 1718 Aylmer was raised to the Irish peerage as Lord Aylmer of Balrath. He had very little interest in Ireland and was only interested in the Whig policies according to Dean Swift. His sister married Michael Warren of Warrenstown and their son was Peter Warren who also became an admiral ion the British Navy. Aylmer died in 1720.
The title Baron of Balrath continues in the family to this day. The fifth baron was colonial governor of Canada while other barons served in the army of the Navy.