Lumsden, James (DNB00)

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LUMSDEN, Sir JAMES (1598?–1660?), military commander, was son of Robert Lumsden of Airdrie in Fifeshire, and great-grandson of John Lumsden of Lumsden and Blanerne in Berwickshire. He entered the service of Gustavus Adolphus, and was ‘colonel to a regiment of Scots’ at the siege of Frankfort-on-the-Oder (3 April 1631). His exploits there were described by his fellow-soldier Monro (Monro, His Expeditions and Observations, London, 1637, pt. ii. p. 33), and in the ‘Swedish Intelligencer’ (London, 1632). According to the latter, the king called Sir John Hepburn [q.v.] and Lumsden to him before the assault on the town, and bade them remember their countrymen slain at New Brandenburg. ‘Lumsdell therefore with his regiment of English and Scots and Hebron with his High Dutchers press upon that sally-port, ever the enemy's bullets flying thick as hail. Lumsdell, with his drawn sword in his hand, cries, “Let's enter, my heart,” thrusting himself in among the thickest of them; his men follow as resolutely. … And by this time, the greater gate being broken open, Hebron and Lumsdell, entering with their men, made a most pitiful slaughter, and when any Imperialist cried Quarter, New Brandenburg cries the other, and knocks him down. … Here did Lumsdell take eighteen colours, yea such testimony showed he of his valour that the King after the battle bade him ask what he would and he would give it him.’ He distinguished himself also at Leipzig on 7 Sept. 1631 (Intelligencer, pt. ii. p. 13), and Monro relates that after the battle ‘His Majesty … holding me fast by the hand, calling to the Duke of Saxon[y], declared unto him what service our nation had done to his father and him, and the best last at Leipzig, commending in particular to the Duke Colonel Hepburn and Lumsdell’ (Monro, pt. ii. p. 75). When or where he was knighted is not known, but in 1635 ‘Sir James Lumsden’ was governor of Osnaburg (Sir James Turner, Memoirs, p. 8). In 1639 he accompanied David Leslie, ‘since Lord Newark,’ and Sir J. Turner from Germany to Sweden, to complain of some injustice done to the latter (ib. p. 12). Soon after this he must have returned to Scotland, where he married Christian Rutherford of Hunthill, and bought the lands of Innergellie in Fifeshire. On 5 Jan. 1644 he was ‘joined to the Committee of Estates that goes along with the army,’ which crossed the Tweed a fortnight later; and on 22 Feb., when the army marched from Newcastle to cross the Tyne below Hexham, ‘Sir James Lumsdaile, Major-General,’ was left with six regiments of foot and some troops of horse to watch Newcastle (Rushworth, vi. 614). In 1645 he was appointed governor of Newcastle. In 1649 he was appointed colonel of horse and foot for the shires of Fife and Kinross, and on 3 Sept. 1650 he was made prisoner at the battle of Dunbar. He was granted his liberty in September 1652. The year of his death is not known. On his house of Innergellie is his coat of arms, with ‘S[ir] J[ames] L[umsden] D[ame] C[hristian] R[utherford], 1650.’ Full-length portraits of Sir James and his wife are at Innergellie.

A brother Robert (d. 1651) also served under Gustavus Adolphus and in the civil war. He was governor of Dundee, and was killed when Monck stormed the place, 1 Sept. 1651. He is the ancestor of the present family of Sandys-Lumsdaine of Blanerne and Innergellie.

A second brother, William Lumsden (fl. 1651), who similarly served under Gustavus and in the civil war, is celebrated as ‘a valorous little captain’ by Monro (pt. i. p. 78). After his return in 1643 to Scotland he became major of the Merse regiment (Rushworth, vi. 604), and fought with it at Marston Moor on 2 July 1644. Spalding says: ‘None of our Scots army baid except three regiments, and under the Earl of Lyndsay, another under Schir David Leslie, and the third under Colonel Lumisden, who fought it out stoutlie’ (Troubles in Scotland, ii. 383). He was wounded and taken prisoner at Dunbar on 3 Sept. 1650. Cromwell in his despatch erroneously describes him as ‘mortally’ wounded. In the following December there is a supplication of Colonel William Lumsden ‘for pay of his arrears in respect of his present necessity, he being now prisoner’ (Acts of the Parliament of Scotland, vi. 573). It is not known when he died.

[Authorities cited; Memorials of the Families of Lumsdaine, Lumisden, or Lumsden, by the present writer. The account in Anderson's Scottish Nation is very inaccurate.]

H. W. L.