Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Lambton, John (1710-1794)

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LAMBTON, JOHN (1710–1794), general, born 26 July 1710, was fourth son of Ralph Lambton and his wife, Dorothy, daughter of John Hedworth of Harraton, Durham. William Lambton (d. 1724) was his uncle. His elder brothers were Henry Lambton, M.P. for Durham (d. 1761), and Major-general Hedworth Lambton (d. 1758), who was an officer in the Coldstream guards from 1723 to 1753, and in 1755 raised the 52nd, originally 54th, foot at Coventry (cf. Moorsom, Hist. 52nd Light Infantry). John was appointed ensign in the Coldstream guards 12 Oct. 1732, became lieutenant in 1739, was regimental quartermaster from February 1742 to January 1746, and became captain and lieutenant-colonel 21 Jan. 1746. On 28 April 1758 he was appointed colonel of the 68th foot (now 1st Durham light infantry), then made a separate regiment. It had been raised two years previously as a second battalion 23rd royal Welsh fusiliers, but had been chiefly recruited in Durham, a local connection since maintained. Lambton commanded the regiment at the attack on St. Malo. When county titles were bestowed on line regiments in 1782, it was styled the 'Durham' regiment. Lambton, who became a full general, retained the colonelcy until his death. He succeeded to the Lambton estates after the death of his elder brothers. In December 1761 he contested Durham city on the death of the sitting member, his brother Henry, and was duly elected. He represented the city in five succeeding parliaments, until his acceptance of the Chiltern hundreds in February 1787, and ‘was deservedly popular with the citizens for the gallant stand he made for their dearest rights and privileges’ (Richardson). He died 22 April 1794.

Lambton married, 5 Sept. 1763, Lady Susan Lyon, daughter of Thomas, earl of Strathmore, by whom he had two sons and two daughters. His elder son, William Henry Lambton, M.P. for Durham city, was father of John George Lambton, first earl of Durham [q. v.]

[Debrett's Peerage, ed. 1831, under ‘Durham;’ Mackinnon's Origin and Hist. Coldstream Guards, London, 1832, 2 vols.; Official List of Members of Parliament; Parl. Hist. under dates; Richardson's Local Table Book, historical portion, ii. 365; Gent. Mag. 1794, pt. i. p. 385.]

H. M. C.