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Sir James Lumsden
Oct 28, '20

Sir James Lumsden (1598–1660) was a Scottish soldier who served in the Swedish army of Gustavus Adolphus during the Thirty Years' War, and subsequently commanded Scottish Covenanter armies.

Sir James Lumsden and Colonel William Baillie Amsterdam 1637.

Having commanded a regiment of Scottish soldiers in Swedish service, and fought at the Battle of Lutzen as part of John Hepburn's Green Brigade. Lumsden was made governor of Osnabrük in May 1634 which he held with his regiment until relieved by Field Marshal Alexander Leslie in 1636 against considerable odds. Lumsden left the Swedish Army in 1639 like many Scottish officers and returned to Scotland. He commanded troops during the Bishop's Wars, and in 1644 he was Sergeant Major General of Foot in General Alexander Leslie's Covenanter Army which entered England to support the English Parliament during the First English Civil War. He played a major part in the Battle of Marston Moor, and though many of his own regiment were routed, he did much to regroup the remainder and rally the reserve battalions which helped secure victory for the allied forces of the parliaments. Lumsden left an account of the battle, published anonymously

Lumsden was subsequently Lieutenant General of Horse in the Covenanter Army which, now fighting for King Charles II, was defeated at the Battle of Dunbar in 1650. He was captured, and released in 1652.

Major-General Sir James (Lumsden) Lumsden of Innergellie (1598 - abt. 1676)

Family History

Major-General Sir James Lumsden of Innergellie formerly Lumsden

Born 1598 in Falkland, Fife, Scotland.

Son of Robert (Lumsden) Lumsden of Airdrie and Isobel (Cor) Lumsden

Brother of Robert (Lumsden) Lumsden of Balwhinnie aka Montquhannie and Stravithie and William (Lumsden) Lumsden of Rennyhill

Husband of Margaret (Birrell) Lumsden — married 18 Jan 1618 in Falkland, Fife, Scotlandmap

Husband of Christian (Rutherford) Lumsden — married about 1641 in Scotland.

DESCENDANTS descendants

Father of James (Lumsdaine) Lumsdaine Younger of Innergellie, Robert (Lumsden) Lumsden of Stravithie, Christian (Lumsden) Anstruther and Anne (Lumsden) Preston

Died about 1676 in Innergellie House, Kilrenny, Fife.

James Lumsdaine Younger of Innergellie (-1670) as child for Major-General Sir James (Lumsden) Lumsden of Innergellie (1598-abt.1676).


Major-General Sir James Lumsden was born in 1598, in Falkland, Fife, Scotland, to Robert Lumsden of Airdrie and Isobel Lumsden (nee Cor). He was also the Great Grandson of John Lumsden of Lumsden and Blanerne in Berwickshire. Major-General had one sibling: Robert Lumsden of Stravithie. Major-General married Margaret Birrell on January 18 1618, at age 20 in Falkland, Fife, Scotland. They had 9 children: Jean Lumsden, Margaret Lumsden, Catherine Lumsden, John Lumsden, Christian Lumsden, James Lumsden, Catherine Lumsden, Christian Anstruther and Anne Preston. According to the 2nd edn of the Red Book of Scotland (2018), vol 5, p.235, Sir James Lumsden (d. 1675 x1679) of Innergellie, eldest son of Robert Lumsden of Airdrie, had a second son named Robert Lumsden, who died in 1680 and was also titled of Strathvithie.

Major-General married Christian Rutherford of Hunthill, County Angus, in about 1641 after his return to Scotland. Major-General passed away circa 1660, at age 62.

According to memory:

(Joined the Dutch Confederate Navy serving alongside General William Baillie under the Adrimaal De Ruiter).

The following information is taken from "Memorials of the Families of Lumsdaine, Lumisden or Lumsden" by Lieut-Col. H. W. Lumsden, 1889. Digitized by the National Library of Scotland. Col. Lumsden had access to the "Cushnie Charter Chest".

Col. Lumsden relates on page 10 of the digitized copy, "John Lumsden had two sons. The elder, David, married in 1585, Margaret, daughter of Patrick Congalton of that Ilk; the younger, James, married the heiress of Airdrie in Fife, and had a son, William, who succeeded him".

William Lumsden of Airdrie married Janet Inglis. He and many others were denounced rebels and put to the horn and all their goods escheated for not underlying the law for art and part of the cruel treatment of unnamed persons. William had a son, Robert, also of Airdrie, who married Isabel Cor, a Frenchwoman. Their first son, was Sir James Lumsden.

Major-General, Sir James Lumsden, with his brothers, Robert of Stravithie, and William, were soldiers of high reputation, first under Gustavous Adolphus of Sweden, then afterwards in The Great Civil War. In that very curious book, "Monro, His Expeditions and Observations [London, 1637]", which was Sir Walter Scott's guide to the character of the illustrious Rittmaster Dugald Dalgetty, there is a list of the "Scottish Officers in Chief" [called Officers of the field] that served his Majesty of Sweden, anno 1632," and among them appear "Sir James Lumsdell, Colonel to a Regiment of Scots" and "Robert Lumsdell, Lieutenant Colonel to Foote". Sir James's exploits at Frankfurt-on-the-Oder [3rd April 1631] are described in Monro's eighth chapter. "Colonel Lumsden and I being both alike at the head of our colours, he having a partizan in his hand, I a half pike with a headpiece that covered my head, commanding our pikes to advance, we lead on shoulder to shoulder, Colonel Lumsdell and I, fortunately without hurt, enter the port where at their entry some I know received their rest, and the enemy forced to retire in confusion, being astonished at our entry, they had neither wit nor courage as to let down the portcullis at the great port behind them, so that we entering the streets at their heels, we made stand till the body of our pikes were drawn up orderly, and flanked with musketeers, and then we advanced; our pikes charged and our musketeers giving fire on the flanks till the enemy was put in disorder." After the town was taken, continues Monro, "the most part of our officers and soldiers disbanded, leaving me and a few number of soldiers to guard my colours, which disorder I confess stood not in my power to remedy". Thus far for Lumsdell's part and mine which I dare mention to be truth". [Monro, His Expeditions, Part II., p.33]. In the Swedish Intelligencer [London, 1632], Part I, p. 90, we read this account of the same exploit: "The King calling the valiant Sir John Hebron and Colonel Lumsdell unto him, "now my brave Scots [says he] remember your countrymen slain at New Brandenburg" [on the 9th Mar preceding, "when the Scots of the Lord Reay's Regiment were quite cut-off,", [page 81]. Lumsdell therefore with his Regiment of English and Scots and Hebron with his High Dutchers press upon that sally-port, ever the bullets flying thick as hail, Lumsdell with his drawn sword in his hand, cries, "Let's enter my hearts", thrusting himself among the thickest of them. His men follow resolutely, the pikes first entering, all knocking down the enemy most pitifully, for the inner port being shut behind them they had no way to escape but the little wicker gate through which as many could escape into the town. Here did Lumsdell take 18 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 to him". [At Leipzig, on 7th September, 1631.]

More information on the exploits is available from John Lumsden at

General Sir James Lumsden ... [2]

"In 1642, Sir James Lumsden ... purchased the property ... [Innergellie] ... that his family had tenanted for 150 years. [As] ... he had achieved renown in the service of Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden at the head of .. [a] .. unit of Scots troops, which took part in the capture of Frankfurt and Leipzig during the Thirty Years’ War, the wealth collected - doubtless as the spoils of war - enabled the then Colonel James to return to Scotland a rich man. In 1644 he fought for Charles I at Marston Moor.

(He was in fact Sargent Major General and 2i/c of the Foote to Scottish Covenant Army.)

The family also fought in the last - and, in casualties, costliest - Anglo-Scots war, the Cromwellian invasion of 1650-51. Defeated at Dunbar by Cromwell in 1650, Sir James retired to Innergellie, perhaps spared by Cromwell because he had fought for the Protestant cause in Europe".

His support for Charles I in 1644 resulted in a Charter for the grant of a Barony of Innergellie to Colonel Sir James Lumsden as described in the Will of Major John Lumsdaine. The Charter was dated 12 December 1644. (As with all Civil Wars difference sides of the same family tend to take difference sides)

An earlier charter granted in 1642, [as] Colonel Sir James Lumsden granted him portions of the lands of Innergellie, including the part "with the mansion" (Reg Magni Sig Reg Scot 1642)". He had also married Christian Rutherford of Hunthill about the same time.

"The present mansion (at NO 5747 0510) was built in 1740 and the stables in 1746. Above the entrance is an armorial panel, doubtless from an earlier house, dated 1650 and initialled S.I.L. for Sir James Lumsden and D.C.R. for Dame Christian Rutherford, his wife" (op.cit.)

According to the Dunino OPR (Dunino is a village in East Fife, 10 kms from St Andrews, with Stravithie House close by), “Sir James Lumsdene of Innergelly and Issobel Ramsey were married on 22 January 1663” (supplied by Archie Lumsden, Sennachie to the Clan Lumsden).

Sir James Lumsden passed away in 1676 in Innergellie House, according to Archie Lumsden, Sennachie to the Clan Lumsden (Outline Descendant Report for James Lumsdaine by Archie Lumsden)

For references consult:

Robert Habbick and Ian C. Baillie attended the University of Newcastle upon Tyne 1974-77

Text source

James Lumsden, often spellt Lumsdaine, Lumsdale or Lumsdell, (fl.1628-1651) of Innergelly, Colonel in the Swedish and Scottish Covenanting armies, was one of three sons of Robert Lumsden of Airdrie in Fife. His mother was Isabel Cor (sometimes erroneously described as a French woman), daughter of Clement Cor. Not much is known of how Lumsden spent his early life. His brothers, Robert [SSNE 514] and William [SSNE 515], were also soldiers in Danish and Swedish service. James Lumsden first appears in Swedish service as an ensign in Colonel James Spens'[SSNE 1642] regiment in 1629. Lumsden must have proven a skilful soldier as by February 1631 he was a colonel and Fieldmarshall Gustav Horn specifically requested the use of his 600 infantry (along with Hepburn's and 4 other regiments' men) for his campaign in northern Germany.

Colonel Robert Monro [SSNE 94] recorded his exploits with Lumsden as they led their pikesmen into Frankfurt an der Oder and claimed the town for the Swedes. The author of the Swedish Intelligencer noted that Lumsen took 18 colours during this assault and that one soldier of his regiment had killed 18 Imperialists, quarter being spartan that day in revenge for the slaying of the Scots at Neu Brandenburg. A receipt from 7 June 1631 survives which describes Colonel James Lumsden's regiment at Spandau, both marching and sick: 29 rotts of pikemen, of which 3 men were well, and 46 rotts of musketeers, of which 1 man was well. 79 men were listed as ill! Lumsden also distinguished himself at the battle of Leipsig / Breitenfeld in September 1631, leading musketeers and being wounded in the process. The following year the Scottish Privy Council granted permission for Colonel Lumsden to raise a further 1,200 troops for Swedish service. His regiment served at the siege of Hameln (in the Lower Saxon Circle) in 1633 and, on 8 July the same year, fought very successfully in the battle of Hessisch-Oldendorf against Imperial and Logistic troops under the command of Gronsfeld and Johan II of Merode He became the commandant of Osnabruck in 1634 after the former commander of the town, Mattias Forbes [SSNE 2248] left the town on 18 November. He apparently oppressed the citizens and monks of the town and some eight companies of his regiment were still serving in March 1637. Some of these were Englishmen who were sent to Lumsden by William Vavasour who had to return to London after the defection of the Duke of Luneburg in 1635. Vavasour stated that he sent the English to Colonel Lumsden and the Germans to Colonel Aston.

Lumsden's departure from Swedish service:

Lieutenant-General James King [SSNE 2814] and Lumsden's brother Robert served with Rupert of the Rhine at the battle of Vlotho on 17 October 1638. Robert Lumsden and Prince Rupert were both captured and thereafter, James Lumsden tried to secure his brother's release. Soon after James King called in at Osnabruck (February 1639) and probably passed on the news from Scotland that hostilities were afoot with King Charles I. At this point Lumsden made his first request to be released from Swedish service and wrote several letters from Osnabruck to Axel Oxenstierna throughout the year. He wanted to return home in order to safeguard not only his property but also his honour. The fieldmarshall, Johan Banér, was however not keen to lose his service. Lumsden suggested that his brother, Robert, could replace him as governor of Osnabruck, but Banér did not consider Robert either capable or qualified for that position. It appears that Banér might have agreed to Lumsden's request by May 1639 as he wrote Chancellor Oxenstierna regarding Lumsden's replacement by either Ludert Hindrichsson (Lydert Hendrichsson, Reuter of Skalboo) or Gustav Gustavsson. In the end the position went to Hindrichsson who maintained it until 1640 when he was replaced due to problems with Baner. Lumsden continued to seek his release until September 1639, when it was noted that he had been provided with an annual pension, along with Field Marshal Alexander Leslie and Patrick Ruthven. The Scottish cleric John Durie informed Sir Thomas Roe that Colonel Lumsden and Colonel David Leslie [SSNE 2920] were travelling to Stockholm to petition the Riksråd (Swedish state council) for permission to leave Swedish service, and in August 1640 this was finally granted to them. They left Sweden to serve in the Covenanting army during the Bishops' Wars in Scotland. Lumsden and Leslie not only received a pension of 1000 daler for life and a gold chain with Queen Kristina's image on it from the Swedes, but also 200 muskets and 200 suits of armour. Days later another Scot, Lt. Colonel George Monro [SSNE 3119] received permission to leave and they decided to depart for Scotland by the 1 November from Hamburg. Sir Thomas Roe [SSNE 4421] suggested that the men could be intercepted upon arrival, but most of them got through. On his return to Scotland, Lumsden bought land at Innergellie in Fife and married Catherine, or Christianne, Rutherford of Hunthill, although it is unknown exactly when this occurred. According to the Scots Peerage they had a daughter, Magdalen, who later married her "cousin-german" William Erskine. No further information on their children has been found. From 1644 until 1649 Lumsden served on various shire committees for the Scottish Parliament, representing Fife.

He was also an officer in the Army of the Solemn League and Covenant. From 1643-44 he was lieutenant colonel of Lord Gordon's Foot, which became known as Lumsden's Foot when he took over from Gordon in 1644. He was at the siege of York in June where he served alongside Lord Fairfax's troops. Lumsden's plan for the battle of Marston Moor still exists. He was in charge of the reserve Scottish Foot, with which he successfully supported the first line of infantry. The Privy Council of Scotland notes that "half a moneths meanes" were to be paid to lieutenant colonel Lumsden in 1644.

Lumsden became the governor of Newcastle on 23 November 1644, although his appointment was only ratified by the English in March 1645. 5 companies of Colonel Sinclair's regiment of foot, the Galloway Foot, the Mearns and Aberdeen Foot, the Merse Foot, the Nithsdale and Annandale Foot, the Perthshire Foot, and Strathearn Foot all came under Lumsden's command at Newcastle. An undated later signed by William Wimes [SSNE 240] survives in the Swedish archives, referring to Lumsden as the governor at Newcastle, and seeking to obtain the remaining balance of Lumsden's pension from Sweden. The Swedish Chancellor, Axel Oxenstierna, had released 4000 riksdaler for Lumsden in Hamburg (through Herr Savio of that city), however there were still 2000 riksdaler lacking.

On January 30 1647 the Earl of Leven permitted Lumsden to see King Charles 1, the sole colonel or noble serving in the Army of the Solemn League and Covenant to do so. Lumsden and his forces left Newcastle later that afternoon and in February the regiment was disbanded. At some point after this Lumsden must have been knighted as he is subsequently referred to as Sir.

In 1649 Lumsden was colonel of a regiment of foot raised in the presbytery of St Andrews for the Army of the Covenant. In August 1650 the Earl of Loudoun wrote to King Charles II describing Lumsden's loyalty to his cause. David Leslie appointed him lieutenant general of Horse in 1650, and he served as the brigade commander at Dunbar. The regiment was destroyed and both Lumsden and his brother William [SSNE 515] were taken prisoner. A ship belonging to Sir James Lumsden had been impounded, along with all its contents, at Whitby in January 1651. A month later the English Council of State ordered the commissioners of Customs to release the ship and make restitution for all the goods as Lumsden had both Cromwell's protection and a pass for the ship.

On the 10 June 1651 the Committee of Estates provided Lumsden a maintenance sum of £240 collected through voluntary contributions for prisoners of war. From the end of February 1652 the English Council discusses the release of a Scotsman, lieutenant colonel James Lunden, from captivity. He was to pay £1000 sterling, report to the Commander in Chief and offer a further £1000 in security for good behaviour. He was eventually released from English captivity in September 1652. It has not been determined whether this man was the same as James Lumsden. Some sources imply that he died in 1660, but this has not been verified.


Oct 28, '20
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