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James Lumsden, often spellt Lumsdaine, Lumsdale or Lumsdell, (fl.1628-1651) of Innergellie, 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 Ligistic 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 Elector Karl Ludwig at the battle of Vlotho Bridge [Lemgo] 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 [SSNE 1] and Lt General Patrick Ruthven [SSNE 3413]. 

The Scottish cleric John Durie [SSNE 1243] informed Sir Thomas Roe [SSNE 4421] 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 Christian / Christianne (sometimes Catherine), 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. At some point on this campaign, and before July 1644, Lumsden was promoted to Major General. 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 commanded 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. Five 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 30 January 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. 


Sources: A letter concerning him from May 1639 is found in: Riksarkivets ämnessamlingar. Personhistoria

See also: The Swedish Intelligencer: The First Part (London, 1632), pp.90, 123-124; Swedish Krigsarkiv, Muster Roll, 1629/22; Swedish Krigsarkiv, KRA/0035:0418, Karl Viggo Key Samlingen; Swedish Riksarkiv, Riksregistratur, 1639, vol.197, fol. 192-194; Swedish Riksarkiv, Bref till Axel Oxenstierna, E655 (2), 17 July 1633 and E655 (6), n.d., E655(6), 16 May 1646, E655(6), 20 August 1646; SRA, AOSB, E749. William Vavasour to Axel Oxenstierna, 15 February 1636; Swedish Riksarkiv, Biographica, vol. 44; Svenska Riksrådets Protokoll, ( Stockholm, 1898), ed. S. Bergh, vol. viii; Rikskansleren Axel Oxenstiernas skrifter och brefvexling, second series, VII, pp.597, 618-9; ibid, VIII, p.26; ibid, IX, p.476; N.A. Kullberg, et. al., (eds.), Svenska Riksrådets Protokoll, 1621-1658, (vols. 1-18, Stockholm, 1878-1959), VII and VIII, p.587 and pp.184-186; Acts of the Parliament of Scotland, vol. vi; Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, 2nd series, vol. IV; Register of the Great Seal of Scotland AD 1634-1651, ed. J.M. Thomson, (1984); Calendar of State Papers Domestic, 1640-41; 1644; 1651; Anon., The Swedish Discipline (1632); R. Monro, Monro his expedition with the worthy Scots regiment called Mac-Keys, ed. W. S. Brockington, (1999); James Grant, Memoirs of Sir John Hepburn, (1851); S.R. Gardiner, ed., Letters and Papers Illustrating the relations between Charles the Second and Scotland in 1650 (1894); T. Fischer, The Scots in Germany (1902), p.282; T. Fischer, The Scots in Sweden (1907), pp.114 and 126; E. Furgol, A Regimental History of the Covenanting Armies 1639-1651, (1990); G. Ridsdill-Smith and M. Toynbee, Leaders of the Civil Wars 1642-1648, (1977); P. Young, Marston Moor 1644 (1970); Lt.Col. H.W. Lumsden, Memorials of the Families of Lumsdaine, Lumisden or Lumsden (Edinburgh, 1889), pp.16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 115; Swedish Riksarkiv, P. Sondén, Militärachefer i svenska arméen och deras skrivelser.


Gordon MacGregor kindly supplied the reference to the marriage of Lumsden to Christian Rutherford from Fife Sasines, RS 31/11/273.

Dr Aonghas Maccoinnich provided the updated information on Isabel Cor. 

Information from the following German sources was kindly provided by Dr Bernd Warlich - Margret TEGEDER/Axel KREIENBRINK, “… der osnabrugischenn handlung und geschicht. Die Chronik des Rudolf von Bellinckhausen 1628-1637. Osnabrücker Geschichtsquellen und Forschungen 45 (Osnabrück, 2002), pp.328-329, 332, 338-341, 343; Günther ENGELBERT/Hubert SALM, eds., Das Kriegsarchiv des Kaiserlichen Feldmarschalls Melchior von Hatzfeldt, 1593-1658 (Düsseldorf, 1993), nos. 218, 257, 207. 

Bishops Wars; English Civil War

Service record

Arrived 1629-01-01, as REF. ENSIGN
Departed 1640-12-31, as COLONEL
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY
Arrived 1634-11-18
Departed 1639-05-01
Capacity GOVERNOR, purpose MILITARY
Arrived 1644-01-20, as COLONEL
Departed 0000-01-01, as MAJOR-GENERAL
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY