Sir Harry Burnett Lumsden was born in 1821 on the East India Company's ship "Rose" in the Bay of Bengal.He was the eldest son of Colonel Thomas Lumsden, C.B., of the Bengal artillery, and of Belhelvie Lodge, Aberdeenshire. He was sent home from India in 1827 and was educated at the Bellvue Academy, Aberdeen, and Mr Dawe's School, Bromley, Kent.

 

At the age of seventeen he entered the Bengal Army, commissioned ensign in the 59th regiment of Native Infantry and became in succession: captain and major 1853, lieutenant colonel 1858, colonel 1862, major general 1868, and lieutenant general 1875. He had a marked aptitude for languages and served as interpreter and quartermaster in the Afghan campaign of 1842 and was present at the forcing of the Khyber Pass and the recapture of Cabul. In 1846 he served in the Sutlej campaign and was severely wounded at the battle of Sobraon. Lumsden was appointed assistant to Sir Henry Lawrence for the North-Western provinces,an area of wild tribes and rugged, almost impassable terrain. He was sent with 3000 Sikhs and six guns against the Hazara and with skilfull stratagems and two actions at Doob Pass and Ballokotee forced the hillmen to submit.

Lumsden family

Harry Burnett Lumsden

In 1846, when he was only 25 years of age he was asked to form the Corps of Guides. He was given a free hand in the recruiting, training, and equipment of this force of one hundred cavalry and two hundred infantry. The Guides consisted of Pathans, Sikhs, Gurkhas, Dogras and Turcomans. Lumsden cared neither about their religion nor background, choosing men from the most warlike tribes, notorious for desperate deeds, or as he put it, "accustomed to look after themselves, and not easily taken aback by any sudden emergency."
Under Lumsden's leadership these varied people developed into a disciplined force where no man questioned his authority and the Guides soon acquired a reputation for daring, dependability and fidelity. Lumsden was a good rider, an excellent shot, an ideal frontier soldier. He was described as "a singular mixture of shrewdness and simplicity, absolutely free from selfishness and self-seeking, with great originality, a perfect temper, and a keen sense of humour."
The Guides initially dyed their clothes with river mud and later chose this colour for their uniform. Khaki was adopted by the Indian Army in 1885 (from the Hindi word "khak" meaning dust). From 1847-1852 the Guides distinguished themselves in sixteen engagements, notably, the siege of Multan and the battle of Gujerat.

In 1857 he was sent on a mission to Candahar, accompanied by his brother, Peter Stark Lumsden. He remained as Envoy to Candahar for a year and was unable to command the Guides during the Indian Mutiny and this missed opportunity hindered his military career. He resumed command in 1860 when an attempt was made on his life by a fanatic, but he escaped with a severe sabre wound to his left arm.

Belhelvie Lodge

In 1866 he returned to England for six months and married Fanny Myers and in 1869 he left India for good. In 1873 he was made Knight Commander of the Star of India, and in 1875 he retired from the army. He was well qualified for civil employment but declined because of his intense dislike of official routine. He had inherited Belhelvie Lodge on the death of his father in 1874, and spent the remainder of his life there, occupying himself with hawking, photography, and wood-carving (see Ruskington Church.) He died in 1896.

 

Portrait here: https://collection.nam.ac.uk/detail.php?acc=1954-05-17-1

Sources

Lumsden P. and Elsmie G. Lumsden of the Guides, John Murray, 1899.

Barthorp M. The North-West Frontier, Dorset; New Orchard Editions, Blandford Press, 1982.

Dictionary of National Biography, Volumes 1-20, 22. Ancestry.com, 2003. Original data: Edit: Sir Leslie Stephen and Sir Sidney Lee.

Wedding Festivities at Flintham:

On Wednesday last the village of Flintham was the scene of unwonted excitement, owing to the marriage of Miss Fanny Myers, daughter of the Vicar, with Brigadier General Lumsden, C.B., who first raised and commanded the celebrated Corps of Guides, afterwards better known in this country as Hodson's Horse. Hodson, originally Adjutant, having succeeded to the command of the regiment. General Lumsden, as commander of the Hyderabad Contingent, has now the military superintendence of an extensive district, the Nizam's Dominions, the population of which exceeds ten million.
The aspect of the early morning of Wednesday was gloomy, and rain fell heavily, with one brief interval, until nearly two o'clock. Even this, however, did not prevent the enthusiastic villagers from testifying their interest in the fair bride, by erecting arches, adorned with evergreens, flowers and flags, across the path by which the bridal party were to reach the church. The church was crowded with spectators, the chancel being left exclusively for the wedding party, among which we noticed Major-Gen Hodge, C.B. (commanding the cavalry brigade at Aldershot), Mrs Hodge, Colonel Lumsden (Deputy Quartermaster General in India), Mrs Lumsden, T.B.T Hildyard Esq (M.P.), R. Hildyard Esq, R. E. H. Hildyard Esq, Mrs Hargreaves and Miss Ward (aunts of the bride), in addition to the family circle.

About half-past eleven o'clock the distinguished bridegroom arrived, attended by his best man, Major-Gen Coke, C.B., an old friend of his, and one who, we learn, was his companion in arms in many a perilous struggle. Soon after the bride appeared, leaning on the arm of her father, and tastefully attired in rich white corded silk, diamond ornaments selected from the wedding gifts, and a wreath of stephanotis and orange blossom, over which was thrown a superb veil of Brussels lace.
She was received at the church door by her four bridesmaids, three sisters of the bride and one of the bridegroom, whose attire was the theme of general admiration, as combining simplicity with elegance. The material of their dresses, we understand, was white embroidered grenadine, with blue trimmings, and chuny lace, bonnets of white tulle, with forget-me-nots, flowing veils, and pearl ornaments.
After the ceremony, which was performed in a most impressive manner, amid the decorous silence of the numerous assemblage, by the Rev W. Rimington, Incumbent of Bolsterstone, Yorkshire, cousin of the bride, the party returned to the vicarage, where a splendid dejeuner, which did great credit to the culinary skill and artistic taste of Mr Farrands, confectioner, Long-row, Nottingham, was served in the dining room.
About three o'clock the happy pair started in bright sunshine amid a perfect shower of bouquets and old shoes, and the hearty cheers of the villagers, for North Wales. After their departure the children of the Sunday schools partook of tea and cake in front of the vicarage. Then followed juvenile games, foot races for both sexes, jumping in the sacks, etc, suggested and started by the gentlemen, who distributed the prizes.
In the meantime, about fifty women, by invitation of the bride, sat down to tea the trays being presided over by the Misses Myers and their visitors. The church bells rang out merry peals at intervals throughout the day, and the whole proceedings terminated with deafening cheers from the villagers, and will long be remembered in the annals of Flintham.

Peter Stark Lumsden

General Sir Peter Stark Lumsden

Obituary Daily Telegraph 1918: One of the few remaining links which bind the army of today with the soldiers of pre-Mutiny days has been broken by the death of General Sir Peter Stark Lumsden GCB, CSI, who passed away at Buchromb, Dufftown, on Saturday, his 89th birthday. The fourth son of the late Colonel Thomas Lumsden of Belhelvie Lodge, Aberdeenshire, and younger brother of the gallant "Lumsden of the Guides" he entered the Indian Army from Addiscombe in 1847 as an ensign in the 60th native Bengal Infantry.
Between 1852 and 1857 he served on the North-Western Frontier in five expeditions against native tribes - the Mohmunds, the Ootman, Khel, the Bori Afrisis, and the Miranzais - being mentioned in despatches five times and awarded the special thanks of the local and supreme governments. In 1857 he accompanied a special military mission to Afghanistan, received the thanks of the government for his work, but returned to India to take part in the supression of the Mutiny. He joined the Gwalior Central India Field Forces, and, as Assistant Quartermaster-General, shared in the pursuit and capture of Tantia Topi under Sir Hugh Ross, being again mentioned in despatches.

His next spell of active service was in connection with the expedition to China in 1860, when, as DAA and QMG on the staff of Sir Robert Napier, he took part in all the operations of the Anglo-French forces, including the action of Sinho, the capture of Tang-ku and the capture of the Taku Forts which led up to the advance on and occupation of Peking. He was once more mentioned in despatches, and promoted brevet-major and brevet-lieutenant-colonel.

Practically his last active service was in the Bhutan Expedition of 1865, his later employment being staff and political posts. He was Deputy Quartermaster-General of the Army in India from the latter date till 1873. Sir Peter who had been ADC to Queen Victoria for eleven years, had received the KCB for his services as Chief of the Staff to the Commander-in-Chief, Sir F.P.Haines, during the last Afghan War, returned to the frontier in 1884, when he was selected as British representative on the Anglo-Russian Commission for the demarcation of the north-west boundary of Afghanistan. The collision between the Russians and the Afghans near Penjeh led to a situation of critical tension between Great Britain and Russia, and Sir Peter, whose views were not in complete accord with those of the Home Government, retuned to England.
He was created GCB and appointed a seat on the Council of India, which he occupied from 1883 to 1893. He was placed on the Unemployed Supernumerary List three years later, and settled down at Buchromb, the estate in Aberdeenshire which he had purchased, identifying himself with local affairs, and acting as magistrate and deputy-lieutenant for the counties of Banff and Aberdeen. Sir Peter married in 1863, Mary, daughter of Mr John Marriott.

 

Lumsden Genealogy

Generation No. 1

1. HARRY LUMSDEN died 1833. He married CATHERINE MCVEAGH 1781.

Children of HARRY LUMSDEN and CATHERINE MCVEAGH are:

2. i. HENRY LUMSDEN.

3. ii. WILLIAM JAMES LUMSDEN, d. 1875.

4. iii. CLEMENTS LUMSDEN, d. 1853.

5. iv. HUGH LUMSDEN, b. April 22, 1783; d. January 27, 1859.

6. v. THOMAS LUMSDEN, b. 1789; d. December 08, 1874.

 

Generation No. 2

2. HENRY LUMSDEN. He married CATHERINE TOWER.

Children of HENRY LUMSDEN and CATHERINE TOWER are:

i. HARRY LUMSDEN.

ii. JOHN TOWER LUMSDEN.

iii. HUGH GORDON LUMSDEN.

 

3. WILLIAM JAMES LUMSDEN died 1875. He married (1) MARGARET ARBUTHNOTT 1837. She died 1845. He married (2) MARY ELIZABETH THOMPSON. He married (3) WILHELMINA STEWART. She died 1918.

Children of WILLIAM LUMSDEN and MARY THOMPSON are:

i. AGNES LUMSDEN.

ii. KATHERINE LUMSDEN.

iii. MARY LUMSDEN.

iv. WILLIAM HARRY LUMSDEN, b. 1852; d. 1900; m. ELIZABETH RENNY-TAILYOUR, 1877.

 

4. CLEMENTS LUMSDEN died 1853. He married JANE FORBES.

Children of CLEMENTS LUMSDEN and JANE FORBES are:

i. HENRY WILLIAM LUMSDEN, m. CATHERINE EDITH LUMSDEN.

ii. JAMES FORBES LUMSDEN.

 

5. HUGH LUMSDEN was born April 22, 1783, and died January 27, 1859. He married (1) FRANCES INNES April 30, 1813. He married (2) ISABELLA FERGUS July 08, 1824. She died 1888.

Child of HUGH LUMSDEN and FRANCES INNES is:

i. CHRISTINA LUMSDEN.

 

Children of HUGH LUMSDEN and ISABELLA FERGUS are:

ii. CHARLOTTE FERGUS LUMSDEN.

iii. CATHERINE EDITH LUMSDEN, m. HENRY WILLIAM LUMSDEN.

iv. ISABELLA LUMSDEN.

v. ELIZABETH LUMSDEN.

vi. HENRY LUMSDEN, b. 1825.

vii. WALTER LUMSDEN, b. 1834.

Lumsdens of Belhelvie

6. THOMAS LUMSDEN was born 1789, and died December 08, 1874. He married HAY BURNETT 1821.

Children of THOMAS LUMSDEN and HAY BURNETT are:

i. HARRY BURNETT LUMSDEN, b. November 12, 1821, Bengal, India; d. August 12, 1896, Belhelvie; m. FANNY MYERS, September 05, 1866, Flintham; b. November 07, 1839, Flintham, Notts; d. January 21, 1919, Belhelvie.

ii. HELEN GARDEN LUMSDEN, b. 1824, Meerut, India; d. 1899; m. JAMES JOHNSTONE, August 02, 1861, Belhelvie; b. 1818; d. 1911.

iii. JOHN MCVEAGH LUMSDEN, b. 1825.

iv. KATHERINE MARGARET LUMSDEN, m. JOHN PATON, August 13, 1862.

v. THOMAS LUMSDEN, b. 1825; d. 1885, Canada (gored by bull).

7. vi. MARY ANN HAY LUMSDEN.

vii. CLEMENTINA JANE LUMSDEN.

viii. EDITH SHAW LUMSDEN, m. FRANK G SHERLOCK, November 28, 1867.

ix. PETER STARK LUMSDEN, b. 1829; m. MARY MARRIOTT, 1862.

x. WILLIAM LUMSDEN, b. 1831; d. 1857, Delhi.

xi. HUGH DAVID LUMSDEN, b. September 07, 1844; d. 1928; m. MARY FREDERICA WHITNEY.

Generation No. 3

7. MARY ANN HAY LUMSDEN She married GEORGE CLEGHORN (TANCRED) 1862.

Child of MARY LUMSDEN and GEORGE (TANCRED) is:

i. GEORGE HARRY LUMSDEN CLEGHORN, b. May 22, 1863.