Jacobite and assistant to Charles Edward Stuart (the Old Pretender) and Charles Edward Stuart (the Young Pretender).1
Andrew Lumisden was born in Edinburgh in 1720, the son of law agent William Lumisden (a descendant of the Lumsdens of Cushnie, Aberdeenshire) and Mary, daughter of merchant Robert Bruce. Lumisden studied to go in his father's footsteps, but during the rising of 1745, he became private secretary to Prince Charles Edward, accompanying the pretender throughout the campaign. Lumisden went into hiding following the defeat of the prince, before eventually making his way to Rouen, France.
In 1757 Lumisden was appointed under-secretary to the Old Pretender, and in 1762 he became principal and sole secretary, a position which he held until the death of Prince Charles Edward in 1766. He was continued in office by the Young Pretender until 1768 when he was dismissed for "refusing to allow [the prince]to attend an oratorio while stupidly intoxicated."2
Following a petition in his favour, Andrew Lumisden was allowed to return back to Scotland in 1773, although he continued to maintain Paris as his base for a number of years. In 1797 he published Remarks on the Antiquities of Rome and its Environs.
According to W. Stirling Maxwell, Lumisden was remembered years after his death as "as a lively, laughing old gentleman, with polished manners and stiff curls, an esteemed diner-out, a teller of pleasant anecdotes, and a maker of elaborate bows in foreign fashion."
- 1. Despite long-lived rumours to the contrary, Lumisden was never associated with Joseph Bologne, the Black Mozart (1745-1799). The confusion stems from the fact that the Old Pretender was known as the Chevalier de Saint-George, a title which was also assumed by Bologne in 1766 for entirely unrelated reasons.
- 2. Quoted verbatim from the Dictionary of National Biography, entry: LUMISDEN or LUMSDEN, ANDREW"