James Lumsden

Biography of James Lumsden

James Lumsden, widely known as Hamish, graduated with an LLB from the University in 1938 and became one of Scotland’s best known businessmen.

Hamish was born in 1915 at the family home on Loch Lomondside to James Robert Lumsden and Henrietta Macfarlane Lumsden. He attended Miss Johnstone’s Prep School in Helensburgh and then transferred to Cargilfield School in Edinburgh where he was head boy. In 1928 he won a scholarship to Rugby School and later won another scholarship to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. At Cambridge he studied Classics and Law and graduated with a degree in both, with a First Class Honours in Law for which he won the Bishop Green Cup in 1936.

He then came to the University of Glasgow and completed an LLB while apprentice to the firm of Mackenzie, Robertson and Company. After his apprenticeship his WWII military service began with his first position in the 74th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment. He served in many posts including as an Intelligence Officer in Edinburgh before dealing with the VI flying bombs aimed at London, for which he was awarded an MBE (Military Division).

After the end of the war Hamish had a remarkable business career and became partner of the Glasgow law firm Maclay Murray and Spens in 1947. He became senior partner in the firm before retirement in 1982.

Lumsden held many important positions in law societies and companies including a Fellowship of the Law Society of Scotland and of the Royal Faculty of Procurators, Glasgow, and many directorships and chairmanships of notable Scottish companies such as the Scottish Union and National Insurance Company, William Baird Shipping, and Bank of Scotland. He was also chairman of the General Commission of Income tax for many years and was active in a number of local Dunbartonshire groups.

Another link Hamish Lumsden has with the University is through his grandfather, Sir James Lumsden: a former Lord Provost of Glasgow who hosted the Prince and Princess of Wales during their visit to Glasgow to lay the foundation stone of the new University of Glasgow campus on Gilmorehill in 1868.

Hamish died on Easter Sunday, the 31st March 2013.


James Lumsden
Born 24 January 1915.
Died 31 March 2013.
University Link: Graduate
GU Degree: LLB,
Occupation categories: businessmen
View Major Archive Collection Record
Record last updated: 15th Nov 2013

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