Chapter Nine – The Lumley Family
James Saunderson, the first and only Earl of Castleton died in 1723. He left his extensive Estates in South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire to Sir Thomas Lumley of County Durham. Sir Thomas was a son of the Earl’s second cousin. So began the long and continuing connection between the ancient Durham family and the Manors of Sandbeck and Maltby. Sir Thomas was George I’s Ambassador in Portugal. When he received news of his great inheritance he celebrated by giving a magnificent party in Lisbon.
Thomas was a younger brother of the Earl of Scarborough of Lumley Castle. In 1739 the Earl died a bachelor. So the new owner of Sandbeck and Maltby now added the Earldom of Sandbeck and the Lumley lands in County Durham to his inheritance. Ever since these events Sandbeck Park has been the home of the Earl’s of Scarbrough.
The reason for the title ‘Scarborough’ is a mystery. It has been, suggested by the present Earl that the family wanted ‘Durham’ but that the Prince Bishop of Durham was still powerful enough to veto the idea! The original spelling was “Scarborough” which was changed later to “Scarborough”. The only connection of the Lumleys with Scarborough is that a Lord Lumley was Governor of Scarborough from 1461 to 1472.
Thus the Manors had passed from Elsi the local Saxon Thane to the powerful Norman de Busli family thence to the di Viponts and the Cliffords. The Saundersons followed in the Sixteenth Century. It was the demise of that family in Eighteenth Century which linked obscure Maltby with one of the most ancient families in England.
According to writers of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries there was a Saxon Thane called ‘Liulph’. He acquired large areas of land in many places and was prominent and influential at the Saxon Court. Legend had it that Liulph was visited in a dream by Saint Cuthbert, the great Celtic Saint of the North. He had great respect for Cuthbert who told him to leave the South with his people. Liulph went far North to County Durham. Presumably he wanted to be as far away as possible from the Norman invaders. In County Durham he built a house on the site of the present Lumley Castle.
In 1080 Liulph was murdered by Leofwin, Chaplain of Walcher, the Norman Bishop of Durham. Such was Liulph’s popularity that there was an uprising. The Saxon people locked the doors of the wooden Church at Gateshead with Walcher and his clergy inside. They then set fire to the building and burned the clergy alive. Liulph had married Algitha, daughter of Alfred, Earl of Northumberland, whose wife was Edgina, the daughter of King Ethelred the Unready (reigned 978 – 1016).
William de Lumley, perhaps a grandson of Liulph, witnessed a Charter by the Bishop of Dunham in 1133. William’s son was the first Lumley to be Knighted. In 1390 Sir Ralph Lumley was created Baron Lumley. He married the daughter of John, Lord Evil of Aby. The Evils were probably the most powerful of the Northern families at that time. Ralph’s youngest son, Marmaduke, became Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, Chancellor of the University, Bishop of Carlisle, Treasurer of England (1446) and Bishop of Lincoln.
John, second Lord Lumley was killed fighting under the Duke of Clarence in Anjou in 1421. The Sixth Lord Lumley received his spurs for gallantry on the Field of Flodden at the age of 19 in 1513. He was one of the signatories of the letter to Pope Clement VII regarding the divorce of Henry Viii from Katherine of Aragon. He and his son, George, championed the cause of the old ways in religion and social patterns in the Pilgrimage of Grace in 1536. This was a rising in protest by a large number of Northern people against many of the changes Henry was making.
They were convinced that their old treasured religious and social patterns were needlessly being destroyed. The Rising started at Louth in Lincolnshire and spread North in 1536. Soon the whole nobility of the North were to arms. From every parish farmers marched (they had agrarian discontents) with their parish priest at the head. They reached the River Don at Doncaster where their way was barred by the Duke of Norfolk with 6,000 men. After parleying with Norfolk and the Earl of Surrey the rising seemed to break up. The leaders were pardoned. But that was not the end. The great northern Leaders, Lord Dacre and Sir Thomas Percy, rose again in rebellion. They were joined by George Lumley, but not his father. They were all executed at Tyburn in 1537.
Up to the time of the Reformation in the Sixteenth Century the great families were continually having to take sides. The tensions concerned bands and cities. Sometimes a family was a loser. Often the next generation was restored. From the Reformation and Henry VIII the dilemmas facing the ancient families were more concerned with religion. George Lumleys’s tragic execution in the Pilgrimage of Grace was an example of this. The old religion of pre-Reformation times was a comforter and a friend. But often it was inseparable from a hostile, foreign Spanish influence in an age of Jingoistic English patriotism.
The seventh Lord Lumley, for example, was involved in intrigues surrounding Mary Queen of Scots. He had attended Philip of Spain at his marriage to Queen Mary Tudor in 1554. Such Catholic involvement landed Lumley in the Tower, for he plotted to put Mary Queen of Scots on the Throne of England. Particularly he was involved in the Ridolfi Plot of 1569. Ridolfi was an Italian banker in London who plotted for a Parish invasion of England to make Mary Queen.
Lumley and others must have been fortunate to survive. Later he was one of the judges who sentenced Mary to death! He was a considerable scholar and collector. Because his father had been executed he became the First Lord Lumley of the second “creation”.
The Lumleys had close ties with the Bishops the Durham over many centuries. The influence of the Lumleys helped to swing the North behind William of Orange and Mary and a Protestant monarchy in 1689. Lord Lumley was one of the “Immortal Seven”‘ who signed the letter asking William to come and take the Crown of England. In 1690 Richard Lumley became the first Earl of Scarborough (later Scarbrough). He was a considerable soldier and served at the Battle of the Boyne, July lst 1690. He was probably brought up a Roman Catholic. He was an example of how some leaders in affairs between 1670 and 1690 had to do battle with their religious conscience.