Lundie (Lundy), Robert (d. 1710), army officer, governor of Derry at the start of the siege of 1689, was a Scottish captain serving in the earl of Dumbarton's regiment in 1679 in Tangier, where he was wounded in action (later receiving on that account a royal bounty of £80). He came in April 1679 with his regiment to Kinsale and transferred to the Irish army, becoming in March 1685 a lieutenant-colonel in the regiment of foot commanded by Lord Mountjoy (qv) and at this time was stationed in Co. Donegal.
The city of Londonderry, shortly after its apprentice boys had shut the gates against the catholic regiment of the earl of Antrim (qv) in December 1688, agreed to admit two companies of Mountjoy's regiment, which was still largely protestant. On Mountjoy's departure Lundie, as senior officer, became governor of the city in which large numbers of protestants were taking refuge. Whatever trust he inspired at first among the inhabitants, a considerable number of whom were soldiers or civilians under arms, appears to have ebbed away as doubts grew about his resolve to oppose the army of James II (qv). Though a protestant himself, Lundie held a commission from James and appears to have been uneasy at the prospect of switching allegiance to William of Orange (qv), a step which growing numbers in the city were taking. Lundie also expressed practical misgivings about the prospects of defending the city against Jacobite forces.
In February 1689 William, shortly after accepting the crown from the English convention, dispatched Captain James Hamilton (later 6th earl of Abercorn (qv)) with arms, money, a new commission and instructions for Lundie. Hamilton, after some difficulties, arrived on 21 March in Derry. He had orders to administer oaths of fidelity to Lundie but doubts soon arose over whether, or in what circumstances, these were taken by the governor who declined requests to take them again in public. Lundie's evacuation of protestant forces from Sligo and Dungannon about this time was also criticised. Unease about his leadership increased still further when the Derry forces under his command, attempting to defend certain passes on the river Finn, were routed on 15 April by advancing Jacobites under General Richard Hamilton (qv). On the same day two regiments from England arrived on the Foyle under the command of Colonel John Cunningham and Colonel Solomon Richards to assist in the defence of Derry. Lundie convened a council of war including the two English colonels but, it was claimed, containing hardly any one apart from himself acquainted with the state of the city. Pleading scarcity of provisions he advised that the regiments should return, which they did, and indicated his intention to seek terms with James's forces.
The growing discontent in Derry at this point crystallised around the leadership of the soldier Adam Murray (qv), who harangued gatherings in the city and confronted the governor in person, accusing him of disloyalty to the protestant and Williamite cause. Lundie, judging that his continued exercise of authority had become impossible and fearing for his own safety, was assisted on 19 April to escape from the city disguised as a private soldier. Henry Baker (qv) and George Walker (qv) were chosen as joint governors to replace Lundie, who fled to the west of Scotland where he was arrested in May on suspicion of treason and taken to the Tower of London. While he was in custody a committee of the English house of commons investigated the conduct of the defence of Derry and recommended Lundie's return to the city for a treason trial; Lundie petitioned the house in October 1689 for a trial in England rather than Ireland. The English government hesitated: its law officers advised of various difficulties, while George Walker, now in London, advised against returning Lundie to Derry on the notable grounds that there was still a party there which supported him. In February 1690 he was given bail and then disappeared from view for some years.
In 1702 Lundie placed himself under the patronage of the earl of Marlborough (qv) and his wife Sarah. The initiative appears to have been taken by Lundie's Irish-born wife Martha, a daughter of Rowland Davies (qv), dean of Ross. The Marlboroughs’ attempts to find a military posting for Lundie met with some resistance from another commander, the earl of Peterborough. Lundie perceived that Peterborough was ‘not perfectly satisfied with my fidelity’, acknowledging that it was ‘that affair of Londonderry that creates his suspicion’. He protested he never had his ‘integrity questioned by any of those gentlemen that were witness to my conduct ... indeed I was not accused, but by an ungovernable rabble’ (BL, Add. MS 61474, f. 75).
The terms of the Methuen Treaty of 1703 between England and Portugal provided for the appointment by Queen Anne of a number of general officers to serve with the Portuguese army, and Lundie was sent (as too were several Irish catholic officers) to Portugal in 1704. Lundie, who had the rank of adjutant general at a salary of 20 shillings a day on the English establishment, found however that there were no duties for him in Portugal. Through the agency of the English ambassador, John Methuen (qv) and the earl of Galway (qv), he was redeployed to the besieged fortress of Gibraltar, in whose defence he distinguished himself. Returning to England with commendations in 1705, he was taken prisoner by French privateers. Ever anxious to demonstrate his loyalty, while captive he sent intelligence reports to the authorities in London on the state of military defences and public opinion in France. He was released in exchange for twenty French prisoners in June 1709, after which he returned to England looking for further preferment. He died in London late in 1710 (his will, made 14 October 1710, was proved 12 January 1711). He was survived by his wife, his son Robert (also a soldier, who served in Ireland in the reign of Anne) and his daughter Aramintha (baptised in Derry in 1686).
The official view of Lundie, though ambiguous, was quite at odds with his then and later public reputation. He had influential friends at several points in his career: the 1st duke of Ormond (qv) and the earl of Sunderland had interested themselves in his career in 1684–5, when he was a mere captain. He was one of those excluded by name from the general pardon enacted by the English parliament in May 1690; yet in October 1689, when he was still in custody, he received a secret service payment of £50, and his wife for several years had a pension from King William and other payments, totalling about £200 a year, though these ceased about 1698.
The government, though never willing to accede to demands to punish Lundie, probably saw the Portuguese commission as a useful means to remove this controversial figure from public view. Ministers were not especially responsive to the Lundies’ complaints about the arrears of their various pensions and his pay, while Lundie's proposing himself around 1709 for the vacant governorship of Maryland suggests that he had little sense of political reality. It may be significant that a pension of £200 a year on the Irish establishment paid to Martha Lundie (from at least 1707) was concealed under a trustee's name. In July 1717, shortly after Martha Lundie's death, her daughter, then Aramintha Somers, petitioned the British government to have this petition continued. The matter was referred to the Irish lord lieutenant, the duke of Bolton (qv), who assented in view of ‘Colonel Lundie's important services for the crown’ (TNA, T 1/214/61).
In the traditional protestant version of the siege Lundie remains the villain of the piece: his effigy is burnt each year in Derry when the siege is commemorated, and for many his name is a byword for treachery. Almost all accounts of the siege by contemporaries, and many since, have been extremely hostile and have assumed Lundie wished to deliver Derry's protestants into the hands of James II. The evidence for this is very slight, while Lundie himself protested that, had such been his intention, he would on leaving the city have joined the Jacobite forces rather than go to Williamite-controlled Scotland. Indeed, assuming that he did not remain secretly loyal to James II, he was from the Jacobite point of view a traitor in withdrawing his allegiance from his rightful king; as such he was attainted of treason by James's Irish parliament in 1689.
Most later writers have given more moderate judgements: J. G. Simms (qv) thought he was defeatist, while the military historian Kenneth Ferguson has suggested that ‘it could be argued that, to an officer who knew the difficulty of holding fortifications at Tangier, it was a reasonable judgement to pronounce the walls of Londonderry to be untenable’.