Carmichael, Sir James, Lord Carmichael 1578?-1672, was the third son of Walter Carmichael of Hyndford, by Grizel, daughter of Sir John Carmichael of Meadowflat. He was originally designated of Hyndford, but on purchasing the lands of Westeraw took his title from them, until, on succeeding his cousin, Sir John Carmichael of Carmichael [qv.], he adopted the designation of the older branch of the family. Having in early life been introduced by the Earl of Dunbar at the court of James VI, he was appointed a cupbearer, afterwards carver, and then chamberlain of the principality. He was created a baronet of Nova Scotia on 17 July 1627, and the following year he subscribed the submission to Charles I. He was appointed sheriff-principal of Lanarkshire on 5 Sept. 1632, and in 1634 lord justice clerk, which office he resigned in 1636, on being made treasurer-depute. He was admitted an ordinary lord of session on 6 March 1639. His presence as treasurer-depute at the prorogation of parliament, by warrant of the king's commissioners, led to the presentation of a remonstrance against the same as illegal. On 13 Nov. he was named one of the commissioners for executing the office of lord high treasurer, and was at the same time appointed treasurer-depute, privy councillor, and lord of session, to be held ad vitam aut culpam. For his services to Charles I during the civil war, especially in lending him various sums of money, he received a patent on 27 Dec. 1647 raising him to the peerage by the title of Lord Carmichael; but the patent was not made public until 3 Jan. 1651, when it was ratified by Charles II. For his adherence to the engagement, he made a humble submission on 28 Dec. before the presbytery of Lanark, but was nevertheless deprived of his offices by the Act of Classes on 16 March 1649. That of treasurer-depute was, however, bestowed on his second son, Sir Daniel Carmichael. By Cromwell's act, in 1654, a fine was imposed on him of 2,000l. In Douglas's Peerage it is stated erroneously that after the accession of Charles II he was sworn a privy councillor, and reappointed lord justice clerk, that office having been bestowed on Sir John Campbell of Lundy [qv.]. Carmichael died on 29 Nov. 1672, in his ninety-fourth year. By his wife Agnes, sixth daughter of John Wilkie of Foulden, he had three sons and four daughters. His eldest son, Sir William, after serving as one of the gens d 'armes of Louis XIII, joined the committee of estates in Scotland, and commanded the Clydesdale regiment against the Marquis of Montrose at the battle of Philiphaugh in 1646. He died before his father in 1657, leaving a son, John [qv.], who became second Lord Carmichael and first Earl of Hyndford. The first Lord Carmichael had two other sons and four daughters.
Acts of Parliament of Scotland, vol. v. passim
Haig and Brunton's Senators of the College of Justice, 298-9
Douglas's Scottish Peerage, ii. 754-5
Irving's Upper Ward of Lanarkshire, ii. 17-21.
Contributor: T. F. H. [Thomas Finlayson Henderson]