Clan Learmonth History

The Learmonth name is a territorial one, and derives from the Learmonth lands in Berwichshire, and is an old surname in the Merse area. Thomas Learmonth, also known as Thomas the Rhymer, was a 13th century Scottish laird from Berwickshire, and a supposed prophet. He put many of his prophecies to rhyme, including his prediction of the death of Alexander III. Thomas’ reputation for the supernatural powers was said to have even rivalled that of Merlin.

In Swinton in 1408, a William de Leirmontht was a juror on an inquisition. In 1413 a Andrea de Lermwth is recorded in Edinburgh, and makes another appearance under the surname Lermonth in 1426. In Berwick an Alexander Leyremonthe or Leremonthe was a clerk of works of for the town and castle in 1434.

Mikhail Lermontov

Mikhail Lermontov

In 1454 Jacobus Lermonth was the local congregation leader of the Glasgow diocese and notary public. By marriage into the Dairsies of Fife, the Learmonths established the family’s principal line. Sir James Learmouth of Dairsie was the provost of St. Andrews as well as being the Master to the Household of James V in 1546.

In 1604 it was appointed to Sir James Leirmonth, from the Balcomy Leirmonths, to contemplate a potential political union with England. The Balcomy Leirmonths no longer exist. In the 17th century, a Scottish Learmonth settled in Russia, and the famous 19th century Russian romantic writer and poet, Mikhail Lermontov (1814-1841) claimed to be a descendent of this Learmonth. Lermontov was thought of as the most important poet in Russia after the death of Alexander Pushkin in 1837. It has been claimed, however never proven, that Lermontov is related to Thomas the Rhymer.

In 1791, a John Learmont published a volume of Poems in Edinburgh.

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