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The Scottish Nation

LINDSAY, an ancient surname erroneously supposed to have been derived from the manor of Lindsai in Essex. By Sir David Lindsy of the Mount, it is called “Ane surname of renown.”

      The first of the name in Scotland appears to have been Walter de Lindsay, an Anglo-Norman, who was a witness or juror in the celebrated ‘Inquisitio,’ or Inquest of David I., when prince of Strathclyde or Cumbria, into the possessions and rights of the see of Glasgow within his territories, in 1116. After David’s accession to the throne, this Walter de Lindsay was one of his great barons. Although the surname is territorial, it does not appear to have been derived from the district of Lindeseye or Lindesey in Lincolnshire, for the Lindsays had no property in or connexion with that county till long after their settlement in Scotland. Lord Lindsay says: “There appears every reason to believe that the Scottish Lindsays are a branch of the Norman house of Limesay, long since extinct in the direct male line, both in Normandy and England, but which for several generations held a distinguished station, more particularly in the latter country. The name Lindesay and Limesay are identical, both of them implying ‘Isle of limetrees.’” (Lives of the Lindsays, vol. i. p. 3.) The old English word for limetree is linden, and in the appendix to the first volume of his family work Lord Lindsay gives 88 different forms in which the name has been spelled in charters and other ancient documents. The legendary accounts of the origin of the name are all now rejected. Wyntoun (Chron. B. 8. 7. 159), with a prudent reserve says:

                        “Of England came the Lyndysay,
                        Mair of them I can nocht say.”

Families of this surname are now spread all over Scotland.


      William de Lindsay, apparently the son of the above-mentioned Walter de Lindsay, the progenitor in Scotland of the Lindsays “light and gay,” is also frequently mentioned as a witness to the royal charters. He is supposed to have had two sons, Walter and William de Lindsay. The latter, who carried on the line of succession, had his residence at Ercildon, now Earlston, in Roxburghshire, and was a liberal benefactor to Dryburgh abbey, as was also his son, Walter de Lindsay. Among other grants made to it was a portion of land at Cadeslea, on the banks of the Cadden water, near to where it joins the Tweed, the scene of the beautiful ballad of ‘Katherine Janfarie,’ from which Sir Walter Scott took the hint of his spirited ballad of ‘Lochinvar.’ Walter de Lindsay and his son William also granted chargers to the abbey of Kelso. “The seals,” says Lord Lindsay, “of these two latter barons, Walter and William, preserved in the Chapter-house of Durham cathedral, exhibit a lively type of the character of the young Norman noble. They are represented on horseback, riding gently along, with falcon on wrist, unhelmeted, and with their shields hung carelessly behind them, – the only variation being that the father, Walter, rides without bridle or stirrup, and the bird rests placidly on his hand, while the latter, William, is in the act of slipping it on its prey,” The following is the seal of William de Lindsay:

[seal of William de Lindsay]

His grandson, William de Lindsay of Ercildun, styled also of Luffness, is witness to the charters of Malcolm IV. and William the Lion from 1161 to 1200. Between 1189 and 1199 he was high justiciary of Lothian. He was the first of the Lindsays connected with the territory of Crawford in Lanarkshire, which from them came afterwards to be called Crawford-Lindsay. He married Marjory, daughter of Henry, prince of Scotland; issue, 3 sons, Sir David, lord of Crawford; Sir Walter, ancestor of the Lindsays of Lamberton; and William, progenitor of the Lindsays of Luffness, who ultimately succeeded to the male representation of the Lindsays.

      Sir Davie, the eldest son, succeeded his father in 1200. He was high justiciary of Scotland, and is a frequent witness to the charters of his uncle, David earl of Huntingdon, the Sir Kenneth of Sir Walter Scott’s chivalrous romance of ‘The Talisman.’ He died in 1214. He had married an English kinswoman of his own, Aleonora de Limesay, the coheiress ultimately of the barons of Wolverley, to whom he had, with one daughter, Alice, four sons, David, Gerard, William, supposed to be identical with a ‘W. de Lindissi,’ who was chancellor of Scotland in 1231, and Walter. The eldest son, David, a minor at his father’s death, had been one of the hostages for King William in England. On the death, in 1222, of his mother’s brother, Sir John de Limesay, the English property which devolved on him extended over no less than seven counties. He was high justiciary of Lothian in 1238. He died in 1241, and was succeeded by his brother, Sir Gerard, on whose death in 1249, his two younger brothers having predeceased him, the whole of his extensive estates both in Scotland and England, devolved on his sister Alice de Lindsay, the wife of Sir Henry Pinkeney, a great baron of Northamptonshire, of whom mention has already been made (see CRAWFORD, earl of).


      Sir Walter de Lindsay, ancestor of the Lamberton family, was high justiciary of Lothian and constable or sheriff of Berwick, in the reign of William the Lion. His father, William de Lindesay, of Ercildun and Luffness, and first of Crawford, “dominus de Lamberton,’ in Berwickshire, granted to the monks of Coldingham the church of Ercheldun, with one ploughgate of land, (Chart. of Newbottle. Raine’s Hist. of N. Durham, App. p. 39). Lamberton fell to Sir Walter’s share. In 1215 he was sent ambassador to King John, with the bishop of St. Andrews, Ingelram de Baliol, and three other great barons, by King Alexander II. He joined the latter with the English barons against King John, who, in consequence, seized his lands in Huntingdonshire. He died either in 1221 or 1222. His son, Sir William, was one of the guarantees of peace with England at the convention of York in 1237, and with Sir David Lindsay of Luffness, at the still more important one of 1244. He married Alice, sister and coheiress of William de Lancaster, lord of Kendal, a descendant of the earls of Anjou, with whom he got various estates in Westmorland, Yorkshire, and Lancashire. His son, Walter de Lindsay, was succeeded by his son, Sir William, who married Ada, eldest surviving sister of the unfortunate King John Baliol, and ultimately eldest coheir of her nephew, Edward, pseudo-king of Scotland. He was killed in battle against Llewellyn, prince of Wales, 6th November 1283. His daughter and heiress, Christiana de Lindsay, was married by her cousin Alexander III. before 1285, to Ingelram de Guignes, second son of Arnold III., count of Guignes and Namur, and Sire de Couci (in 1311) in right of his mother Alice, the heiress of that illustrious house (see ALEXANDER ii.). It was in his wife’s right that he sat as a Scottish magnate in the great assemblies at Scone 5th February 1283-4, and at Brigham 17th March 1290, and on various other occasions both in England and Scotland. To Edward I. he devotedly adhered in the wars of the Scottish succession. Christiana’s direct representative was the late Duchesse d’Angouleme, the daughter of Louis XVI. of France. (See Lives of the Lindsays, vol. i. pp. 31, 32, and App. No. 3.)

      William de Lindsay, third son of William of Ercildon and first of Crawford, obtained from his father the barony of Luffness, near Aberlady, in Haddingtonshire. Dying in 1236, he was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir David Lindsay of Brenwevil and the Byres, in the same county. He was high justiciary of Lothian from 1243 to 1249, and in the convention between Scotland and England in 1244, one of the four great barons who swore, on the soul of their lord the king, that the conditions then entered into should be kept inviolate by him and his posterity.

      His son, Sir David, was one of the regents of Scotland during the intestine struggles of 1255, and high-chamberlain in 1256. He granted a charter of freedom to the abbey of Aberbrothwick from toll and custom in all the ports of his territories. He perished in the Holy Land, it is supposed in the last crusade of St. Louis in 1268, which had been joined by many of the Scottish nobles. His son, Sir Alexander de Lindsay, was high-chamberlain for several years under Alexander III., and one of the magnates Scotiae who, in the celebrated convention at Scone in February 1283-4, acknowledged Margaret of Norway, granddaughter of that monarch, as the heiress to the Scottish crown. In 1289, his son, also Sir Alexander, having been knighted by Edward I. himself, was one of the Scottish barons who, at the convention held at Brigham, after the death of Alexander III., agreed to the marriage of Margaret of Norway to the youthful Edward prince of Wales. His name, with those of seven other Lindsays, then all great feudal barons in Scotland, appears in the Ragman Roll as having sworn fealty to Edward I. in 1296. He was among the patriotic band who joined the banner of Wallace, but on 9th July 1297, he submitted unconditionally to Edward. Soon after, however, he is again found fighting for Scotland’s independence, and at the close of the protracted struggle in 1304-5, he was one of the seven adherents of Wallace specially excepted by the English king out of the general conditions of pardon offered to the rest of their countrymen. In 1307, with Edward Bruce and “the good” Sir James Douglas, he invaded Galloway, and sat as one of the great barons in the parliament of 16th March 1308-9, which acknowledged Robert the Brus as rightful king of Scotland. His son, described by Wyntoun (Chron. lib. viii. c. 40) as

                        “Schir Daivy the Lyndyssay,
                        That was true and of stedfast fay,”

throughout his life adhered to the cause of the Brus. His father, Sir Alexander, is said to have had two other sons, namely, William de Lindsay, rector of Ayr, and chamberlain of Scotland from 1317 to 1322, and Sir James Lindsay, who was with Brus at Dumfries in 1306, when Comyn was assassinated. With other Lindsays he had sworn fealty to King Edward I. in 1296, and was ancestor of the once great house of Lindsay of Dunrod. (Nisbet’s Heraldry, vol. ii. p. 47). Alexander de Lindsay, killed at Halidonhill, 19th July 1333, is also supposed to have been a younger son of his (Douglas’ Peerage, Wood’s edition, vol. i. p. 372 Note).

      Sir David, the eldest son, was either taken prisoner at the battle of Bannockburn, or some time before, as with two of his brothers, Reginald, and Alexander, and Sir Andrew Moray, he was exchanged five months afterwards. He was one of the Scots nobles who signed the famous letter to the Pope in 1320, asserting the independence of Scotland, in which it was declared that “never, so long as one hundred Scots are alive, will we be subject to the yoke of England.” IN 1323 he was one of the Scottish guarantees for the observance of a treaty of peace with England, to last for thirteen years. He was captured at the battle of Halidonhill in 1333 with his brother, Sir Alexander, and his kinsman Sir John Lindsay of Wauchopdale, at one time governor of Perth, all three knights bannerets. From Robert I. he received several grants of land and an hereditary annual rent of one hundred marks, then a very large sum, from the great customs of Dundee. In 1325 he married Mary, coheiress of the Abernethies, and received with her large estates in the shires of Roxburgh, Fife, and Angus. At one period he was governor of Berwick castle, and in 1346 he was appointed keeper of the castle of Edinburgh. Wyntoun (Chron. b. ii. p. 266) says of him in this capacity:

                        “Intil his time with the countrie,
                        Na riot, na na strife made he.”

In 1349, and again in 1351, he was one of the commissioners appointed to treat about the ransom of King David II. He died after November 1355. He had four sons; namely, David, killed at the battle of Durham, 17th October 1346, unmarried, and only twenty-one; Sir James, who succeeded Sir Alexander, of whom immediately; and Sir William, whose appanage was the Byres in Haddingtonshire, (see next article). Sir Alexander, the third son, was twice married; first, to Catherine, daughter of Sir John de Stirling, and heiress of Glenesk and Edzell in Angus, besides lands in Inverness-shire, and by her had Sir David, of Glenesk, the first earl of Crawford, and Sir Alexander; and secondly, to Marjory Stuart, niece of Robert II., by whom he had, with one daughter, two sons, Sir William of Rossie, ancestor of the Lindsays of Dowhill; and Sir Walter, sheriff of Aberdeenshire in 1417, and styled of Kinneff in 1422.

      Sir James, the eldest surviving son of Sir David, was one of the great barons who sat in the parliament at Edinburgh, 26th September 1357, and became bound for the fulfilment of the conditions of the release of David II., at Berwick, on the 3d of the following month, and is supposed to have died the same year. He married his cousin, Egidia, daughter of Walter, high-steward of Scotland, and sister of King Robert II., and by her had an only son, Sir James Lindsay, lord of Crawford, and a daughter, Isabella, wife of Sir John Maxwell of Pollock, The lady Egidia afterwards married Sir Hugh Eglinton of Eglinton.

      The son, Sir James Lindsay of Crawford, was present at the coronation of his uncle, King Robert II. at Scone, 26th March 1371, and next day took the oaths of homage and fealty to him. In 1374, and again in 1381, he was a commissioner to treat with England. Besides being high justiciary of Scotland, he was also sheriff of Lanarkshire. In 1382, the feuds which so long subsisted between the Glammis family and the Lindsays originated in the following circumstance: Sir John Lyon, the ancestor of the house of Glammis, a young man of comely appearance and winning manners, had been recommended by Sir James Lindsay to the king, who made him his private secretary, bestowed on him the castle and thanedom of Glammis, gave him one of his daughters in marriage, and finally created him high chamberlain of Scotland. Sir James Lindsay seems to have taken high umbrage at this signal advancement, which seemed greater than his own. “Finding,” says Godscroft, “his own credit with the king to decrease, and Lyon’s to increase, and taking Lyon to be the cause thereof, esteeming it great ingratitude after so great benefit, he took it so highly and with such indignation that, finding him accidentally in his way a little from Forfar, he slew him very cruelly, and fearing the king’s wrath, fled into a voluntary exile.” By this unhappy event he incurred the displeasure of the king; but the earls of Douglas and March pleading his cause at court, after a short absence, during which he went on pilgrimage to Thomas a Beckett’s shrine at Canterbury, (his safe-conduct is dated 16th January 1383), he was recalled and pardoned. The Scotichronicon, in alluding to this affair, styles Sir James “lord of Crawford and Buchan;” he was also lord of Wygton, by charter, 19th April 1372. (Lives of the Lindsays, vol. i. p. 73.)

      In 1383, the “Sire de Lindsay,” as Sir James is called by Froissart, with the other knights of the family, called “the children of Lindsay,” [“six frères, tous chevaliers,”] and the earls of Moray and Douglas, and some other barons, entered England at the head of 15,000 men, and wasted the lands of the Percies and Mowbrays, and the whole country to the gates of Newcastle. Soon after a French force, under John de Vienne, admiral of France, was sent over to assist the Scots against the English, bringing large subsidies to be distributed among the principal Scots nobles, towards the expenses of the war; of which Sir James Lindsay received 2,000 livres tournois, equal to £8,000 of our money, Sir David Lindsay of Glenesk, 500, equal to £2,000, and Sir William Lindsay of the Byres the like sum. (Rym. Faed. tom. vi. p. 485, quoted by Lord Lindsay.) In 1388 Sir James accompanied the earl of Douglas in his incursion into England, and witnessed the death of that hero at the battle of Otterburn, 19th August of that year. In the ancient ballad descriptive of that battle, the Lindsays are thus mentioned, as forming part of Douglas’ array:

                        “He has chosen the Lindsays licht,
                              With them the Gordons gay.”

And in the account of the battle it is said,

                        “The Lindsays flew like fire about
                              Till a’ the fray was dune.”

In the English ballad of Otterburn, Sir James is styled the lord of Buchan:

                        “The lord of Bowghan in armure bright.”

      After the battle Sir James was taken prisoner, under the following circumstances, as related by Froissart. Followed by his squire he had pursued on horseback, lance in hand, Sir Matthew Redman, governor of Berwick, and joint commander of one of the two divisions of Percy’s force. After a chase of more than three English leagues, he came up with him, and a combat ensued between them by the light of the moon. Sir James aimed at him with his lance, but Sir Matthew avoided the blow, and the point of the lance being buried in the ground, Sir Matthew cut it in two with his sword. Sir James then seized his battle-axe, which hung from his neck, and assailed Sir Matthew, who defended himself bravely. After thus fighting for a long time, Sir Matthew’s sword was struck out of his hand, and he yielded himself prisoner, rescue or no rescue, but requested to be allowed to return to Newcastle, promising by St. Michael’s day to render himself at Dunbar, or Edinburgh, or at any port in Scotland which Sir James might choose. “I am willing,” said the latter; “let it be at Edinburgh on the day you name.” They then took leave of each other, and on their return to the Scottish army, Sir James and his squire lost themselves in a heath, the moon having gone down and the night being dark. coming at last to a path, they followed it, but it was the direct road to Newcastle, and on their way they fell in with the bishop of Durham, who had been too late for the battle, and at that very time was returning to Newcastle at the head of 500 men. Into the midst of this company Sir James rode, thinking they were his friends, and that they were close to Otterburn. He thus became the bishop’s prisoner. At Newcastle, Sir Matthew Redman, having gone next day to see the bishop, was informed by Richard Hebeden, or Hepburn, Sir James’ squire, of his master’s misadventure. He accordingly waited on him, when Sir James said that there would be no need of his going to Edinburgh to obtain his ransom, as they might be exchanged for each other. They then dined together, Sir James being entertained by Sir Matthew. When the news of Sir James’ capture reached King Richard, who was then at Cambridge, he despatched a mandate to the earl of Northumberland, not to dismiss him, either for pledge or ransom, till farther orders. He subsequently, however, obtained his liberty.

      In 1395, his wife, Margaret Keith, daughter of Sir William Keith, great marischal of Scotland, having had a quarrel with her nephew, Robert de Keith, was besieged by him in her castle of Fyvie in Aberdeenshire. she sent notice to her husband, Sir James Lindsay, who was then at court, on which he hastened north with 400 men, but was intercepted by Keith near the Kirk of Bourtie, in the Garioch, when Sir James defeated him with the loss of 50 of his men. In 1386, Sir James and the earl of Moray, two of the leading men of the kingdom, were sent by Robert III. to endeavour to effect an amicable arrangement between the clan Chattan and the clan Kay; but having failed in the attempt, they proposed that the differences between them should be decided in open combat before the king, which led to the celebrated judicial conflict, on the North Inch of Perth, in the manner so graphically described in Sir Walter Scott’s ‘Fair Maid of Perth.’ In 1392 Sir James founded the convent of Trinity Friars at Dundee, for the ransom of Christian captives from Turkish slavery, which gradually assumed the character of an hospital for decayed burgesses of that town. Sir James died in 1397, without male issue, leaving two daughters, Margaret and Euphemia, respectively married to Sir Thomas Colville and Sir John Herries of Terreagles. He was succeeded in the chiefship of the Lindsays, and the barony of Crawford, and the other entailed estates of the family, by his cousin-german, Sir David Lindsay of Glenesk, first earl of Crawford (see CRAWFORD, earl of). Sir David’s father, Sir Alexander Lindsay of Glenesk, third son of Sir David Lindsay of Crawford, was one of the commissioners appointed to treat of peace with the English in 1367, one of the guarantees of a truce with them in 1369, and high justiciary of the north of Scotland. The barony of the Byres in Haddingtonshire, which had been conferred on him by Sir James, his elder brother, was resigned by him in 1366, to his younger brother, Sir William, of whom mention is made in the next article. With Sir John Edmonstone, he had a safe-conduct, 4th December 1381, to pass through England towards the Holy Land, and he died in 1382, in the island of Candia, on his pilgrimage to Jerusalem, leaving four sons and a daughter.


LINDSAY, earl of, a title (dormant since 1808), in the peerage of Scotland, conferred in 1633, on John, tenth Lord Lindsay of the Byres, grandson of Sir William Lindsay of the Byres, fourth son of Sir David Lindsay of Crawford. Sir William obtained from King David II. a charter of the lands of Byres, on the resignation, as already stated, of his brother, Sir Alexander de Lindsay, to him and the heirs male of his body, 17th January 1365-6. From Sir Alexander also he had the offices of hereditary bailie and seneschal of the regality of the archbishopric of St. Andrews (which had been granted to him by the archbishop of that see, 9th April 1378). With his wife, Christiana, daughter of Sir William Mure of Abercorn, whom he married about 1374, he acquired the barony of Abercorn and other extensive estates. Like his brother Sir Alexander, he also went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and knighted the son of St. Bridget of Sweden at the Holy Sepulchre, but the date of this expedition has not been ascertained. (Lives of the Lindsays, vol. i. p. 74.) He was the father of another Sir William Lindsay of the Byres, who is often confounded with him. The latter, by his marriage with Christiana, daughter of Sir William Keith, hereditary marischal of Scotland, obtained the barony of Dunottar, with its impregnable castle, in Kincardineshire, which, sometime between 1382 and 1397, he exchanged, with his father-in-law, for the estate and castle of Struthers in Fife, the Keiths becoming bound that, in time of war, the infant heir of the Lindsays of the Byres should reside, with his attendants, in Dunottar. Soon after the battle of Otterburn, Sir William Lindsay of the Byres, the bishop of Aberdeen, Sir Archibald Douglas, and Sir John Sinclair, were sent to France, as commissioners for Scotland, to protest against a proposed truce for three years between the English and French, but on their arrival they found the treaty concluded. From King Robert III. he had a charter of the sheriffship of Edinburgh and the constabulary of Haddington, in liferent. In 1398 he was one of the guarantees of a truce with England. He died before 1424. He had three legitimate sons, and one illegitimate. The latter, Andrew, to whom he gave the lands of Garmilton, in East Lothian, was great-grandfather of Sir David Lindsay of the Mount, lord lion king at arms, of whom a memoir follows.

      Sir John Lindsay of the Byres, the eldest son, was one of the hostages for King James I. in 1424. He was created in 1445, a lord of parliament, under the title of Lord Lindsay of the Byres. In 1451 he was a commissioner to treat of peace with England, and obtained a safe-conduct into that kingdom in July of that year. He was one of the privy councillors of James II., and held the office of justiciary of Scotland beyond the Forth from 1457 to 1466. In the latter capacity he presided, in association with Walter Lindsay of Beaufort, ancestor of the Lindsays of Edzell and Balcarres, then acting as sheriff of Aberdeenshire, during the minority of his nephew, David fifth earl of Crawford, in the solemn assize, of justice-ayre, held in the tolbooth at Aberdeen, on 5th November 1457, when James II. appeared in person before them, to claim the earldom of Mar, attended by the chancellor, constable, marischal, and other high officers of state, and splendid train of courtiers and nobles. He died in 1479. He had, with four daughters, nine sons. David, the eldest son, John the second, and Patrick, the fourth, were successively lords Lindsay of the Byres. Sir Walter Lindsay, the fifth son, preceptor of Torphichen, and lord of St. John, had fought in the wars in Italy and Spain, and against the Turks, in company with the knights of Rhodes. He was a lord of session, under the title of Lord St. John, and died in 1538.

      David, the eldest son, second Lord Lindsay of the Byres, distinguished himself in the foreign wars, and in 1488, when the insurgent nobles appeared in arms against James III., he adhered faithfully to that unfortunate monarch. At the head of the Fifeshire men he joined the forces of the king, and according to Lindsay of Pitscottie, *vol. i. p. 216,) he presented “ane great grey courser,” of remarkable spirit and beauty, which he rode, to his majesty, assuring him that whether for flight or pursuit, it “would waur (or beat) all the horse of Scotland at his pleasure, if he would sit well.” At the battle of Sauchieburn which ensued, 9th June 1488, Lord Lindsay was one of the commanders of the third division of his army.

      On the meeting of parliament in October following the death of James III., summonses were issued to the chief adherents of the late king, to appear at Edinburgh and answer for their treasonable convocation in his defence against his son, James IV. Lord Lindsay of the Byres was one of those thus summoned, and he made appearance accordingly. An account is given by Pitscottie of his trial on the occasion “a trial,” says Lord Lindsay, “of which no trace now remains in the public records, and which the learned Pinkerton consequently believes to refer to an insurrection which broke out in the summer and autumn of 1489, headed by the earl of Lennox, Lord Forbes, and a few other adherents of the late king, and which was soon put down.” On 10th May 1489, his lordship and his associates were arraigned before the king and council assembled in the Tolbooth, Lord Lindsay’s name being first specified in the summons. He was called upon to “answer for the cruel coming againes the king at Bannockburn with his father, and in giving him counsel to have debarred his son the king’s grace here present; and to that effect gave him ane sword and ane good horse, to fortify him againes his son.” Being totally unacquainted with forms of law, and having no lawyer to speak for him, the stout Lord Lindsay, who was a soldier, and did not understand the proceedings, started up and said hastily and rashly, “Ye are all lurdanes, my lords! I say ye are false trators to your prince, and that I will prove with my hands on any of ye whilk halds you best, from the king’s grace down. For ye, false lurdanes! Hes caused the king to come againes his father in plain battle, where that noble prince was cruelly murthered among your hands by your advice, though ye brought the prince in presence for your behoof, to make him the buckler of your enterprise. Therefore, false lurdales; an the king punish you not hastily for that murther, ye will murther himself when ye see time, as ye did his father.” Then addressing the king, he advised him to beware of them and give them no credence, for they who were false to his father could never be true to himself. The chancellor endeavoured to excuse his “rude speech and sharp accusation,” by saying to the king that Lord David Lindsay was “but ane man of the auls warld,’ and could not “answer formally, nor yet speak reverently in his grace’s presence,” and he advised his lordship “to come in the king’s will,” that is, submit to the king’s mercy. His brother, Patrick Lindsay, being present, stamped on Lord Lindsay’s foot, to make him understand that he should not do so; and he, having, as Pitscottie says, “ane sair tae,” the pain was so great as to cause him to exclaim to his brother, “Thou art ower pert, loon! To stramp upon my foot; wert thou out of the king’s presence, I should take thee on the mouth.” But Patrick, having obtained permission to speak for his brother, objected to the king sitting in judgment in a matter to which he was himself a party, on which the king was advised to withdraw. He then pointed out a defect in the citation which rendered it null, and al the persons summoned were accordingly released, and no farther steps were ever taken against them. This successful defence pleased his brother so much that he exclaimed, “By St. Mary, you shall have the Mains of Kirkforthar for your day’s labour.” The king, on the other hand, was so incensed against Patrick that he committed him to the castle of Rothesay, where he kept him a prisoner for a whole year. Lord Lindsay died in 1492, and was succeeded by his brother, John, third Lord Lindsay of the Byres, commonly called “John out with the sword,” who died in 1497, without male issue.

      Patrick, above mentioned, became fourth Lord Lindsay of the Byres. He accompanied James IV. in his fatal expedition to England in September 1513. Previous to the battle of Flodden, a council was called to discuss the propriety of hazarding the king’s person, in the fight that was about to ensue, of which he was appointed president, as being “the most learned of their number, and of the greatest age, and of the greatest experience amongst them all.” (Pitscottie, p. 179.) His opinion being asked in the first place, he advised that his majesty should be removed to a secure distance from the field, with some of his nobles. To this conclusion the rest of the council agreed, when James, who was present in disguise, broke out into a furious exclamation that he would fight against England with his own arm, and swore that he would hang Lord Lindsay over his own gate, when he returned to Scotland. His lordship escaped the carnage of that disastrous day, and was one of the four lords appointed by parliament, 1st December 1513, continually to remain with the queen-mother, to give her counsel and assistance. He died in 1526. He had, with a daughter, three sons: Sir John, master of Lindsay, styled Sir John Lindsay of Pitcruvy, who died before his father in 1525; David of Kirkforthar, slain at Flodden; and William Lindsay, ancestor of the Lindsays of Pyetstone and Wormestone, the former represented in the collateral and the latter in the direct male line by the Lindsay Bethunes of Kilconquhar. John, master of Lindsay, had married Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Sir Robert Lundin of Balgony in Fife, high-treasurer of Scotland, and by her had, with a daughter, John, fifth Lord Lindsay of the Byres; Patrick, killed under the king’s standard in 1526; and David Lindsay of Kirkforthar.

      John, fifth lord, was sheriff of Fife in 1526, the year of his accession to the title. Having supported the earl of Lennox in his ineffectual attempt to rescue the young king from the hands of the Douglases, Angus, among other lands, took for himself “the ample principality of Lord Lindsay.” Pitscottie (vol. ii. p. 330) says, “At this time the Douglases pat sair at the Lord Lindsay, and thocht to have forfault him, but he gave largely of his lands and geir to escape that envy for the present time, thinking that that court wald nocht continue lang.” He was appointed an extraordinary lord of session, June 27, 1532, and in 1540 he was present at the condemnation of Sir John Borthwick, for heresy. He was also on the assize of Sir James Hamilton of Finnart, for treason. In 1542 he witnessed the death of James V. at Falkland, and was one of the four noblemen to whom the charge of the infant Queen Mary was committed. In 1544 he was a principal commander at Ancrum Muir, when Sir Ralph Evers and Sir Brian Layton were defeated by the earl of Angus.

      On 13th June 1559, when the French troops and those of the Congregation confronted each other on Cupar muir, Lord Lindsay was employed by the queen-regent, Mary of Guise, to mediate between them, which he did with so much skill, addressing himself to all the parties in their turn, that hostilities were averted, and a truce agreed to, which, however, was soon broken by the queen. He was present in the convention of 1st August 1560, when the reformed religion was sanctioned and popish supremacy abolished in Scotland. Rising up in his place, and alluding to his extreme age, he declared that since God had spared him to see that day, and the accomplishment of so worthy a work, he was ready, with Simeon, to say, “Nune dimittis.” He was appointed one of the twenty-four lords from among whom the crown was to choose eight and the nobility six for the government of the country. With the other lords of council, he signed, on 17th January 1561, an approbation of the Book of Discipline. He died in 1563.

      His eldest son, Patrick, sixth Lord Lindsay of the Byres, is noted in history for his harsh conduct to Queen Mary when confined in Lochleven castle. He was, when master of Lindsay, one of the first of the nobility who joined the Reformers, and he became an enthusiast in their cause. It has been remarked that the Lindsays of the Byres were always distinguished “for the fervour of their zeal abut the reformation of religion, for the warmth of their attachment to every image of liberty, and for the steadiness of their adherence to all those measures which they supposed would promote them.” Lord Lindsay, who quotes this remark (from Wallace on Ancient Peerages, p. 322), adds, “This adherence and attachment ran to the length of fanaticism, rendering each successive head of the family the zealot of his time – whether under Mary, Charles I., or James II.” (Lives of the Lindsays, vol. i. p. 267.) He assisted his friend, the celebrated Kirkaldy of Grange, in harassing the French forces in Fife, night and day, and on one occasion had his horse killed under him. He and Kirkaldy besieged and took an old ruin called Glennis House, which a French officer, of the name of La Bastie, has fortified. The latter defended himself for a long time with a halbert, till Lindsay, in a hand to hand combat with him, slew him. His zeal against popery was so great that on the first Sunday after Mary’s arrival from France in 1561, when he heard that mass was about to be celebrated in her private chapel at Holyrood, “he buckled on his harness, assembled his followers, and rushing into the court of the palace, shouted aloud that the idolatrous priests should die the death,” and they were only saved by the interference of the queen’s half-brother, Lord James Stuart, afterwards the regent Moray.

      Soon after, on a petition being presented to the queen, from the leaders of the Congregation, praying that the earl of Bothwell and some other young noblemen, who had created a riot in the town, should be punished, “the flatterers of the court,” says Knox, “at the first stormed, and asked, ‘Who durst avow it?’ To whom the master of Lindsay answered, ‘A thousand gentlemen within Edinburgh!’ – they said no more. The queen reprimanded the rioters, and banished Bothwell from court for ten days.” (Knox’s Historie, vol. ii. p. 317.) When Mary resided at St. Andrews, the master of Lindsay, rude and blunt as he was, was a sharer of her sports in the privy gardens there, where, as Randolph wrote to Burleigh, it “would have well contented your honour, to have seen the queen and the master of Lindsay shoot at the butts against the earl of Mar and one of the ladies.” He was one of the leaders of the royal army that on 20th October, 1563, defeated the earl of Huntly at Corrichie in Aberdeenshire. In the ancient ballad of the ‘Battle of Corrichie’ he is thus mentioned:

                        “Moray gart raise the hardy Mersemen,
                              An’ Angus and mony ane mair,
                        Erle Morton and the Byres Lord Lindsay,
                              An’ campit on the Hill o’Fare.”

He succeeded his father in 1563. He had a charter of the Dominical lands of the monastery of Haddington, with the tithes of Muirtown, Drem, and Drymhills, 9th December 1580, and obtained a confirmation of his hereditary office of justiciary of St. Andrews, to be held thenceforth of the crown. On the evening of the murder of Rizzio, 9th March 1565-6, he and Morton, with 150 men, occupied the palace-court of Holyrood and Darnley’s apartments on the ground-floor, while Ruthven and Darnley with their followers were in the queen’s apartments committing the deed. On the retreat of the conspirators to England, the earl of Crawford obtained a gift of the forfeiture of Lord Lindsay, but they were pardoned at the request of Huntly and Argyle, and returned to Scotland towards the beginning of 1567. He does not appear to have had any concern in the murder of Darnley, on the 9th February of that year. After the marriage of the queen with Bothwell he subscribed the bond of association for her rescue from that profigate nobleman, the preservation and safe-keeping of the infant prince, and the punishment of the king’s murderers. He was at Carberry Hill, with the other confederated lords, on the 15th June, and when Bothwell challenged Morton, who accepted the challenge, to single combat, “Lord Lindsay,” says Godscroft, (p. 297) “stepping forth, besought Morton and the rest, for all the service that ever his predecessors or himself had done or could do unto their country, that they would do him that honour as to suffer him to undertake that combat, which, he said, did also duly belong to him in regard of his nearness of blood to the defunct king.” His request was granted, and Morton presented him with a famous two-handed sword, which had belonged to his ancestor Bell-the-Cat, earl of Angus, in the reign of James III., and which, in spite of its cumbrous size, Lindsay wore ever afterwards. He “then proceeded to arm himself, and kneeling down before the ranks, audibly implored God to strengthen his arm to punish the guilty and protect the innocent. Bothwell too seemed eager to fight, but at this critical juncture Mary interfered, and resolutely forbade the encounter.” After the surrender of Mary, “she called for Lindsay, one of the fiercest of the confederated barons, and bade him give her his hand. He obeyed. ‘By the hand,’ she said, ‘which is now in yours, I’ll have your head for this!’” (Tytler’s Hist. of Scotland, vol. vii. p. 137.) The following day, the unfortunate queen was sent to the castle of Lochleven, and confined there under the charge of Lindsay and Ruthven. By the confederated lords he was sent to Lochleven to prevail upon the queen to resign the crown, bearing with him the necessary papers for her signature. Mr. Tytler observes: “From Lindsay Mary had everything to dread; her passionate menace to him on the day she was taken prisoner at Carberry had not been forgotten, and he was not selected as a man whom she would hardly dare to resist.” “When Lindsay was admitted, his stern behavior at once terrified her into compliance. He laid the instruments before her, and with eyes filled with tears, and a trembling hand, she took the pen and signed the papers without even reading their contents. It was necessary, however, that they should pass the privy seal, and here a new outrage was committed. The keeper, Thomas Sinclair, remonstrated, and declared that, the queen being in ward, her resignation was ineffectual; Lindsay attacked his house, tore the seal from his hands, and compelled him by threats and violence to affix it to the resignation.” (Tytler’s Hist. of Scotland, vol. vii. p. 165.) Lord Lindsay’s alleged personal ill usage of the queen on this occasion, as related by Sir Walter Scott, has ho foundation in fact.

      At the battle of Langside, a charge by Lindsay, at the critical moment, decided the fate of the day. He attended, with Moray, Lethington, and others, at the trial of Queen Mary, before the commissioners of Elizabeth. Lord Herries having, about the end of 1568, accused the regent’s party of Darnley’s murder, Lord Lindsay wrote him a letter stating that he had “therein lied in his throat,” which he would “maintain, God willing, against him, as became him, of honour and duty.” Lord Herries, in reply, denied that he had meant to include Lord Lindsay, in particular, in the accusation, “but let any,” he added, “of the principals that were there, subscrive the like writing ye have sent to me, and I shall point him forth, and fight with any of the traitors therein.” His lordship acted a prominent part in the hostilities carried on between the rival factions, the king’s men and the queen’s men, and on 16th June 1571, he and Morton slew the commendator of Kilwinning and 60 others, and took Lord Home and 80 gentlemen of the queen’s party prisoners. Soon after 60 of Lord Lindsay’s cows were driven away from his estate of the Byres, but on the following day he defeated Spens of Wormestone, Lord Seton, and others in the High Street of Edinburgh, Seton being taken and carried away by Lord Lindsay. His lordship was at this time governor of Leith, during the absence of the regent at the parliament at Stirling. When his old friend, Kirkaldy of Grange, held the castle of Edinburgh for the queen, Lord Lindsay was appointed in his stead provost of Edinburgh, and closely invested the castle with batteries of cannon and artillery. He visited John Knox on his deathbed, and when Kirkaldy at last surrendered, he used his utmost efforts with the regent to save him, but in vain.

      He afterwards became estranged from Morton, and in March 1577-8, he was one of the leaders of the party which effected his fall. On the 1st April the castle of Edinburgh was surrendered by Morton’s lieutenant to Lindsay and Ruthven, and Lindsay was appointed one of the council of twelve in whom the administration was vested. On Morton regaining power, he issued summonses in the king’s name, commanding the attendance of the malcontent nobles at a convention to be held at Stirling. Refusing attendance, they sent Lindsay and the earl of Montrose to protest against the convention, as in no sense a free parliament. On Lindsay doing so, Morton, interrupting him, commanded him and his companion to take their places; to which Lindsay answered that he would stand there till the king ordered him to his seat. James then repeated the command, and the old lord sat down. On the Estates proceeding to choose the Lords of the articles, as the committee of parliament was called, Lindsay again protested against the proceedings, calling all to witness that every act of such a parliament was null, and the choosing of the lords an empty farce. “think ye, Sir,” said Morton, in a rage, “that this is a court of churls or brawlers? Take your own place, and thank God that the king’s youth keeps you safe from his resentment!: :I have served the king in his minority,” said Lindsay, “as faithfully as the proudest among ye, and I think to serve his grace no less truly in his majority.” On this Morton whispered something in the king’s ear, whereupon James said, “Lest any man should judge this not to be a free parliament, I declare it free, and those who love me will think as I think.” The dissentient lords immediately gathered their followers, and marched to Falkirk, 7,000 strong. They were there met by Morton, at the head of 5,000 men, but a compromise being effected, Lindsay, Montrose, Argyle and their friends were re-elected into the privy council. On the downfall of Morton, he abandoned his seat at the council, and retired to his own house “much discontented.” In 1582 he was one of the noblemen and others concerned in seizing the king’s person at the raid of Ruthven. On the king recovering his liberty, he with the rest fled into England. In 1584 he was committed to Tantallan castle, as a suspected partaker in the conspiracy of Gowrie, Angus, Marr, and others, for a second seizure of the king’s person, and surprise of the castle of Stirling. After his release from prison, being an old man, he retired almost wholly from public affairs, and died on 11th December 1589. His character is thus summed up by Lord Lindsay: “Fiercest and most bigoted of the lords of the Congregation, and doomed to an unenviable immortality in the pages of Sir Walter Scott, he was yet an honester man than most of his contemporaries, and his zeal for the establishment of Protestantism seems to have been sincere, however alloyed by meaner motives. Personally, he was an excellent soldier, accomplished in all warlike exercises, though extremely short-sighted, – quick and hasty in temper; in manners bluff and rude, in intellect uncrafty, straight-forward, and unsuspicious – ‘the hero,’ in short, ‘of the party,’ and ‘a man they could not weill want’ (Crawford’s Hist. of the Lindsays, MS.) ‘To execute their boldest enterprises,’ – a bitter enemy, I may add, while his rival’s star prevailed, but the first to forgive and take his part when his own had gained the ascendant,’ (Lives of the Lindsays, vol. i. p. 176.) He married the regent Moray’s half-sister, the beautiful Euphemia Douglas, the eldest of the seven daughters of Sir Robert Douglas of Lochleven, commonly called the seven fair porches of Lochleven, and with two daughters, he had a son, James, seventh Lord Lindsay of the Byres. His brother, Norman Lindsay, was ancestor of the Lindsays of Kilquhiss. He had six sisters, married respectively to Norman Leslie, master of Rothes, the assassin of Cardinal Bethune, Thomas Myreton of Cambo, David Bethune of Melgum, a natural son of the cardinal, Sir George Douglas, the deliverer of Queen Mary from Lochleven, Thomas Fotheringham of Powrie, and David Kinnear of Kinnear.

      James, seventh Lord Lindsay of the Byres, also distinguished himself in the Protestant cause. He joined in a band against Huntly and the papists, in March 1592, and in October of the same year, during the king’s progress in the north, it was chiefly through “the good Lord Lindsay’s” instance that he destroyed Huntly’s castle of Strathbogie and others. On 5th January 1593, a meeting of barons and ministers took place in Mr. Robert Bruce’s gallery at Edinburgh, when it was agreed that an expostulation should be made to the king on account of his encouragement of the papists. Some of those present, however, expressed themselves, in the afternoon of the same day, anxious that the commissioners appointed to go down to the palace to the king should not go, as he was highly offended with the meeting, and his presence would only irritate him more; but Lord Lindsay put an end to the debate by saying boldly, “I will goe doun with the barons, go who will. We will not desist from our conclusion made before noone.” So accordingly they went. (Calderwood, vol. v. p. 216.)

      During the famous tumult of December 17, 1596, he acted a conspicuous part. He and three other barons, with the two ministers, Bruce and Watson, were sent by the noblemen and barons convened in the Little church, to the king, then sitting in the upper Tolbooth, with some of his privy council, for redress of the wrongs done to the kirk, and to avert the dangers threatened to religion. “What dangers?” said James, after listening to a speech from Bruce, “I see none; and who dares convene, contrary to my proclamation?” “Dares!” retorted Lord Lindsay, “we dare more than that, and shall not suffer the truth to be overthrown.” Alarmed at the language and gestures of Lindsay, with the rush of people into the apartment, the king retreated from the room and the protestant lords and ministers returned to the Little kirk, where great confusion prevailed, and Lindsay, to prevent them separating, cried aloud, “There is no course but one; let us stay together that are here, and promise to take one part, and advertise our friends and the favourers of religion to come unto us, and let the day be either theirs or ours.” This speech increased the uproar, and violence would undoubtedly have ensued, had not the provost, Sir Alexander Hume, brought the armed crafts of the city, and put down the riot. In the kirk yard at the back of the church, some hot words passed between the earl of Mar, who had been sent by the king to remonstrate with the ministers, and Lord Lindsay, and they could not be pacified for a long time. For his share in this tumult, the latter “was compelled to pay ane great sum of money.” He died 5th November 1601. With three daughters he had two sons. John, eighth lord, who died 5th November 1609, without male issue, and Robert, ninth Lord Lindsay of the Byres, who died at Bath, 9th July 1616. With one daughter the latter had a son, John, tenth Lord Lindsay of the Byres, born in 1596, and created earl of Lindsay and Lord Parbroath, to him and his heirs male, bearing the name and arms of the Lords Lindsay, by patent, dated at Theobald’s 8th May 1633. In 1644 he assumed the title of earl of Crawford, and was thenceforth known under the name of Crawford-Lindsay. (See CRAWFORD, earl of.)

LINDSAY, SIR DAVID, of the Mount, a celebrated poet, moralist, and reformer, descended from the noble family of Lindsay of the Byres in Haddingtonshire, was born in 1490. His birthplace is supposed to have been his father’s seat, called the Mount, near Cupar-Fife. He was educated at the university of St. Andrews, which he entered in 1505, and quitted in 1509. In 1512 he became an attendant on the infant prince, afterwards James V., and his duty seems to have been t take the personal charge of him in his hours of recreation. He held this post till 1524, when he was dismissed on a pension, through the intrigues of the four guardians, to whose care the young king was committed in that year. In 1528 he produced his ‘Dreame,’ written during his banishment from court. In this poem he exposes, with great truth and boldness, the disorders in Church and State, which had arisen from the licentious lives of the Romish clergy, and the usurpations of the nobles. In the following year he presented his ‘Complaynt’ to the king, in which he reminds his majesty of his faithful services in the days of his early youth. In 1530 James appointed him lyon king-at-arms, and conferred on him the honour of knighthood. In the ‘Complaynt of the King’s Papingo,’ Sir David’s next production, he makes the royal parrot satirise the vices of the Popish clergy, in a style of such pungent humour as must have been most galling to the parties against whom his invective is directed. He was, however, protected by the king against their resentment.

      In 1531 Sir David was sent, with two other ambassadors, to Antwerp, to renew an ancient treaty of commerce with the Netherlands; and on his return he married a lady of the Douglas family. In 1535 he produced before the king, at the Castlehill of Cupar, a drama, entitled ‘A Satyre of the Three Estatis.’ In the same year, he and Sir John Campbell of Loudon were sent as ambassadors into Germany, to treat of a marriage with some princess of that country, but James afterwards preferred a connexion with France. In 1536 he wrote his answer to the ‘Kingis Flyting,’ and his ‘Complaynt of Basche, the King’s Hound;’ and in 1538, ‘The Supplication against Syde Taillis,’ part of women’s dress. On the death of Magdalene of France, two months after her marriage with James V., Lindsay composed his ‘Deploratioun of the Death of Queen Magdalene.’ In 1538, on the arrival in Scotland of Mary of Guise, James’ second consort, Sir David superintended a variety of public pageants and spectacles for the welcoming her majesty at St. Andrews. In 1541 he produced ‘Kitty’s Confession,’ written in ridicule of auricular confession.

      In 1542 King James died, and during the succeeding regency, the Romish clergy obtained an act to have Lindsay’s satirical poems, against them and their corruptions, publicly burnt. In 1544, and the two succeeding years, he represented the town of Cupar-Fife in the estates of parliament. In 1546 was printed at London, Lindsay’s ‘Tragical Death of David Beatoun, Bishoppe of St. Andrewes, in Scotland; whereunto is joined the Martyredom of Maister George Wyscharte, for whose sake the aforesaid Bishoppe was not long after slayne.’ His pithy stanza about the foulness of the deed, combined with its desirableness, has been often quoted (see BETHUNE).

      In 1548 Sir David Lindsay was sent on a mission to Denmark to solicit the aid of some ships to protect the coasts of Scotland against the English, a request that was not granted, and to negotiate a free trade in grain for the Scottish merchants, which was readily conceded. In 1550 he published the most pleasing of his compositions, ‘The History and Testament of Squire Meldrum;’ and in 1553 appeared his last and greatest work, ‘The Monarchie.’ The date of his death is unknown; but Dr. Irving places it in 1567. His portrait is subjoined, taken from a plate forming the frontispiece to the 1st vol. of Scottish Poems collected by Pinkerton, in 3 vols. London, 1792:

[portrait of Sir David Lindsay]

      As a poet Sir David Lindsay is esteemed inferior to Dunbar and Gawin Douglas, The whole of his writings are in the Scottish language, and his satirical powers and broad humour long rendered him an especial favourite with the common people of Scotland, with whom many of his moral sayings passed into proverbs. The most accurate edition of his works is that published by Mr. George Chalmers in 1806.

LINDSAY, ROBERT, of Pitscottie, the compiler of the curious work, entitled ‘The Chronicles of Scotland,’ was born about the beginning of the 16th century. Beyond the fact that he was a cadet of the noble family of Lindsay, nothing else has been recorded of his personal history. His ‘Chronicles’ include the period between 1436 and 1565, and are remarkable for the prosing simplicity of the style, and the credulity of the author, whose testimony is only to be relied upon when corroborated by other authorities. A correct edition of the ‘Chronicles of Scotland’ was published in 1814, by Mr. John Graham Dalyell, in 2 vols. 8vo.

Sir David Lyndsay of the Mount (1490-1542) (pdf)

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