Lords Lindsay of Balcarres (1633)


1st Lord Lindsay, David Lindsay, b.1587, a.1633, d.1641


Grandson of David Lindsay, 9th Earl of Crawford and Katherine Campbell (b.?, d.1578), and son of John Lindsay of Balcarres and Marion Guthrie. John Lindsay was a widely-travelled and educated Presbyterian who obtained many former church lands and became a Lord of Session as Lord Menmuir. In 1587 he purchased the lands of Balcarres, Balneill and other lands in Fife, that were erected into a feudal barony. In 1595 he became one of the eight Commissioners who took over the administration of the country after the death of the Chancellor, John Maitland, 1st Lord Maitland (for whom see the earls of Lauderdale), and as an able accountant was installed as Keeper of the Privy Seal. He was an advisor to Charles I in his attempts to restore the episcopacy that resulted in the first of the civil wars. His son David spent much of his youth studying on the Continent and was a keen scientist and writer. A staunch Royalist at first, he was raised to the Peerage during Charles I’s visit to Scotland in 1633 but was on the side of the Covenanters during the Bishop’s Wars.


2nd Lord Lindsay, Alexander Lindsay, b.1618, a.1641, d.1659


Son of 1st Lord and Lady Sophia Seton, daughter of Alexander Seton, 1st Earl of Dunfermline. He was originally a Covenanter, and fought at the Battle of Marston Moor. However, after the Battle of Kilsyth he was one of the Commissioners of the Scottish Parliament to negotiate with Charles I. The King refused the terms presented to him and was turned over to the English Parliamentarians. However, by this time Balcarres had become a Royalist and was well received when the new King, Charles II, arrived in Scotland in 1650. He was created 1st Earl of Balcarres and 1st Lord Lindsay & Balneil in 1651 and made Hereditary Governor of Edinburgh Castle.



Earls of Balcarres (1651)


1st Earl of Balcarres, Alexander Lindsay, b.1618, a.1651, d.1659


After the King’s defeat at Worcester he capitulated to Cromwell, but thereafter was active in the Highlands for several years before joining Charles in exile in Europe.


2nd Earl of Balcarres, Charles Lindsay, b.1651, a.1659, d.1662


Son of the 1st Earl and Lady Anne Mackenzie (b.?, d.1707), daughter of Colin Mackenzie, 1st Earl of Seaforth.


3rd Earl of Balcarres, Colin Lindsay, b.1654, a.1662, d.1722


Younger brother of the 2nd Earl. A favourite of Charles II in his youth, he was for several years rejected by the King for marrying against the King’s wishes, and it was only after his second wife’s death that he was accepted back, whereafter he was made a Privy Counsellor in 1680 and Sheriff of Fife in 1682. He worked with John Graham, Lord Claverhouse (also known as Bonnie Dundee) to subdue the threat of the Covenanters in Fife and obtained a commission to hold court against those who were captured, being made Lord-Lieutenant of Fife in 1688. In the events leading up to the Revolution, he and Dundee attended James II in London and agreed a disposition of responsibilities once it was clear that James would have to flee the country. After the Revolution, with James now in France, Balcarres met the Prince of Orange and was warned about his future conduct. Notwithstanding, he was allowed to return to Scotland with Dundee, and immediately began to raise support of James, whereupon he was arrested. He remained a prisoner until Dundee’s death at the Battle of Killiecrankie, and failing to find enough support, left to join James in exile. He was allowed to return to Scotland in 1700, though by now greatly impoverished, and attended Queen Anne at Court soon after, and was made a Privy Counsellor in 1706, and supported the Act of Union the following year. In 1715 he took part in the Jacobite Uprising, but was released without punishment after surrendering, due mainly to the intercession of his friend the Duke of Marlborough. He was married four times in all, his eldest surviving son Colin Lindsay (b.?, d.c.1708), Master of Lindsay, serving as Aide-de-Camp to the 1st Duke of Marlborough, dying before his father.


4th Earl of Balcarres, Alexander Lindsay, b.b.1691, a.1722, d.1736


Son of the 3rd Earl and his fourth wife Lady Margaret Campbell (b.b.1675, d.1747), daughter of James Campbell, 2nd Earl of Loudoun. He joined the British Army and reached the rank of Captain while fighting in Flanders. As his father was involved in the uprising of 1715, his prospects for promotion vanished and he returned to Scotland. He was a Representative Peer from 1734 until his death. He married but had no children.


5th Earl of Balcarres, James Lindsay, b.1691, a.1736, d.1768


Younger brother of the 4th Earl. He joined the Royal Navy and reached the rank of Lieutenant before resigning. He reluctantly joined his father in the 1715 uprising, and he performed well at the Battle of Sheriffmuir. He was required to lie low for some time after this, but was later pardoned, and was given a commission in the Scots Greys under his uncle, Sir James Campbell. When he succeeded his brother as earl, he travelled to London and was well received by Walpole, before rejoining the army, fighting on the Continent at Dettingen and Fontenoy. On leaving the army he avoided involvement in the 1745 Rebellion and retired to his estates.


6th Earl of Balcarres, Alexander Lindsay, b.1752, a.1768, d.1825


Son of the 5th Earl and Anne Dalrymple (b.1727, d.1820). Like his father he was a career soldier, joining the 53rd Foot Regiment at the age of 15. He then studied at Eton and the University of Gottingen before purchasing a Captaincy in the 42nd Foot (Royal Highland) Regiment in 1771. In 1775 he left for Canada to fight in the American Wars and performed heroically until forced to surrender at Saratoga. He was a prisoner for two years before returning to Britain and in 1782 reached the rank of Colonel, given command of 2nd Battalion, 71st Foot Regiment. He was a Representative Peer for a considerable period from the 1784 election and simultaneously continued to rise through the ranks, becoming a General in 1803. He was appointed as Governor of Jersey in 1793, leaving this position in 1794 to become Governor of Jamaica, which post he resigned in 1801.


7th Earl of Balcarres, James Lindsay, b.1783, a.1825, d.1869


Son of the 6th Earl and Elizabeth Dalrymple (b.1759, d.1816). In 1808, the ancient Earldom of Crawford, held by members of another branch of the Lindsay family, became dormant because no-one could prove a claim to the title. In 1843, James Lindsay, 7th Earl of Balcarres put forward his claim, which was accepted by the House of Lords in 1848. It was decreed that the 6th Earl was the lawful successor to the earldom of Crawford (though he did not claim it); therefore, the 6th Earl of Balcarres was posthumously declared the 23rd Earl of Crawford, and the 7th Earl of Balcarres became the 24th Earl of Crawford. Thereafter, the two earldoms have remained united.


For a continuation of this line, please transfer to the Crawford page.


(Last updated: 24/08/11)


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