Lindsay, William (d.1698) (DNB00)

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LINDSAY, WILLIAM, eighteenth Earl of Crawford and Earl of Lindsay (d. 1698), was the eldest son of John, seventeenth earl of Crawford and first earl of Lindsay [q. v.], by Lady Margaret Hamilton, second daughter of James, second marquis of Hamilton [q. v.] He succeeded to the earldoms on the death of his father in 1678. A zealous and even fanatical presbyterian, he had resolved in 1685 for conscience sake to leave the country, but could not obtain the requisite permission. Through the extravagance of his father he also found himself in very straitened circumstances, but resisting worldly temptations to support the ruling faction, he escaped persecution by living in great retirement. On the accession of King William he was, on account of his influence with the presbyterians, received into special favour, and named president of the Convention parliament. On 15 April 1690 he was appointed a commissioner of the treasury, and on 9 May one of the commissioners for settling the government of the church. Burnet describes him as ‘passionate in his temper,’ and ‘out of measure zealous in his principles’ (Own Time, ed. 1838, p. 541). He also states that he ‘received and encouraged all complaints that were made of the episcopal ministers’ (ib.) Crawford himself affirmed that ‘no Episcopal since the late happy revolution, whether laic or of the clergy, hath suffered by the council upon account of his opinion in church matters, but allenarly [solely] for their disowning the civil authority and setting up for a cross interest’ (Leven and Melville Papers, p. 376); but it cannot be doubted that his zeal against the episcopalians was excessive, and that the motives that actuated him were ecclesiastical rather than political. He died 6 March 1698.

By his first wife, Mary Johnstone, daughter of James, earl of Annandale, he had three sons—John, nineteenth earl of Crawford; James, who became colonel and was killed in 1707 at the battle of Almanza in Spain—and two daughters. By his second wife, Henrietta Seton, daughter of Charles, earl of Dunfermline, he had a son Thomas and six daughters.

[Burnet's Own Time; Leven and Melville Papers (Bannatyne Club); Lord Lindsay's Lives of the Lindsays; Douglas's Scottish Peerage (Wood), i. 382; Lindsay Pedigree, by W. A. Lindsay, in the College of Arms.]

T. F. H.