Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Lindsay, David (1440?-1495)

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1441043Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 33 — Lindsay, David (1440?-1495)1893Thomas Finlayson Henderson

LINDSAY, DAVID, fifth Earl of Crawford and first Duke of Crawford (1440?–1495), born about 1440, was eldest son of Alexander Lindsay, fourth earl [q. v.], by his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir David Dunbar. He succeeded to the earldom on the death of his father in 1454. For some time he was held in captivity by James, earl of Douglas, and on 24 Feb. 1458–9 he gave a grant of certain lands to Herbert Johnstone of Dalibank for abducting him from the earl. During his minority he was placed under the care of his paternal uncle Walter Lindsay of Beaufort, but in February 1459 he became the ward of James, first lord Hamilton (d. 1479) [q. v.], on being married to his daughter Elizabeth. Some time before his minority expired he was in 1461 permitted to enter into possession of the barony of Crawford-Lindsay, Lanarkshire. Crawford was one of a commission appointed on 28 Nov. 1465 to meet with the English ambassadors on 4 Dec. following (Cal. Documents relating to Scotland, vol. iv. entry 1362). On 11 March following he obtained a safe-conduct to pass through the English king's dominions of England or elsewhere for three years (ib. 1366), and on 21 Feb. 1466–7 he obtained a safe-conduct for two years to pass between Scotland and England (ib. 1368). On 28 Nov. 1468 he obtained a warrant to pass to France, Brittany, Picardy, &c. (ib. 1382).

Crawford was one of the jury who sat at the trial of the Boyds in 1469, and after their fall he rose rapidly in wealth and influence. He had on 19 Oct. 1466 obtained a charter of the sheriffdom of Forfar, and on 9 March 1472–3 he received a grant of the third of the lordships of Brechin and Novar for life. In July 1473 he was appointed keeper of Berwick for three years. He was frequently employed on important embassies to England, and on 26 Oct. 1474 acted as proxy for James III at his betrothal to the Princess Cecilia of England. On 6 Dec. of this year he made a new entail of the family estates, settling them on his heirs male for ever. On the rebellion of MacDonald of the Isles in 1476 he was appointed lord high admiral, but MacDonald gave in his submission before it was necessary to proceed against him. In 1480 he was appointed master of the household. He took part in the raid of Lauder in 1482, when the king's favourite Cochrane [see Cochrane, Robert, Earl of Mar] was hanged over the bridge there. Crawford was not, however, concerned in the further proceedings against the king. In 1483 he was appointed lord chamberlain. To aid in withstanding the designs of Angus and the other malcontent nobles, he was on 11 Jan. 1487–8 appointed joint high justiciary with Huntly of the north of Scotland. After the pacification of Blackness he was, on 18 May 1488, created Duke of Montrose, the first instance of the dignity of duke being conferred on a Scotsman not a member of the royal family. In the battle of Sauchieburn on the 11th of the following June, Montrose was severely wounded and taken prisoner. He received his liberty on a ransom, but was deprived of all his offices. Having obtained the offer of a free pardon from James IV on condition of resigning the hereditary sheriffdom of Angus to Andrew, lord Gray, he finally, while protesting against the transference as illegal, agreed on 6 Nov. 1488 to resign it. He thus escaped the consequences of the act passed on 18 Oct. annulling all grants made by the late king during the eight preceding months. On 19 Sept. 1489 he received a new charter of the dukedom of Montrose for life, and in February 1489–90 was chosen a member of the privy council. He died at Finhaven about Christmas 1495, and was buried in the Greyfriars Church, Dundee. A petition was presented in 1848 to the queen by the Earl of Crawford and Balcarres, claiming the dukedom of Montrose on the ground that the first patent still held good, inasmuch as it was not specially mentioned as abolished; but the House of Lords on 5 Aug. 1853 decided against the claim. After Crawford's death the lordship of Crawford was, on 21 Jan. 1495–6, bestowed on the Earl of Angus, it being declared forfeited by the Duke of Montrose, on account of his having sold it or part of it without the king's consent (Reg. Mag. Sig. 1424–1513, entry 2298).

By his wife, eldest daughter of James, first lord Hamilton, he had two sons—Alexander, lord Lindsay, and John, master of Crawford, who became sixth earl. The two brothers in 1489 quarrelled and fought, when the elder was mortally wounded. The Duke of Montrose married as his second wife Margaret Carmichael.

[Cal. Documents relating to Scotland, vol. iv.; Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer, vol. i.; Reg. Mag. Sig. Scot. vol. i.; Histories of Buchanan, Leslie, and Lindsay of Pitscottie; Riddell's Abstract of the Crawford Case, 1851; Lord Lindsay's Lives of the Lindsays; Lindsay Pedigree, by W. A. Lindsay, in the College of Arms; Douglas's Scottish Peerage (Wood), i. 376.]

T. F. H.