Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Lindsay, John (1686-1768)

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LINDSAY, JOHN (1686–1768), nonjuror, probably a kinsman of Robert Lindsey, father of Theophilus Lindsey [q. v.] of Middlewich in Cheshire, was born in 1686, and although he is described in his epitaph as ‘aulæ Mariæ apud Oxonienses olim alumnus,’ his name does not appear in the books of the hall or in the university register. After acting as attorney-at-law ‘in Cheshire,’ he is said to have been admitted into holy orders among the nonjurors (Wood, ii. 307), and appears to have acted as chaplain to ‘good old Lady Fanshawe’ (Nichols, Lit. Anecd. i. 373). At a later date (1742) he was living in Pear Tree Street, near St. Luke's, Old Street, where he wrote, ‘I spend my time chiefly among books or in my garden.’ According to Nichols, he officiated for many years and until his death as minister of the nonjuring society in Trinity Chapel, Aldersgate Street, being reputed their last minister, and among the latest of the nonjurors. He is also said to have acted as corrector of the press for Bowles, the learned printer (ib. i. 373). He died on 21 June 1768, and was buried in Islington churchyard. A Latin epitaph extant in 1808 vaguely asserted ‘beneficiis ecclesiæ Anglicanæ, opulentis licet, interiore stimulo recusatis.’ Lindsay was married, and his wife was commemorated in the same epitaph.

The following works are assigned to Lindsay: 1. ‘A Short History and Vindication of the Revolution,’ London, 1716. 2. ‘A Short History of the Regal Succession, with Remarks on Whiston's “Scripture Politics,”’ London, 1717, 1720, 1731. 3. ‘A Paraphrase on the twenty-eighth Chapter of Deuteronomy,’ Chester, 1723 (an anonymous poem of 312 lines published by subscription). 4. ‘A Vindication of the Church of England and of the lawful Ministry thereof … of the Succession, Election, Confirmation, and Consecration of Bishops, &c., by John Lindsay, a Priest of the Church of England,’ London, 1728; a translation of Mason's ‘Vindicatio Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ,’ with an introduction by Lindsay containing a laborious account of the succession of bishops in the English bishoprics, and a sermon by Mason, which was republished by Lindsay in 1747, along with a second sermon by Mason, preached in 1620. 5. ‘The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ carefully and diligently compared with the original Greek, and the several Translations of it, and illustrated with … Notes,’ London, 1736 (as far as Luke x.); mainly the work of John Court, gentleman, and probably finished by the ‘Rev. Mr. Lindsay’ on the decease of the former. It was republished in the following year as ‘A Critical and Practical Commentary on the New Testament carefully and diligently compared,’ &c., London, 1737; 2nd edit. 1740. 6. ‘A brief History of England both in Church and State,’ 1748 (2nd edit. 1763), cited as ‘Lindsay's English History,’ written in catechism form. (Lindsay contemplated this work as early as 1738) (ib. i. 373). 7. ‘The Happy Interview: an Account how Common Sense having withdrawn himself from public was found out by Plain Honesty,’ London, 1756, anonymous. 8. ‘The Grand and Important Question about the Church and Parochial Communion fairly and friendly debated in a Dialogue between a worthy Country Gentleman and his Neighbour,’ London, 1756, anon., and ‘The Grand and Important Debate about the Church and Parochial Communion further debated,’ London, 1759, anon. (Both dialogues support the nonjuring position.) 9. ‘A Melius Inquirendum into the Character of the Royal Martyr, King Charles I,’ London, 1758, anon. (In answer to the aspersions cast on Charles's memory by the ‘Monthly Review’ for February 1758.) 10. ‘A Seasonable Antidote against Apostasy’ [to the Church of Rome], London, 1758, anon.

A manuscript note on the fly-leaf of No. 8 of the above works in the British Museum also attributes to Lindsay: ‘An Exposition of St. Paul's Injunction to pray for Kings;’ ‘A Letter from a Gentleman to his Godson;’ ‘A Letter to Dr. Bennet.’

Another John Lindsay, chaplain of the Fougueux with Keppel at the Goree expedition, published ‘A Voyage to the Coast of Africa in 1758, containing a succinct account of … taking of … Goree,’ London, 1759, 4to, with copperplates. A ‘Voyage to Senegal’ and ‘Sir John Tostle, a Poem,’ are ascribed to the same writer. His brother William, brigade-major in Lord Ancrum's troop of dragoons, fell in the seven years' war (Lives of the Lindsays, ii. 173–4).

[Nichols's Lit. Anecd.; Lathbury's Nonjurors; Lindsay's Works; Bodleian Cat.; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ii. 307; information kindly sent by the Rev. T. Vere Bayne of Christ Church.]

W. A. S.