Lindsay, John (d.1335) (DNB00)

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LINDSAY, JOHN (d. 1335), bishop of Glasgow, belonged to the family of the Lindsays of Lambertoun in Berwickshire, and was descended from Sir Walter de Lindsay (d. 1222), second son of William Lindsay of Crawford, justiciary of Scotland under William the Lion. He was the son of Walter Lindsay of Lambertoun, and his name first appears as witness to one of the charters, dated about 1275, and preserved in the chartulary of Paisley. There is some doubt as to the exact date when he became bishop of Glasgow, and several writers have placed him, apparently in error, before Bishop John Wiseheart. The see was vacant at Christmas 1321, and most probably Lindsay was then appointed bishop. By a bull dated at Avignon 15 March 1323, Pope John XXII confirmed Lindsay in his office as bishop of Glasgow, reserving the post which Lindsay had formerly occupied as a prebendary in Glasgow Cathedral for one of the Italian favourites at the papal court. No sooner had the bishop been installed than Robert I directed him to bestow his vacant office upon the king's clerk, Walter de Twynam, and Lindsay acceded to this request, while protesting that his action should not prejudice the rights of the pope. There are numerous charters in existence to prove that Lindsay was bishop of Glasgow from 1325 till the death of Robert I in 1329, one of the most important, dated 4 March 1327–8, being the confirmation by the king to the burgh of Dundee of the burghal privileges enjoyed from the time of William the Lion. He at first supported the claim of his relative, Edward Balliol, to the throne, but ultimately returned to his allegiance to the house of Bruce.

The year and method of Lindsay's death have been disputed. It is stated that ‘in 1335, returning from Flanders to Scotland with two ships, aboard which were 250 Scots, [he] was attacked at sea by a superior fleet of English, commanded by the Earls of Sarum and Huntingdon. The Scots vessels, being overpowered by numbers, were taken after an obstinate fight, in which many of both sides were killed, and the bishop, being mortally wounded in the head, immediately expired.’ Another account of this incident gives the date as 1337, and states that the bishop died of grief caused by the loss of his countrymen, and was buried at Wytsande. But he undoubtedly died in 1335, for the see was vacant in that year, and the sheriff of Dumfries rendered an account of the lands belonging to the late bishop in that county in 1335–6.

[Lives of the Lindsays; Gordon's Scotichronicon, i. 491–3; Hailes's Annals; Calendar of Documents relating to Scotland, vol. iii.; Registrum Mag. Sig.; Origines Paroch. Scot.]

A. H. M.