Page:A biographical dictionary of eminent Scotsmen, vol 6.djvu/83

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JOHN LINDSAY. 453


Among the lower orders he was especially popular. His broad humour de- lighted them beyond measure, and there uas scarcely one of them but could re- peat large portions of " Davie Lindsay" from memory. Indeed it is not yet a very great while since his popularity among this class began to fade. Nor, though now certainly fast losing ground, is he by any means yet entirely for- gotten in the country. Many an ancient tiller of the soil, and his equally an- cient better half for what remains of his fame is more vigorous in the country than the town still cherish and appreciate the merits of their old favourite native poet.

The dread and detestation in which Lindsay's satirical poems were held by the clergy is expressively enough indicated by their having procured an act to have his " buick " burned during the regency of Mary of Lorraine, when they had regained a temporary ascendency under that princess, and a wonder arises that Lindsay himself was not subjected to a similar fate ; indeed, that he es- caped it at all is a circumstance not easily accounted for.

During his lifetime many unfortunate persons were brought to the stake for heresy, and for contemning the ordinances of the existing religion, and how it happened that he, incomparably the most dangerous and most notorious of- fender of them all should have escaped, is a question that may well be asked ; but we suspect it is one which cannot be satisfactorily answered, otherwise than by supposing that he was protected by the strong arm of royalty.

In 1537, Lindsay acted as sort of master of ceremonies on the occasion of the arrival in Scotland of Mary of Guise, queen of James V. He contrived a variety of pageants, and prepared orations for the reception of her majesty at St Andrews, and superintended in person the execution of his designs. Some of them were absurd and fantastic enough, but they were, of course, in accordance with the taste of the times.

Of the concluding years of his life nothing is known, nor is it ascertained when or where he died. Dr Irving states that he survived till the year 1567 ; but how long he lived after is unknown. He must, however, from this account, have been at least upwards of seventy years of age at the time of his death. Lindsay's merits as a poet are not of the very highest order. Broad humour was his forte, and the specimen given will sufficiently show, that when he trusted to this talent he did not trust to a broken reed. His principal pieces are " The Dreme," " The Complaynt," " The Complaynt of the King's Papingo," " Satyre on the Thrie Estaitis," " Answer to the King's Flyting," and " The Complaynt of Basche the King's Hound."

LINDSAY, JOHN, eighteenth earl of Crawford, and fourth earl of Lindsay, was born on the 4th of October, 1702. He was the eldest son of John, seven- teenth earl of Crawford, by Emilia, daughter of James, lord Doune, and grand- daughter to the duchess of Lauderdale. His mother having died while he was yet an infant, he was committed to the charge of an elderly female domestic at the family seat of Struthers, in Fife ; his father, who was at this time captain of the second tioop of horse grenadiers, and lieutenant-general of queen Anne's forces, residing constantly in London.

His lordship in after-life, has been frequently heard to repeat an interesting anecdote which occurred about this period of his life. The duke of Argyle and the duke of Hamilton were one day dining with his father. After dinner a warm debate ensued about the then all-engrossing topic, the union. In the midst of it, the duke of Argyle caught up the young earl, then a child, who was playing about the room ; placed him on the table in the midst of the crowd of bottles and glasses by which it was occupied, and, after contemplating the boy for an instant, " Crawford," he said, addressing his father, " if this