Colin Lindsay, 3rd Earl of Balcarres

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Colin Lindsay

Birthplace: Fifeshire, Scotland, (Present UK)
Death: Died in Scotland, (Present UK)
Place of Burial: Colinsburgh, Fifeshire, Scotland, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of Alexander Lindsay, 1st Earl of Balcarres and Lady Anna Mackenzie
Husband of Mauritia Lindsay (de Nassau), Countess of Balcarres; Margaret Campbell; Jean Carnegie and Jean Lindsay
Father of Alexander Lindsay, 4th Earl of Balcarres; James Lindsay, 5th Earl of Balcarres; Eleanor Lindsay; Elizabeth Lindsay; Anne Lindsay and 2 others
Brother of Lady Henrietta Campbell (Lindsay); Charles Lindsay, 2nd Earl of Balcarres; Anne Lindsay and Lady Sophia Campbell (Lindsay)
Half brother of Lord Colonel William Campbell and Harmel Lindsay

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About Colin Lindsay, 3rd Earl of Balcarres

From Darryl Lundy's Peerage page on Colin Lindsay:

Colin Lindsay, 3rd Earl of Balcarres [1]

  • M, #20449,
  • b. 23 August 1652,
  • d. 1722
  • Last Edited=19 Feb 2011
  • Consanguinity Index=6.83%

Colin Lindsay, 3rd Earl of Balcarres was baptised on 23 August 1652 at Kilconquhar, Fife, Scotland.[1]

He married, firstly, Mauritia de Nassau, daughter of Louis de Nassau, Herr van der Leck and Beverwaerde and Elizabeth (?), circa 1670.[2]

He married, secondly, Jean Carnegie, daughter of David Carnegie, 2nd Earl of Northesk and Lady Jean Maule, between 1672 and 1680.[2]

He married, thirdly, Lady Jean Ker, daughter of William Ker, 2nd Earl of Roxburghe and Jean Ker, after 1680.[2]

He married, fourthly, Lady Margaret Campbell, daughter of James Campbell, 2nd Earl of Loudoun and Lady Margaret Montgomerie, before 4 July 1689.[2]

He died in 1722 at Balcarres, Fife, Scotland.[2] He was buried at Chapel, Balcarres, Fife, Scotland.[2]

He was the son of Alexander Lindsay, 1st Earl of Balcarres and Lady Anne Mackenzie.[1]

  • He succeeded to the title of 3rd Earl of Balcarres [S., 1651] on 15 October 1662.[1]
  • He succeeded to the title of 4th Lord Lindsay of Balcarres [S., 1633] on 15 October 1662.[1]
  • He succeeded to the title of 3rd Lord Lindsay and Balneil [S., 1651] on 15 October 1662.[1]
  • In 1668 he was presented to King Charles II, who gave him a troop of horse and a life pension of £1,000 per year.[1]
  • He fought in the Battle of Solebay on 28 May 1672, with the Duke of York.[1]
  • He was invested as a Privy Counsellor (P.C.) on 3 June 1680.[1]
  • He held the office of Sheriff of Fife in 1682.[1]
  • He held the office of Commissioner of the Treasury on 3 September 1686, as one of the Council of Six in whom the Scottish administration was lodged.[1]
  • He wrote the book An account of the affairs in Scotland relating to the Revolution, published 1688.[2]
  • In 1690 he supported King James II, and joined him in exile at St. Germain.[1] In 1700 he returned to Scotland from exile.[1]
  • In 1715 he joined in the Uprising of 1715, but having surrendered, was included in the indemnity.[1]

His grand-daughter described him as "one of the handsomest and most accomplished men of his time, a man of letters, but fond of pleasure, and pleasure's favourite."[2]

Child of Colin Lindsay, 3rd Earl of Balcarres and Jean Carnegie

  • 1. Lady Anne Lindsay+[3] d. 3 Feb 1743

Children of Colin Lindsay, 3rd Earl of Balcarres and Lady Jean Ker

  • 1. Lady Margaret Lindsay [3]
  • 2. Captain Colin Lindsay, Lord Cummerland [3] b. bt 1680 - 1689, d. Nov 1708

Children of Colin Lindsay, 3rd Earl of Balcarres and Lady Margaret Campbell

  • 1. Lady Eleanor Lindsay [3] d. 7 Aug 1735
  • 2. Alexander Lindsay, 4th Earl of Balcarres [2] b. b 1690, d. 25 Jul 1736
  • 3. James Lindsay, 5th Earl of Balcarres+[4] b. 14 Nov 1691, d. 20 Feb 1768


  • 1. [S6] G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume I, page 377. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage.
  • 2. [S6] Cokayne, and others, The Complete Peerage, volume I, page 378.
  • 3. [S37] Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 1, page 952. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition.
  • 4. [S6] Cokayne, and others, The Complete Peerage, volume I, page 379.

From the English Wikipedia page on Colin Lindsay, 3rd Earl of Balcarres:,_3rd_Earl_of_Balcarres

Colin Lindsay, 3rd Earl of Balcarres (1652–1722) was a Scottish aristocrat and politician, one of the most important supporters of James II of England.

Early life

Colin Lindsay was baptized at Kilconquhar on 23 August 1652, the second surviving son of Alexander Lindsay, first Earl of Balcarres by his wife, Lady Anna Mackenzie, daughter and coheiress of Colin Mackenzie, 1st Earl of Seaforth.[1]

He succeeded to the earldom, while still a child, on the death at the age of 12, of his brother Charles, second earl, 15 Oct. 1662. In 1670 at the age of 16, he was presented at court by his cousin the Duke of Lauderdale, when Charles II, partly because he conceived a liking for him personally, and partly in recognition of his father's services, gave him command of a select cavalry troop manned by gentlemen in reduced circumstances.

Not long afterwards he was married to Mademoiselle Mauritiade Nassau, sister of Lady Arlington and the Countess of Nassau, and daughter of Louis de Nassau, count of Beverwaert and Auverquerque in Holland; but at the ceremony he, by mistake, placed a mourning instead of a wedding ring on the finger of the bride, who took the evil omen so much to heart that she died within a year.

After her death he went to sea with the Duke of York (the future James II of England), under whom he distinguished himself at the battle of Solebay, 28 May 1672.

Second marriage and public offices

In 1673 he married Lady Jean Carnegie, eldest daughter of David Carnegie, 2nd Earl of Northesk, and thereby incurring the king's displeasure, was forbidden to appear at court. Retiring to the country he occupied his leisure in study.

On the death of his wife, six years afterwards, he was permitted to return to court, and on 3 June 1680 was made a privy-councillor and in 1682 sheriff of Fife. Along with Claverhouse he took active measures against the covenanters in Fife, and in January 1686 obtained a commission to hold with him a justiciary court for their trial.[2]

Reign of James II and after

After the accession of James II Balcarres was, on 3 Sept. 1686, appointed a commissioner of the treasury, and in 1688 was made lord-lieutenant of Fife. So much was he trusted by the king, that when the scheme for the descent of the Prince of Orange became known, the chancellor, Lord Perth, was ordered to rely on his advice and that of the Earl of Cromarty in the measures to be adopted for the defence of Scotland. Lord Melfort, secretary of state, however, who was jealous of Balcarres's influence, rejected his suggested plan of defence as too expensive, and it was determined instead to send the forces then available in Scotland southwards.

Balcarres, meanwhile, was sent by the Scottish privy council to England to receive further instructions, and succeeded in reaching London. After the king's return from Faversham, Balcarres, along with Dundee, waited on him on the morning of 17 Nov. in his bedroom at Whitehall. At the request of the king they accompanied him on a walk in the Mall, when, having expressed his final determination to leave the country, he stated that on his arrival in France he would send Balcarres a commission to manage his civil affairs, and Dundee one to command the troops in Scotland.

After the flight of the king Balcarres waited on the Prince of Orange, to whom he was previously known through his first wife, the prince's cousin. While expressing his respect for the prince, Balcarres declined to act against the king, whereupon the prince warned him of the danger he ran if he transgressed the law. Along with Dundee, Balcarres was permitted to return to Scotland, and they arrived in Edinburgh about the end of February 1689. The Duke of Gordon was already negotiating the surrender of the castle, when Balcarres and Dundee waited on him, and persuaded him to hold out till he saw what the Convention of Estates intended to do.

On the capture of a messenger from Ireland with letters to Balcarres from the king, Balcarres was seized and confined in his own lodging.[3] His request for permission to live in England was refused, and on account of further compromising letters sent to him by Melfort, he was confined for four months in the common gaol of Edinburgh. Soon after his release he became connected with the Montgomery plot for James's restoration, and on its discovery in 1690 he left the country.

In exile

He landed at Hamburg, and while journeying to Holland, through Flanders, was seized by a party of banditti, who, however, agreed to free him on payment of 100 pistoles, which he succeeded in obtaining from the jesuits at the Catholic college of Douay. He proceeded to St. Germains, where he was well received by James, to whom he presented his Memoirs touching the Revolution.

On account of the misrepresentations of Melfort and others, he, however, found it necessary, after six months at St. Germains, to leave the court, and went to the south of France. Thence he sent an expostulatory letter to James. Ultimately the exiled king invited him to return; but he deemed acceptance of the invitation injudicious while the old favourites were in power, and after a year's sojourn in France finally settled with his family at Utrecht. Here he made the acquaintance of Pierre Bayle, Leclerc, and other learned men.

Return to Scotland

Ultimately, through the interposition of William Carstares and the Duke of Queensberry, who wrote of him pityingly, as an 'instance of the folly of Jacobitism',[4] he was permitted towards the close of 1700 to return to Scotland. He was now in greatly impoverished circumstances, and although the Duke of Marlborough, an old friend and companion, obtained for him a rent-charge of £500 a year for ten years upon the crown lands of Orkney, he was compelled by his necessities, before the 10 years expired, to sell his rights there.

In his extremity he wrote to Queen Anne, asking for the restoration of his pension of £1000 a year, of which he had been deprived at the revolution, and in all probability some allowance was made him. He was appointed a privy councillor in April 1706, and supported the union with England in 1707.

But in 1715 he was unable to resist the invitation to join the Jacobite prince's standard, and he was one of the most zealous of his supporters. On the collapse of the rebellion, it was arranged, owing to the friendly interposition of Argyll and Marlborough, that on his surrendering he should be sent to his own house at Balcarres. He remained a prisoner there under the charge of one dragoon till the indemnity.

He spent in retirement there the remainder of his life. finding a solace for his misfortunes in his love of art and letters. He had latterly so recovered his pecuniary position as to be able to purchase several good pictures by the Dutch masters and others, to add considerably to his library, and also to found the village which he named after himself Colinsburgh.[5]

He died at Balcarres in 1722, and was buried there in the private chapel of the family.


John Macky describes him in 1700 as 'a gentleman of very good natural parts,' with 'abundance of application, handsome in his person, very fair, and towards fifty years old.' Circumstances were adverse to the useful employment of his undoubted abilities, but had the folly and infatuation of James II been less, he might have been successful with Dundee in retrieving the Jacobite cause. His 'Memoirs touching the Revolution in Scotland,' published originally in 1714, reprinted 1754, and again, more correctly by the Bannatyne Club, in 1841, are invaluable as a narrative of the proceedings and negotiations of the supporters of the king in 1688-90.

Issue and Succession

By his second wife, Lady Jean Carnegie, Balcarres had a daughter Anne, married to Alexander, Earl of Kellie, and afterwards to James Seton, 3rd Viscount of Kingston.

By his third wife, Lady Jean Ker, only daughter of The Earl of Roxburghe, he had a son Colin, Lord Cumberland, master of Balcarres, who died unmarried in 1708, and a daughter Margaret, who married John, Earl of Wigton.

By his fourth wife, Lady Margaret, eldest daughter of James Campbell, 2nd Earl of Loudoun, he had seven children, of whom four survived him - two sons, Alexander, and James, and two daughters, Eleanor, married to the Hon. James Fraser of Lonmay, Aberdeenshire, third son of William Fraser, 12th Lord Saltoun, and Elizabeth, who died unmarried.


An account of the affairs of Scotland, relating to the revolution of 1688, 1714. Reprinted 1754. Republished 1841 as Memoirs touching the revolution in Scotland, Bannatyne Club

Peerage of Scotland

  • Earl of Balcarres (1662–1722)
  • Preceded by Charles Lindsay
  • Succeeded by Alexander Lindsay


  • 1. ^ Paul Hopkins, ‘Lindsay, Colin, third earl of Balcarres (1652–1721)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Jan 2007, accessed 26 Oct 2008
  • 2. ^ Fountainhall, Historical Notices of Scottish affairs, p. 602
  • 3. ^ Letter of Balcarres, 27 June 1689, in Leven and Melville Papers, p. 92
  • 4. ^ McCormick, J., ed., State papers and letters addressed to William Carstares, 1774, p. 620
  • 5. ^ Robert Sibbald, History of Fife

Lord Lindsay, Lives of the Lindsays Preface by Lord Lindsay to Balcarres, Memoirs (Bannatyne Club) Napier, Memorials of Viscount Dundee W. A. Lindsay, Lindsay Pedigree, in the College of Arms Sir Robert Douglas's Scottish Peerage (John Philip Wood), i 169-71.]


This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: "Lindsay, Colin". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.

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Colin Lindsay, 3rd Earl of Balcarres's Timeline

August 23, 1652
Fifeshire, Scotland, (Present UK)
November 14, 1691
Age 39
Age 69
Scotland, (Present UK)
Kilconquhar, Fifeshire, Scotland, (Present UK)