Lindsay tartan history

As many customers do ask, here's a little "potted history" and some background information on the Lindsay tartan, with apologies to all the better historians than me for the bits I've undoubtedly got wrong . . .

The Lindsays are believed to be descended from Danes who had arrived in England between the 6th and 9th centuries - first invading and later settling.  After the Norman conquest of 1066 Baldric de Lindsay is recorded as a tenant under the Earl of Chester.  In Scotland, in 1120, a Sir Walter Lindsay is recorded as being a member of the council of David, Earl of Huntingdon, who went on to became King of Scotland

William Lindsay acquired the lands of Crawford in Lanarkshire and giften some of his Ayrshire lands to the monks of Dryburgh Abbey

In the 13th century Sir David Lindsay of Crawford joined King Louis IX of France on a crusade but was killed in Egypt.  One of his sons - a Sir Alexander Lindsay - was a Knight of King Edward I of England, illustrating the complex weave of family connections and national loyalties at the time

By the end of the 13th century the Wars of Scottish Independence had begun and caused many dilemmas for the Lindsays as they had families on both sides of the border.  However, Sir Alexander Lindsay’s patriotism led him to side with Scotland

The Lindsays were supporters of both William Wallace and King Robert the Bruce.  Sir Alexander's English properties were forfeited and his sons there were imprisoned.  The eldest of these sons - Sir David Lindsay - was later among the signatories of the Declaration of Arbroath, the 1320 assertion of Scottish Independence

Sir James Lindsay fought at the Battle of Otterburn in 1388 where the Scottish defeated the English army.  It was Sir Alexander Lindsay of Glenesk who, during John Gaunt's invasion of Scotland, attacked and put to the sword the crew of one of the English ships that had landed above Queen’s Ferry - modern day South Queensferry near Edinburgh

At the Battle of Arbroath in 1445 Clan Lindsay, led by the Master of Crawford, advanced with over 1000 men.  Their enemy was Clan Ogilvy who were also supported by men from Clan Oliphant, Clan Gordon, Clan Seton and Clan Forbes of Pitsligo.  The Master of Crawford’s father, David Lindsay, 3rd Earl of Crawford rode between the two armies in an attempt to call a truce.  However, an ill-advised Ogilvie, thinking that this was the start of the Lindsay’s attack, threw his spear at the Earl, hitting him in the mouth and killing him instantly.  So the battle began - eventually turning in Clan Lindsay’s favour

In 1448 Lord Lindsay of Byres gave King James III of Scotland the 'great grey horse' which, he claimed, would carry him faster into battle than any other horse in Scotland.  Lord Lindsay himself led a force of several thousand men at the Battle of Sauchieburn

During the 15th century Clan Lindsay lost much of their land due to the constant feuding with Clan Ogilvy

Chief Alexander Lindsay, the 4th Earl of Crawford - also known as the Tiger Earl or Earl Beardie - was badly defeated by Clan Ogilvy and Clan Gordon under the Earl of Huntly at Brechin in 1452.  However, all was not lost as Alexander Lindsay’s son was made Duke of Montrose by King James III of Scotland and the clan found its fortunes on the rise again

In the 16th Century during the Anglo-Scottish Wars, Clan Lindsay fought at the Battle of Flodden Field in 1513 where their clan chief, the 6th Earl of Crawford, was slain

In 1542, the 5th Lord Lindsay was one of the four nobles who were charged with the care of the infant Mary, Queen of Scots

Unfortunately, his son Patrick, the 6th Lord Lindsay, was a fierce reformer and a member of the group known as the 'Lords of the Congregation' - Scots nobles who were almost fanatical supporters of Protestants and believers in furthering a Scottish-English alliance.  Patrick took part in the murder of David Rizzo and challenged James Hepburn - 4th Earl of Bothwell and husband to the Queen - to mortal combat at Carberry Hill.  At Lochleven Castle he was one of the nobles who forced the Queen to then give up her crown

It was from this line that the 10th Lord was made 1st Earl of Lindsay by King Charles in the 17th century.  The Lindsays - apparently happy to forget their part in having the Queen give up the Scots crown - later supported Mary Queen of Scots and fought for her at the Battle of Langside in 1568

In the 17th century during the English Civil War, Clan Lindsay were Royalist supporters of King Charles Stuart.  The death of the clan's chief (the 16th Earl) in 1652 saw the last of that line to be Earl of Crawford and the Earldom was passed into the hands of King Charles.  However, another line of Lindsays received a new title, held by John the 1st Earl of Lindsay who was also already the 10th Lord Lindsay of Byres

The Lindsays of Balcarres descend from a younger son of the 9th Earl of Crawford.  They were created Earls of Balcarres for their services to the King during the Civil War.  The 1st Earl of Balcarres was made hereditary governor of Edinburgh Castle.  His son supported the Jacobite Uprising and fought at the Battle of Sherrifmuir in 1715

Clan Lindsay is really a complex collection of families of varying degrees of seniority and political allegiances.  As such, Clan Lindsay did not take part in the Jacobite Uprising of 1745

The present chief of Clan Lindsay is the 29th Earl of Crawford and Balcarres - the premier Earl of Scotland and continuing a hereditary line which is one of the most ancient extant titles in the peerage - stretching back to 1398

The Lindsay tartan is an ancient tartan similar to some Breton and Celtic tartans found in North Western Europe, leading some historians to suggest this shows the family's Norman, Saxon and Flemish roots

We stock the Lindsay Modern tartan in ribbon - a popular tartan which is widely used in the world of fashion

See our full range of Lindsay tartan ribbon

See our full range of tartan / plaid ribbon

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