James Lindsay, 24th Earl of Crawford

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Haigh Hall, built by James Lindsay

James Lindsay, 24th Earl of Crawford and 7th Earl of Balcarres (24 April 1783 – 15 December 1869) was an Earl in the Scottish peerage.


James Lindsay was born on 24 April 1783 at Balcarres, Fife, the son of Alexander Lindsay, 6th Earl of Balcarres and inherited the title of 7th Earl of Balcarres on his father's death in 1825. In 1826 he was created Baron of Wigan in the peerage of Great Britain. In 1843 he claimed the abeyant title of Earl of Crawford and in 1848 the House of Lords allowed the claim and conferred on him the title of 24th Earl of Crawford, and by extension, the title of 23rd Earl of Crawford on his dead father.[clarification needed]

He married at Muncaster, Cumbria, on 21 November 1811 the Hon. Maria Margaret Frances Pennington, daughter of John Pennington, 1st Baron Muncaster. They had four sons of which the eldest was Alexander. Alexander's genealogical research had enabled his father to claim the title of Earl of Crawford which had fallen into abeyance.

He entered the army and attained the rank of major in the 20th Light Dragoons until he left in 1804. He was returned as Tory MP for Wigan from 1820 to 1825.

He inherited a third share of a company that supplied slaves to the British Army from his father (a former Governor of Jamaica). After the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 he was paid a large amount of compensation for the loss of slaves. James was able to use his family's wealth, derived in significant part from slavery, to invest in the profitable coal industry.[1]

He designed Haigh Hall in Haigh, Greater Manchester, to replace the then existing hall which dated back to Norman times and lived in a cottage in the grounds whilst it was constructed between 1830-1849. The family owned Haigh Colliery, cannel and coal mines, and formed the Wigan Coal and Iron Company in 1865.

After his death on 23 December 1869 he was buried at All Saints' Church, Wigan, Lancashire, and succeeded by his eldest son, Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford.


  1. ^ James Lindsay, 7th Earl of Balcarres. "Summary of Individual | Legacies of British Slave-ownership". Ucl.ac.uk. Retrieved 2013-02-28.

Further reading

  • Lindsay, Lord [Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford] (1855), Report of the Speeches of Counsel, and of the Lord Chancellor and Lord St. Leonards in Moving the Resolution, upon the Claim of James Earl of Crawford and Balcarres to the Original Dukedom of Montrose (created in 1488), as Referred to the House of Lords by Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen, for Their Advice and Opinion thereupon: Preceded by an Address to Her Majesty, in Humble Remonstrance against the Opinion Reported to Her Majesty; and by an Analysis of the Argument as between the Claimant and the Officers Representing the Crown, with the Opinions of the Committee of Privileges, Point by Point, throughout; and Followed by an Appendix, Containing the Leading Arguments Adduced and Referred to, and the Oral Evidence Delivered, by and on behalf of the Claimant and the Crown, in this Case, London: John Murray, Albemarle Street, OCLC 67232132.
  • Barker, Nicolas (1978), Bibliotheca Lindesiana: The Lives and Collections of Alexander William, 25th Earl of Crawford and 8th Earl of Balcarres, and James Ludovic, 26th Earl of Crawford and 9th Earl of Balcarres (2nd corr. ed.), London: For Presentation to the Roxburghe Club, and published by Bernard Quaritch, OCLC 931340384.

External links

  • Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Earl of Crawford
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Robert Leigh
Johm Hodson
Member of Parliament for Wigan
With: James Alexander Hodson
Succeeded by
James Lindsay (1791-1855)
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
Alexander Lindsay
Earl of Balcarres
1825– 1869
Succeeded by
Alexander Lindsay
Preceded by
Alexander Lindsay
Earl of Crawford
1848 – 1869
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