James Lindsay, 5th Earl of Balcarres

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James Lindsay, 5th Earl of Balcarres (14 November 1691 – 20 February 1768) was a Scottish peer, the son of Colin, 3rd Earl of Balcarres and Lady Margaret Campbell, daughter of the Earl of Loudoun. He became the 5th Earl of Balcarres on 25 July 1736 on the death of his brother Alexander Lindsay, 4th Earl of Balcarres.

Military career[edit]

He joined the Royal Navy at the age of 13 and served in it for 12 years. On his return to Scotland he was persuaded to join his father in the 1715 Jacobite rising and took part in the inconclusive Battle of Sheriffmuir. After the suppression of the uprising he was forced to hide for some time in a secret chamber at the nearby castle of Newark until his aunt secured him a pardon. He then joined the army of George I and fought in the War of the Austrian Succession, being present at the Battle of Dettingen in 1743, and the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745.

After he left the army, his prospects limited by his past allegiances, he concentrated on improving the house and estate farms at Balcarres.

Marriage and family[edit]

On 24 October 1749, at the age of 58, he married in Edinburgh the 22-year-old Anne Dalrymple, daughter of Sir Robert Dalrymple, with whom he had eight sons and three daughters:

Lady Balcarres was a famously severe mother. Her descendant Lady Waterford told how:

"...when one of her little boys disobeyed her, [she] ordered the servants to fling him into the pond in front of the house. He managed to scramble out again; she bade them throw him in a second time, and a second time he got out, and when she ordered it a third time, he exclaimed in his broad Scotch accent, 'Woman, wad ye droun yer ain son?'"[2]


He died on 20 February 1768 at age 76 at Balcarres, Fife, Scotland, where he was buried. His title was inherited by his eldest son Alexande Lindsay, 6th Earl of Balcarres.


  1. ^ "Lady Anne Lindsay". Clan Lindsay.
  2. ^ Augustus Hare, The Story of My Life, Volume IV (George Allen, London, 1900), at page 137
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
Alexander Lindsay
Earl of Balcarres
Succeeded by
Alexander Lindsay