Margaret Lindsay Ramsay

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Margaret Lindsay by Allan Ramsay (Scottish National Gallery)
See Margaret Lindsay for the film actress of this name, and Marion Margaret Violet Lindsay for the 19th and 20th century artist sometimes called Margaret Lindsay.

Margaret Lindsay (c. 1726–1782) was the brown-eyed eldest daughter of Sir Alexander Lindsay of Evelick. She is notable as a member of the Clan Murray, largely pro-Jacobite in sympathies at this time (her mother Amelia's father and brother both supported that cause), but also including pro-Hanoverians such as William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield. Through her father she was a member of the Clan Lindsay (the naval officer John Lindsay was her brother), which joined the '15 Jacobite rebellion, but not the '45. She became the second wife of the artist Allan Ramsay.


She was taught drawing by Ramsay, and they eventually eloped together in 1752 and married in Canongate Kirk, Edinburgh on 1 March that year, without her parents' consent. Her brother John stayed loyal to her right up to his death, but her parents never forgave her for marrying lower than her station, even when Ramsay wrote to his new father-in-law to re-assure him that (despite his already having a daughter from his first marriage, as well as his two sisters, to support) he could well provide for Margaret, providing her with an annual sum of £100 that would rise "as my affairs increase, and I thank God, they are in a way of increasing". Nevertheless, he also wrote that he was fully aware that she was "entitled to much more than ever I shall have to bestow upon her", but reiterated that he had not married Margaret for her money but out of love.[1]

Their marriage was a long and happy one, and produced 3 surviving children – Amelia (1755–1813), Charlotte (1758–1818?), and John (1768–1845).


  1. ^ Ramsay to Lindsay, 31 March 1752, A. Smart, Allan Ramsay: painter, essayist, and man of the Enlightenment (1992), 96 n. 10