Michael Lindsay, 2nd Baron Lindsay of Birker

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Michael Francis Morris Lindsay, 2nd Baron Lindsay of Birker (24 February 1909 – 13 February 1994), was a British peer and academic.[1]

Education and life in China[edit]

Lindsay was the son of Sandie and Erica Lindsay, née Storr.[2] He was educated at Gresham's School, Holt, and Balliol College Oxford. After Oxford, he became a lecturer at Yenching University in Peiping, China and American University in Washington, DC.[3] Using his protected status as a foreign citizen, Lindsay began smuggling radio and medical supplies to the communist, who were resisting the Japanese occupation of China. He needed a native speaker of Chinese, so he recruited his student, Hsiao Li, whom he married on 25 June 1941. They had one son, James, born on 29 January 1945, and two daughters, Erica (1942-1993) and Mary Muriel (b. 1951).[4]

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Lindsay became a citizen of an enemy state and thus liable for arrest, but the pair managed to escape. For the next four years, they acted behind enemy lines. Lindsay first worked in the communists' Radio Department and then at the New China News Agency. Two children were born to them during their 500-mile journey on foot to the communist headquarters in Yenan: Erica, born in a hut in the mountains in 1942, and James, born in a hospital cave in Yenan in 1945.[4][5]

Baron Lindsay of Birker[edit]

After the war, in 1945, Lindsay's father was created Baron Lindsay of Birker, and he moved to Britain with his wife, where they lived with his parents. They moved to Australia when Lindsay started lecturing at the Australian National University. In 1952, he succeeded to his father's barony. Seven years later, Lord and Lady Lindsay moved to Chevy Chase, Maryland, where they remained after his retirement in 1975.[4][5] They visited China in 1949 and 1954; in 1954, they functioned as official interpreters for an unsuccessful Labour Party delegation to China. Later, however, they were refused visas because of Lord Lindsay's criticism of the communist leadership. Lord and Lady Lindsay were only able to enter the country after the death of Mao Zedong. Lord Lindsay died in 1994, a year after his daughter Erica.[4] He was succeeded by his son James, 3rd Baron.


  1. ^ Lundy, Darryl. "p13974.htm". The Peerage. [unreliable source]
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ a b c d "Lady Lindsay of Birker". The Guardian. 1 June 2010. Retrieved 21 October 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Hsiao Li Lindsay obituary". The Guardian. 1 June 2010. Retrieved 21 October 2012. 


Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Alexander Lindsay
Baron Lindsay of Birker
Succeeded by
James Lindsay