Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Lindsay, John (1737-1788)

LINDSAY, Sir JOHN (1737–1788), rear-admiral, born in 1737, was younger son of Sir Alexander Lindsay of Evelick in Perthshire, by Emilia, daughter of David Murray, fifth viscount Stormont, sister of William Murray, first earl of Mansfield [q. v.] He was promoted at the age of nineteen to command the Pluto fireship, which in 1757 was attached to the fleet under Sir Edward Hawke in the Rochefort expedition. On 29 Sept. 1757 he was posted to the Trent frigate, in which he served during the war, on the home or West Indian station. In 1762 the Trent was part of the fleet under Sir George Pocock [q. v.] in the expedition against Havana; and on the death of Captain Goostrey of the Cambridge in action with the Moro fort on 1 July, Lindsay was sent to fill his place, in which he ‘gave many strong proofs of his valour’ (Beatson, ii. 550). It is said that Pocock afterwards offered him the command of the Cambridge or one of the other ships of the line; if so, he declined it, for he was still in the Trent in December 1763. On returning to England he was knighted in reward for his gallantry. In 1764 he went out to the West Indies in the Tartar, returning in 1765. From August 1769 to March 1772 he was commodore and commander-in-chief in the East Indies, with his broad pennant in the Stag frigate. During his absence in 1771 he was nominated a knight of the Bath. In March 1778 he was appointed to the Victory, but on Admiral Keppel selecting her for his flagship he was moved to the Prince George of 90 guns, which he commanded in the engagement off Ushant 27 July. His evidence before the subsequent courts-martial was adverse to Sir Hugh Palliser [q. v.]; and on Keppel's resignation of the command [see Keppel, Augustus, Viscount] Lindsay also resigned, and refused all employment under Lord Sandwich. In 1783, after the peace, he was commodore and commander-in-chief in the Mediterranean. With his broad pennant in the Trusty he was at Naples in June 1784; and on the 24th had the honour of entertaining the king and queen on board. Not long afterwards his health broke down, and he was obliged to return to England. He was promoted to be rear-admiral on 24 Sept. 1787, and died at Marlborough, on his way from Bath, on 4 June 1788, in the fifty-first year of his age. The body was brought to London and buried in Westminster Abbey.

[Charnock's Biog. Nav. vi. 256; Gent. Mag. (1788), pt. i. p. 564; Beatson's Nav. and Mil. Memoirs.]

J. K. L.