Lindsay, Colin (1819-1892) (DNB01)

LINDSAY, COLIN (1819–1892), founder of the English Church Union, born at Muncaster Castle on 6 Dec. 1819, was fourth son of James Lindsay, twenty-fourth earl of Crawford and seventh earl of Balcarres, by his wife Maria Margaret Frances, daughter of John Penington, first baron Muncaster. After some private tuition he was sent to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he came under the influence of the high-church movement. He did not graduate, and on 29 July 1845 married Lady Frances, daughter and coheiress of William Howard, fourth earl of Wicklow. His early married life was passed on his father's estate near Wigan, and he took an active part in local affairs. As churchwarden of All Saints', Wigan, he was largely responsible for the careful restoration of that church. He was founder and president of the Manchester Church Society, which through his exertions amalgamated with other similar associations and became in 1860 the English Church Union. Of this body Lindsay was president from 1860 to 1867, and he devoted himself enthusiastically to the work of the society. During these years he lived at Brighton, but in 1870 he removed to London.

Meanwhile his researches in ecclesiastical history convinced him of the untenability of the Anglican position. His wife had already joined the Roman catholic church on 13 Sept. 1866, and on 28 Nov. 1868 Lindsay was himself received into that church by Cardinal Newman at the Birmingham Oratory. He gave an account of the reasons for his secession in the introductory epistle to his 'Evidence for the Papacy' (London, 1870, 8vo). In that work Lindsay appeared as a staunch champion of extreme papal claims, and he further expounded these views in his 'De Ecclesia et Cathedra, or the Empire Church of Jesus Christ' (London, 1877, 2 vols. 8vo). He also defended Mary Queen of Scots in 'Mary Queen of Scots and her Marriage with Bothwell' (London, 1883, 8vo; reprinted from the 'Tablet'), in which he declared that there remained 'not a single point in her moral character open to attack.' In 1877 Lindsay retired to Deer Park, Honiton, which his wife had inherited in 1856. The pope granted him the rare privilege of having mass celebrated there or in whatever house he might be living. He died in London at 22 Elvaston Place, Queen's Gate, on 28 Jan. 1892. He and his wife, who died on 20 Aug. 1897, were buried at St. Thomas's Roman catholic church, Fulham. He left five sons and three daughters, of whom the eldest son, Mr. William Alexander Lindsay, K.C., is Windsor herald.

Besides the writings mentioned above, Lindsay was author of various minor works, of which a full bibliography is given in Mr. Joseph Gillow's 'Dictionary of English Catholics.' The most important is 'The Royal Supremacy and Church Emancipation' (London, 1865, 8vo), in which Lindsay defined the view taken of the establishment by the English Church Union.

[Works in Brit. Mus. Libr.; English Church Union Calendar; Burke's Peerage; Times, 30 Jan. 1892; Manchester Guardian, 1 Feb. 1892; Tablet, lxxix. 233; Boase's Modern English Biography; Gillow's Dictionary of English Catholics.]

A. F. P.