The Bibliotheca Lindesiana (i.e. Lindsayan or Lindsian library) had been planned by the 25th Earl and both he and his eldest son built it up to be one of the most impressive private collections in Britain at the time, both for its size and for the rarity of some of its materials. Alexander William Lindsay, a book collector from his schooldays, wrote to his son James (then 14 years old) describing his vision of the Bibliotheca Lindesiana; in 1864 he redrafted and enlarged it while visiting his villa in Tuscany. 250 pages long and under the name of the “Library Report” it continued to be added to during their lifetimes. He based his plan on the Manuel of J.-Ch. Brunetin which knowledge is divided into five branches: Theology, Jurisprudence, Science and Arts, Belles Lettres, History; to which Alexander added six of his own as paralipomena: Genealogy, Archaeology, Biography, Literary History, Bibliography and Encyclopaedias; and finally a Museum Features of the collection included reacquired stock from earlier Lindsay collections, manuscripts both eastern and western, and printed books, all chosen for their intellectual and cultural importance.

The bulk of the library was kept at Haigh Hall in Lancashire with a part at Balcarres. The Earl issued an extensive catalogue of the library in 1910: Catalogue of the Printed Books Preserved at Haigh Hall, Wigan, 4 vols. folio, Aberdeen University Press, printers. Companion volumes to the catalogue record the royal proclamations and philatelic literature. The cataloguing and organisation of the library was a major task for a team of librarians led by J. P. Edmond. The manuscript collections (including Chinese and Japanese printed books) were sold in 1901 to Enriqueta Augustina Rylands for the John Rylands Library. Other parts of the collections have since been donated to or deposited in national or university libraries, including the National Library of Scotland. In 1946 the deposited collections were distributed to the British Museum, Cambridge University Library, and the John Rylands Library. Changes to these locations were made by later Earls of Crawford; apart from the Crawford family muniments those at the John Rylands Library were removed in 1988.

It wouldn’t be Halloween time without a look at Inverclyde’s favourite Warlock; landed gentry turned evil witchlord..Alexander Lindsay of Dunrod.

It was rumoured Dunrod became involved with witches living on his lands in Inverkip, gathering with them at Dunrod’s Seat, located on the slope of Dunrod Hill. Further rumours suggest he entertained the Devil himself at his castle. The image of Dunrod as a dark and powerful Warlock is a far cry from the man he was at the end of his life; he was a penniless hermit, his lands having been seized in recompense for his evil deeds, selling charms and potions at the Greenock riverside to any who would entertain him. Dunrod died soon after in a barn on his former lands in East Kilbride.

As recently as a century ago, parents enforced children’s bedtimes with the chilling promise that ‘Auld Dunrod’ would get them. Thus, this larger than life character has become woven irrevocably into the folklore of the area, celebrated in numerous tales passed from generation to generation, and most famously in two anonymous poems commemorating his dark deeds.
“The Ballad of Auld Dunrod” is thought not to have been written down until more than a century after Dunrod’s death, and was probably composed while Dunrod was extant.

The Ballad Of Auld Dunrod

Auld Dunrod was a gowstie carl,

As ever ye micht see;

And gin he wisna’ a warlock wicht,

There was nane in the haill countrie.


Auld Dunrod he stack a pin

A boutrie pin – in the wa’,

And when he wanted his neighbour’s milk

He just gaed the pin a thraw.


He milkit the Laird o’ Kellies kye,

And a’ the kye o’ Dunoon;

And auld Dunrod gat far mair milk

Than wad mak’ a gabbert swim.


The cheese he made were numerous,

And wonerous to descry

For the kyth’t as gin they had been grule

Or peats set up to dry.


And there was nae cumerauld man about

Wha cam’ to him for skill,

That gif he dadna dae him guid,

He didna dae him ill.


But the kirk got word o’ Dunrod’s tricks,

And the Session they took him hand;

And naething was left but auld Dunrod

Forsooth maun leave the land.


Sae auld Dunrod he muntit his stick –

His broomstick muntit he –

And he flychter’t twa’r three times aboot,

And syne through the air did flee.


And he flew awa’ by auld Greenock tower,

And by the Newark ha’.

Ye wadna kent him in his flicht

Be a buddock or a craw.


And he flew to the Rest and be Thankfu’ Stane –

A merry auld carle was he;

He stottit and fluffer’t as he had been wud.

Or drucken wi’ the barley bree.

But a rountree grew at the stane –
It is there unto this day,
And gin ye dinna find it still,
Set doun that it’s away.

And he ne’er wist o’ the rountree
Till he cam dunt thereon;
His magic broomstick tint its spell,
And he daudit on the stone.

His heid was hard, and the Stane was sae,
And whan they met ane anither,
It was hard to say what wad be the weird
Of either the tane or the tither.

But the Stane was muilt like a lampet shell,
And sae was Auld Dunrod;
When ye munt a broomstick to tak a flicht,
Ye had best tak anither road.

The neighbours gathert to see the sicht,
The Stane’s remains they saw;
But as for Auld Dunrod himsel’,
He was carriet clean awa’.

And monie noy’t, as weill they micht,
The Rest and be Thankfu’ Stane;
And ilk ane said it had been better far,
Gin Dunrod had staid at hame.

And what becam o’ Auld Dunrod
Was doubtfu’ for to say,
Some said he wasna there ava,
But flew anither way.

goustie – ghostly, unearthl
boutrie – of the elder tree
Laird o Kellie –
Bannatyne, the Laird of Kellie in Innerkip Parish
soum – make a lighter swim
grule – appeared as if they had, like moss, ben baked in the sun
flychterit – fluttered
huddock – from a carrion crow
wud – bounded and whisked about
barley bree – ale
rountree – mountain ash
daudit – fell violently down
muilt – crushed
noy’t – blamed
ava – at all

The Black Watch regiment is one of the most celebrated in the history of Scotland and has distinguished itself in every military theatre in which it has been involved.

Although several companies of the original Black Watch were formed in 1729, the services of these companies were not required beyond their own territory. In 1739 King George II authorized the companies be formed into a regiment. In October 1739, letters of service were addressed to John Lindsay, 20th Earl of Crawford and 4th Earl of Lindsay who was appointed as the first commander of this new regiment. He was born October 4, 1702. He died December 24, 1749. From all records, it appears, without any heirs. The Regiment was to consist of 1000 men. The Black Watch was initially designated the 43rd regiment. In 1749 the regiment number of the Black Watch was changed from the 43rd to the 42rd, the number it has ever since retained, still bearing the name of the Black Watch.

Lord Semphill succeeded the Earl of Crawford in the colonelcy of the regiment in 1740. In April 1745, Lord John Murray, son of the Duke of Athole, succeeded Lord Semphill as colonel of the Highlanders. During the command of each of these successive commanders, the Black Watch was referred to as Lord Crawford’s, Lord Semphill’s, and Lord John Murray’s Highlanders. has provided an excellent detailed documentary of the Black Watch from the days of its earliest formation to the the Egyptian Campaign in 1886. If you would like to read more about the famed Black Watch visit at

The source of the regiment’s name is uncertain. Following the Jacobite rebellion of 1715, General George Wade was authorised by George I to form six “watch” companies to patrol the Highlands of Scotland, three from Clan Campbell, one from Clan Fraser of Lovat, one from Clan Munro and one from Clan Grant. These were to be “employed in disarming the Highlanders, preventing depredations, bringing criminals to justice, and hindering rebels and attainted persons from inhabiting that part of the kingdom.” The force was known in Gaelic as Am Freiceadan Dubh, “the dark” or “black watch”.
This may have derived from its uniform plaids of dark tartan. Other theories suggest the name referred to the “black hearts” of the pro-government militia who had sided with the “enemies of true Highland spirit”,or to their original duty in policing the Highlands.

The Parts of Lindsey are a traditional division of Lincolnshire, England, covering the northern part of the county. The Isle of Axholme, which is on the west side of the River Trent, has normally formed part of it.

There is little evidence (after admittedly only brief research) to link Lindsey in today’s Lincolnshire directly to the family of that name. Indeed the title evolved over a period long before any Norman influence. So any visions of hords of sword-wielding Lindsays taking the region by force can be shelved.

This is a locational surname denoting a person who was “of Lindsey”, a parish in county Suffolk, England, meaning linden-isle, along with other locales. The name derives from the Old English toponym Lindesege “Lindum Isle” or “marshland of Lincoln”. The Kingdom of Lindsey or Linnuis was a smaller Anglo-Saxon kingdom that was absorbed into Northumbria in the 600s AD. Lindum Colonia was the Roman name for the settlement which is now the city of Lincoln in Lincolnshire. A one Ealdric de Lindsay held lands in both Normandy and Lincolnshire and he was a tenant of English estates for the Earl of Chester.

The name of Lindsey actually has older ties and an origin to the Roman city of Lindum Colonia. This was a tribal territory of the Crieltavi. The city existed in the midst of a post Roman empire, in the 5th century. Evidence of this region is extremely vague, so it may have remained under Britain’s central administrative control, but not for long. The Lindsey name continued its development by a group of Angles, that founded the kingdom in 480 AD. They called themselves Lindisware, which became Lindissi over time. These Angles intermingled with the Germanic and native population there, and originally took the local name of “folk of Lindum.” After Lindissi, it became Lindsey. This kingdom had no recorded history, even before the Roman conquest. The area became Lincolnshire over time, with Lindsey becoming a parish within. This was the start of the Anglo Saxon Kingdom of Lindsey.

There is an Earl of Lindsey who is part of the Bertie family and of no relation to any actual Lindsey.
Robert Bertie was the son of Peregrine Bertie, 13th Baron Willoughby de Eresby (b. 12 October 1555, d. 25 June 1601) and Mary de Vere, daughter of John de Vere, 16th Earl of Oxford, and Margery Golding. Queen Elizabeth I was his godmother, and two of her favourite earls, whose Christian name he bore, were his godfathers. He was created Earl of Lindsey on 22 November 1626 and took his title from the northern of the three parts of Lincolnshire, the old Kingdom of Lindsey.

The Cathedral at St.John’s, the capital of the Island of Antigua, has been rebuilt several times. The picture to the left is its lstest incarnation and today it stands proudly visible from the decks of the many cruise ships that dock in the town.. Today it also boasts a full Bishop which was not the case in the 18th Century. The senior cleric of the Island was the Rector of St.John’s a task that fell to the Rev James Lindsey who had a most unusual claim to fame.. Not many Lindsey’s had their name immortalised on a Cathedral Bell. Here’s how it was reported…

“The Tower contains two bells, the tenor one inscribed ‘Edmund Powell, Golden Grove 1684’ and was kept for the use of coloured classes in other days. The large bell was presented to the Church by John Delap Esq 1788. It bore the following inscription: ‘The gift of John Delap Esq, the Rev James Lindsey, Rector, Thomas Hanson Halloran and Daniel Hill churchwardens. Charles Panton, London, fecit. John Warner, foundry of London 1788.’ It was taken down on the 11th February 1840 on account of a serious injury beyond repair. shipped to London on the ‘Antigua Packet’ and exchanged for a new one of the same size.”

Bells apart the Lindsey family had ongoing connections to the Cathedral. In those times Pew seats were allocated to the worthy attendees and it was rare not to find Lindseys of all branches represented – for example Vere Oliver records March 1787 Pew 34 to a Mrs Lindsey and Pew 46 to a Jno Lindsay, and February 1822 Pew 38 to Capt. Lindsey and Family, while the Rev James’ father John was a senior member of the Cathedral’s Council.

Auld Robin Gray

By Lady Anne Lindsay (1772)

When the sheep are in the fauld, and the kye at hame,
And a’ the warld to rest are gane,
The waes o’ my heart fa’ in showers frae my e’e,
While my gudeman lies sound by me.

Young Jamie lo’ed me weel, and sought me for his bride;
But saving a croun he had naething else beside:
To make the croun a pund, young Jamie gaed to sea;
And the croun and the pund were baith for me.

He hadna been awa’ a week but only twa,
When my father brak his arm, and the cow was stown awa;
My mother she fell sick,–and my Jamie at the sea–
And auld Robin Gray came a-courtin’ me.

My father couldna work, and my mother couldna spin;
I toil’d day and night, but their bread I couldna win;
Auld Rob maintain’d them baith, and wi’ tears in his e’e
Said, ‘Jennie, for their sakes, O, marry me!’

My heart it said nay; I look’d for Jamie back;
But the wind it blew high, and the ship it was a wrack;
His ship it was a wrack–Why didna Jamie dee?
Or why do I live to cry, Wae ‘s me?

My father urged me sair: my mother didna speak;
But she look’d in my face till my heart was like to break:
They gi’ed him my hand, tho’ my heart was in the sea;
Sae auld Robin Gray he was gudeman to me.

I hadna been a wife a week but only four,
When mournfu’ as I sat on the stane at the door,
I saw my Jamie’s wraith,–for I couldna think it he,
Till he said, ‘I’m come hame to marry thee.’

O sair, sair did we greet, and muckle did we say;
We took but ae kiss, and we tore ourselves away:
I wish that I were dead, but I’m no like to dee;
And why was I born to say, Wae ‘s me!

I gang like a ghaist, and I carena to spin;
I daurna think on Jamie, for that wad be a sin;
But I’ll do my best a gude wife aye to be,
For auld Robin Gray he is kind unto me.