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Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford

Alexander William Crawford Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford, 8th Earl of Balcarres (16 October 1812 – 13 December 1880), styled Lord Lindsay between 1825 and 1869, was a Scottish peer, art historian and collector.

He was born at Muncaster Castle, Cumbria, the son of James Lindsay, 24th Earl of Crawford. He was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Oxford. On 23 July 1846 he married Margaret Lindsay, daughter of Lt Gen James Lindsay and sister of Robert James Loyd-Lindsay VC KCB, 1st and last Baron Wantage of Lockinge. They had 7 children, including his heir, James Ludovic.

He travelled widely studying art. He published "Progression by Antagonism" in 1846 and "Sketches of the History of Christian Art" in 1847. He became an avid art collector and many of his acquisitions are on display in galleries around the world.[1]

His other passion was genealogy. He was the author of the three volume

He travelled to the Middle East in 1837/38, writing

He inherited the earldom of Crawford and the earldom of Balcarres from his father James Lindsay, 24th Earl of Crawford, 7th Earl of Balcarres and was succeeded by his son James Lindsay, 26th Earl of Crawford.

He died in 1880 in Florence, Italy and his coffin was brought home for burial in a new family crypt in Dun Echt, near Aberdeen. Some time afterwards the body was stolen and eventually recovered from a shallow grave. A local poacher was convicted of grave-robbing.[4]

Bibliotheca Lindesiana

The Bibliotheca Lindesiana, was planned by Lord Lindsay and both he and his eldest son were instrumental in building it up to such an extent that was one the most impressive private collections in Britain at the time, both for its size and for the rarity of some of the materials it contained.

The bulk of the library was kept at Haigh Hall in Lancashire with a part at Balcarres. The 26th 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 organization 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.[5]


  • Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages
  • Earls of Balcarres

Further reading

  • Barker, Nicolas (1978) Bibliotheca Lindesiana: the Lives and Collections of Alexander William, 25th Earl of Crawford and 8th Earl of Balcarres, and James Ludovic, 26th Earl of Crawford and 9th Earl of Balcarres. London: for Presentation to the Roxburghe Club, and published by Bernard Quaritch

External links

  • Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
James Lindsay
Earl of Balcarres
1869– 1880
Succeeded by
James Lindsay
Preceded by
James Lindsay
Earl of Crawford
de jure

1869 – 1880

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