Throughout the centuries there have been famous Lindsays in many fields including the arts, literature, history, music, science, astronomy, the church and government. It is said that since 1147 Lindsays have held seats in almost every parliament, both Scottish and English.
Throughout the history of Scotland the Lindsay Earls of Crawford took part in the most notable events. At the wedding banquet of Mary Queen of Scots and Lord Darnley, the Earl of Crawford was given the honour of cupbearer, and remained faithful to the Queen’s cause throughout her life. You can visit the Palace of Holyroodhouse at the end of the Royal Mile to see the place where the Queen was married to the Lord.
At the other end of the Royal Mile is Edinburgh Castle. In 1661 a Lindsay was rewarded with the title of Earl of Balcarres for his eminent service during the civil war and became the hereditary governor of Edinburgh Castle. He was also made the Secretary of State for Scotland and High Commissioner to the General Assembly. In 1681 it was the daughter of John Lindsay, Lord Menmuir, who helped the Covenanting Earl of Argyll escape from the castle by taking him out as a page holding up her train.
The early history of the Lindsays takes place in ancient Haddingtonshire, the area to the east of Edinburgh. Make your way to Aberlady and Luffness, where you can see the private Luffness Castle, now the site of a tower house having been knocked down on the orders of Lord Hertford following his victory over the Scots in 1547.
East of Aberlady lies the 13th century ruins of a Carmelite monastery, the monks of which were granted freedom from tolls at the port by the Lindsay landowners. The ruins of Garleton Castle are said to be on the site of land once owned by the Lindsays, and the castle was the birth place of Sir David Lindsay of the Mount who wrote the famous play, Ane Satyre of the Three Estaitis.
Make your way to Haddington which has seen a thousand years of history as the gateway to Edinburgh and the path of many marauding armies. The High Street and Market Street are a warren of wynds and lanes and contrast greatly with the grand buildings of Court Street. St Mary's is Scotland's largest parish church and is well worth exploring.