Ludovic Lindsay, 16th Earl of Crawford, d.1652

Scottish cavalry commander who remained loyal to the King and co-operated with the Marquis of Montrose in Scotland.

Ludovic Lindsay was the third surviving son of Henry Lindsay, thirteenth Earl of Crawford, of Finhaven Castle, Angus, and his second wife Elizabeth Shaw. Lindsay led a distinguished career as a mercenary officer in the European wars. In 1632, he was a colonel in the Swedish service, then raised a regiment on behalf of the Spanish ambassador at Vienna to fight for Spain. In 1639, Lindsay inherited the earldom of Crawford on the death of his elder brother, Alexander Lindsay. He returned to Scotland in time to take his seat in the Scottish parliament of August 1639, which met in the aftermath of the First Bishops' War. Lindsay supported King Charles in his struggle with the Covenanters and commanded a unit of loyal Scots volunteers during the Second Bishops' War (1640).

In August 1641, Crawford accompanied the King on his journey to Scotland to seek a reconciliation with the Covenanters. However, he became involved with a group of hot-headed Royalist nobles and army officers who plotted to seize or murder the Marquis of Hamilton, his brother the Earl of Lanark, and the Earl of Argyll, whom they regarded as the King's enemies in Scotland. When the conspiracy came to light, it proved a great source of embarrassment to King Charles and was referred to only as "The Incident". Crawford was arrested for denouncing Hamilton as a traitor and advocating his assassination, but he escaped punishment as both the King and the Covenanters were anxious to avoid further disruption of their negotiations.

In January 1642, Crawford resigned his earldom into the King's hands at Windsor and agreed to a re-grant under new terms, whereby if he died without leaving a legitimate son, the earldom would pass to John, Earl of Lindsay, a distant kinsman who coveted the Crawford title.

Crawford attended King Charles at the raising of the royal standard at Nottingham in August 1642, and fought at the battle of Edgehill. In July 1643, he commanded a cavalry brigade at the battle of Roundway Down, where Sir William Waller's Parliamentarian army was decisively defeated. Later in 1643, he served with Lord Hopton's army in southern England. Crawford's brigade was attacked by Waller's forces at Alton in December 1643. Crawford rode away from Alton with his cavalry but his attempt to bring reinforcements from Winchester was unsuccessful and his brigade was severely defeated.

When the Army of the Covenant invaded England in alliance with Parliament in 1644, Crawford joined James Graham, the Earl (later Marquis) of Montrose on his diversionary march north. Montrose seized Dumfries in April 1644, but was driven back into England by Covenanter forces. Crawford was with Montrose at the siege of Morpeth in May but was taken prisoner at Newcastle in October 1644 and imprisoned at Edinburgh. As a result of his active support for Montrose, Crawford was excommunicated by the Kirk and deprived of his title and property by the Scottish parliament. The earldom was granted to John, Earl of Lindsay, a zealous Covenanter, who became known as the Earl of Crawford-Lindsay. However, King Charles and the Royalists continued to acknowledge Crawford as the rightful holder of the title.

Crawford was released from prison after Montrose's victory over the Covenanters at Kilsyth in August 1645. Montrose appointed Crawford his general of horse and prepared to march into England, but the Scottish Royalists were decisively defeated the following month at Philiphaugh. Crawford remained in Scotland for another year, assisting Montrose in his attempts to build a new army. After King Charles' surrender to the Scots at Newark in July 1646, and the disbandment of Montrose's remaining forces, Crawford went into exile.

Crawford's attempts to raise forces in Ireland for the Royalist cause came to nothing and, after converting to Roman Catholicism, he rejoined the Spanish service. He died in November 1652.


T.F. Henderson, Ludovic Lindsay, sixteenth earl of Crawford, DNB, 1892

Darryl Lundy, Ludovic Lindsay, 16th earl of Crawford

David Stevenson, Ludovic Lindsay, sixteenth earl of Crawford (d.1652), Oxford DNB, 2004