Open main menu

James Lindsay, 24th Earl of Crawford

Haigh Hall, built by James Lindsay

James Lindsay, 24th Earl of Crawford and 7th Earl of Balcarres (24 April 1783 – 15 December 1869) was an Earl in the Scottish peerage.


James Lindsay was born on 24 April 1783 at Balcarres House in Fife, the son of Alexander Lindsay, 6th Earl of Balcarres and inherited the title of 7th Earl of Balcarres on his father's death in 1825. In 1826 he was created Baron of Wigan in the peerage of Great Britain. In 1843 he claimed the abeyant title of Earl of Crawford and in 1848 the House of Lords allowed the claim and conferred on him the title of 24th Earl of Crawford, and by extension, the title of 23rd Earl of Crawford on his dead father.[clarification needed]

He entered the army and attained the rank of major in the 20th Light Dragoons until he left in 1804. He was returned as Tory MP for Wigan from 1820 to 1825.

He inherited a third share of a company that supplied slaves to the British Army from his father (a former Governor of Jamaica). After the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 he was paid a large amount of compensation for the loss of slaves. James was able to use his family's wealth, derived in significant part from slavery, to invest in the profitable coal industry.[1]

He designed Haigh Hall in Haigh, Greater Manchester, to replace the then existing hall which dated back to Norman times and lived in a cottage in the grounds whilst it was constructed between 1830-1849. The family owned Haigh Colliery, cannel and coal mines, and formed the Wigan Coal and Iron Company in 1865.

After his death on 23 December 1869 he was buried at All Saints' Church, Wigan, Lancashire, and succeeded by his eldest son, Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford.


On 21 November 1811 at Muncaster in Cumbria, he married the Hon. Maria Margaret Frances Pennington, daughter of John Pennington, 1st Baron Muncaster. They had four sons of whom the eldest was Alexander Lindsay. Alexander's genealogical research had enabled his father to claim the title of Earl of Crawford which had fallen into abeyance.


  1. ^ James Lindsay, 7th Earl of Balcarres. "Summary of Individual | Legacies of British Slave-ownership". Retrieved 28 February 2013.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit