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Sandie Lindsay, 1st Baron Lindsay of Birker

Alexander Dunlop Lindsay, 1st Baron Lindsay of Birker CBE (14 May 1879 - 18 March 1952),[1] known as Sandie Lindsay, was a Scottish academic and peer.[2][3][4]

Early lifeEdit

He was born in Glasgow on 14 May 1879, the son of Anna and Thomas Martin Lindsay. Lindsay was educated from 1887 at the Glasgow Academy, then at the University of Glasgow, where he gained a Master of Arts degree in 1899, and lastly at University College, Oxford, where he took a Double First in 1902.[5]


In 1903 he won the Shaw fellowship in moral philosophy at the University of Edinburgh, as had his father, the first recipient of this award. He was assistant lecturer in philosophy at the Victoria University of Manchester from 1904–1906, when he was elected a fellow and tutor in philosophy at Balliol College, Oxford.[5]

During the First World War he served in France, was mentioned twice in dispatches, and was a Lieutenant-colonel.[5]

He was Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Glasgow (1922–24). He was president of the Aristotelian Society from 1924 to 1925. In 1924 he became master of Balliol College and became Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford from 1935–38. He worked with Lord Nuffield who donated £1 million to fund a new physical chemistry laboratory and a postgraduate college for social studies, Nuffield College, Oxford[5] in 1937.

At Oxford, Lindsay was a leading figure in the adult education movement. On his retirement from Balliol, in 1949, Lindsay was appointed the first Principal of the University College of North Staffordshire which opened in 1949 and is now Keele University.[5]

In 1938, Lindsay stood for Parliament in the Oxford by-election as an 'Independent Progressive' on the single issue of opposition to the Munich Agreement, with support from the Labour and Liberal parties as well as from many Conservatives including the future Prime Ministers Winston Churchill, Harold Macmillan and Edward Heath, but lost to the official Conservative candidate, Quintin Hogg.

In 1949 Lindsay became the Founding Principal of the University College of North Staffordshire, which opened at Keele Hall in 1950. This unique institution - the first UK University of the 20th Century - tested many of Lindsay's educational principles and reflected the postwar idealism of its day. Known by many as the "Keele Experiment", many of the features of the New Universities of the 1960s were tested at Keele. The University College became the University of Keele in 1962.

Personal lifeEdit

Lindsay married Erica Violet Storr (1877 - 28 May 1962), daughter of Francis Storr, in 1907 and they had one daughter and two sons.[5]

He was elevated to the peerage on 13 November 1945 as Baron Lindsay of Birker, of Low Ground in the County of Cumberland. He was succeeded in the barony by his eldest son Michael Francis Morris Lindsay.

Selected bibliographyEdit


External linksEdit

Academic offices
Preceded by
Arthur Lionel Smith
Master of Balliol College, Oxford
Succeeded by
David Lindsay Keir
Preceded by
Francis John Lys
Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University
Succeeded by
George Stuart Gordon
Preceded by
New Creation
Principal, University College of North Staffordshire
(now Keele University)

Succeeded by
Sir John Lennard-Jones
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
New Creation
Baron Lindsay of Birker Succeeded by
Michael Lindsay

  1. ^ University of Oxford (1888). "Vice-Chancellors". The Historical Register of the University of Oxford. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 21–27. Retrieved 24 July 2011.