Lindsay Family Heritage of Freedom

For as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom - for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.

From The Declaration of Arbroath, 1320.

The Declaration of Arbroath, 1320

by John Prebble

The Declaration of Arbroath was and has been unequalled in its eloquent plea for the liberty of man. From the darkness of medieval minds it shone a torch upon future struggles which its signatories could not have foreseen or understood.

The author of this noble Latin address is unknown, though it is assumed to have been composed by Bernard de Linton, Abbot of Arbroath and Chancellor of Scotland. Above the seals of eight earls and forty-five barons, it asked for the Pope's dispassionate intervention in the bloody quarrel between the Scots and the English, and so that he might understand the difference between the two its preamble gave him a brief history of the former. The laughable fiction of this is irrelevant. What is important is the passionate sincerity of the men who believed it, who were placing a new and heady nationalism above the feudal obligations that had divided their loyalties less than a quarter of a century before.

In its mixture of defiance and supplication, nonsensical history and noble thought, two things make the Declaration of Arbroath the most important document in Scottish history.

Firstly it set the will and the wishes of the people above the King. Though they were bound to him 'both by law and by his merits' it was so that their freedom might be maintained. If he betrayed them he would be removed and replaced. This remarkable obligation placed upon a feudal monarch by his feudal subjects may be explained in part by the fact that Bruce was still a heather king to many of them, still a wild claimant ruling upon sufferance and success. 

But the roots of his kingship were Celtic, and a Celtic tradition was here invoked, the memory of the Seven Earls, the Seven Sons of Cruithne the Pict in who, it was believed, had rested the ancient right of tanistry, the elevation of kings by selection. This unique relationship of king and people would influence their history henceforward, and would reach its climax in the Reformation and the century following, when a people's Church would declare and maintain its superiority over earthly crowns.

Secondly, the manifesto affirmed the nation's independence in a way no battle could, and justified it with a truth that is beyond nation and race. Man has a right to freedom and a duty to defend it with his life.  The natural qualifications put upon this by a medieval baron are irrelevant, as are the reservations which slave-owning Americans placed upon their declaration of independence. The truth once spoken cannot be checked, the seed once planted controls its own growth, and the liberty which men secure for themselves must be given by them to others, or it will be taken as they took it. Freedom is a hardy plant and must flower in equality and brotherhood.

[from Lindsay House website]

Declaration of Arbroath


It was a model for the Declaration of Independence, of the  United States of America.

A Lindsay was one of those who signed the declaration of independence of Scotland, declaring themselves totally independent of England. They were allies of Robert the Bruce and fought in Bannockburn. They intermarried with the family of William Wallace and handed over some of their castles to help him in his great battle for independence.

The 20th Earl of Crawford raised the Black Watch regiment in 1739, which was originally called the Lindsay-Crawford Regiment. Today, they still stand guard over Edinburgh Castle. Later, this Earl commanded the Scot Grays. Robert Lindsay, cousin to the 26th Earl, was the first recipient of the Victoria Cross.

Lord Crawford, current chief of the family, is the 29th holder of the title and 40th feudal lord of Crawford. He is the premier Earl of Scotland. If precedence were determined by length of service in Parliament, he would also be the premier peer of the Empire, for his predecessors and he have sat in every Parliament, either Scottish or British, since 1147.

This document has been approved by Rt. Hon Robert Alexander Lindsay, the 29th Earl of Crawford.

Written by:
Anne L. Alexander, FSA Scot.
Genealogist/Archivist Clan Lindsay Association, USA
January, 2000

Lord Lindsay: Lives of the Lindsays, v.1, 1849; Jervise: Land of the Lindsays, 1853; Smibert: Clans of the Highlands of Scotlands, 1850; Publications of the Clan Lindsay Society, Scotland, 1900 to date.

Regarding the re-establishment of the Jewish people in their ancient homeland,                 

For religious, or humanitarian or philosophical or imperialist motives, prominent Britons learned Hebrew, wrote novels about restoration of the Jewish commonwealth, began settlement and exploration societies and advocated restoration of the Jews in public and in private. Among the advocates we may include Lord Lindsay, Lord Shaftesbury  Lord Palmerston, Disraeli, Lord Manchester, George Eliot, Holman Hunt, Sir Charles Warren, Hall Caine and others.

Lord Lindsay wrote:

The soil of "Palestine still enjoys her sabbaths, and only waits for the return of her banished children, and the application of industry, commensurate with her agricultural capabilities, to burst once more into universal luxuriance, and be all that she ever was in the days of Solomon.                

(Crawford, A.W.C. (Lord Lindsay), Letters on Egypt, Edom and the Holy Land, London,        H. Colburn 1847, V II, p 71).

[from Wikipedia]

to the 


of today


We are living during one of the most crucial decades of history.

What we do now as individuals and as a family can make a difference.

Alone, we can do a little, but  only a fraction of what we can do as a family.

Together, in unity of purpose, we can fulfill our potential and defeat our common enemy.


The following happened in Scotland in  1320  --  

Robert the Bruce was King of Scotland, having been voted into the office by the land-holding nobility. 

Scotland was the only nation where the people through the nobles, could put a king on the throne and also remove him.

The English king was again insisting on his sovereignty over Scotland by force of arms, and the resistance was strong. The king and the nobles met at the Abbey of Arbroath on the northeastern coast. They agreed together and had the Abbot, Bernard de Linton, write out their intentions in a document addressed to the current pope (who lived at the time in a palace in Avignon, France).

In the Declaration of Arbroath, they stated:

"For as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom - for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself."

William Wallace (Braveheart) had been brutally executed by the English 15 years earlier.

One of the nobles who signed the Declaration of Arbroath was David Lindsay. 

This document was among those which greatly influenced the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, as they studied, debated, and prayed their way to the writing and signing of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution, and Bill of Rights. 

You see, family of mine, that we have an inspiring heritage as lovers of freedom and the will to fight for that freedom.

As we look today at our own lives and at the nation, we find ourselves in a place and time where we must decide whether we will submit to tyranny which has taken hold through deception over many years and is now operating openly. Or, will we unify to oppose it, and help to return our blood-bought nation to the roots of its greatness? 

Let us search our hearts and our souls, and let us prepare to make our individual and family decisions. 

You all know where I stand. 

I pray and trust that you will join me.

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