James Lindsay, 7th Earl of Balcarres

24th Jun 1783 - 15th Dec 1869

Claimant or beneficiary


James Lindsay, 7th Earl of Balcarres (1783-1869); became also Earl of Crawford 1848. James Lindsay's father, Alexander, 6th Earl of Balcarres (1752-1825) was Governor of Jamaica 1794-1801.  The 7th Earl claimed successfully one-third of the compensation for groups of enslaved people employed by the British army under contract from Messrs Atkinson and Hozier under arrangements put in place by his father the 6th Earl when Governor of Jamaica.

  1. Died 15/12/1869, will proved 14/03/1870 effects under £70,000. Alexander, the 6th Earl established the Haigh Ironworks in 1788 and was a career soldier before becoming Governor of Jamaica in 1794. James, 7th Earl was able to use his family's wealth - derived in significant part from slavery - to invest in the profitable coal industry, creating the Wigan Coal and Iron Company when he added more collieries and ironworks to the family's holdings in 1865. The 6th, 8th, 9th 10th and 11th Earls are all in the ODNB as 'army officer and colonial governor', 'book collector and writer on art', 'astronomer and book collector', 'politician and art connoisseur' and 'connoisseur of the arts and politician' respectively.  

  2. 'The counterclaim[ant] in this case labours under some difficulty in asserting his counterclaim in this country, in as much as there do not appear to be on hand the deeds between the parties by which their respective rights were ascertained and fixed: the counterclaim however states that under an agreement entered into between his late father, the Rt Hon Alex. Earl of Balcarres formerly Governor of this colony, and the predecessors of the firm of the present claimants, Messrs Atkinson and Hozier his said father became entitled to one third of the whole of the slaves then employed by the  Govt as Pioneers and also to one third of those who might be thereafter purchased and placed in that Establishment.' Title was taken by existing firm, as any partner retired the interest was transferred to the succeeding firm. Until death of 6th Earl, Atkinson & Hozier rendered accounts to him charging him for purchases of slaves and credited him for hire or proceeds of slaves, 'by letters and otherwise  invariably recognized his Lordships right to a participation in a full third of the rent and profit of all the Pioneer negroes, and also his claim to a full third of the negroes themselves.' The 7th Earl continued to receive accounts current, tho' title was with firm of Atkinson & Hozier, who until the last 3-4 years were attorneys of 7th Earl. The 7th Earl was, he said, 'ready to maintain and prove' the circumstances previously mentioned, one third of the comp. being 'both legally and equitably the property and of right payable and belonging to the counterclaimant.' Atkinson & Hozier's replication (the signature of which was proved 17/12/1835) admitted the counterclaim and said the partners 'have not only never denied his right of participation but have always been ready and willing that he should receive and be paid the same.' The replication identifies James Hozier as being at present resident in London. The two partners went on to explain that Earl of Balcarres had been omitted from the claims not in order to cut him out of the compensation but because his name was not on the slave registers in 1832 or since 1817.


  1. National Probate Calendar 1870; ODNB online. 'The Lindsays of Haugh', http://www.garswood.com/haigh/ [accessed 11/05/2016]. 'Grace's Guide: Wigan Coal and Iron Co', http://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Wigan_Coal_and_Iron_Co [accessed 11/05/2016].

  2. Counterclaims file T71/1201 for background to the Earl's claims with Atkinson & Hozier. Counterclaim by Earl of Balcarres resident in England. Appendix Particulars of counterclaim.

Note the Balcarres family are a political dynasty with the 26th, 27th, 28th and 29th Earls all holding political office between the 1880s and the 2010s.

We are grateful to John Beales and Omar Robert Hamilton for their assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

Name in compensation records
Earl of Balcarres
Hon. Maria Margaret Frances Pennington
4 sons
Wealth at death

Associated Claims (11)

£181 12s 9d
£454 1s 10d
£925 1s 5d
£9,352 14s 10d
£227 0s 2d
£2,146 17s 2d
£1,447 12s 3d
£2,928 11s 0d
£384 19s 6d
£239 3s 6d
£571 0s 0d

Associated Estates (3)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
25/03/1825 [SD] - 1834 [LA] → Owner
1826 [EA] - → Other

Purchaser of enslaved people on this estate.

25/03/1825 [SD] - 1839 [LA] → Owner

Legacies Summary

Commercial (1)

Wigan Coal and Iron Co.
Coal, iron and marble  

Physical (1)

Country house
Haigh Hall [Built] 
description →
Country house near Wigan, Greater Manchester, built by the 7th Earl between 1827 and...

Political (1)

election →
Wigan Lancashire
1820 - 1825

Relationships (1)

Son → Father

Addresses (1)

Haigh Hall, Wigan, Lancashire, North-west England, England