Alexander Livingstone, 1st Earl of Linlithgow

Alexander Livingstone, 1st Earl of Linlithgow (died 1621)[1] was a Scottish nobleman, courtier, and politician.

Early life

He was the eldest son of William Livingstone, 6th Lord Livingston, by his wife Agnes, second daughter of Malcolm Fleming, 3rd Lord Fleming, and supported the faction of Mary, Queen of Scots. At the capture of Dumbarton Castle on 2 May 1571, he was taken prisoner, but appears to have been freed soon afterwards.[2]

On his father making submission to the Regent Morton on 22 May 1574, Livingstone was relieved of bonds, which he had entered into for the deliverance of Callendar House. In September 1579 he accompanied James VI of Scotland from Stirling to Edinburgh, on the occasion of his royal entry, and on 24 September 1580 he was chosen a Lord of the Bedchamber.[2]

Livingstone was a member of the assize for the trial of Morton in 1581; and he remained a loyal supporter of Esmé Stewart, 1st Duke of Lennox. When the Duke had to depart from Edinburgh on 5 September 1582, Livingstone accompanied him westwards to Glasgow, and he was also connected with the conspiracy of the Duke on 30 November to seize Edinburgh. When the Duke left for France on 20 December following, Livingstone accompanied him, but after the Duke's death on 26 May 1583 he returned to Scotland. For his prompt action in taking possession of Stirling Castle on 22 April 1584, after it had been vacated by the Ruthven raiders, he was declared to have done good service.[2]

Lord Livingstone

Alexander Livingstone succeeded his father as Lord Livingstone in 1592. Although he may well have been concerned in negotiations with Spain, he was on 31 October 1593 appointed a member of the commission for the trial of the Earls of Angus, Huntly, and Erroll for the same treasonable conduct, in the Spanish blanks plot; and he signed the act of abolition in their favour on 26 November. On 18 January 1594 he was named a commissioner of taxation, and in May 1594 he was chosen a lord of the articles.[2]

At the baptism of Prince Henry on 23 August 1594, Livingstone carried the towel. In November 1596 the care of Princess Elizabeth was entrusted to him and his wife Helen Livingstone, Countess of Linlithgow, which caused continuing controversy because she was a Roman Catholic. He was chosen one of the members of the Scottish privy council, on its reconstitution in December 1598. In March 1600 he had a charter of novo damus of the barony of Callendar, in which the town of Falkirk was erected into a free burgh of barony.[2]

Earl of Linlithgow

On 25 December 1600 Livingstone was, on the occasion of the baptism of Prince Charles, created Earl of Linlithgow, Lord Livingstone and Callendar. He and Lady Livingstone remained guardians of the Princess Elizabeth until the departure of King James to London in 1603, and after the princess was restored to the king at Windsor an act was passed discharging them of their duty.[2]

In July 1604 the Earl was appointed one of the commissioners for a union with England. In 1621 he voted, through his procurator, against the Five Articles of Perth.[2] He died on 24 December 1621 at Callendar House.[1]


By his wife, Eleanor (Helen) Hay, eldest daughter of Andrew Hay, 8th Earl of Erroll,[1] Livingstone had three sons:[2]

and two daughters:[2]


  1. 1 2 3 Goodare, Julian. "Livingstone, Alexander". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/16801. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9  Lee, Sidney, ed. (1893). "Livingstone, Alexander (d.1622)". Dictionary of National Biography. 33. London: Smith, Elder & Co.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Lee, Sidney, ed. (1893). "Livingstone, Alexander (d.1622)". Dictionary of National Biography. 33. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 

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