Lindsay, Sir David

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Lindsay or Lyndsay, Sir David

(both: lĭn`zē), c.1490–c.1555, Scottish poet. He was a courtier and diplomat by profession. As a writer he was a harsh satirist and moralist who directed most of his invective against the Roman Catholic Church. He never formally left the church, but his exposure of its abuses gives him a place second only to that of John Knox in bringing about the Scottish Reformation. Lindsay's verse is sometimes rich and elevated, sometimes coarsely realistic; his literary technique is frequently made secondary to satirical or didactic themes. In his Testament and Complaynt of Our Soverane Lordis Papyngo (1538) the king's parrot censures certain birds of prey—the clergy of the feathered world—for their hypocrisy and avarice. His long morality play, Ane Pleasant Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis (produced 1540), contains attacks on political abuses. Among Lindsay's other notable works are The Dreme, The Historie and Testament of Squyer Meldrum, and The Monarchie.

Bibliography

See edition of his works by D. Hamer for the Scottish Texts Society (4 vol., 1931–36, repr. 1972).

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Thomas Betteridge suggests in a recent discussion a date of late 1532 for the performance of this play, a moment when Sir David Lyndsay was passing through London returning from a diplomatic mission to France.
51) David Lyndsay, "The Complaint," (lines 131-290), Selected Poems, ed.
Three years later, the next record to mention a "play" not only associates it this time with a "playcoat," but famously provides the first reference to Sir David Lyndsay in a theatrical context.
Item ye xij day of October fra maister Johne of murray ij 1/2 elnis blew taffatis and vj quartaris 3allow taffatis to be ane play coit to dauid lindesay for ye play playt in ye king and qwenis presencis in ye abbay price elne xvj s summa iij li iiij s (13) (Item: the twelfth day of October from Master John of Murray two and a half ells of blue taffeta and six quarters of yellow taffeta to be a playcoat for David Lyndsay for the play played in the king and queen's presence in the abbey.
Sir David Lyndsay wrote a contemptuous satirical poem on the flamboyant excesses of women's "side (long) tails" at around this time, condemning the waste of cloth as they trailed costly fabric through the dirt.
Sir David Lyndsay, often assumed to be author of the interlude, was a senior herald who would be familiar with the ceremonial of the Scottish parliament.
The 1511 blue and yellow playcoat for David Lyndsay is slightly unusual in that it appears to be ascribed to a date in mid-October not traditionally associated with theatrical performance.
According to Sir David Lyndsay such diversionary techniques had been used by controllers of the young king ever since he was first nominally declared in adult rule at the age of twelve in 1524.
Sir David Lyndsay, one of James IV's "spetiall serwandis" (special servants) as a young man, became a respected senior courtier, herald, writer, and dramatist with an international reputation.
Members of the court, including the king himself as well as Sir David Lyndsay, had spent much time in France during the 1530s particularly in relation to James V's extended marriage negotiations, and one of the key members of the audience in 1540 was James's second French wife, Mary of Guise.
But detectives believe two other men - Alan Napper, 39, and 38-year-old David Lyndsay - missing since July, have been abducted and murdered by a contract killer.