Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Leslie, or Lesley, a Scottish family, of whom the following were the most notable members: Alexander, first Earl of Leven (d. 1661), a soldier of fortune, who served with distinction under Gustavus Adolphus during the Thirty Years' War and, after the latter's death, commanded the Swedish army. He left the Swedish service in 1638 and took command of the Covenanters in Scotland. Charles I. offered £500 for his head, and insisted on his resignation as a. condition of peace. In 1640 he again held command of the Scottish army, at the head of which he marched into England. After the conclusion of peace he was created Earl of Leven, and took an oath that he would never more bear arms against Charles. In 1644 he invaded England as "lord general" of the Covenanting army In 1645, after Naseby, he received Charles I. at Newark, but he was soon after relieved of his command at his own request on account of his old age. He was soon, however, reinstated, and was in nominal command of the army which Cromwell defeated at Dunbar in 1650. Next year he was made prisoner and sent to the Tower of London, but was soon released. David (d. 1682) played an important part at Marston Moor. He defeated Montrose at Philiphaugh, and was the real commander at Dunbar. He was created Lord Newark at the Restoration. John Leslie, or Lesley (1527-96), Bishop of Ross, defended Catholicism against Knox at Edinburgh in 1561, and was sent to France by the nobles to bring Mary Stuart back to Scotland. When she arrived he became her chief adviser. After the discovery of the Norfolk conspiracy he was imprisoned in the Tower, and it was on the evidenceof his confessions that Norfolk was executed. After his release he went to France and to Rome in Mary's interests, and was at the bottom of all the schemes for her liberation. He spent the rest of his life abroad, and died in a monastery near Brussels.