Leslie Clan

Leslie Clan Crest: A demi griffin, armed, beaked and winged.

Leslie Clan Motto: Grip Fast

Leslie Clan History:

The ancestor of this distinguished Scottish family is Bartolf, a Hungarian who accompanied Princess Margaret Atheling to Scotland in 1067. Following Margaret's marriage to Malcolm III, and for allegedly saving her life during a river crossing, Bartolf was granted lands in Aberdeenshire, Angus and Fife, and established himself at Lesselyn in the Garioch, from which the name of his descendants originates. Bartolf's son was created Constable of the Royal Castle of Inverurie.

Through marriage, the family soon acquired the Baronies of Rothes, Fytekill and Ballinbriech.  In 1457, George Leslie was created Earl of Rothes.  The 3rd Earl of Rothes  died at the Battle of Flodden in 1513, and the 4th Earl was one of the Commissioners at the marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots to the Dauphin of France. The 6th Earl became a leader of the Covenanters in 1638.

The 7th Earl of Rothes was created Duke of Rothes by Charles II, but died without a male heir. The 9th Earl was Vice-Admiral of Scotland and Governor of Stirling Castle. He supported the Government and led a regiment of Cavalry at the Battle of Sheriffmuir.

Sir Alexander Leslie (c.1580- 1661) served with the Swedish Army attaining the rank of Field Marshal. He became Commander of the Covenanters' Army and after the treaty of peace was signed in 1641, was created Lord Balgonie and Earl of Leven. In 1682, through his parents' marriage, the 3rd Earl of Leven acquired the additional earldom of Melville.

Norman Leslie (d.1554), Master of Rothes, was leader of the faction who murdered Cardinal Beaton.
David Leslie (1601-82), son of the 1st Lord Lindores and grandson of the 5th Earl of Rothes, also served under Gustavus Adolphus in Sweden. Back in Scotland to fight for the Royalist Cause, he was routed by Oliver Cromwell's army in 1650. Following the Stuart Restoration, he was created Lord Newark.
Sir John Leslie (1766-1832) was Chair of Mathematics and Natural Philosopy at Edinburgh University. The dispute over his orthodoxy was known as 'The Leslie Case.' He invented the Pyroscope, Atmometer and Aethriscope.
Sir Alexander Leslie of Auchintoul (d.1663) became a General in the Russian Army and was appointed Governor of Smolensk.

Surname distribution in Scotland: The highest concentrations of the Lindsay name occur in Shetland (Zetland), Aberdeenshire (includes all of the historic counties of Aberdeenshire, Kincardineshire and part of Banffshire), Aberdeen City, Moray (including most of historic Banffshire), Orkney, Perth and Kinross (Perthshire and Kinross-shire), Angus (Forfarshire), Dundee City, Fife, Edinburgh City and the Lothians (Linlithgowshire, Edinburghshire and Haddingtonshire).

Places of Interest:
Leslie House, Glenrothes, Fife. This was built by the Duke of Rothes in 1763, but burned down in 1763.

Balgonie Castle, Markinch, Fife. Fifteenth century tower reconstructed by Alexander Leslie, Earl of Leven. Sold in 1824.

Balquhain Castle, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire. Sixteenth century ruined Leslie tower.

Pitcarlie House, Auchtermuchty, Fife, was the home in the early 17h century of Patrick Leslie, Lord Lindores.

Pitcaple Castle, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire. Fifteenth century tower house built for the Leslie Family, but which passed by marriage to the Lumsdens.

Associated family names (Septs): Abernethy, Abernathy, Cairnie, Cairny, Lesslie, Lesley, Moore, More.

Clan Leslie clan membership certificate.