Can You Help Alexander Leslie? Scots in Foreign Service Project and Collab. Profile of the Week

+13 votes

The Scots in Foreign Service Project and Collaborative Profile of the Week Present

Alexander Leslie (abt. 1580 - 1661)

Alexander Leslie rose from humble beginnings to become one of the greatest military leaders of the 17th Century.  Born a Scot, at Blair Castle in Perthshire, he commanded Scottish troops in the service of the Dutch Republic (now Holland), Sweden and then became lord general in command of the Covenanters being the officer receiving the surrender of King Charles I at Newark in 1646.

His record in Scotland is quite well detailed in his profile but his record in Sweden, where he was ennobeled by Gustav Adolphus and later commanded the Swedish Army when Gustav Adolphus was killed (16 Nov 1632) at the Battle of Lützen, is not.  He held title to two earldoms in what is now Germany and one in Sweden.  He was to serve 30 years with the armies of Sweden and the protestant States commanding thousands of Scottish soldiers, many of whom will stay.  Many of the descendant families now scattered across Sweden, Finland, Russia and the Baltic States come from this period in history.

This profile is not the usual Collaborative Profile. There is a biography. He is connected.

  1. The Scottish project is now in need of that European contribution.  Is there any material existing in the European records that can build on the Profile of this soldier.
  2. Would someone furnish an appropriate background image, perhaps the Leslie tartan?
  3. Are there Categories that can be added?

Scots in Foreign Service Project 

The Scots in Foreign Service Project, a sub-project of the Scotland Project, is a collaborative effort of Wikitree users to highlight those Scots that fought abroad between the 12th Century and the Acts of Union in 1707.

Thank You.

Please post answers to the question, to let us know what you're doing.


in Requests for Project Volunteers by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
edited by Chris Whitten
Thanks, Anne! Now featured on the home page.

2 Answers

+6 votes
Best answer
Leslie tartan added as background.
by Maria Maxwell G2G6 Pilot (168k points)
selected by Anne B
Thank you Maria
Is this the same person Anne?  [ Alexander Laslay Earl of Leven] Looking at archives in the Netherlands but so far no luck.
Do we know where Leven is? Earl of Leven? Thank you! Named as Lesle by famous Dutch Hugo de Groot........... around 1639

And in latin but can t read but Alexander named Leslaeus (no.8) []

Again mentioned in Latin by Hugo de Groot Alexander died in 1661[]
Astrid, I've sent a message to Doug to see what he thinks
Okay Anne. Finding more now as the region he was active in the Netherlands would help. See at a lead! he was as an officer under the command of Sir Horace Vere from 1605 and transferred to Sweden in 1608. So probably he was only short here.

Leven in England? Schotland? Sweden? Germany? Leven is in Dutch meaning life and confusing.
Thank you again Maria!
Hi Astrid.  Yes that is the same person.  He had that very distinctive beard.  Interesting spelling.  Was that a bust or a painting?  Must have been taken after his service in the Dutch Republic as he is stated to be a General.  A short look at his service in the Dutch Republic is mentioned on his bio, this what I could find from Scottish records.  He was there slightly prior to de Vere and seems to have joined the English companies.  It is not clear from Scottish records when he left but he received a commission in Sweden in 1608 and thus could only have been a short time.  Earl of Leven is a title in the Peerage of Scotland, the seat of which was at Balgownie castle in Fife.  The category page Category: Earl of Leven need some work :-) I see, which I can get to.
+4 votes
I see that there are links to wikipedia that could be linked within wikitree instead, like the one to Gustav II Adolf (Gustavus Adolfus). Should I change the link?
by Lena Svensson G2G6 Mach 5 (50.9k points)
If the link in Wikitree has a reasonable biography and not just junk, yes you can change the link. But, I don't think we want to link to bad Wikitree.

I think the profile has a lot of information (I worked on it a while back). :)

Gustav II Vasa

Was he Duke of Vätmanland (sic) or Värmland?
Västmanland, oh, I see now that there has been a typo... I thinks someone else added some info too.. have to look at the changes.

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