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Baron of Balquhain

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Scotland Project > Clan Leslie > Baron of Balquhain

Barony of Balquhain

Arms pre 1672

Arms post 1672

The Barony of Balquhain was created a burgh of barony by David II in 1340 and were held by the main line, Leslie of that Ilk until Andrew Leslie divided the lands amongst his sons with the youngest, George Leslie, getting Balquhain. These lands remained in the hands of the Leslie family from this time until 1919, when their estates were broken up, following the death of Colonel Charles Stephen Leslie in 1916. The Leslie family also held lands in Europe, primarily in Bavaria, Germany, as a result of the exploits of Sir Walter Leslie which, although through separate inheritance were held by the Barons of Balquhain.

The lands of the barons of Balquhain, are situated in the district of the Garioch in Aberdeenshire, about three miles north-west of the Royal Burgh of Inverurie, and nineteen miles from the city of Aberdeen. Balquhain Castle stands in a rich valley on the high bank of a small stream. The valley is bounded on the north by a range of fertile heights which extend to the west, and on which is seen the parish church of Chapel of Garioch, built on the site of the ancient chapel of the Blessed Virgin of the Garioch.

The seat of the barony was the castle of Balquhain. The castle was built in the 14th century and held by Leslie family from 1340. On 5 July 1441 John Leslie of Balquhain made an indenture with four masons, David Hardgat, David Dun, Robert Masoun and Gilbert Masoun so that they would complete his building work.

The castle was sacked during a feud with the Forbes family in 1526. The castle was rebuilt in 1530. Mary Queen of Scots in 1562 stayed at the castle prior to the Battle of Corrichie. It was burned by the forces of Prince William, Duke of Cumberland in 1746 and was abandoned.

Arms: Leslie of Balquhane. Argent, on a fess azure three buckles or, in base a crescent gules. This coat without the crescent was registered, 1672-78, by Alexander Leslie of Balquhain; there are no supporters, but two griffins were borne by the Counts Leslie.[1]

  1. Scottish arms : being a collection of armorial bearings, A.D. 1370-1678,..;Stoddart, Volume 2, page 189 online

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