William Leslie (British Army officer)
The Honourable William Leslie, second son of the Earl of Leven and Melville from Scotland, was a Captain in the 17th Foot of the British Army during the American War of Independence. He was mortally wounded during the Battle of Princeton and buried with military honours by American General George Washington at Pluckemin, New Jersey. Leslie was born on 8 August 1751 to 6th Earl of Leven and Wilhelmina Nisbet, he was the nephew of General Alexander Leslie. During the summer of 1767, he became a friend of Benjamin Rush, studying medicine at University of Edinburgh and had visited the estate of the Earl of Leven. In 1771, he joined the 42nd Highlanders. Sent to America in 1776, he served in the Battle of Fort Washington. Leslie was one of many who died during the Battle of Princeton on 3 January 1777; the British put his body in a wagon, taken by the Americans. The following day, while treating the wounded at Princeton, learned of Leslie's death from British Captain John McPherson. On 5 January, at Pluckemin, when General George Washington learned that Leslie was a friend of Rush, he ordered military honours for the burial.
The gravestone is in the graveyard of the former St. Paul's Lutheran Church, where the Pluckemin Presbyterian Church is now located. In The Death of General Mercer at the Battle of Princeton, January 3, 1777, the painter John Trumbull displays several events of the battle. At the centre, General Hugh Mercer, with his dead horse beneath him, is mortally wounded. At the left, Captain Daniel Neil is bayoneted against a cannon. At the right, Leslie is shown mortally wounded. In the background and Rush enter the scene. After the war, Dr. Benjamin Rush placed a gravestone in Leslie's memory at the Pluckemin graveyard; as the original had crumbled, a replacement with the same inscription was erected c. 1836 by Professor Ogilby of Rutgers University at the request of David Leslie-Melville, 8th Earl of Leven. His gravestone is honoured by both Scottish flags. Fischer, David Hackett. Washington's Crossing. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-517034-2. Fraser, William; the Melvilles, earls of Melville, the Leslies, earls of Leven.
Hawke, David Freeman. Benjamin Rush: Revolutionary Gadfly. Capt William Leslie at Find a Grave "Pluckemin Cemetery Captain William Leslie's Grave". Crossroads of the American Revolution. "Captain William Leslie". The Silver Whistle
Earl of Leven
Earl of Leven is a title in the Peerage of Scotland. It was created in 1641 for Alexander Leslie, he was succeeded by his grandson Alexander, in turn followed by his daughters Margaret and Catherine. Thereafter, there was a dispute relating to succession to the title between David Melville and John Leslie, 1st Duke of Rothes. However, in 1681, Melville's claim was admitted. In 1707, Melville succeeded to the title Earl of Melville, thereafter the earldoms have been united; the other titles held by the Earl are: Viscount of Kirkaldie, Lord Melville of Monymaill, Lord Balgonie, Lord Raith and Balwearie. All are in the Peerage of Scotland; the heir apparent to the Earldoms is styled Lord Balgonie. The family seat is Glenferness House, near Highland. Alexander Leslie, 1st Earl of Leven Alexander Leslie, 2nd Earl of Leven Margaret Leslie, Countess of Leven Catherine Leslie, Countess of Leven David Melville Leslie, 3rd Earl of Leven, 2nd Earl of Melville David Leslie, 4th Earl of Leven, 3rd Earl of Melville Alexander Leslie, 5th Earl of Leven, 4th Earl of Melville David Leslie, 6th Earl of Leven, 5th Earl of Melville Alexander Leslie-Melville, 7th Earl of Leven, 6th Earl of Melville David Leslie-Melville, 8th Earl of Leven, 7th Earl of Melville John Thornton Leslie-Melville, 9th Earl of Leven, 8th Earl of Melville Alexander Leslie-Melville, 10th Earl of Leven, 9th Earl of Melville Ronald Ruthven Leslie-Melville, 11th Earl of Leven, 10th Earl of Melville John David Melville, 12th Earl of Leven, 11th Earl of Melville Archibald Alexander Leslie-Melville, 13th Earl of Leven, 12th Earl of Melville Alexander Robert Leslie-Melville, 14th Earl of Leven, 13th Earl of Melville Alexander Ian Leslie-Melville, 15th Earl of Leven, 14th Earl of Melville The heir presumptive is the present holder's uncle Hon. Archibald Ronald Leslie-Melville.
The heir presumptive's heir presumptive is the present holder's first cousin once removed James Hugh Leslie-Melville, grandson of the 13th Earl The heir presumptive's heir presumptive's heir is his elder son John Alistair Leslie-Melville Melville House Melville family Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Leven and Melville, Earls of". Encyclopædia Britannica. 16. Cambridge University Press. Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages www.theherald.co.uk
Alexander Leslie-Melville, 7th Earl of Leven
Alexander Leslie-Melville, 7th Earl of Leven was a Scottish Whig politician and peer. As the eldest son of David Melville, 6th Earl of Leven, he succeeded his father as Earl of Leven and Earl of Melville on 9 June 1802. Between 1806 and 1807 he sat in the House of Lords as a Scottish representative peer. On 12 August 1784 he married Jane Thornton, daughter of John Thornton, they had five sons and three daughters: David Leslie-Melville, 8th Earl of Leven, married Elizabeth Anne Campbell, daughter of Sir Archibald Campbell, 2nd Baronet, of Succoth, had issue John Thornton Leslie-Melville, 9th Earl of Leven, married firstly his first cousin Harriet Thornton, daughter of Samuel Thornton, had issue, secondly his first cousin Sophia Thornton, daughter of Henry Thornton, had further issue The Hon. William Henry Leslie-Melville The Hon. and Rev. Robert Samuel Leslie-Melville The Hon. Alexander Leslie-Melville of Branston Hall, married Charlotte Smith, daughter of Samuel Smith, had issue Lady Lucy Leslie-Melville, married Henry Smith, son of Samuel Smith, had issue Lady Jane Elizabeth Leslie-Melville, married Francis Pym, son of Francis Pym, had issue Lady Marianne Leslie-Melville, married Abel Smith, son of Samuel Smith, no issue.
Burke's Peerage 107th edition https://web.archive.org/web/20110105091532/http://www.cracroftspeerage.co.uk/online/content/Leven1641.htm http://www.leighrayment.com/peers/peersL2.htm http://www.leighrayment.com/reppeers/reppeersscotland.htm
Charles Bruce, 5th Earl of Elgin
Charles Bruce, 5th Earl of Elgin and 9th Earl of Kincardine was the son of William Bruce, 8th Earl of Kincardine. His mother was Janet Roberton, daughter of James Roberton and great-granddaughter of advocate and judge Lord BedlayOn 1 June 1759, he married Martha Whyte (1739-1810, who became governess to HRH Princess Charlotte of Wales, they had eight children: Lady Martha Bruce, died young Lady Janet Bruce, died young William Robert Bruce, Lord Bruce, died young William Robert Bruce, 6th Earl of Elgin Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin Hon. Charles Andrew Bruce, Governor of Prince of Wales's Island Hon. James Bruce, Member of Parliament Lady Charlotte Matilda Bruce, married Admiral Philip Charles DurhamElgin was Grand Master of Scottish Freemasons from 1761 to 1763 and a founding member of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, he built the planned industrial village of Fife. He is buried in the southern transcept of Dunfermline Abbey close to the grave of Robert the Bruce
An earl is a member of the nobility. The title is Anglo-Saxon in origin, akin to the Scandinavian form jarl, meant "chieftain" a chieftain set to rule a territory in a king's stead. In Scandinavia, it was replaced by duke. In medieval Britain, it became the equivalent of the continental count. However, earlier in Scandinavia, jarl could mean a sovereign prince. For example, the rulers of several of the petty kingdoms of Norway had the title of jarl and in many cases they had no less power than their neighbours who had the title of king. Alternative names for the rank equivalent to "earl/count" in the nobility structure are used in other countries, such as the hakushaku of the post-restoration Japanese Imperial era. In modern Britain, an earl is a member of the peerage, ranking below a marquess and above a viscount. A feminine form of earl never developed; the term earl has been compared to the name of the Heruli, to runic erilaz. Proto-Norse eril, or the Old Norse jarl, came to signify the rank of a leader.
The Norman-derived equivalent count was not introduced following the Norman conquest of England though countess was and is used for the female title. Geoffrey Hughes writes, "It is a speculation that the Norman French title'Count' was abandoned in England in favour of the Germanic'Earl' because of the uncomfortable phonetic proximity to cunt". In the other languages of Britain and Ireland, the term is translated as: Welsh iarll and Scottish Gaelic iarla, Scots yarl or yerl, Cornish yurl. An earl has the title Earl of when the title originates from a placename, or Earl when the title comes from a surname. In either case, he is referred to as Lord, his wife as Lady. A countess who holds an earldom in her own right uses Lady, but her husband does not have a title; the eldest son of an earl, though not himself a peer, is entitled to use a courtesy title the highest of his father's lesser titles, for instance the eldest son of The Earl Of Wessex is styled as James, Viscount Severn. Younger sons are styled The Honourable, daughters, The Lady.
In the peerage of Scotland, when there are no courtesy titles involved, the heir to an earldom, indeed any level of peerage, is styled Master of, successive sons as younger of. In Anglo-Saxon England, earls had authority over their own regions and right of judgment in provincial courts, as delegated by the king, they collected fines and taxes and in return received a "third penny", one-third of the money they collected. In wartime they led the king's armies; some shires were grouped together into larger units known as earldoms, headed by an ealdorman or earl. Under Edward the Confessor earldoms like Wessex, East Anglia and Northumbria—names that represented earlier independent kingdoms—were much larger than any shire. Earls functioned as royal governors. Though the title of Earl was nominally equal to the continental duke, unlike them, earls were not de facto rulers in their own right. After the Norman Conquest, William the Conqueror tried to rule England using the traditional system but modified it to his own liking.
Shires became the largest secular subdivision in England and earldoms disappeared. The Normans did create new earls like those of Herefordshire and Cheshire but they were associated with only a single shire at most, their power and regional jurisdiction was limited to that of the Norman counts. There was no longer any administrative layer larger than the shire, shires became "counties". Earls no longer aided in tax collection or made decisions in country courts and their numbers were small. King Stephen increased the number of earls to reward those loyal to him in his war with his cousin Empress Matilda, he gave some earls the right to hold royal castles or control the sheriff and soon other earls assumed these rights themselves. By the end of his reign, some earls held courts of their own and minted their own coins, against the wishes of the king, it fell to Stephen's successor Henry II to again curtail the power of earls. He took back the control of royal castles and demolished castles that earls had built for themselves.
He did not create new earldoms. No earl was allowed to remain independent of royal control; the English kings had found it dangerous to give additional power to an powerful aristocracy, so sheriffs assumed the governing role. The details of this transition remain obscure, since earls in more peripheral areas, such as the Scottish Marches and Welsh Marches and Cornwall, retained some viceregal powers long after other earls had lost them; the loosening of central authority during the Anarchy complicates any smooth description of the changeover. By the 13th century, earls had a social rank just below the king and princes, but were not more powerful or wealthier than other noblemen; the only way to become an earl was to inherit the title or marry into one—and the king reserved a right to prevent the transfer of the title. By the 14th century, creating an earl included a special public ceremony where the king tied a sword belt around the waist of the new earl, emphasizing the fact that the earl's rights came from him.
Earls still held influence and, as "companions of the king", were regarded as supporters of the king's power. They showed that power for the first time in 1327 when they deposed Edward II, they would do th