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Sir Alexander Leslie was born in Scotland c.1580 the son of Captain George Leslie, a commander of Blair Atholl castle during King James VI's reign, who was married to Anne Margaret Stewart, although one source say that George married Sybil Steuart. The contemporary diarist, David 2nd Earl of Wemyss, noted that Leslie's mother was a "wench of Rannoch". Leslie has commonly been referred to as illegitimate. However, Leslie's father was said to have married Leslie's mother after the death of his first wife, in order to legitimise him. George Leslie's legitimate children included John, George and David, and several daughters including Margaret. 

In his childhood, Alexander Leslie became a fosterling of Sir Duncan Campbell of Glenorchy and thus raised by the Campbells in Glenorchy. He twice mentions this relationship in correspondence of 1639-1640 when writing to his Glenorchy Campbell foster-brothers. The implications of this relationship are profound as they saw Leslie attach himself to the Argyll party throughout the 1638-1651 period. Moreover, it is implicit that in his early years, Leslie would have participated in the Campbell "Red-Shanking" (mercenary) missions to Ireland, and there is also a reference to him participating in a feud between the Campbells and MacGregors on the Campbell side.

Leslie apparently went abroad in 1605 and is said to have served in Lord Vere's regiment fighting in the Netherlands, though the evidence for this is yet to be discovered despite frequent assetions to it. He certainly entered Swedish service in 1608 and was promoted as a lieutenant in Holifer Popler's regiment in 1611, becoming a captain of his own company between 1612-1613. He served in Pillau in 1620 and held the rank of lieutenant colonel in Patrick Ruthven's [SSNE 3413] Småland regiment in 1622. One source notes him as a full colonel that year. 

More certainly, Leslie was created colonel for the Södermanland, Närke and Värmland regiment between 1623-9. This was a "storregiment" which was subsequently divided into three regiments of 1200 men each. Leslie served as colonel of the Närke division, of which 2 battallions were sent to Prussia in 1626, marched to Dirschau and then followed King Gustav II Adolf on campaign. Leslie had a spell as commendant in Pillau from 1626-7, the same period that he was knighted by King Gustav II Adolf. This posting was a difficult one as Leslie's correspondence revealed shortages in money and supplies, particularly victuals. In November 1626 Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna instructed Leslie to inform Doctor Godemann if he required medical attention. Leslie was also obliged to prevent any ships carrying war supplies to and from Königsberg. However, in March 1627 he was specifically ordered to allow English ships to pass, even if they were carrying military supplies. As part of those duties, he commanded the reinforcements that the Swedes sent to the Danish garrison on Stralsund in 1628 where he was the commandant from July (both Swedish and Danish garrisons being comprised largely of Scots). 

Returning to Leslie's elevation to knighthood, there are inconsistencies with dates: Depending on the source, Leslie, along with Ruthven, David Drummond [SSNE 2396] and James King [SSNE 2814], was knighted by King Gustav II Adolf either in 1627 or 1628. he was certainly collecting rewards at this juncture. In July 1628, Leslie was sent to Stralsund with Swedish volunteers (mostly Scots) where he joined three other Scottish regiments, one German one and one Danish regiment of guards. In July 1628, Leslie became governor and was able to raise the siege after some adatious assaults on his enemy, Albrecht vin Wallenstein. This is probably the scene depicted in the famous 1631 Stettin Woodcut, where the Gaels of Donald mackay's regiment led the assault with traditional weapons (as also recorded in the memoirs of Colonel Robert Monro).

After the defence of Stralsund, a gold medal was presented to Leslie bearing the date Stralsund 1628, a full description of which is recorded in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Scotland (1852). In his will from the mid-1650s, Lesely notes that this jewell must never leave his family, and was seen by the editors still in their possession in January 2022. As a further reward for his services Gustav II Adolf donated an estate in Sweden to Leslie (the Barony of Böö in the County of Örebro), and he later held two earldoms in Germany. 

As Governor of Stralsund, Leslie assembled a fleet of some 18 Swedish ships (which according to the Swedish Intelligencer had wintered in Pillau), and with them launched attacks on Impeialist held islands nearby including Rugen. There is an apparently first-hand account of this campaign (in German). This effectively opened the Swedish campaigns of the Thirty Years' War. In November 1630, Leslie took over more and more commands including the command of half the Swedish army at their camp near Colberg. In March 1631, Leslie commanded a force which successfully stormed the pallisade at the siege of Grippenhagen. Soon after he took the castle of Legnicz by storm at night after a fearsome barrage and was presented with the castle as a gift by Gustav II Adolf. Eighty of the hundred garrison were taken prisoner that night. 

Throughout the remainder of the year, Leslie played a vital role in aiding the militarily inexperienced Marquis of Hamilton [SSNE 1348] with his army of British soldiers along the Weser - Chancellor Oxenstierna seconded Leslie to Hamilton as sergeant-major-general, where they led the 5th of Sweden's many armies on campaign at that time. Leslie was promoted to major general in April 1631, and in May he informed the Marquis that he would be in place to receive the troops in Bremen, which finally arrived in July - although by August Leslie already reported that 300 of them were ill. By the end of the year Leslie was a major-general in Åke Todt's army in the Lower Saxon and Westphalian circles. Indeed, due to Todt's behaviour, Leslie was given command of the army as it besieged Buxtehude in February 1632. However, a wound in the foot saw the return of Todt to command Leslie then returned back to Stralsund as commandant and governor of several German towns and Oxenstierna wrote him that month seeking to arrange a personal meeting with him and Johan Baner. Specifically, he became Governor of Frankfurt an der Oder that same year. During this time his regiment was badly mauled by General Pappenheim after being caught in the open on the road to Stade, losing 19 colours, including the general's own ensign. During the early months of 1633 Leslie was apparently unwell and Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna arranged for his troops to be quartered with the duke of Luneburg's army. In June that year Oxenstierna appointed Leslie as chief commandant for the garrisons in Lower Saxony and Pomerania, and further appointed him commander general and inspector of all the fortifications in Pomerania, Bremen, Verden, Winsen and Mecklenburg up to the Werben. In December he took the field again sending Colonel Crackow out of Berlin with 500 horse and two foot regiments. These are said to have destroyed 10 foot companies and one cornet of Imperialists on the approach to Frankfurt taking all the ensigns of that force. In March the following year he laid siege to Landsberg as a prelude to an attack on Frankfurt. The town fell on April 7/17 for which he was rewarded by being given command of Kniphausen's army. Leslie hesitated to take up the appointment without consulting Axel Oxenstierna first. Later in the year Leslie returned to Scotland and undertook land transactions there regarding the barony of Balgonie, Boglilie and East Nisbet in Berwickshire. He also received the freedom of the burgh of Culross. In July 1635 Leslie received permission from the Scottish Privy Council to travel abroad and in February 1636 he was made field marshal and general commendant of the Army in Westphalia (aka the Army of the Weser) numbering some 5000 men. Three existing regiments were transferred to his command to bolster his forces including that of the Englishman, George Fleetwood [SSNE 2208]. Leslie wrote the Marquis of Hamilton in April 1636 notifying him that Robert Monro [SSNE 94] was soon to be levying soldiers in Britain. 

In October 1636, Leslie played a central role in the stunning "Swedish" victory at the Battle of Wittstock in September 1636. Here the army of John George of Saxony joined that of the Emperor under the terms of the Treaty of Prague. Leslie commanded his army in the centre of the Swedish allied force and drove between two small hills to split the enemy forces. Some of his troops supported Baner's men as they faltered on the field while others made it through the wooded valley to engage Saxony's forces. As they did so Saxony was nearly encircled, with Leslie appearing through one wood on Saxony's left as James King completed a long flanking movement to appear on Saxony's other flank. Though Baner is credited with victory, most sources agree that it was the actions of Leslie and King that won the battle for the Swedes that day. Subsequently, Leslie's forces are said to have taken part at the massacre and burning down of Wurzen (Saxonia) between 4 to 7 April 1637. Leslie was in Stockholm by September 1637. In August 1638, Leslie formally asked to be released from Swedish service on the ground of ill health. Leslie was released from Swedish service on the 14 August 1638 with an annual pension of 1200 rixsdaler. Queen Kristina also gave Leslie a severance payment in kind of 2 large cannon and 10 field and regimental pieces, 2000 muskets. Although this appeared to be a permanent removal from Swedish service, Leslie would retain an oft-stated intention to return to the Swedish army, and one of the last military actions he undertook was indeed on behalf Sweden, albeit he was no longer in service himself (see below). 


Leslie in Scotland.

Leslie's son Alexander [SSNE 2913] had married a daughter of John Leslie, 6th Earl of Rothes, in 1636. Rothes was one of the 'disaffected' nobles who had made his opposition to some of Charles I's policies known since 1621. It has been noted that it was Rothes who compelled Leslie to return to Scotland and take up the Covenanting side in the rebellion against Charles I. After his return to Scotland Leslie was presented with the freedom of the town of Perth in 1639, followed by Edinburgh and South Queensferry in 1640, and indeed other towns followed suit. Leslie made good use of his "pension" in his new position as commander of the Scottish Covenanting army from 1639 during the Bishops' Wars. His forces invaded England and defeated King Charles I at the battle of Newburn in August 1640 where the general himself is accredited with leading the charge that won the battle. When the Scottish parliament sent Colonel John Cochrane to Sweden that same month to obtain further supplies for their war against King Charles I, and it was decided that Leslie and his son's pensions should by paid through Cochrane. Between the two Bishops' Wars Charles appointed Leslie as a Privy Councillor, presumably to keep him loyal should either the English or Irish rebel. Despite his military opposition to Charles I, Leslie remained a loyal subject and often protested his loyal service to the king, indeed personally introducing the monarch to the Scottish army at Newcastle in 1641 and dining with him there. By October 1641 he was made Earl of Leven and Lord Balgonie. During this time Leslie maintained a regular correspondence with Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna and in 1641 he informed the Swede of his intention to take soldiers to Germany in Charles I's name defence of the Palatinate. The Chancellor congratulated the Earl on his new title. In fact Leslie's hopes to return to Swedish service in 1642 were dashed by the situation in Ireland.

Leslie was one of the commissioners selected to organise the Scottish response to the Irish rebellion. That year, on the order of King Charles I, he commanded the Scottish forces in Ulster, before handing over to Major General Robert Monro. Leslie was then appointed commander of the Army of the Solemn League and Covenant in 1643 ensuring his role in the English Civil War. The following year he entered England, laying siege to Newcastle and York. Leslie commanded the allied army of Scots Covenanters and English Parliamentarians who won the battle of Marston Moor (2nd July 1644). Accounts of two embittered men written in 1679 say he fled from the battle, but in none of the eye-witness accounts is anything of this sort mentioned. Rather, most witnesses credit Leslie with the arrangement of the army, the leading of the foot into the battle and the chastising of those of the parliamentarian and Covenanter regiments who did flee. His army took York within a fortnight of the battle and took Newcastle by storm on 19 October, Interestingly, the first regiments through the breech were Buccleuch and Loudoun's - the tow which broke at Marston Moor. In 1645 he led the Army of the Solemn League and Covenant southwards to Hereford and laid siege to Newark. He accepted King Charles' surrender in May and then headed north with Charles as his prisoner. That year the Swedes sent Hugo Moat (Mowatt) [SSNE 800] to Leslie in search of experienced recruits and naval officers. They also decided that Leslie would also receive his son's pension in addition to his own, bringing the total up to 2000 riksdaler. However by November that year, as Leslie was still awaiting the payment of his pension he requested ammunition in its place. However, Queen Kristina sent 1000 pairs of pistols, each worth 10 daler, 2000 muskets, each worth 2 1/2 daler, and 400 ship-pounds of iron. In total the supplies were worth 18,100 daler. Leslie had also sold some of his land in Sweden in order to obtain funds. In January 1646 Gustav Horn bought Leslie's land in Sodermannland. During this year the English parliament also presented a jewel to Leven for his services, although it has not survived. The Scottish parliament had twice previously voted to present jewels to the Earl, but they too do not survive. At this time the Scots were seeking an alliance with Sweden and Leslie wrote to Oxenstierna complaining of the Swedish hesitance in ratifying such an agreement, and to note with dismay how poor a state Moat was in, due to lack of funds. In 1647 Leslie returned to Scotland with the army. The following year he petitioned against the Engagers, having voted against the Engagement along with Argyll. 

In 1650 Leslie bought Inchmartin (temporarily renamed Inchleslie) and Carse, although his subsequent imprisonment slowed the transaction. The following year Leslie was eventually captured and imprisoned in London Tower by Cromwell, although he was permitted to serve his time at his son in law's, Ralph Delaval of Seaton's house in Northumberland until 1654. Delaval acted as guarantor for Leslie, providing £20,000. During this time Leslie made a few visits to London and wrote to the Swedish court informing it of his plight. Queen Kristina and Karl X both sought his release, which he obtained in 1654. He travelled as an envoy to Sweden on behalf of the Royalists in 1654. His son Robert wrote to the Swedish nobleman Coyet in 1655, but Leslie himself visited the envoy in March 1655 offering his recruiting services to Karl X. He helped to organise his son-in-law William Cranstoun's [SSNE 2101] levy of royalist soldiers for Swedish service. In 1659, Leslie had cause to write to Karl X of Sweden asking for the king's help in protecting his Swedish estates.

Leslie died on the 4th of April, 1661. Alexander Leslie married Agnes Renton of Billie in Berwick [SSNE 8400], the daughter of David Renton of Berwickshire. They had two sons and five daughters: Gustavus, who apparently died young before his father, Alexander (2nd Lord Balgonie)[SSNE 2913], Barbara, Christian, Anne, Margaret, Mary. Barbara married Sir John Ruthven (not Patrick as often stated). Leven's half-brother was his confederate in Swedish service, Colonel George Leslie [SSNE 2922]. 


Material Culture

Medal presented to Leslie, Stralsund 1628: obverse text: Deo optimo maximo, Imperatori Romano, Foederi posterique, 1628 reverse text: Memoriae urbis Stralsundae Ao MCDXXVIII die XII Mai a Milite Caesariano Cinctae Aliquoties oppugnatae sed dei gratia et ope inclytor regum septentrional die XXIII iuli obsidione liberatae SPQSFF. This is noted by W. Melville, 'Leven Medal and Jewel' in Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 1, (1852), pp. 45-46. 

In the possession of his family there are two further medals bearing images of Gustav II Adolf. One is from 1631 celebrating breitenfeld, the other a 1634 medal recording the funeral of Gustav Adolf. The family also retains an ornate cup celebrating Gustav II Adolf, a full length portrait of the the Swedish king presented to Alexander Leslie, along with a 1635 portrait of Leslie himself, and another of Agnes Renton painted in the 1640s. These items have been written up and contextualised (in English) by Steve Murdoch and Karin Tetteris in Militärhistorisk Tidskrift (2022), pp. 14-29.



Axel Oxenstierna’s instructions to Alexander Leslie, June 1633 [RAOSB, IX]. “Instruction hvareffter sigh generall majeuren h. Alexander Lessle, ridder etc., uthi sitt commendo öfver guarnisornerne uthi NederSachsen och Pommeren rätta skall. Acutm Franckfurt d. 20 junii a:o 1633. 1. Först och främp[s]t skall han, såsom alt härtill, Hennes May:t vår allernådigste uthkoredhe drottninge och arffröken, fröken Christina etc. etc., sampt Sveriges chrona vara rättrådig, huldh och trogen, all skadha och födärff effter ytterste förmögenheet afväria, och hvar någor fahra tillstunder, tillkenna gifva, dragandes sijn respect allena opå högstbe:te herrn rijckzcantzlern, såsom nährvarende fullmechtig legat uthi Tysklandt, eller och then, som framdeles af rijskzens regering opå H. M:tz och chronanes vegner blifver fullmechtigat till rujckzens gagn och bästa häruthe i Tysklandt att biudha och befalla, och för chronanes gagn och besta all flijt, lijff och välfärdh opsättiandes. 2. I synnerheet skall han giva deropå godhe acht, at dhe platzer, som honom ähre betrodde och undergifne, såsom äre alla fästninger och schantzer uthi heela stifft Bremen, Vehrde, sampt Winsen och hele Elffströmen alt in till Werben, måge H. M:t och Sveriges chrona till trogen handhe emot alla andra, ehoo the vara ville, försvaradhe och beholden varda. 3. Till dehn ändha skall han see flijtigt deropå, at guarnisonerna ähre på alla örter i godh beholdh, compagnierne holles complet, godh vacht och vårdh opå alla örter matte hollas, och för all tingh achtas, at fästningarna ickie antingen medh list eller våldh bringes i någor annars hander. Ickie helle skall han någor fästning till någor annan öffverantvarda, medh minder han theröfver fåår opå H. M:tz vägnar aff rijckzens regering eller och aff H. Excell. Eller then, som H. Excel. Medh nöyachtig fullmacht och authoritet på chronanes vägner uthi commendo succederar, special schirfftligh ordre och befallningh. 4. På thet och samma fästningar opå all fall kunne vara at försvara och maintinera, så skall han medh flijtt deropå drifva hooess legaten Slavium, eller then honom succederar i Hamburg, at uthi hvar och een ort giörs nödhtorfftig provision på allahanda vivres och proviantsaker, såsom ock opå ammunition af örlig uthi styken, mousquetter, krut, lodh, lunta och alt hvadh som till fastningernas försvar kan behöfves. 5. I lijka motte skall han medh hans tillhielp så laga, at folcket uthi guarnisonerne må få deres richtige tilbörlige underholdh. 6. Värcken opå alla örter skall han icke allenast låtha holla vidh macht, uthan och dem altidh förbättra, på thet defensionen deruthur så mycket batter kan praesteras, och hvar något till arbetes nödige fortsättiandhe behöfves, skall han derom hoos legaten eller hans successore anholla och vänta bijståndh, effter some lägenheten och tarfften kan tillåtha. Män så skall han ickie vidh nährvarandes tijdh någor nybigning på een eller annan ort, ey heller någre sådane deseiner begynne, som kunne gifva een eller annor någor ombrage, uthan allenast låtha dervidh förblifva, at dhe gamble holles i esse och så myket möyeligit ähr förbättres. 7. Medh furster, städer och ständerna skall han allestedes holla godh correspondence ock ickie tillstädia, at dhe igenom soldaternes licentz ock mootvillie offenderas eller och på något annat sätt retas till vredhe, uthan fast mere beholles i godh venskap och enigheet, och om någre diffifulteter eller disputer förefalla, som han ickie kan affhielpa, sådant till H. Excel. Remittera, beflijtandes sig effter sijn vanlige modestie och discretion at holla folcket i godh humeur. 8. Han skall och holla under soldatesquen starck ordre och discipline ock ickie låtha någors mootvillie blifva ostraffat. 9. Så snart feltmarskalcken herr Åke Tott åth Sverige sig begifvet hafver, skall herr Lesle, såsom förb:te guarnisoner i Bremische och Verdische biskopsdömet antaga, uthan och, så vijdt militien angåår, öfver alla Sveriges chrones guarnisoner uthi Pommern och Meckelburg, och således hafva inspection öfver alt krijgzfolcket alt ifrån Pollniske Pommerske grentzerne alt in till Weseren effter then fullmacht, honom deröfver à part gifven ähr. 10. Och hvadh Wissmar anlanger, der hafver generall majeuren Lohusen special commendo, och skall derföre herr Lessle honom deruthi icke ingrijpa. Dock lijckväll att han alltidh om tillståndet förnimmer och medh Lohusen sampt i hans frånvaru dhe andre officere i Wissmar öfver alt thet, som nödtörfften kan fordra, corresponderar. 11. Enkannerligen skall h. Lessle dette taga i acht, at om något oförmodeligit ankomme, han tå uthur alle guarnioserne[!] (doch så at icke någon, hälst dhe principaliste, däröfver förblottat varder och i någor fahra satt) kan uthdraga till 3, 000 knechter, them han på then orten, som någor fahre synes vele anstöta, kan bruka till försvar, effter som han aff sielffve folckförslaget H. Excel. Mening kan någorledes förnimma och alt veet effter sijn egen discretion sampt tijdhen och tillfällen att dirigera och anställa. 12. Medh kungen[s] i Danmark officerer skall han och holla godh correspondence och i ingen måtto gifva them orsak till någor offension eller missvillie. Doch skall han derhooss gifve opå deres actioner och förehafvende godh acht, och i synnerheet there han förmärcker kungen i Danmark någon starck värffning förehaffva, skall han sådant gifva i tijdh tillkienna, och dher han för visse märcker, att then emoot Sverige blifver anstelt och någor fahrligheet ville deraff tillstunda, hvar dhen icke blifver i tijdh förekommen, så må han medh legaten eller hans successore berådslåå och tillsee, at sådan verffning matte blifva förskingrat, och åthminstonne i våre egen quarter ingen främmandhe v:arfning tillstädia, förmälendes oss sielffve till det gemeene väsendetz uthförendhe krigzfolck behöfva. 13. I lijke måtte skall han holla godh venskap och correspondence medh erchiebispen aff Bremen och hans undersåter och medh flijt undhvijka, thet the icke igenom någre egensinnige besvär till vedervillie förorsakas, uthan att han alltidh sigh effter alliancen bequemer och them all möyeligh courtoisie bevijser. Doch skall han derjempte achta, at han altidh ähr öfver fästningerna mästare och ickie lather dem i någre motte till Sveriges chrones praejudicium theruthinnan något anmäta. Ther och något vedervertigt stämplades, att han sådant gifver tidigt till kenna och beflijter sigh at förekomma. 14. Uthi allt thet, som företages eller behöfves, skall han bruka legatenss H. Steen Bielckens eller thens, som honom succederar, sampt Salvii eller hanss successoris rådh och adsistence, hollandes medh them altidh godh correspondence. Axel Ochsenstirn." 


Testament of Alexander First Earl of Leven, 15 October 1656

 "I, Alexander, Erle of Levin, etc., considering that thair is no thing more certan nor death, and no thing more uncertane nor the tyme and place therof, and that it becumes Christianes in thair lyftymes so to dispose of thair worldlie effairis, that all contraversies which may fall furth theranent efter thair deceis may be removed, be thir presentis mak and constitut Alexander, Lord Balgonie, my oy, my onlie executour, universall legatour, and intromettour with all and sindrie guides, geir, jewalles, gild, silver, cwinziet and uncqinziet, soumes of money, dettis, plenischeing, mailles, fermes, rentes, and all uther thinges quhatsumever pertening, and which sall pertein and be resting to me the tyme of my deceis when the samyn sall happen; Lykas, I will and ordane that the jewall gifted to me be the King of Swedin be no wayes disposit upon, bot that the samyn sall be keipt and maid furthcuming to these who ar or sall succeid to my estait fra tyme to tyme perpetualie in tyme cuming, as ane testimonie and memoriall of the King of Swedines respectes to me; as also I recommend to the said Lord Balgonie that he use all indevouris to obtein to Mistres Jonat Crichtoun, my oy, the soume dew to hir be the Vicount of Frendracht, hir father, and that he haue a cair to sie the samyn weill imployed to hir use; and in lyk manner, I recommend to the said Lord Balgonie, Lachlane Leslie, who is and hes bein a faithfull and reall servant to me: And farder I will and ordane that the said Lord Balgonie pay to everie ane of these who sall be servantes to me the tyme of my deceis, thair haill fie which sall be resting to them for the tyme, with half a yeires fie more. In witnes quhairof, I haue subsciruit thir presentis with my hadn, wreittin be Alexander Leslie, wreiter in Edinburgh, at Balgonie, the fyftein day of October Im vic fiftie sex yeires, befoir thir witnessis, Andro Dunbar, my seruitour, and the said Alexander Leslie, and John Boswall of Eister Abden. Leuen. Alr Leslie, witnes. Johne Boiswil, witnes. Andrew Dumbar, witnes."


Manuscript Sources:

Swedish Krigsarkiv, Muster Roll, 1622/4; 1623/3; 1626/1,6-8,10; 1627/11-14; 1628/7,8; 1629/3,24; 1630/34-36,38; 1631/22-26; Swedish Riksarkiv, Pergamentsbreven och Johan Casimirs Arkiv in Stegeborgssamlingen, 8 letters by Alexander Leslie, 1628-1633; Swedish Riksarkiv, Militieräkenskaper 1537-1619, 1612, 1613; Swedish Riksarkiv, 'Svenske Sändebud till Utländske Hof och Deras Sändebud till Sverige, unpublished manuscript, 1841'; Swedish Riksarkiv, P. Sondén, Militärachefer i svenska arméen och deras skrivelser; Svenskt Biografiskt Lexicon, vol. 22 and 30; Uppsala Library Manuscripts collection X240, letter of Gustav II Adolf to Leslie, 30 December 1631; For Robert Leslie's letter to Coyet see Swedish Riksarkiv, Anglica, Brev till Coyet, 1655 (1); Swedish Riksarkiv, Riksarkivets Ämbetsarkiv, Huvudarkivet FV a:31-32 Ang. Skottar i svensk tjänst, notes compiled by Hammerskjöld: National Library of Scotland, Adv.MS.2.1.14, Miscellaneous letters and documents, 1659-1831. Letter of Alexander Leslie, 1st Earl of Leven, to Charles X of Sweden, 1659, asking for help in the defence of his estates.


Printed Primary Sources:

Anon., The Swedish Intelligencer: The First Part (London, 1632), pp.47-48, 65, 74; Anon., The Swedish Intelligencer: The Fourth Part (London, 1633), pp.110, 128, 132; Anon., The History of the present Warres of Germany: A Sixth Part (London, 1634), pp.161, 168, 170-171; Anon., His Maiesties passing through the Scots armie: as also, his entertainment by Generall Lesly, (Edinburgh, 1641); W. Fraser, The Melvilles, Earls of Melville and the Leslies, Earls of Leven (3 vols., Edinburgh, 1890), passim; James Maidment (ed.), Analetica Scotica: Collections illustrative of the civil, ecclesiastical, and literary history of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1834), p. 384; R. Monro, His Expedition with a worthy Scots Regiment called Mac-Keyes (2 vols., London, 1637), II, The List of the Scottish Officers in Chiefe; Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, vol. VI, 1635-1636, p.66; Rikskansleren Axel Oxenstiernas skrifter och brefvexling, first series, III, pp.387, 527, 538, 549, 550, 558, 572, 586, 660, 720, 762, 764, 765, 767-70; ibid, V, pp.88, 647, 660, 661; ibid, VII, pp.4-5, 13, 124, 125, 570; ibid, VIII, pp.188-189; ibid, IX, pp.50-4, 64-5; ibid, second series, IX; H.O. Prytz, Historiska Upplysningar om svenska och norska armeernas regementer och kårer jemte flottorna, II, (Stockholm, 1868), pp.605-609; The Greening Peerage of Scotland (London, 1767), pp.145-6.


Secondary Works:

Sir James Balfour Paul, The Scots Peerage (8 vols., Edinburgh, 1904-1911), V, pp.373, 383-384; Th. Fischer, The Scots in Germany (Edinburgh, 1902), p.104; E. Furgol, A Regimental History of the Covenanting Armies (Edinburgh, 1990), passim; A.I. Macinnes, Charles I and the Making of the Covenanting Movement 1625-1641 (Edinburgh, 1991), 40, 57, 78, 89, 102, 107, 138, 165, 168, 170, 191-5; L.W. Munthe, Kungl. Fortificationens Historia (Stockholm, 1902), vol.1, p.594; S. Murdoch, Network North: Scottish Kin, Commercial and Covert Associations in Northern Europe, 1603-1746 (Brill, Leiden, 2006), pp.41-47 and appendix. See also the same book, pp.17-18, 38-48, 233, 356-357;  C.O. Nordensvan, (ed.), Värmlands Regementes [Närkes och Värmlands Regementes] Historia: Andra Delen, Personal Historia (Stockholm, 1911), p. 25; J.R. Young, The Scottish Parliament 1639-1661 a political and constitutional analysis (Edinburgh, 1996), passim.


For information on the action at Wurtz in 1637 we thank Dr Bernd Warlich who gives his source as Walther PUTZGER, Wurtznische Creutz vnd Marter Woche 4.-7. April 1637. Aus Anlaß der 300. Wiederkehr der Zerstörung Wurzens im Dreißigjährigen Kriege nach dem Urtexte von neuem herausgegeben und durch zeitgenössische Nachrichten ergänzt. Mitteilungen des Wurzener Geschichts- und Altertumsvereins IV. Band, 1. Heft (Wurzen 1937), pp. 23, 24 footnote 2; See also the MDSZ database http://www.mdsz.thulb.uni-jena.de/sz/index.php; Arkiv till upplysning om svenska krigens och krigsinrättningarnes historia, Första bandet, pp.695-6 (German lang. Rugen account).


We thank Dr Joseph Wagner for passing on details of the 1659 letter to Karl X

Bishops Wars; English Civil War; British Civil Wars

Service record

Arrived 1608-01-01, as ENSIGN
Departed 1619-12-31, as MAJOR?
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY
Arrived 1620-01-01, as MAJOR
Departed 1621-12-31, as MAJOR
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY
Arrived 1622-01-01, as LT. COLONEL
Departed 1622-12-31, as COLONEL
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY
Arrived 1623-01-01, as COLONEL
Departed 1629-12-31, as COLONEL + CHIEF
Arrived 1626-01-01, as COMMANDANT
Departed 1627-12-31, as COMMANDANT
SWEDEN, STRALSUND (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern)
Arrived 1628-07-01, as GOVERNOR
Departed 1631-12-31, as GOVERNOR
Arrived 1631-01-01, as MAJOR GENERAL
Departed 1635-12-31, as MAJOR GENERAL
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY
Arrived 1632-01-01, as MAJOR GENERAL
Departed 1632-12-21, as MAJOR GENERAL
Capacity GOVERNOR, purpose MILITARY
Arrived 1636-01-01, as FIELD MARSHAL
Departed 1638-08-14, as FIELD MARSHAL
Arrived 1636-10-04, as FIELD MARSHAL
Arrived 1638-08-31, as FIELD MARSHAL
Departed 1653-12-31, as FIELD MARSHAL
Arrived 1654-01-01
Departed 1654-12-31
Capacity ENVOY, purpose DIPLOMACY