First name

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Born on Sackhof near Narva around 1658, Alexander Wilhelm (von) Leslie was the son of the Swedish cavalry captain Alexander Leslie [SSNE 7201] and his wife Anna Margaretha née Maydell. In 1667 his father had died, 18 years before the mother, whose death occurred before 20 October 1685. Already in September1678, Alexander Wilhelm had been mentioned in official documents as a taxable owner of Sackhof, so he was already of age then. As the taxable owner of Sackhof, his name also appears in official Swedish documents in 1685, 1687, 1688, 1694 and 1708.

In his younger years Alexander Wilhelm Leslie served as a lieutenant in the army of the Swedish king. In 1685, however, when his mother died, he was in imperial service. Exact details of the troop unit at that time have not yet been determined. From 1696, however, he was permanently in the service of the Electors of Hanover, first, Duke Ernst August von Braunschweig-Calenberg, who died in 1698, and, then, Duke Georg Ludwig von Braunschweig-Lüneburg (1660-1727), who became King George I of Great Britain in 1714. In 1696 Alexander Wilhelm Leslie is noted for the first time as captain of the Hanoverian regiment St. Pol. A few years later Major, he is named in 1708 as „Obristlieutnant von Lesle“ (Lieutenant Colonel von Lesle) in the regiment of Colonel von Starcke. As successor to the late Colonel von Stallmeister, he was promoted to Colonel of the 6th Infantry Regiment in 1716. He died shortly after October 3, 1721, when he wrote his will in Göttingen, where his regiment was stationed.

Alexander Wilhelm von Leslie had been married since February 1708 to the daughter Katharina Magdalena of his former regiment commander Major General Claude de St. Paul des Estangs. She gave birth to a son Georg August Johannes in 1710 and a daughter Beata Magdalena in 1714. She probably died soon after the second birth. Both children also died early, the son in 1720, the daughter in 1724.

The death of the daughter Beata Magdalena in 1724 triggered a lawsuit lasting for years, which Alexander Wilhelm von Leslie's brother-in-law Charles Philippe de St. Pol had brought against the two sisters of the deceased, Anna Margaretha and Marie Elisabeth von Leslie. The plaintiff de St. Pol pointed out that Alexander Wilhelm von Leslie had a second daughter from an illegitimate relationship. In fact, before entering into imperial service, Alexander Wilhelm had entered into a relationship - obviously not legitimate - with Gertraud Hedwig Brümmer, who had born a daughter Anna Helena around 1691. Gertrud Hedwig Brümmer was the daughter of the Swedish captain and regimental quartermaster Otto Reinhold Brümmer. Both arrived at Sackhof around 1685 and - following the wish of August Wilhelm von Leslie - were to look after the management and maintenance of the Sackhof estate in his absence. In the meantime father and daughter Brümmer had died and the daughter/granddaughter Anna Helena was now called von Ahock and lived in St.

Petersburg. After her coming to Hanover, it was possible to reach an agreement with her, soon. However, she died unexpectedly in Hanover and was buried there on October 19, 1733. A settlement was also concluded with the brother-in-law de St. Pol.

The unmarried Anna Margaretha von Leslie died before 1736, while her sister Maria Elisabeth, widowed since the death of her husband Gustav Fredrik Wassman in 1701, died at Sackhof at the age of 83 on 22 September 1743 and was buried in Luggenhausen on 7 October 1743. Heirs of the Sackhof estate were two of her children and four grandchildren of her daughter Anna Helena, who died in 1736 and was married to the cavalry sergeant Johann Halfbiörn.

Besides his daughter Beata Magdalena and the sisters Anna Margaretha and Maria Elisabeth, Alexander Wilhelm von Leslie in his last will and testament of 26 March / 3 October 1721 appointed two further relatives as heirs, "meinen Vettern Gustav von Leslie Churpfältzischen ObristLieutnant von der Granadier Guarde" (my cousin Gustav von Leslie lieutenant colonel of the Palatinate Elector‘s grenadier guard) and "Sergeant Alexander Wilhelm Leslie unter der Leib Compagnie Leslieschen Regiments" (Sergeant Alexander Wilhelm Leslie from the first company of Leslie's Regiment). The first of these is probably the same person who is mentioned in military sources of the Electoral Palatinate as Johannes von Leslie, who served the Elector from 1705 in the rank of a major, from 1720 of a lieutenant colonel and from 1729 as colonel of the Guard Grenadier Regiment in Mannheim. In 1738 he retired and died, single and without descendants, in Mannheim on September 3, 1752 at the age of 78. Thus born in 1674, Alexander Wilhelm von Leslie's "cousin" Johannes (Gustav) von Leslie seems to have come from Estonia as well. There is much to suggest that he was a son of the Corporal and later Colonel William (Wilhelm) Leslie [SSNE 305]. Probably the Sergeant Alexander Wilhelm Leslie, mentioned in the will, was descended from the same line. He was possibly a nephew of Johann (Gustav) von Leslie.

Ajaloomuuseum AM 34.1.259 (29.05.1725); Ajaloomuuseum AM 34.1.342 (18.09.1733); Rahvusarhiiv Tartus EAA.1.2.471_242-243 (1687-08-25 Gertraud Hedwig Brümmer); Rahvusarhiiv Tartus EAA.2069.1.611 (26. März1721); Rahvusarhiiv Tartus EAA.1.2.518 (07.09.1691); Hauptstaatsarchiv Darmstadt, F 23 A, 147/26; Generallandesarchiv Karlsruhe 213_01590 (Vermächtnis des General-Majors Johann v. Leslie); Niedersächsisches Landesarchiv Hannover, Hann. 41, XIX Nr. 5, fol. 9 l; Paucker, Carl Julius Albert. 1847. Ehstlands Landgüter und deren Besitzer zur Zeit der Schweden-Herrschaft nach zuverlässigen handschriftlichen Quellen verzeichnet. Reval, p. 55; Sichart, Luis Heinrich Friedrich von. 1866/1870. Geschichte der Königlich Hannoverschen Armee [1631-1756]. 2 vols., Hannover, Vol. I, p. 245, vol. II,pp. 22, 32; Bunz, Rainer. 2018. Von Leslie – Schottischer Adel in Deutschland und Österreich. Norderstedt: BoD – Book on Demand, pp. 152-176.

This article was written by Rainer Bunz on 20 June 2020.

Service record

Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY
Departed 0000-01-01, as COLONEL
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY