Gen Alexander Leslie


Gen Alexander Leslie

Death 27 Dec 1794 (aged 62–63)
City of Edinburgh, Scotland
Burial Jedburgh, Scottish Borders, Scotland
Memorial ID 119999391 View Source
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Maj. General Alexander Leslie

General Leslie, second son of Alexander, fifth Earl of Leven and fourth Earl of Melville, and Elizabeth, daughter of David Monypenny of Pitmilly, was born in 1731. He was appointed Captain in the 64th regiment of infantry on its formation in 1758, and acted as aide-de-camp to General Barrington in the Barbadoes in 1759. In 1760 he married a daughter of Dr. Walter Tullidelph of Tullidelph, in the County of Forfar, who had been a planter and member of the Council of the Island of Antigua. By this lady he had an only child, Mary Anne, who in 1787 married John Rutherfurd of Edgerston and died without issue.

In 1766 Captain Leslie was commissioned Lieutenant-Colonel of the regiment and came with it to America in the year 1769. He sailed for London October 22, 1770, on the ship New York, and in October, 1772, came from Antigua to Philadelphia and thence to New York, at which time he joined the Society, and again sailed for home. In 1776 he returned to America in command of the 59th Foot. He acted as Brigadier-General and commanded the light infantry at the battle of Long Island. He served with great distinction during the war, particularly at the Battle of Princeton. In June, 1779, he was in command on Staten Island and on February 19th of that year was raised to the rank of Major-General; in 1780 he was at the capture of Charleston, invaded Virginia with 3,000 men and joined Lord Cornwallis in North Carolina in December of that year. He led the right wing at Guilford and was commandant at Charleston when it was evacuated. In 1782 he was in command as Lieutenant-General at Savannah, Georgia, and gave up his command on account of ill health.

After serving for many years as second in command of the forces in Scotland, Lieutenant-General Leslie died at his seat, "Beechwood," near Edinburgh, December 27, 1794. - New York-1772 SAINT ANDREW'S SOCIETY

For over 100 years a portrait of George III's wife Charlotte hung on the wall at Edgerston House in Roxburghshire, seat of the Rutherfurds of that ilk. This portrait had once hung in Government House in Richmond, Virginia until it was removed by Major-General Alexander Leslie during the American Revolution. Leslie carried it with him through the war and returned to Scotland with it. Alexander Leslie is best known in American history as "the good lord" who refused to fire on the 'Indians' who participated in the Boston Tea Party. Alexander was the direct descendant of the Bishop's War hero Sir Alexander Leslie who is memorialized in the nursery rhyme, "The Crooked Man". The portrait of Queen Charlotte was a wedding gift to John and Mary Rutherfurd and was recently sold for $225,000.

Battles - American War of Independence
Battle of Long Island (1776)
Landing at Kip's Bay (1776)
Battle of Harlem Heights (1776)
Battle of White Plains (1776)
Battle of Monmouth (1778)
Siege of Charleston (1780)
Battle of Guilford Court House (1781)
Battle of the Combahee River (1782)

In 1794, while second in command of the forces in Scotland, in consequence of a mutiny in the Breadalbane Regiment of Fencibles, then stationed at Glasgow,' General Leslie, Colonel Montgomerie (afterwards Earl of Eglinton), and Sir James Stewart, left Edinburgh to take charge of the troops collected for the purpose of compelling the mutineers to surrender. By the judicious management, however, of Lord Adam Gordon, then Commander-in-Chief, an appeal to force was avoided by the voluntary surrender of four of the ring- leaders, who were marched to Edinburgh Castle as prisoners, under a strong guard of their own regiment. General Leslie and Adjutant M'Lean of the Fencibles, having accompanied the party a short way out of town, they were assailed on their return by a number of riotous people, who accused them of being active in sending away the prisoners. The mob rapidly increased, stones and other missiles were thrown, by one of which General Leslie was knocked down and he and the Adjutant were compelled to take shelter in a house, from which they were at last rescued by the Lord Provost, with a posse of peace- officers and a company of the Fencibles. On his way back to Edinburgh, the General was seized with a dangerous illness, and died at Beechwood House, about three miles west of the city, on the 27th December 1794.

General Leslie and his wife, the Honourable Rebecca Leslie, are also interred here, on the south side of the choir of Jedburgh Abbey.

"Jedburgh Abbey : historical and descriptive: also, The abbeys of Teviotdale, as showing the development of Gothic architecture"

pub. Edinburgh: David Douglas - 1894
By James Watson – page 134

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