Alexander Leslie

Alexander Leslie, a Scot who served in the Swedish army under both Charles IX and Gustavus Adolphus from 1608. Leslie was promoted to Lieutenant General and knighted for his service but Gustavus in 1628.  Despite being badly wounded in late 1631 he still fought at Lutzen and continued on in Swedish service rising to the rank of Field Marshall. 

Leslie returned to Scotland to command recruit organise and train the  Army of the Covenant with many of the officer being veterans who had served with Gustavus. During the 2nd Bishops War Leslie commanded the Scottish army which defeated the Royalists at Newburn and went on to capture the city of Newcastle. In an attempt to win Alexander Leslie to his cause, King Charles I created him Lord Leven. 

As Lord Leven, he commanded the Covenanters against the Irish rebels in 1642. Two years later he led the Covenanter Army into England where he had overall command of the Allied army at their victory at Marston Moor. After this battle he returned to besiege and capture the city Newcastle, again. King Charles surrendered to Leven at Newark and Charles remained under Levens supervision until Charles was handed over to the English Parliament. 
Lord Leven, from Warlord Games

By the time of the Third Civil War, Leven was aged around seventy and offered his resignation as commander-in-chief of the Scottish army due to his age but, under threat of an imminent English invasion, the Scottish Parliament refused to accept it. Leven retained overall strategic command but left battlefield command to David Leslie. Leven directed the manoeuvres against Cromwell's invading army that preceded the Scottish defeat at battle of Dunbar and he accepted responsibility for the defeat.

Leven did not accompany the Scots-Royalist army that invaded England with Charles II in 1651. He was arrested with other Scottish leaders by English troops in August 1651 and held prisoner in England until 1654, then retired to his estates in Fifeshire. He died in April 1661.


Bluewillow said…
nice one frosty!!!!

Frostydog said…
Thanks Matt. not as happy with this one

Doug said…
The interesting thing about Dunbar, is that strategically the Scots completely outmanoeuvred Cromwell's army, but tactically lost the battle. So I would say Leven lost the battle where Leslie put him into a winning position.
Frostydog said…
True about Cromwell being outmanoeuvred the Scots were in a commanding position. However, from what I understand it was the other way around. Leslie was in command at the battle. Leven was still in Edinburgh. He was over 70 and had tried to resign a few time but his resignation was always refused.
Doug said…
Oops, got my Leven's and Leslie's mixed up. You are quite correct of course.

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