William Leslie (b. - 1622)

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About William Leslie

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Page 48 - 76

"John Leslie,

"Tenth Baron of Balquhain.

"John Leslie, eldest son of William Leslie, ninth Baron of Balquhain, by his wife, Janet Forbes his wife, daughter of John, sixth Lord Forbes, and widow of John, Earl of Atholl, succeeded as tenth Baron of Balquhain, on the death of his father, in 1571.

"John Leslie of Balquhain was Sheriff-principal of Aberdeen for many years. Patrick Leith of Likelyhead was served heir to his father, George Leith of Barns and Edingarioch, before John Leslie of Balquhain, Sheriff of Aberdeen, 4th October 1580. Again, in 1584, John Leslie of Balquhain succeeded the Earl of Huntly as Sheriff of Aberdeen; and in the Diet-book of the Sheriff-court of Aberdeen we find him frequently mentioned, as presiding as Sheriff, up to 1597. Under the date 24th April 1597, we find the following entry:--

" 'Curia Justiciarii xxiv. Aprilis 1597, per honorabiles viros Joannem Leslie de Balquhane vicecomitem de Aberdeen, Thomam Leslie ejus deputatum Alexandrum Rutherford de Robeslaw praepositum dicti burgi’.

"John Leslie of Balquhain lived in splendid magnificence, and by his expensive habits he much encumbered his estates. He never rode out without an excort of at least twenty vassals or followers, who attended him on horseback. We find the following account of the Baron of Balquhain and his retinue in the Book of Bonaccord:--

" 'On the 6th February 1587, the Laird of Balquhain came to the Justess-port, Aberdeen, with certain horsemen to the number of fiftie to be in the toune contrar to the will of the hail magistrates, and commands, quha was repulsit and gat na entrance, the hail toune beand in armour, withstann the said Laird. On the morne he came to the crabstane wi his horsemen to see gyff the towne would come out, quha cam outt to the crofties on the north syd of the toune, and thairafter cam to the Womanhill all in ordour and foynd name o theyme thair.’

"In 1570, a great dispute arose between the Munroes and the Clan Cheinzie, two families of great power and influence in the county of Ross, owing to the following circumstance:-- John Leslie, Bishop of Ross, made over his right and title to the castle of the Channonrie of Ross, with the castle-lands, to his consanguineous, or cousin, John Leslie, then fiar, afterwards tenth Baron of Balquhain. But it happened that the Regent Moray, some time in 1569, the year before his death, had given the custody of this castle to Andrew Munroe of Miltown, to which he got the Baron of Balquhain to agree, on condition that he was to get a portion of the lands of Tintires, in Buchan, in lieu of the said castle and its lands. But the untimely death of the regent, 23d January 1570, interrupted this agreement, and Andrew Munroe was disappointed in his hope of retaining peaceable possession of the castle. However, the Earl of Lennox and the Earl of Mar, successive regents of the kingdom, kept Munroe in possession of the castle, whereupon the Clan Cheinzie purchased from John Leslie of Balquhain his right and title to the catle and the castle-lands, and then besieged the castle, which the munroes defended for three years. Great loss was sustained on both side, and the castle was finally given up to the Clan Cheinzie by an act of pacification.

"In 1594, the Three Catholic lods, Huntly, Errol, and Angus, were excummnicated by the Scotch Kirk, and were also attainted by a summary proceeding of the Scotish Parliament, under the pretence that they had conspired against the Kirk and the State. James VI, urged by Queen Elizabeth and his own ministers, much against his will, consented to the forfeiture of these nobles, and the Earl of Argyle was appointed the king’s lieutenant-general to reduce them. Argyle, accompanied by the Earl of Tullibardine, Sir Lauchlan Maclean, the Laird of Grant, Macintosh, the whole Clan Campbell, Clan Gregor, and many others, whom hatred of the Gordons or the hope of gain had induced to join him, mustering in all about 12,000 men, marched through the mountains to the Highlands. On the 27th September 1594, Argyle attacked the castle of Ruthven in Badenoch, but he was obliged to raise the siege, the castle being gallantly defended by the Clan Macpherson. He then returned to the Lowlands, and, in the king’s name he summoned and called on Lord Forbes, Leslie of Balquhain, the Irvines, the Ogilvies, and others, and on Lord Lovat, the Frasers, the Clan Cheinzie, the Munroes, and others in the Highlands, to join him. In the meantime, he had marched from Badenoch towards Strathdown, and on the 2d October 1594 he encamped near Drimmin, upon the river Avon.

"Huntley and Errol, on learning the great preparations which had been made against them, displayed great courage and resolution: Errol went to Strathbogie, with 100 mounted gentlemen and some artillery, to join Huntly. They advanced to Auchindown with 1500 resolute horsemen, all determined to die in the field rather than submit to the mercy of their enemies. Huntly, having got intelligence of the designs of Agyle, and of the route by which he was to descend from the mountains, moved forward on the 3d October from Auchindown, and sent in advance Captain Thomas Ker, with a party of horse, to reconnoiter the country, and to ascertain the movements of the enemy. This patrol, meeting a party of Argyle’s men sent out for the same purpose, attacked and killed them. This incident so much encourage Huntly, that he determined to fight Argyle before Lord Forbes and the other forces could arrive. So he continued his advance towards the enemy, who had passed Glenlivat, and was at Alachanlochan in Strathdown.

"Argyle was astonished to find that Huntly, with such a disparity of force, should venture to meet him. He immediately prepared for battle. He arranged his forces upon a steep, rough, heather hill, between Glenlivat and Glenrinnis, the lower slope of which, as well as the foreground, was mossy and full of peat-holes or pits. His advanced corps, consiting of 4000 men, of which 2000 were hagbuteers and musketeers, was under the command of Sir Lauchlan Maclean and Macintosh; while Argyle himself, and the Earl of Tullibardine, were with the main body.

"Huntley's advanced guard consisted of 300 mounted gentlemen, under the Earl of Errol, Sir Patrick Gordon of Auchindown, Gordon of Gight, and Captain Thomas Ker. Huntly himself followed with the rest of his force, which consisted entirely of cavalry, having the Laird of Cluny-Gordon on his right, and Gordon of Abergeldie on his left flank. Owing to them being all horsemen, the nature of the ground was much against them, because, in order to reach the enemy, they were obliged to pass the mossy ground, and to ride up the rough hill through high heather.

"Huntley began the attack by ordering a battery of three field-guns, under Captain Andre Gay, to open upon the enemy, which was done with much effect, causing great confusion among them, and killing Macneil, the third son of the Laird of Barra, one of their bravest officers, and Campbell of Lochnell, who carried the standard. The advance-guard, perceiving the disorder of the enemy’s ranks, instantly charged, Sir Patrick Gordon, with his own men, galloped right up the hill against Sir Lauchlan Maclean, while Errol made a detour to attack the right blank. Maclean received the charge with great firmness, and a furious fight was continued for some time, and Sir Patrick Gordon was slain; Maclean’s force being vastly superior, he nearly surrounded his assailants, and the Earl of Errol was in danger of being cut off. Huntly, however, speedily advanced to his support, and in doing so, he had a horse shot under him The battle was renewed, and contined for two hours, when Argule’s main body began to give way, and fled towards the burn of Alachanlochan, leaving Maclean still fight manfully. At length Maclean retired in good order, and Huntly pursued the enemy beyond the burn of Alachanlochan, when the steepness of the mountains prevents his further progress.

"Argyle lost 700 men, and his standard was found on the field of battle, and was taken in triumph to Strahbogie, where it was placed on the top of the Great Tower. On Huntly’s side, Sir Partick Gordon, Sir Patrick Gordon of Auchindown and twenty other gentlemen were slain, and forty of fity were wonded. Argyle had assured himself of victory, and among his personal baggage, which fell into Huntly’s hands, there was found a document in which the lands of Huntly, of Errol, and their supporters, were promised to the Earl of Argyle and his army.

"In the meantime, Lord Forbes, John Leslie of Balquhain, and Irvine of Drum, had, in consequence of Argyle’s summons in the king’s name, assembled all their followers, in order to join him against Huntly. But on learning Argyle’s defeat, some of them, Lord Forbes and others, resolved to join the Highlanders who were coming fom Morasy and Ross to Argyle’s assistance, and to attack Huntly as he returned from Glenlivat, thinking that it would be no difficult matter to overcome him, and thus revenge old quarrels. With this design, all the Forbeses, with some of the Leslies and Irvines, met at Druminnor, Lord Forbes’s place, under cover of a dark night, and commenced their march. During the march, a gentleman of the name of Irvine was killed by a pistol-shot, close by the side of Lord Forbes. The pistols of the whole party were immediately examined, and were all found loaded, so that it was never ascertained who fired the shot. It was conjectured that it was done by some adherent of the Gordons, who migh have got close to them in the darkness of the night. The untoward incident created much confusion, and cast such doubts on the minds of the Forbeses and Irvines, every man suspecting his neighbour, that they parted company, and all returned to their homes. The northern clans were prevented from joining Argyle by the persuasion of John Dunbar of Monyness, whose mother had married Sir Patrick Gordon of Auchindown as her second husband.

"The king, James VI, on hearing of Argyle’s defeat, advanced from Dundee to Strathbogie, and, though much against his own inclination, he permitted the houses of Huntly, Errol, Gordon of Newton, and of other adherents of Huntly, to be burned or destroyed, under the pretext that priests were harboured in them. Huntly had retired into Sutherlandshire while the king was marching towards Strathbogie. When the king went south again, he left Lennox as his lieutenant in the North. Huntly and Errol went to Lennox in Aberdeen, where he resided, and they consented to leave the kingdom during the king’s pleasure. Huntly embarked at Aberdeen in March 1595, and went to Flanders and Germany, where he traveled for some time, till he was recalled by the king, and, together with Errol and Angus, was restored to his honurs and estates at a parliament held at Edinburgh in November 1596. He was created Marquis of Huntly in 1599, and the Forbeses, Leslies, Irvines, and the northern clans, willingly reconciled themselves with him.

"It is certain that the king was not sorry for Agyle’s defeat, and that he made jests about it. Lennox, whom he made his lieutenant in the North, was Huntly’s brother-in-law. Gordon of Straloch states that he found among the papers of his father, Sir Jon Gordon of Pitlurg, letters in the king’s own hand to Huntley, giving him advice how to behave in the several conjunctures that might happen, and that his father did service to Huntly by conveying his messages to the king; and that his correspondence continued while the king was at Aberdeen, by means of Pitlurg, who, for nights after the king’s departure, gave Lennox a treat (a supper) in his own house in that city, at which Straloch himself, then a young, was present; and that he saw there the Earl of Huntly and John Leslie of Balquhain, a man of prime note in thee parts; and that this could not be done without the king’s knowledge. The king’s political exigencies compelled him to act against Huntly and Errol, but he never looked on them as his enemies, and his feelings were shared by many who answered Argyle’s summons to join him against them, especially by the Leslies and the Irvines. That the Leslies were not Huntly’s enemies is plainly shown by the presence of John Leslie of Balquhain at the interview between him and Lennoz in Pitlurg’s house, and by their subsequent friendship, and by the bond of manrent, executed 21st March 1603, between George, Marquis of Huntly, and his special friend and servant, John Leslie of Balquhain. That the Leslies of Balquhain and the Irvines of Drum were not enemies of the Earl of Errol, is shown by the letter of John Crychtown, younger of Frendraught, to John Leslie of Balquhain, and by that of Alexander Irvine of Drum and John Crychtoun to John Leslie, purporting that they three - John Leslie of Balquahin, Alexander Irvine of Drum, and John Crychtown of Frendraught - had been chosen as impartial arbiters in a dispute between the Earl of Errol and the Earl Marischal.

"John Cheyne, burgess of Aberdeen, granted a letter of reverion to John Leslie, son and heir of William Leslie of Balquahin, upon a house in the Netherkirkgate of Aberdeen, dated 27th January 1564.

"John Leslie of Kirkhill, son and heir of William Leslie of Balquhain, got a gilf of nonentry of the lands of Balquahin, under the Privy Seal, 6th June 1569; and also a gift of ward, nonentry, and relief, of the sand lands, 6th August 1569.

"John Leslie, son and heir of William leslie of Balquhain, made a contract with Marjory Leslie, one of the two, and elder daughter of the late John Leslie, brother of the said William Leslie of Balquhain, and Alexander Bisset, her husband, whereby the said Marjory ratified the redemption of the lans of Balquhain. In consideration whereof, John Leslie bound himself to pay to Marjory £5000 Scots. The contract is dated 1st October 1569, and is registered in the Commissary books of Aberdeen on the same day.

"Patrick Leslie of Kincraigie, and his spouse Jean Leslie, granted a letter of reversion of the sunny halves of Auldtown and Netherbeggery of Aquhorties, in favour of John Leslie of Kirkhill, 23d December 1569.

"John Leslie of Balquhain made a contract with John Leslie in Ardlaw, whereby he assigned to him the reversion of the sunny half of the lands of Aquhorties, formerly granted by George Mortimer, and Janet Leslie his spouse, to Willaim Leslie, ninth Baron of Balquhain, 20th March 1573.

"John Leslie of Kirkhill was retoured heir to his father William Leslie in the barony of Balquahin, 17th October 1573.

"John Leslie of Balquhain made a contract, 7th November 1573, with James Leslie, burgess in Aberdeen, and his spouse, whereby John Leslie was allowed to possess certain wadsett lands of Inveramsay on payment of forty bolls of victual annually.

"William Leslie, brother of John Leslie of Balquhain, granted a letter of reversion in favour of his said brother John, bearing that the said John had disponed his lands of Balquhain and others to the said William and his heirs-maile, and declaring the said lands to be redeemable upon payment of a rose noble of gold; 1st December 1573.

"John Leslie of Balquhain assigned, 5th April 1574, to James Harvey of Boyndes a letter of provison, dated 27th May 1563, granted by Alexander Stachan, advocate in Aberdeen, to the said John Leslie, upon the lands of Bonnytown with the brewhouse and croft thereof.

"John Leslie of Balquhain wadsett to Alexander Letster, burgess in Aberdeen, the lands of Syde, extending to four ploughs, and the teinds thereof, redeemable for 1400 merks; 8th September 1574.

"John Leslie of Balquhain, and John Erskine of Balhagarty, settled the amount of toll to be uplifted at the Chapel of Garioch, by a submission and decreet-arbitral, 30th September 1574.

"William, Bishop of Aberdeen, 25th October 1574, confirmed a charter of the lands of Bonnytown and others, granted by John Leslie of Balquhain to James Harvey of Boyndes, 24th October 1574; and sasine thereon followed, 28th October 1574.

"John Leslie of Balquhain wadsett to William Leslie of Wardis, and Janet Innis his spouse, and James leslie their son, the lands of Knockallocy, redeemable for 600 merks, and gave in warrandice the Mains of Balquahin, 2d February 1576.

"John Leslie of Balquhain made a contract with John Spens, burgess of Edinburgh, whereby he bound himself to infeft the said John Spens in the lands of Nethertown and Blairbowie, 11th March 1576; and registered in books of Council 25th November 1577; and in terms of the contract John Spens granted a letter of reversion of the said lands, in favour of John Leslie of Balquhain, 15th March 1576.

"James, Earl of Morton, Regent of Scotland, and John Leslie of Balquahin, executed a contract, whereby, for the sum of 5000 merks, John Leslie obliged himself to make up titles to the lands of Learny, Mill of Awach, Craighead, and others, and also to the lands of Tulliqueden, Farnes, and others, in the bishopric of Ross, which his father, William Leslie, ninth Baron of Balquhain, had acquired in 1567, and to denude himself of the whole thereof in favour of the said earl; dated 28th May 1576, and registered in books of Coucnil 7th June 1576.

"Alexander, Bishop of Ross, granted a letter for giving sasine to John Leslie of Balquhain, as heir to William Leslie, his father, in the hail lands mentioned in the contract of sale between James, Earl of Morton, and the said John Leslie, 15th November 1576; and James, Earl of Morton, granted a discharge for 1000 merks, stipulated to be paid as specified in the foresaid contract, 8th April 1577.

"James Leslie granted a letter of reversion of the lands of Newmills in favour of John Leslie of Balquhain, 9th November 1576.

"Mary Maitland granted a letter of reversion of the lands of Bonnytown, in favour of John Leslie of Balquhain, 6th February 1578.

"John Leslie of Balquhain wadsett to George Leslie in New Rayne, and Janet Leslie his spouse, two ploughs of the lands of the lands of Bonnytown, redeemable for 1000 merks, 31st May 1579.

"Marjory Galloway, relict of George Leslie of Lentusk, renounced her liferent of part of the lands of Lowns, in favour of John Leslie of Balquhain, 23d September 1579.

"John Leslie of Balquhain granted a charter of the sunny third ploughlands of Pitbee, in favour of Walter Gordon of Westhall, 8th December 1580.

"John, Earl of Argyle, ratified a bond granted by Dame Anna Keith, his spouse, to John Leslie of Balquhain, concerning certain securities and infeftments in her favour upon the Mains of Balquhain, dated in August 1581.

"John Leslie of Balquhain redeemed the half of lands of Blairdaff from Marjory Innes, spouse of John Innes of Edengeycht, 10th November 1586.

"James Leslie of Newmills, upon his forfeiture, granted a letter of repossession to John Leslie of Balquhain, dated 21st June 1587.

"Sir Patrick Gordon of Auchindown, and James Leslie of Newmills, executed a renunciation and grant of redemption of the lands of Newmills, in favour of John Leslie of Balquhain, 21st June 1587.

"Norman Leslie, burgess of Aberdeen, and Elspet Spens his spouse, granted a letter of reversion of the lands of Nethertown of Knockinlewes, containing the sum of £1000 Scots, in favour of John Leslie of Balquhain, 1st September 1587.

"Thomas Dempster of Auchterless granted a commission to John Leslie of Balquhain, empowering him to sell the lands of Killesmount to Sir Walter Ogilvie of Findlater, 18th January 1588.

“Thomas Gordon of Cluny, and John Erskine, fiar of Balhagarty, on one part, and John Leslie of Balquhain, and Patrick Leslie of Kincraigie, as his cautioner, for themselves and as taking burden for William Leslie of Sevedlie, on the other part, executed a contract, whereby, inter alia, John Erskine, fiar of Balhagarty, found himself to grant a letter of reversion of the lands of Drumdurno in favour of John Leslie of Balquhain, 12th May 1588.

"John Leslie of Balquhain wadsett the sunny half of Overtown of Aquhorties, with the mill and the sunny half of the lands of Bograxie, to Patrick Leslie of Kincraigie, 25th May 1588; and Patrick Leslie granted a letter of reversion of the same to John Leslie of Balquhain, 1st October 1590.

"John Leslie of Balquhain got a charter, under the Great Seal, of the lands of Drumhennan and Inveramsay, 1st October 1591.

"John Leslie of Balquhain, in 1592, bought the lands of Ardlaw from the Magistrates and Council of Aberdeen for 400 merks. These lands, which lie in the parish of Clatt, were granted by Alexander Stewart, Earl of Mar, to the Cathedral and Bishop of Aberdeen, by a charter, 10th February 1407. In 1507, William Elphinston, Bishop of Aberdeen, began to build the romantic bridge of Don, which was finished in 1527 by Bishop Gavin Dunbar, who gave over the bridge to the Magistrates, Council, and Community of Aberdeen, and gave them the lands of Ardlaw as a fund to support, repair, or rebuild it, if necessary, at any future period.

"Marjory Gordon, relect of Captain John Gordon, brother of William Gordon of Gight, granted a letter of reversion of the lands of Kirkhill, containing the sum of 3000 merks, in favour of John Leslie of Balquhain, 7th June 1593.

"Andrew Meldrum of Fyvie obliged himself to infeft John Leslie of Balquhain in a third part of the Mains of Hatton, 3d October 1593; and John Leslie of Balquhain got a charter of the said lands, 11th October 1593. Sasine followed thereon, 22d October 1593.

"James Mortimer, fiar of Craigievar, assigness of John Leslie of Balquhain, made premonition for the redemption of the sunny half of Overtown of Aquhorties, with the mill, and the sunny half of the lands of Bograxie, from PatrickLeslie of Kincraigie, in terms of contract, 8th March 1594.

"John Leslie of Balquhain redeemed the middle third plough of lands of Pitbee from Alexander Davidson in Kintore, and Janet Leslie, his spouse, 20th May 1594.

"John Leslie of Balquhain redeemed the middle third plough and the sunny plough of the lands of Knockallochy, from John Leith, Apparent of Harthill, 22d May 1594.

"At the instance of John Leslie of Balquhain, son and heir of William Leslie, ninth Baron of Balquhain, the Sheriff of Aberdeen granted a precept against John Erksine of Balhagarty, and John Erskine, his eldest son, for having a contract of marches of the lands of Knockallochy and Pitbee, made in June 1565, transferrd active in the person of the said John Leslie, 17th August 1594.

"John Leslie of Balquhain granted a procuratory for resigning the sunny half of the lands of Aquhorties, with the mill, in favour of James Mortimer, fiar of Craigievar, and Margaret Gordon his spouse, 6th December 1594.

"John Leslie of Balquhain obliged himself to infeft John Gordon of Braco, and Agnes Strachan his spouse, in the lands of Whitcorse, and the mill and teind-sheaves of the same.redeemable for 2200 merks, 8th March 1595.

"John Leslie of Balquhain, for himself, and taking burden on him for Lady Elizabeth Hay, his spouse, made a contract with Andrew Lawson, burgess of Aberdee, and Christina Hay his spouse, whereby, for 3000 merks paid to Andrew Lawson and his spouse, they disposed their lodgings in the Castlegate of Aberdeen to the said John Leslie, 8th March 1595.

"John Leslie of Balquhain granted a charter of sale of the lands and mill of Syid, with The Peil, and the customs of St. Rule’s Fair, the ailhous croft of Syde, Arnbrig, Erllisfeild, Seggydene, Kirkhill, and Mostoun, in the parish of Kinethmount, 19th June 1595, in favour of Sir Thomas Gordon of Cluny, which charter was confirmed by King James VI, 24th July 1597.

"George Innes, younger of Newbeggery, renounced eight bovates of the lands of Logydurno, and the mill of Auchendellon, in favour of John Leslie of Balquhain, in September 1595.

"John Leslie of Balquhain executed a contract in 1595, whereby he obliged himself to infeft John Leith, Apparent of Harthill, in the lands and baronies of Fetternear and Balquhain.

"Patrick, Lord Lindores, granted a discharge to John Leslie of Balquhain, discharging him of the yearly teind-silver of his lands of Balquhain, and obliged himself to grant a new site of the teinds and teind-sheaves for nineteen years, when he should be required to do so by the said John Leslie, 30th September 1596.

"John Leslie of Balquhain executed a contract, 27th September 1596, whereby he disponed his estate of Wardis to William Leslie, fourth Baron of Warid, The contract was registered in the Commissary-books of Aberdeen, 13th December 1596.

"John Leslie of Balquhain, with the consent of Lady Elizabeth Hay his spouse, wadsett the town and lands of Tullos, and Mistown croft in Whitecorse, including a tack of the teind-sheaves, to John Gordon of Braco, redeemable for 600 merks, 31st December 1596; and granted a charter of the said lands to John Gordon on the same day. Sasine thereon followed, 1st January 1597.

"John Leslie of Balquhain, with advice and consent of Francis, Earl of Errol, disponed his lands of Balquhain to his eldest lawful son, John Leslie, fiar of Balquhain, under certain conditions, and redeemable upon payment of eight pounds Scots, 23d September 1597; and granted a charter of the said lands to his said son on the same day: sasine followed thereupon, 26th September 1597. This charter was confirmed by a charter under the Great Seal, 9th November 1600.

"John Leslie of Balquhain, and his son John, Leslie, younger thereof, wadsett the lands of Craigsmill to John Leith of Harthill, redeemable for 400 merks, 12th March 1598.

"John Leith of Harthill granted a back-bond to John Leslie of Balquhain, obliging himself to give up all right and claim to the lands of Newmills on payment of 600 merks, 12th March 1598.

"William Leslie of Seveedlie disponed the lands of Fetternear in favour of John Leslie of Balquhain, 13th November 1598, -- the said William having right to the said lands by disposition from the king, in virtue of the Act of Annexation of Church Lands.

"John Leslie of Balquhain, and Patrick Leslie of Kincraigie, executed a contract, August 1598, whereby, inter alia, Patrick Leslie granted to James Leslie of Middleton the croft of Pitbee, which were redeemable by John Leslie of Balquhain.

"John Leslie of Balquhain, for himself, and as taking burden for Jean Erskine, now his spouse, executed a contract with Patrick Coupland, who assigned and disponed the town and lands of Fingask in favour of John Leslie of Balquhain and spouse, 30th September 1598.

"Patrick Leslie of Kincraigie resigned the croftland called Pitbee Haugh, in favour of John Leslie of Balquhain, and John Leslie, younger thereof, 10th December 1599.

"John Leslie of Balquhain wadsett a plough of the lands of the Nethertown of Fetternear to William Leslie of Seveedlie, redeemable for 500 merks, 26th Jun 1601.

"King James VI granted a charter to John Leslie of Balquhain, and Jean Erskine his wife, of the barony of Fetternear, the office of Constable of the plaace and chief messuage of the bishopric of Aberdeen, and an annual rent of £120 from the lands of Auchlyne, Talzeaucht, Blairdinny, Bonynton, Casteltoun, and Louesk, in the parishes of Clatt and Rayne, for the support of the office of Constable, 10th May 1602; sasine followed thereon, 15th April 1603; registered at Aberdeen, 4th May 1603.

"John Leslie of Balquhain disponed the lands of Balquhain, under certain conditions, in favour of his son, John Leslie, fiar of Balquhain in 1603; and granted a procuratory of resignation of the said lands in favour of his said son and the other heirs of tailzie therein mentioned.

"John Leslie of Balquhain, and John Leslie, younger thereof, renounced all right of reversion of the lands of Newmills, in favour of John Leith of Harthill, who had paid the sum of 700 merks for the said lands, which were declared irredeemable, 12th July 1605. This renunciation was ratified 11th November 1606.

"Elspet Spens, and Christian Leslie her daughter, made a judicial renunciation of the lands of Newtown of Knockenlewes, in favour of John Leslie of Balquhain, 13th July 1605.

"Norman Leslie, burgess of Aberdeen, renounced in favour of John Leslie of Balquhain the sunny third of the plough-lands of Pitbee, which had been wadsett to the said Norman by Walter Gordon of Westhall, and Agnes Leslie his spouse, and assigned to John Urquhart in Aberdeen; 14th May 1608.

"John Leslie, fiar of Balquhain, ratified the alienation of the lands of Syde, with the mill, the Peil, and the customs of St. Rule’s fair, the alehouse croft of Syde, Arnbrig, Erllisfeild, Seggydene, Kirkhill, and Mostown, made by John Leslie, tenth Baron of Balquhain, his father, in favour of Sir Thomas Gordon of Cluny; and John Leslie, elder, and John Leslie, younger, of Balquhain, obliged themselves to warrant the said alienation, 15th May 1608; registered in books of Council, 13th December 1613.

"Archibald, Earl of Argyle, for himself, and for the executors of his father, Colin, Earl of Argyle, and for Dame Anna Keith, his mother, with the consent of John Leslie of Balquhain, renounced all right to the lands of Balquhain, and particularly a charter of infeftment granted by the said John Leslie of Balquhain to the said Dame Anna Keith, for security of 2000 merks, in favour of John Leslie, fiar of Balquhain; and the Earl Archibald, and John Leslie of Balquhain, ratified and approved the infeftment of John Leslie, younger, in the lands of Balquhain, 23d June 1609; registered in books of Council, 28th June 1609.

"John Leslie of Balquhain of Balquhain granted a procuratory of resignation of the sunny half of the town and lands of Aquhorties, Overtown, and Nethertown thereof, with the half of the mill and the mill-lands thereof, the half of the lands of Blairdaff, and the half of the lands of Woodhill, in favour of his eldest son, John Leslie, fiar of Balquhain, 31st January 1610; and resigned the said lands in the hands of George Leslie, Baron of that Ilk, as superior thereof, 21st March 1610.

"John Leslie of Balquhain of Balquhain resigned all right which he had in the lands and barony of Balquhain, in favour of John Leslie, his eldest son, 1st April 1611.

"John Leslie of Balquhain, and John Leslie, younger thereof, wadsett the lands of Craigstown, redeemable for 1700 merks, to James Glennie, alias Forbes, and Annabella Cruickshanks his spouse, 9th June 1614.

"Alexander Gordon of Cluny made an inhibition against John Leslie, elder, and John Lesly, younger, of Balquhain, proceeding upon the contract and warrandice of 15th May 1608, dated at Aberdeen, 16th September 1616.

"James Mortimer of Craigievar assigned the gift of ward and nonentry duties of Aquhorties, to John Leslie of Balquhain, 16th September 1616.

"John Leslie of Balquhain of Balquhain, and John Leslie, fiar thereof, granted a procuratory for resigning the lands and barony of Balquhain into the king’s hands, for new infeftment to be given to the said John Leslie, fiar of Balquhain, and the other heirs of tailzie therein mentioned, 6th June 1619.

"John Leslie, tenth Baron of Balquhain, granted a procuratory for resigning the lands and barony of Fetternear into the hands of Patrick, Bishop of Aberdeen, for new infeftment to be given to John Leslie, his eldest son, 3d July 1621. He also resigned the office of Constable of the Bishop’s palace, Aberdeen, in favour of Patrick, Bishop of Aberdeen.

"John Leslie, tenth Baron of Balquhain, married first, in 1564, Elizabeth Grant, daughter of the Baron of Grant, The marriage-contract is dated 15th February 1564, and by it William Leslie, ninth Baron of Balquhain, obliged himself to infeft his eldest son and apparent heir, John Leslie, and his future spouse, Elizabeth Grant, in the lands of Kirkhill. By Elizabeth Grant John Leslie had issue -

“ I. John, who succeeded as eleventh Baron of Balquhain.

“ II. William, who succeeded his nephew John as thirteenth Baron of Balquhain.

"John Leslie is said to have divorced his first wife, Elizabeth Grant.

"John Leslie married, secondly, Lady Elizabeth Hay, daughter of George, sixth Earl of Errol, by his second wife, Helen, co-heiress of Walter Bruce of Pitcullen. John Leslie of Balquhain granted a charter, 20th February 1595, to George, Earl Marischal, of the lands of Pitbee and Inveramsay, during the liftime of Lady Elizabeth Hay, spouse to the said John Leslie. By Lady Elizabeth Hay John Leslie had issue a daughter -

“ Isabella, married to Alexander Hay of Dalgety.

"Lady Elizabeth Hay obtained a decreet of divorcement against her husband, John Leslie of Balquhain, before the Commissaries of Edin burh, 9th March 1597; and John Leslie, reader at the kirk of Fetternear, granted a certificate that he had read the said decreet of divorcement in the kirk of Fetternear, and proclaimed the said John Leslie his banns to marry when, where, and whom he pleased, 23d April 1598. John Leslie, fiar of Balquhain, confirmed the provision made by John Leslie of Balquhain in favour of Lady Elizabeth Hay, 23d September 1597; and Lady Elizabeth Hay, Lady Pitcullen, renounced all right which she had in the barony of Balquhain, in favour of John Leslie of Bqlquhain, her former husband, 7th April 1609.

"John Leslie married, thirdly, in 1598, Jean Erskine, daughter of Sir Alexander Erskine, Baron of Gogar, and sister of Thomas, first Earl of Kellie. The marriage-contract is blank in the date, and is without witnesses. Mr. John Lindsay, minister of Lethnal, granted a certificate that he had celebrated the marriage of John Leslie of Balquhain and Jean Erskine, 6th July 1598; and David Wilson, notary-public, executed an instrument of the solemnization of the said marriage on the same day. Jean Erskine obtained a decreet of adherence, before the Commissaries of Edinburgh, in the same year. The presbytery of Brechin accused John Leslie of Balquhain of adultery and unlawful marriage with Jean Erskine; and John Leslie and Jean Erskine defended themselves successfully against the accusation.

"It is said that all the three wives of John leslie of Balquhain were alive at the same time, and that on one occasion they were all in the same kirk of Chapel of Garioch.

"By Jean Erskine John Leslie had issue -

“ I. Alexander, who succeeded as fourteenth Baron of Balquhain.

“ II. Walter, born about 1606, who became the first Count Leslie in Germany, of whom hereafter.

“ III. Jean, married to Sir Patrick Leslie of Iden, Provost of Aberdeen.

“ IV. Elizabeth, married, first, to Gilbert Hay, brother of the Baron of Dalgety, and, secondly, to William Grant of Conglass, by whom she had a son, William Grant of Crichie, a celebrated man, who filled many honourable offices.

"It would appear that John Leslie had another son, probably a natural one, who had two sons, one a lawyer in Edinburgh in 1652, named Alexander, and the other, William, who was a bailie in Edinburgh. These two, in letters written by William, thirteenth Baron of Balquhain, and his successor, Alexander, fourteenth baron, are called the nephews of the said barons.

"John Leslie, tenth Baron of Balquhain, died in June 1622, and was succeeded by his eldest son, John Leslie, eleventh Baron of Balquhain."

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Note by Ed Wyse on Dec 30, 2009:

John Leslie, tenth Baron of Balquhain, Sheriff of Aberdeen, presided over a witch trial in Aberdeen on Apr 24, 1597 which resulted in the execution of several accused witches.

Citation: http://books.google.com/books?id=lyENAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA48#v=onepage&q=&f=false

Page 440 - 441

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