Alexander Leslie, Earl of Ross

Is your surname Leslie?

Research the Leslie family

Alexander Leslie, Earl of Ross's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Alexander Leslie, Earl of Ross

Also Known As: "Alexander Leslie", "7th Earl of Ross"
Birthplace: Ross, Cromartyshire, Scotland (United Kingdom)
Death: May 08, 1402 (68-69)
Dingwall, Scotland
Immediate Family:

Son of Walter Leslie, Seventh Earl of Ross and Euphemia I, Countess of Ross
Husband of Lady Isobel Stewart
Father of Euphemia Leslie, Countess of Ross
Brother of Margaret Leslie and Mariota Leslie, Countess of Ross

Managed by: Douglas John Nimmo
Last Updated:

About Alexander Leslie, Earl of Ross

Alexander Leslie, Earl of Ross

Alexander Leslie, Earl of Ross (d.1402) was a Scottish nobleman. Born between 1367 and 1382, he was the son of Walter Leslie, Lord of Ross and Euphemia I, Countess of Ross. In around 1394 he became Earl of Ross and sometime before 1398 he married Isabel Stewart, daughter of Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany. They had one child, Euphemia. He died at Dingwall, Scotland on May 8, 1402.

Alexander Leslie was the son of Euphemia I, Countess of Ross and her husband, the far-travelled Walter Leslie, Lord of Ross. His exact date of birth is not known. He was born somewhere between 1367, the year following his parents' marriage, and 1382, the year of his father's death. When his father died in 1382 he would have been no more than an adolescent or teenager.

Later in 1382 his mother, now a wealthy widow, re-married, to Alexander Stewart (the "Wolf of Badenoch"), son of King Robert II of Scotland. The marriage significantly undermined the prospect of the young Alexander's inheritance. The marriage of 1382, supported by King Robert, saw the transfer of control of the mormaerdom or earldom of Ross and the associated barony of Kingedward to the east (the northern half of the defunct earldom of Buchan) from Euphemia's hand's into the hands of Alexander Stewart. Two days after the transfer, Alexander was made Earl of Buchan by the King.

Alexander received control of the earldom of Ross in liferent (i.e. for his lifetime), and any heirs to the marriage were entitled to inherit the lordships of Skye, Lewis and the thanages of Dingwall, Deskford and Glendowachy and other lands in other parts of Scotland which had been part of Euphemia's property.[1]

Thus the young Alexander Leslie, even if he were to obtain the earldom eventually upon Stewart's death, was faced with a likelihood of being left with an earldom stripped of a large chunk of its most important assets. These actions by King Robert alienated the powerful Leslie-Lindsay kindred, a Lowland family who had entered the higher ranks of Scottish politics as favourites of King David II of Scotland. King Robert had also deprived this family of the exercise of the Justiciarship of Scotia. Later in 1382 (November), King Robert's chamberlain, son-in-law and favourite, John Lyon, thane (toiseach) of Glamis, was murdered by James Lindsay, lord of Crawford, head of the Leslie-Lindsay kindred and claimant to the lordship of Buchan. In 1384, Lindsay-Leslie and Douglas disaffection contributed to the coup by the king's son, John Stewart, earl of Carrick, who became Guardian (1384–88).[2]

The Leslie-Lindsay kindred sought to protect Alexander Leslie's rights in Ross. However, this was difficult while Buchan remained in such a powerful position in the north. The guardianships of Carrick and then of Carrick's brother Robert Stewart, earl of Fife and Menteith (1388–93) were both supported by the Leslie-Lindsay kindred and both aimed against Buchan's power. Moreover, Buchan's nominal wife, Euphemia, herself came into the Leslie-Lindsay camp. In 1389, Euphemia, the countess of Ross, complained to the Pope that her marriage to Buchan was meaningless, as the latter was in fact more often with his mistress, Mairead inghean Eachann. Pope Clement V annulled the marriage in late 1392, and ordered the restoration of her lands. With the firm support of the Fife guardianship, Euphemia and her son were able to re-establish their power in Ross. By the year 1394, Buchan's power in Ross seems to have disappeared and Countess Euphemia was once again granting charters from Dingwall Castle.[3]

Alexander succeeded his mother to the Earldom of Ross perhaps in the later part of 1394. The key point perhaps is the date of his mother's death. The date is not known, but fell somewhere between late 1394 and 1398. In the November of the latter year, he had granted some lands to his relative (either cousin or uncle)[4] George Leslie of Rothes in exchange for the 200 merks he apparently needed to take the control of the earldom out of the crown's hands.[5] He controlled the barony of Fitkill in Fife until in 1399, when he resigned this too (via King Robert III) to Rothes.[6] Very little is otherwise known about his activities as earl.

He had married Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany's daughter Isobel [7][8] sometime before 1398. They had only one child, Euphemia, who took the veil. She bequeathed her enormous estates not to her father's sister, but to her mother's half-brother, Albany's second son John (from his second wife), whom his father made Earl of Buchan in 1408.[9]

According to the Cronicle of the Earlis of Ross (c. 9), Alexander Leslie, Earl of Ross, died at Dingwall on May 8, 1402. His widow remarried Sir Walter de Haliburton, Knt.[10]



  • Alexander Leslie, 7th Earl of Ross1,2,3
  • M, #41396, d. 8 May 1402
  • Father Sir Walter Leslie, Earl of Ross4,2,3 d. 27 Feb 1382
  • Mother Euphemia Ross4,2,3 d. a 5 Sep 1394
  • Alexander Leslie, 7th Earl of Ross married Isobel Stewart, daughter of Sir Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany, Earl Menteith, Fife, Buchan, Atholl and Margaret Graham, before 1398; They had 1 daughter (Euphame).5,2,3 Alexander Leslie, 7th Earl of Ross died on 8 May 1402 at Dingwall, Ross, Scotland; Buried at Fearn Abbey, Ross.1,2,3
  • Family Isobel Stewart
  • Child
    • Euphame Leslie6 b. c 1398
  • Citations
  • [S11586] The Scots Peerage, Vol. VII, edited by Sir James Balfour Paul, p. 241-242.
  • [S16] Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, 2nd Edition, Vol. III, p. 546.
  • [S4] Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry, Vol. I, p. 622.
  • [S11586] The Scots Peerage, Vol. VII, edited by Sir James Balfour Paul, p. 239-241.
  • [S11563] The Scots Peerage, Vol. I, edited by Sir James Balfour Paul, p. 149.
  • [S16] Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, 2nd Edition, Vol. III, p. 554.
  • From:


  • Alexander Leslie, 7th Earl of Ross1
  • M, #107983, d. 8 May 1402
  • Last Edited=14 Oct 2012
  • Consanguinity Index=0.01%
  • Alexander Leslie, 7th Earl of Ross was the son of Walter Leslie, Earl of Ross and Eupheme de Ross, Countess of Ross.2 He married Lady Isabella Stewart, daughter of Robert Stewart, 1st Duke of Albany and Margaret Graham, Countess of Menteith, before 1398.1 He died on 8 May 1402 at Dingwall, Ross-shire, Scotland. He died on 8 May 1402.3
  • He gained the title of 7th Earl of Ross.1
  • Child of Alexander Leslie, 7th Earl of Ross
    • Margaret Leslie+4
  • Child of Alexander Leslie, 7th Earl of Ross and Lady Isabella Stewart
    • Eupheme Leslie, 8th Countess of Ross1 d. a 1424
  • Citations
  • [S11] Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy (London, U.K.: The Bodley Head, 1999), page 219. Hereinafter cited as Britain's Royal Families.
  • [S11] Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Families, page 221.
  • [S37] BP2003 volume 3, page 3402. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S37]
  • [S37] BP2003. [S37]
  • From:


  • The Scots peerage; founded on Wood's edition of Sir Robert Douglas's peerage of Scotland; containing an historical and genealogical account of the nobility of that kingdom by Paul, James Balfour, Sir
  • Pg.239
  • VI. EUPHEMIA, Countess of Ross, succeeded on the death of her father. Previous to this, however, she had, as indicated, married Sir Walter Leslie, a younger (probably third) son of Sir Andrew Leslie of that Ilk. .... etc.
  • Pg.240
  • .... King of Cyprus attacked the city of Alexandria on 9 October 1365, and despoiled the Saracens.(4) He married in the following year, when, on 13 September 1366, he had a charter to himself and Eufamia de Ross, his spouse, of the new forest in the shire of Dumfries.(5) They had a Papal dispensation on 24 November 1366, but were evidently married before that date.(6) After this he appears to have remained in Scotland for a time, .... etc.
  • Pg.241
  • The Countess married, secondly, Alexander Stewart, Earl of Buchan, known as the 'Wolf of Badenoch,' the marriage taking place about 24 or 25 July 1382.(1) But this union was not a happy one. The Earl deserted his wife, and was ordered by an Ecclesiastical Court on 2 November 1389 to adhere to her.(2) On 9 June 1392 Pope Clement VII. issued a commission to dissolve her marriage with the Earl, and again on 5 and 15 December to grant a divorce a mensa et thoro.(3) The Countess is said to have become a nun, but the evidence is doubtful,(4) and she appears to have died in 1394, a date often assigned as the date of her second husband's death, but he survived till after March 1404-5. (See title Buchan.) The Countess was still alive on 5 September 1394, and it is possible that 20 February 1394-95, usually assigned as the date of her husband's death, was that of her own decease.
  • By her first husband the Countess of Ross had issue : —
    • 1. ALEXANDER, who became Earl of Ross.
    • 2. MARGARET or MARY, married to Donald, Lord of the Isles.
  • VII. ALEXANDER LESLEY, Earl of Ross, succeeded his mother about 1394, though he is, on 5 September of that year, described as heir-apparent of the earldom.(5) He was certainly Earl of Ross before 5 February 1398-99, when he resigned the barony of Fythkill (now Leslie) .... etc.
  • Pg.242
  • .... he died at Dingwall on 8 May 1402.(1) Married before 1398 Isabel, elder daughter of Robert Stewart, Earl of Fife and Duke of Albany, Regent of Scotland, third son of Robert II. She married, secondly, before February 1407-8, Walter of Haliburton.(2) The Earl had issue :—
  • VIII. EUPHEMIA, de jure Countess of Ross— not, how-ever, so styled in the only charters containing her name, but only as daughter and heiress of Alexander Leslie, Earl of Ross — seems to have had a somewhat unfortunate career. .... it was proposed that she should marry Thomas Dunbar, afterwards third Earl of Mory, heir-apparent of Thomas, second Earl of Moray. The parties applied to the Pope (Benedict XIII.) for a dispensation on the ground that they were related in
  • Pg.243
  • the third and fourth degrees of consanuinity, and that, by the advice of their kin and friends, they desired to marry. (1) .... Euphema resigned the lands to of Kingedward in Buchan, which were granted only to John, Earl of Buchan, and his heirs. She is not styled Countess in this write either. (3) After this, John Stewart, Earl of Buchan, bore the double title of Earl of Buchan and Ross until his death at the battle of Verneuil, 17 August 1424, but of Euphemia Leslie we hear no more, and it is possible she, as is said, entered a cloister.
  • .... etc.


  • Historical Records of the Family of Leslie from 1067 to 1868-9 ..., Volume I.
    • ALEXANDER LESLIE, Eighth Earl of Ross.
  • ALEXANDER LESLIE, son of Walter Leslie, Earl of Ross, and Eufamia, seventh Countess of Ross, succeeded as eighth Earl of Ross, on the death of his mother, about 1394.
  • In an agreement made at Calder, 5th September 1394, between Thomas Dunbar, Earl of Murray, and Alexander de Insulis, Dominus de Lochaber, third son of John of the Isles, concerning the possession and superiority of certain lands and privileges, they bound themselves to support each other against every one, except the King, the Earl of Fyff, Malcolm de Dromonde, Earl of Mar, and Alexander de Leslie, heir-apparent to the earldom of Ross. Alexander de Leslie, Earl of Ross, granted a procuratory of resignation, consti
  • tuting David, Earl of Crawford, William de Dalziell and John de Ramorgney, knights, his procurators for resigning into the hands of the king, Robert III., all and hail the barony of Fythkill, with its pertinents, in the shire of Fife; dated at Perth, 4th February 1398, and has the Earl's seal appended still entire. The king thereon granted the barony of Fythkill to Sir George de Leslie, knight, of Rothes, and Elizabeth, his spouse, by a charter, 5th February 1398.* Alexander Leslie, Earl of Ross, granted a charter to his beloved cousin George Leslie, knight, Dominus de Rothes, of the lands of Woodfield, Pitnamoon, and others, 8th November 1398, which grant was confirmed by Robert III., by a charter dated at Scone, 4th March 1400, whereby the king confirmed to George Leslie, Dominus de Rothes, the lands of Woodfield, Pitnamoon, the mill of Kincardine, Fettercairn, Eilly, and Bomain, granted to him by Alexander Leslie, Earl of Ross in consideration of his having advanced to the said earl, in his great necessity, the sum of 200 merks to relieve his lands and earldom of Ross out of the hands of the king, the superior thereof, and for his good council and service.
  • Alexander Leslie, Earl of Ross, married Lady Isabel Stewart, daughter of Robert, Duke of
  • Albany, Regent of Scotland, and by her had an only child —
    • I. Euphemia, who succeeded him as ninth Countess of Ross.
  • Alexander Leslie, Earl of Ross, died before 1411, and was succeeded by his only child, Euphemia, ninth Countess of Ross. His widow, Lady Isabel Stewart, married Walter, Lord Halyburton of Dirleton.
  • .... etc.



  • The Later Scottish Kings (1371 - 1603)
  • .... etc.
  • 3. Robert [Stewart], 1st Duke of Albany, Regent of Scotland 1388-1420, cr. 28 Feb 1361 Earl of Menteith and 28 Apr 1398 Duke of Albany (b. c. 1340/1; d. 3 Sep 1420), mar. (1) after 9 Sep 1361 Lady Margaret Drummond, suo jure Countess of Menteith (b. bef. 1334; former wife of (1) Sir John Murray of Bothwell (d. 1352), (2) Thomas, 9th Earl of Mar, and (3) Sir John Drummond of Concraig; d. betw. 20 Jul 1372 and 4 May 1380), dau. of Sir John Graham by his wife Lady Mary, suo jure Countess of Menteith, and had issue:
    • 1a. .... etc.
    • 5a. Lady Isabella Stewart, mar. (1) before 1398 Alexander [Leslie], 9th Earl of Ross, and (2) betw. 1402 and 2 Feb 1408 Walter Haliburton of Dirleton, and had issue by both husbands
  • The 1st Duke of Albany mar. (2) after 4 May 1380 Muriella Keith (d. bef. 1 Jun 1449), dau. of Sir William Keith by his wife Margaret Fraser, dau. of John Fraser, and had further issue:
    • 2a. .... etc.
  • From:



view all

Alexander Leslie, Earl of Ross's Timeline