Mariota Leslie, Countess of Ross

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Mariota Leslie, Countess of Ross

Also Known As: "Margaret MacDonald", "Mary Mairead", "Margaret", "Mairead", "Mary"
Birthplace: Ross, Cromartyshire, Scotland (United Kingdom)
Death: circa 1429 (57-75)
Tulloch Castle, Dingwall, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland (United Kingdom)
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Walter Leslie, Seventh Earl of Ross and Euphemia I, Countess of Ross
Wife of Donald MacDonald, of Harlaw, 8th Lord of the Isles
Mother of Gilbert MacAlistair; Alexander MacDonald, 9th Lord of the Isles, 12th Earl of Ross; Mariota MacDonald of the Isles; Agnes MacDonald and Angus MacDonald
Sister of Margaret Leslie and Alexander Leslie, Earl of Ross

Managed by: Private User
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About Mariota Leslie, Countess of Ross

Mariota, Countess of Ross (Mairead, also called Mary and Margaret; died 1440) was the daughter of Euphemia I, Countess of Ross and her husband, the crusading war-hero Walter Leslie, Lord of Ross. Upon the death of her brother, Alexander Leslie, Earl of Ross, she became the heir-presumptive of her niece Euphemia II, Countess of Ross although her husband Domhnall of Islay, Lord of the Isles pressed Mariota's superior claim to the earldom. Page 81 - 85


Lady Margaret Leslie, daughter of Walter Leslie, Earl of Ross, by his wife Euphemia, Countess of Ross, married Donald, Lord of the Isles. When Lady Margaret's niece, Euphemia, Countess of Ross, daughter of her deceased brother, Alexander, Earl of Ross, had declared her intention to take the veil, Donald of the Isles asserted his claim to the earldom of Ross as next heir, in right of his wife, in conformity with the entail made by William, Earl of Ross, her grandfather, in 1370. He disputed the destination made by his wife's niece Euphemia, as being made in prejudice to his wife, who was the lawful heir to the earldom. The Duke of Albany, and his son John Stewart, Earl of Buchan, wishing to keep what they had got, insisted that the resignation of the Countess Euphemia was legal, and they declared that they would maintain it. Whereon Donald resolved to assert his right by force of arms; and he so far took possession that he held the castle of Dingwall, the residence of the Earls of Ross. He raised an army of 10,000 men in the Hebrides and Ross, and marched through Moray into the Garioch, on Mar, intending, it is said, to attack the city of Aberdeen.

Alexander Stewart, Earl of Mar and Lord of the Garioch, the king's lieutenant in the North, collected a body of troops in haste, and met the invader at Harlaw, on the river Urie, about eighteen miles north-west of the city of Aberdeen, 24th July 1411. Although Mar's army was inferior in number, the battle was most obstinately contested, with great loss on both sides. It proved indecisive, however. Both parties claimed the victory. On the side of Donald, the chiefs of Macintosh and Maclean fell, with about 900 men ; Mar lost 500 men, besides many persons of rank. Sir Andrew de Leslie, third Baron of Balquhain, who commanded Mar’s horse, lost six sons in the battle.

Donald of the Isles was so much weakened by this sanguinary battle, that he was forced to retire, and the Duke of Albany, Regent of the kingdom, shortly afterwards proceeded with a force to the north, and took the castle of Dingwall; and in the following year, 1412, he invaded Donald's territories, and obliged him to abandon his pretensions to the earldom of Ross, and to give hostages for his future observance of peace.

John Stewart, Earl of Buchan, was now styled Earl of Ross, and he held the title till his death at the battle of Verneil, in Normandy, 17th August 1424; and his brother, Sir Robert Stewart, being also killed in the same battle, and neither of them leaving any male issue, the earldom of Ross, in virtue of the limitation in the charter granted to them by their father, the Regent, in 1415, devolved on the crown.

It would appear that although the Stewarts got forcible possession of the earldom of Ross, yet Lady Margaret Leslie did not forego her just claims, and she retained at least the title of Countess of Ross, as is shown by the following document: —

"John Byschop of Ross, Dame Margaret of the Ile, Lady of the Yles and of Ross, Huchen Fraser, Lord of Lovat, John Urchard, Lord of Crommathy, Donald of Kalder, Thayne of that like, with many others, till all and sundry, &c. We mak knowyn, truche thir presents that in August 16 year 1420, in the kyrk yharde of Rosmarkyn, compeart Willyam the Grame, son and heyr umquhile of Henry the Grame, in presence of us before a nobil Lord and a michty Thomas Erie of Murreff, his ovyr Lord of the barony of Kerdale, resyngnan over of his auyn fre will in til handes of the sayde Lord the Erie the sayde all his lands of the barony of Kerdale Scheradom of Inverness, and all other lands, to be gyffyn to the sayde Willyam the Grame and his heyris-male, and faylzand them, to Willyam the Hay. Upon the quhylkes thyngis the sayde Willyam the Grame and Willyam the Hay requirit us in witnesyng by our letters testimonial and our seals. The quhilk we grawntit at the place and day before sayde."

Lady Margaret Leslie, Countess of Ross, had by her husband, Donald, Lord of the Isles, issue —

     I. Alexander, who succeeded as Lord of the Isles, and assumed the title of Earl of Ross; 
     II. Mariot, married to Alexander Sutherland.  She and her husband, Alexander Sutherland, in 1429, got a grant of the lands of Duchall from her brother, Alexander, Lord of the Isles and Earl of Ross. 

Donald, Lord of the Isles, died before 1427. Margaret, Countess of Ross, and her son, Alexander, Lord of the Isles, were arrested by King James I. when he held a parliament at Inverness, in 1427. The Lord of the Isles was soon released, but his mother, the Countess of Ross, was detained a prisoner, and died about 1429. ----------------------------------------------- Margaret (Mariota) Leslie • Surname: Leslie • Given Name: Margaret (Mariota) • Sex: F • Birth: ABT 1375 • Death: ABT 1440 in Tulloch Castle, Dingwall, Ross, Scot.

• Note: Vol 7, pg. 241 "The Scot's Peerage" by Sir James Balfour Paul

vol. 5, pg. 42, "The Scots Peerage" by Sir James Balfour Paul

pg. 638, "A Genealogical & Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage & Baronetage of the British Empire" by John B. Burke, Eleventh Edition, published 1849


Father: Walter of Ross Leslie b: ABT 1321 in Leslie, Garioch, Aberdeens, Scot. Mother: Euphemia of Ross b: ABT 1352 in Ross, , Scot.

Marriage 1 Donald of the Isles b: ABT 1355 Children 1. Alexander MacDonald of the Isles 2. Mariota of the Isles b: ABT 1410 in The Isles, Inverness, Scot.

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Mariota Leslie, Countess of Ross's Timeline

Ross, Cromartyshire, Scotland
Tulloch Castle,Dingwall,Ross And Cromarty,Scotland
Dingwall, Cromarty, Scotland
Age 66
Dingwall, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland