Although they came to feature prominently in the pages of Scotland’s turbulent history, the Leslies have roots that stretch back in time to Hungary.
It was a year after Duke William of Normandy’s victory at the battle of Hastings in 1066 that a young nobleman known as Bartolf, whose father was Walter de Leslith, arrived in Scotland as part of the retinue of the young Edgar Aethling, who had hoped to succeed to the throne of England following the death of his father King Harold 11 at Hastings.
Welcomed by the Scottish court, Aethling and his retinue were granted many favours – not least the subsequent granting of lands in Aberdeenshire to Bartolf and his descendants, who had adopted the name of ‘Leslie’.
Four main lines of the family were established over the centuries and many went on to forge new lives for themselves in foreign parts.
Their stirring tale is recorded here.