Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 33.djvu/107
[Sir James Balfour's Annals; Robert Baillie's Letters and Journals (Bannatyne Club); Spalding's Memorialls (Spalding Club); Gordon's Scots Affairs (Spalding Club); Clarendon's Hist. of the Rebellion; Burnet's Lives of the Hamiltons; Burnet's Own Time; Balcanquhall's Large Declaration; Hamilton Papers (Camden Soc.); Rothes's Relation (Bannatyne Club); Sir Thomas Hope's Diary (Bannatyne Club); Cal. Hamilton MSS. in Hist. MSS. Comm. 11th Rep. App. pt. vi.; Hardwicke State Papers; Burton's Hist. of Scotland, Gardiner's Hist. of England; Colonel Leslie's Records of the Leslie Family, ii. 92-105; Douglas's Scottish Peerage (Wood), ii. 431.]
had one son (John, seventh earl and first duke of Rothes [q. v.]) and two daughters (Margaret, married, first, to Alexander Leslie, lord Balgony, secondly to Francis, second earl of Buccleuch, and thirdly to David, second earl of Wemyss; and Mary, wife of Hugh Montgomerie, third earl of Eglinton).
LESLIE, JOHN (1571-1671), bishop of Clogher, and distinguished from mitred namesakes as the 'fighting bishop,' the oldest son of George Leslie and Marjory, his wife, was born at Crichie in Aberdeenshire, 14 Oct. 1571. He was educated at Aberdeen and afterwards in France, but his connection with Oxford is rather shadowy. He was admitted to read in the Bodleian, 10 Oct. 1618, when he was just forty-seven (Oxf. Univ. Reg., Oxf. Hist. Soc., vol. ii. pt. i. p. 280). His son Charles told Wood that he was an Oxford doctor both of divinity and laws, but the great antiquary was unable to verify this: he is called S.T.P. in 1628. Wood says he was abroad for twenty-two years in Italy, Germany, Spain, and France, but chiefly in the latter country. He spoke French. Spanish, and Italian fluently, and his Latinity was so much admired that the Spaniards said 'solus Lesleius Latine loquitur.' Not only was he famous for abstruse knowledge, but his practice as a courtier gave a peculiarly graceful character to his preaching. He was in favour with James I, who made him a privy councillor in Scotland, and with Charles I, who gave him the same rank in Ireland, and this he retained after the Restoration. He was with Buckingham at Rhé in 1627. His first preferment seems to have been in London to the church of St. Martins-in-the-Vintry (Newcourt, Repertorium, i. 422), and he was promoted to be bishop of the Scotch Isles in 1628. In June 1633 he was translated to Raphoe. Here he found many of the mensal lands in the hands of lay usurpers, but recovered enough by a costly lawsuit to increase the value of his see by one third. In 1635 he had a dispute with one John Hamilton, in which Bramhall, at Wentworth's request, undertook to arbitrate. The episcopalian clergy in Scotland regarded him as a patron several years after his removal to Ireland (Letter of David Mitchell, 19 March 1638, in Baillie). He spent 3,500l. in building a fortified palace at Raphoe, where there had been hitherto no episcopal mansion, and the outbreak of the rebellion in 1641 tested its strength within four years of its completion. The bishop, who raised a company of foot for the king, distinguished himself as a partisan leader, and conveyed ammunition through the most disturbed districts from Dublin to Londonderry, whose defenders were reduced to a few barrels of powder (Aphorismical Discovery, ed. Gilbert, i. 424). He relieved Sir Ralph Gore, who was hard beset at Magherabeg, near Donegal. It was on this march that he is said to have knelt down by the roadside and offered the famous prayer—'Almighty God... if we be sinners, they are not saints; though, then, thou vouchsafest not to be with us, be not against us, but stand neuter this day, and let the arm of flesh decide it.' Leslie is said to have gone to Scotland about midsummer 1642, all the other bishops having previously left Ireland, but he returned after the king's execution, defended Raphoe against the Cromwellians as he had done against the Irish, and was one of the last royalists to submit.
Leslie was the only Anglican bishop who remained at his post in Ireland during the interregnum, using the liturgy in his family, confirming children in Dublin, and even ordaining clergymen. Wood says that Archbishop Vesey of Tuam, who was alive when ho wrote, was one of those so ordained, but he can hardly have attained the canonical age. Leslie's courteous manners endeared him to Henry Cromwell, who was disposed to cherish all protestants, and he was for a time at least in receipt of a pension of 160l, (document printed by Reid, ii. 560). Leslie's royalism was nevertheless of the most vivid hue, and he himself has recorded his belief that the great rebellion was the devil's special work, and that the murdered king was the most pious and clement of English sovereigns (Shirley, Monaghan, p. 144). In his anxiety to do homage to the Restoration, Leslie, then nearly ninety, is said to have ridden from Chester to London in twenty-four hours. He was allowed to hold the deanery of Raphoe along with his bishopric, but resigned it on being translated to Clogher in June 1661. Leslie was never greedy for money, though he well knew how to use it, and might have had richer preferment but that he refused to