Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/David Leslie, Lord Newark

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
For works with similar titles, see Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Newark.

NEWARK, David Leslie, Lord (1601–1682), a celebrated Scottish military character during the civil war, was born in 1601, the fifth son of Patrick Leslie of Pitcairley, commendator of Lindores, and Lady Jane Stuart, daughter of the first earl of Orkney. In his early life he served in the armies of Gustavus Adolphus, where he rose to the rank of colonel of horse. On his return he was appointed major-general in the army that was sent into England under the earl of Leven to assist the Parliament. This army engaged the Royalists under Prince Rupert at Marston Moor, and totally defeated them, in July 1644. When Scotland after the battle of Kilsyth was at the mercy of Montrose and his army, Leslie was recalled from England in 1645, and made lieutenant-general of horse. In September he defeated Montrose at Philiphaugh near Selkirk, with great loss, and was rewarded by the committee of estates for this service with a present of 50,000 merks and a gold chain. He completely suppressed the civil war in Scotland in 1647, was declared lieutenant-general of the forces, and, in addition to his pay as colonel, had a pension of £1000 a month settled on him. Leslie then returned to England, and was present at the siege of Newark. On his return to Scotland he reduced several of the Highland clans that supported the cause of the king. In 1649 he purchased the lands of Abercrombie and St Monance, Fifeshire. In 1650 he was sent against Montrose, whom he made prisoner; and on the resignation of the earl of Leven he was appointed to the chief command of the army raised on behalf of Charles II. He baffled the forces of Cromwell, who was then invading Scotland, by shutting him up in Dunbar, and would have cut off his whole army, but, yielding to the advice of the church and state committee, he rashly left his commanding position on the Doon Hill, and was signally defeated on the 3d September 1650. After various skirmishes Leslie afterwards accompanied Charles to Worcester, where he was lieutenant-general under the king, who commanded in person. On the defeat of the royal army, Leslie, intercepted in his retreat through Yorkshire, was committed to the Tower, where he remained till the Restoration in 1660. He was fined £4000 by Cromwell’s “Act of Grace” in 1654. He was in 1661 created Lord Newark, and received a pension of £500 per annum. He died in 1682. The title became extinct in 1790.