Earls of Leven (1641)
1st Earl of Leven, Alexander Leslie, b.c.1580, a.1641, d.1661
Alexander Leslie was an highly experienced soldier, the
son of Captain George Leslie of Balgonie. He went abroad in 1605, serving initially
for the Dutch against the Spanish before moving to the Swedish Army, where he
distinguished himself on many occasions during the Thirty Years War in
2nd Earl of Leven, Alexander Leslie, b.c.1637, a.1661, d.1664
Grandson of the 1st Earl and Agnes Renton (b.?, d.1651), and son of Alexander Leslie, Lord Balgonie (b.?, d.a.1642) and Lady Margaret Leslie (b.?, d.1688), daughter of John Leslie, 6th Earl of Rothes.
Earl (Countess) of Leven, Margaret Leslie, b.?, a.1664, d.1674
Daughter of the 2nd Earl and Margaret Howard (b.?, d.1664), a descendant of Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk. She married Francis Montgomerie, a son of Hugh Montgomerie, 7th Earl of Eglinton, but had no children.
Earl (Countess) of Leven, Catherine Leslie, b.1663, a.1674, d.1676
Younger sister of the previous Countess. She also had no children. The two Countesses do not contribute towards the numerical sequence of earls.
3rd Earl of Leven, David Melville, b.1660, a.1681, d.1728
The earldom was now claimed by John Leslie, 1st
Duke of Rothes, who was the 2nd Earlís
uncle on his motherís side, and David Melville, future 2nd Earl of
Melville, a grandson of the 1st Earl, and son of that earlís
daughter Catherine Leslie and George Melville, 1st Earl of Melville. However, the first claimantís death in 1681
allowed David Melville to succeed to the title. He was a supporter of William
of Orange and commanded a regiment during the invasion of
4th Earl of Leven, David Melville, b.1717, a.1728, d.1729
Grandson of the 3rd Earl and Anne Wemyss (b.?, d.1702), daughter of Sir James Wemyss, Lord Burntisland (a life peer) and Margaret, Countess of Wemyss, and son of George Melville, Lord Balgonie (b.1695, d.1721) and Margaret Carnegie (b.1696, d.1722), daughter of David Carnegie, 4th Earl of Northesk.
5th Earl of Leven, Alexander Melville, b.c.1699, a.1729, d.1754
Uncle of the 4th Earl, being a younger son of the 3rd Earl and Anne Wemyss. He was High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland fom 1741 to 1753 and was a Representative Peer from 1747 to 1754.
6th Earl of Leven, David Melville, b.1722, a.1754, d.1802
Son of the 5th Earl and Mary Erskine (b.b.1706, d.1723), a grand-daughter of David Erskine, 2nd Lord Cardross.
7th Earl of Leven, Alexander Leslie-Melville, b.1749, a.1802, d.1820
Son of the 6th Earl and Wilhelmina Nisbet (b.1724, d.1798). He had his name legally changed in 1805.
8th Earl of Leven, David Leslie-Melville, b.1785, a.1820, d.1860
Son of the 7th Earl and Jane Thornton (b.?, d.1818). He was a Representative Peer from 1831 to 1860 and reached the rank of Vice-Admiral in 1858. His two sons pre-deceased him.
9th Earl of Leven, John Thornton Leslie-Melville, b.1786, a.1860, d.1876
Younger brother of the 8th Earl. He was a Representative Peer from 1865 to 1876.
10th Earl of Leven, Alexander Leslie-Melville, b.1817, a.1876, d.1889
Son of the 9th Earl and Harriet Thornton (b.?, d.1832). He was a Representative Peer from 1880 to 1889. He did not marry.
11th Earl of Leven, Ronald Ruthven Leslie-Melville, b.1835, a.1889, d.1906
Son of the 9th Earl and Sophia Thornton (b.?,
d.1887), his first wifeís cousin. Educated at
12th Earl of Leven, John David Melville, b.1886, a.1906, d.1913
Son of the 11th Earl and Emma Selina Portman (b.1863, d.1941), daughter of William Henry Berkley Portman, 2nd Viscount Portman. He was a Representative Peer from 1910 to 1913. He never married.
13th Earl of Leven, Archibald Alexander Melville, b.1890, a.1913, d.1947
Younger brother of the 12th Earl. He fought in the First World War and reached the rank of Captain in the Royal Scots Fusiliers. He was a Representative Peer from 1927 to 1947 and was Lord-Lieutenant of Nairnshire from 1935 to 1947. He reached the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and was invested as a Knight of the Thistle.
14th Earl of Leven, Alexander Robert Melville, b.1924, a.1947
Son of the 13th Earl and Lady Rosamond Sylvia
Diana Mary Foljambe, daughter of Cecil George Saville Foljambe, 1st
Earl of Liverpool. Educated at
The courtesy title for the heir is Lord Balgonie.
(Last updated: 12/08/2009)