The name means ‘living by a moor or heath’. The future King Robert II married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Adam Mure of Rowallan, in 1346. Ten years later the marriage was challenged, possibly on the grounds of there being a degree of consanguinity between them, and a dispensation was sought from the Pope.
THE Leslies are of Flemish stock. The first of the name was Bartholf of Leslie, 1165-1214. Sir Andrew Leslie of that Ilk was one of the Scottish nobles who signed the letter to the Pope, declaring that while one hundred Scotsmen lived, they would never yield to England. George, 10th of Leslie, was 1st Earl of Rothes. The 3rd Earl fell at Flodden. John, 7th Earl of Rothes was a zealous adherent of Charles II, and was with him in exile. After the Restoration he was Lord High Chancellor. In 1680 he was created Duke of Rothes. Sir Alexander Leslie (1st Earl of Leven, 1641) was a renowned Field-Marshal under Gustavus Adolphus. He afterwards led the armies of the Covenant. His title is now united with that of Melville. Sir David Leslie (1st Lord Newark, 1660) was another veteran of Gustavus’s wars. The title has been dormant since 1791. Sir Patrick Leslie of Pitcairlie was made Lord Lindores in 1600. This title has been dormant since 1775. The Earls of Rothes, Chiefs of the clan, still hold Rothes Castle on the Spey.
THE Gordons had their origin in the Lowlands. The Scottish Gordons are descended from Sir Adam Gordon, the friend of Wallace, and to whom Bruce granted the lands of Huntly or Strathbogie. He fell at Halidon Hill in 1333. Alexander, 3rd Earl of Huntly, fought at Flodden. George, 6th Earl, was created a Marquis in 1599. George, 4th Marquis, was made Duke of Gordon in 1684. The Dukedom lapsed in 1836, and the Marquisate went to the Earl of Aboyne. The Earls of Aberdeen are descended from Patrick Gordon of Methlic, who fell in battle at Arbroath in 1445. Ten Baronetcies pertain to this clan: Gordonstoun, Cluny, Lismore, Lochinvar, Park, Dalpholly, Earlstoun, Embo, Halkin, Niton. Two regiments have been raised from it. The 92nd, or Gordon Highlanders, raised in 1794, and the old 75th and 92nd linked together, are now the Gordon Highlanders. The Marquis of Huntly is chief of the Gordon clan.
THE Grants are Celtic. “Stad, Chreag Ealachaidh” (“Stand fast, Craigellachie”) is their slogan. They are of the same stock as the MacGregors, and their location has always been Strathspey. Sir Laurence Graunt, Sheriff of Inverness (1249-58), acquired the greater part of Strathspey. Sir Ian Ruadh Grant, Chief of the clan, in 1381 married Matilda de Glencairnie; and for his descendant, John, Am Bard Ruadh, the lands of Freuchie were created a feudal barony. His successor, Sheumas nan Creach, was a friend of Mary Queen of Scots. From John Grant of Freuchie and Grant, a strong supporter of James IV, are descended the Chiefs of Grant and Strathspey, and the Baronets of Corrimony and of Glenmoriston. James Grant of Grant and his son Ludovick were in the clan fight at the Haughs of Cromdale. Glenmoriston fought for Prince Charlie at Culloden. There are three Baronetcies Dalvey, 1688; Monymusk, 1705; and Ballindalloch, 1838. Many of the Glenmoriston Grants were banished to Barbadoes after “the ’45.” They have a distinct tartan. The clan raised the Grant or Strathspey Fencibles in 1793, and the “old 97th” in 1794. The first was disbanded in 1799, and the other was drafted into other Highland regiments in 1795. Lord Strathspey is the Chief of the clan.