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Alexander Leslie Leven, 1st earl of

Leven, Alexander Leslie, 1st earl of (lĕvˈən) [key], 1580?–1661, Scottish general. He served in the Swedish army some 30 years, being knighted by Gustavus II and fighting in the Thirty Years War. Returning to Scotland in 1638, he led the army of the Covenanters in the Bishops' Wars. Charles I made him earl in 1641, hoping to gain his support. Nevertheless, following the conclusion of the Solemn League and Covenant between the Scots and the English Parliament (see English civil war), Leven led (1644) an army into England and took part in the defeat of the king at Marston Moor. When Charles surrendered to the Scottish army in 1646, Leven had charge of him until the royal prisoner was handed over to the English in 1647. Although Leven resigned actual command of the army to his nephew David Leslie before the Scottish Covenanters (by then royalists) were defeated (1650) at Dunbar, he was twice imprisoned briefly in the Tower of London.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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