Earl of Rothes

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Earldom of Rothes
Coronet of a British Earl.svg
Arms of Leslie, Earl of Rothes.svg


Arms: Quarterly 1st and 4th Argent, on a bend azure three buckles or (Leslie) 2nd and 3rd Or, a lion rampant gules over all a ribbon sable (Abernethy)[1]

Creation date1458
MonarchJames II of Scotland
PeeragePeerage of Scotland
First holderGeorge Leslie, 1st Earl of Rothes
Present holderJames Leslie, 22nd Earl of Rothes
Heir apparentHon. Alexander John Leslie
Subsidiary titlesLord Leslie
Former seat(s)Leslie House
Norman Leslie,
19th Earl of Rothes.

Earl of Rothes (pronounced "Roth-is") is a title in the Peerage of Scotland. It was created in 1458 for George Leslie, 1st Lord Leslie. He had already been created Lord Leslie in 1445, also in the Peerage of Scotland. His grandson, the third Earl, having only succeeded his elder brother in March 1513, was killed at the Battle of Flodden on 9 September of the same year. His son, the fourth Earl, served as an Extraordinary Lord of Session. Lord Rothes was also tried for the murder of Cardinal Beaton but was acquitted.

His great-great-grandson, the seventh Earl, was a prominent statesman. He was notably Lord High Treasurer of Scotland from 1663 to 1667 and Lord Chancellor of Scotland from 1667 to 1681. In 1663 he obtained a new charter conferring the earldom of Rothes and lordship of Leslie (which was regranted as Lord Leslie and Ballenbreich), in default of male issue of his own, on his eldest daughter Margaret, wife of Charles Hamilton, 5th Earl of Haddington, and her descendants male and female. It was stipulated in the charter that the earldoms of Rothes and Haddington should never be allowed to merge. In 1680 Lord Rothes was further honoured when he was made Lord Auchmotie and Caskieberry, Viscount of Lugtoun, Earl of Leslie, Marquess of Bambreich and Duke of Rothes, with normal remainder to the heirs male of his body. These titles were also in the Peerage of Scotland.

The Duke had no sons and on his death in 1681 the creations of 1680 became extinct. He was succeeded in the earldom of Rothes and the lordship of Leslie and Ballinbreich according to the charter of 1663 by his daughter Margaret, the eighth holder. Her husband Lord Haddington was succeeded by their second son Thomas (see the Earl of Haddington for more information on this title) while Margaret was succeeded by their eldest son John, the ninth Earl. He assumed the additional surname of Leslie and sat in the British House of Lords as a Scottish Representative Peer between 1708 and 1710. His son, the tenth Earl, was a Lieutenant-General in the Army and notably served as Commander-in-Chief of the Forces in Ireland. From 1723 to 1734 and from 1747 to 1767 he was a Scottish Representative Peer in the House of Lords.

His son, the eleventh Earl, died unmarried at an early age and was succeeded by his eldest sister Jane Elizabeth, the twelfth holder of the titles, despite the rival claim of her uncle Andrew. She was the wife firstly of George Raymond Evelyn, and secondly of Sir Lucas Pepys. Her son by her first husband, the thirteenth Earl, served as a Scottish Representative Peer from 1812 to 1817. Lord Rothes assumed the surname of Leslie in lieu of Evelyn. He was succeeded by his daughter Henrietta Anne, the fourteenth holder. She was the wife of George Gwyther who along with his wife assumed the surname of Leslie. Their grandson, the sixteenth Earl (who succeeded his father) died unmarried at a young age and was succeeded by his sister Henrietta, the seventeenth holder. She was wife of the Hon. George Waldegrave, younger son of William Waldegrave, 8th Earl Waldegrave.

  • They had no children and Henrietta was succeeded by her aunt Mary Elizabeth, the eighteenth holder. She was the second daughter of Henrietta Anne, the fourteenth holder, and the wife of Captain Martin Edward Haworth, who in 1886 assumed for himself and his family by Royal licence the additional surname of Leslie. Their grandson, the nineteenth Earl, sat in the House of Lords as a Scottish Representative Peer between 1906 and 1923. The wife of the 19th Earl, Lucy Noël Martha Leslie, Countess of Rothes, is best known as a survivor of the sinking of RMS Titanic in 1912. His son, the twentieth Earl, was a Scottish Representative Peer from 1931 to 1959. As of 2017 the titles are held by his grandson, the twenty-second Earl, who succeeded his father in 2005.

The courtesy title used by an heir apparent to the earldom is Lord Leslie.

The Earls of Rothes are the hereditary Clan Chiefs of Clan Leslie

The family seat is Littlecroft, near West Milton, Dorset.

Earls of Rothes (1457)[edit]

Dukes of Rothes (1680)[edit]

Earls of Rothes (1457; reverted)[edit]

The heir presumptive is the present holder's only brother, Hon. Alexander John Leslie (born 1962).

Line of succession (selected)[edit]

  • Coronet of a British Earl.svg Norman Evelyn Leslie, 19th Earl of Rothes (1877–1927)
    • Coronet of a British Earl.svg Malcolm George Dyer-Edwardes Leslie, 20th Earl of Rothes (1902–1974)
      • Coronet of a British Earl.svg Ian Lionel Malcolm Leslie, 21st Earl of Rothes (1932–2005)
        • Coronet of a British Earl.svg James Malcolm David Leslie, 22nd Earl of Rothes (b. 1958)
        • (1) Hon. Alexander John Leslie (b. 1962)
      • Lady Jean Leslie (1927-2017)
      • Lady Evelyn Leslie (1929–2011)
        • (2) Angela Clare Mackworth-Young (b.1951)
        • (3) Susan Charlotte Mackworth-Young (b.1953)
        • (4) Lucinda Jane Mackworth-Young (b.1957)
          • (5) Hugo William Sells (b.1988)
          • (6) Rosanna Mary Sells (b.1991)
        • (7) Tessa Natalie Mackworth-Young (b.1959)
          • (8) Robin Matthew Hardingham (b.1990)
          • (9) Luke Charles Hardingham (b.1993)
          • (10) Clara Louise Hardingham (b. 1992)
    • Hon. John Wayland Leslie (1909–1991)
      • Alastair Pinckard Leslie (b. 1934)
        • Fiona Jane Leslie (b. 1965)
          • Frederick Leslie Blair de Klee (b. 1993)
          • OCdt Lachlan (Lochy) Richard John de Klee (b. 1996)
          • Murray David Robin de Klee (b. 1999)
        • David John Leslie (1967–1989)
        • Ann Mary Leslie (b. 1973)
      • Amber Elizabeth Leslie (1939–2018)
        • Rupert Beresford White (b. 1966)
        • Alexander Richard Beresford White (b. 1968)

Gallery of arms[edit]


  1. ^ Debrett's Peerage, 1968, p.958


  • Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Rothes, Earls of" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 23 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 757–758.
  • Kidd, Charles, Williamson, David (editors). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (1990 edition). New York: St Martin's Press, 1990,[page needed]
  • Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages [self-published source][better source needed]