Alexander Leslie and the Scottish Generals of the Thirty by Alexia Grosjean

By Alexia Grosjean

Box Marshal Alexander Leslie used to be the top rating commander from the British Isles to serve within the Thirty Years’ conflict. although Leslie’s existence offers the thread that runs via this paintings, the authors use his tale to discover the affects of the Thirty Years’ struggle, the British Civil Wars and the age of army Revolution.

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Extra resources for Alexander Leslie and the Scottish Generals of the Thirty Years' War, 1618-1648

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From a military perspective it is hard to pinpoint an origin date for Scottish service in Sweden. 74 Thereafter, individuals, such as William Cahun, appear in early muster rolls, but the first significant Scottish levies for Swedish service occurred in 1572. 77 Swedish recruitment became similarly significant to the contemporaneous French and Dutch enlistment, particularly once this activity took on a confessional dimension. Just like the Dutch, the Swedes became enveloped in religious conflict against their overlord, Sigismund III Vasa, the king of Poland who additionally became the king of Sweden on the death of his father, Johan III.

4 The numbers of men that each magnate was to supply were specified: Archibald, seventh Earl of Argyll, and Duncan Campbell of Glenorchy were to provide 300 men each and the Earl of Atholl 100 more of some 2,000 Highland soldiers to be lent to Elizabeth for use in Ireland. 5 It is surely no coincidence that Argyll and Glenorchy were to supply the highest number of men out of the list. 7 Even if he did not, he must have known many of the galloglass involved and understood well the potency and specialities of such troops.

110 That these were a presentation gift is obvious, but the question of who had them made for him remains a mystery, albeit the dating of the pair is suggestive of their provenance as a gift from General James Marquis Hamilton. 112 There appears to have been no specific development in the design or function that one could associate with Scots in the way attributed to the basket-hilted sword, dirk, pistol or bow. 114 This brief background into the military cultures of Scotland has revealed a number of pertinent aspects regarding our understanding of the military world in which Alexander Leslie and his contemporaries had been raised.

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