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Lauderdale, John Maitland,
Leslie, John
Leven, Alexander Leslie
Lithgow, William
Livingstone, David
Lindsay, Sir David


Heroes & Famous Scots (L)


Lauderdale, John Maitland, Duke (1616-1682)

John Lauderdale was not a man to trust in a contract. He had proven his deceit by selling himself to Charles the first of England after having signed, the Solemn League and Covenant to Protect Scottish Presbyterianism against the designs of Charles the first of England . In the Civil War, He helped ally Scotland with the parliamentarians, but this was when he signed the secret deal with Charles I. In defence of Lauderdale, it was very difficult in they days to decide which side of the fence was better or greener. Lauderdale was to be captured by the infamous Oliver Cromwell, while fighting for Charles II at the battle of Worcester in 1651, and imprisoned.

John Maitland Duke of Lauderdale

He spent nine long years in jail and when Charles was reinstated to the throne he released him immediately. Lauderdale knew how to get by in life and it was not long before he was serving as one of the Kings administrators, he was also a member of the ‘Inner Circle' commonly referred to as the cabal. He became known for his persecution and suppression of the Covenanters who resisted the restoration of England 's Episcopacy to Scotland .

A Scottish hero?

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Leslie, John (1527-1596)
John Leslie was known as a devout Catholic and supporter of Mary Queen of Scots to whom he was an advisor. Leslie was born in Inverness-shire in 1527; he worked for the diocese of Aberdeen where he taught Canon law. When Mary Queen of Scots returned from France Leslie was at her side immediately aiding her in any way he could. He was a devoted and loyal servant to the Stuart Queen. He defended his Queen against the other Queen Elizabeth at the city of York in the year 1568. He was himself accused of complicity to harm the Queen of England. In the year 1569, He was acquitted of all charges. He was however involved in a plot with the Spanish monarchy to defeat Queen Elizabeth and replace her with the rightful Queen Mary.

The plot also included a marriage for Mary to the Catholic Duke of Norfolk , Thomas Howard. In the year 1571, Leslie, under pressure was to admit to the plot and was lucky to escape with just a jail sentence. Norfolk was not so lucky and he was dispatched for execution. He did not spend much time in prison and was released in about two years. He once more tried to enlist help to put his beloved Mary on her rightful Throne. Leslie had to eventually move to France where he penned a book on the history of Scotland . John Leslie was a man of conviction, and loyal to the Stuart Monarchy of Scotland , which entitles him to the honour of being a truly great Scot.

Mary Queen of Scots
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Leven, Alexander Leslie, 1 st Earl (1580-1661)

Alexander Leven was a soldier of fortune doing most of his fighting on foreign shores. He fought in the Swedish forces during the Thirty Year War with Germany , 1618-1648. He served under the commander Gustavus II Adolphus, and was made up to Field marshal during his service. His claim to glory was in his defence of Stalsund against the famous Wallenstein, who was in charge of the Imperial Army.

Gustavus II Adolphus
Leven was a staunch Presbyterian, and he returned to fight for his religious beliefs to his native soil. He fought vigorously against the Episcopacy of his chosen faith, and even impressed his enemy Charles I so much that he awarded him, Leslie, Earl of Leven, and Lord of Balgonie, this was all done to try to win the support of the brilliant Commander. Leven was not however so easily bought and declined the award. He continued his fight against Charles who eventually had to surrender to Leslie at Newark in 1646. In a twist of fate Leven was to fight for Charles II when he defended Scotland against the infamous Oliver Cromwell, in the mid sixteen hundreds. Alexander Leven was a Great Scotsman.
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Lithgow, William (1582-1645)

William Lithgow was an adventurer and explorer, he was famous for taking off to far distant places then coming home and writing fantastically imaginative tales of these far(and sometimes near) places. He started his exploring by going to Orkney and the Shetland Islands , which were fairly close to home, having been born in Lanarkshire Scotland . He really got the travel bug and was soon off to Europe where he visited, Bohemia, Germany, France, Netherlands, and last but not least Italy.

William Lithgow being tortured
He managed to fit all these places into his busy life time before 1609. His next adventure would take him to the exotic lands of Greece , Malta , the Near East and the Mysterious Egypt, where he sailed down the Nile for many miles. He moved about all over these countries and was actually tortured and survived the Spanish Inquisition. He brought all his travelling experiences together in his book, “The Total Discourse of the Rare Adventures and Painful Peregrinations of Long Nineteen Years Travayles” This was written in 1632, and was actually reprinted and published again in the early twentieth century. A truly adventurous Scotsman. The picture depicts the torture that William Lithgow had to suffer for his travels.
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Livingstone, David (1813-1873)

David Livingstone is without doubt one of Scotland 's greatest Explorers. There must be few children in the land who could not recite Henry Stanley's famous statement when he met Livingstone in the deepest jungle of Africa . “Doctor Livingstone, I presume” This is the stuff that adventure stories were made of, but this story was real and happened to an adventurous Scottish Hero, especially when his death had been reported in Europe. Livingstone had been born in Blantyre a small town in Scotland .

David Livingstone

He was one of the few people on the planet who was willing to go deep into the interior of darkest Africa . He dispelled many myths and rumours about Africa and loved to relate his experiences and tell of the love he had found for the country. He was totally against slavery and told the people of the world just what happened to people who were taken as slaves. The whole of society were shocked. David Livingstone had been working since he was a ten year old boy, when he was employed in a mill, he also sold tea in his spare time to try and raise some extra income. He read many books and became aware through one of them, that Christianity and science could work together for the good of the people. David liked the idea of this and used it in his everyday life.

He studied medicine and decided to become a missionary for god. Livingstone was an advocate for the indigenous people of the vast land and through this made many enemies particularly among the Boer Contingent who were happy to just take what they wanted from the native people. David Livingstone went on an expedition that would span three years and during this time he would discover the Victoria Falls . On his return to Britain he was feted as a hero and introduced to Royalty. David had been bitten by a lion while in the interior of Africa , and you can view the bone from his arm at an exhibition in his home town of Blantyre . Livingstone definitely was a real Scottish hero.

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Lindsay, Sir David (1490-1555)

Sir David Lindsay is well known as a poet who was writing his work at the time of the ‘Golden Age' of Scottish literature. He was associated with a group of poets who were known as ‘Makaris' who were attached to court circles. He was a controversial figure and wrote about the corruption within the Catholic Church at that time. He would also have a go at the government in satirical verse. He was a person who could get his point across using humour and morality in equal doses, and it seemed to work very well for him. He was also known as “ Lindsay of the Mount ” One of his most famous works was the ‘Dreme' in which he pointed out the conditions in Scotland with an amazingly funny version of comical moral instructions.

Sir David Lindsay
He was one of the old school Scottish poets and a man who knew how to get people thinking through the medium of humour.

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© Crann Tara 2006