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Articles by Marie Fraser of Canada
The Fraser-Leslie Connection


Thanks to Judy Fraser-Byass of Clan Fraser Society of Australia, we have had an interesting exchange of information with James Barrie Leslie of Clan Leslie Society, who has traced his Fraser ancestry to Major James Fraser of Castle Leathers (1670-1760), whose brother-in-law was Alexander Fraser 4th laird of Phopachy. Alexander Mackenzie (1838-98) may have confused a lot of people with his History of the Frasers of Lovat (1896); albeit, in naming Jane Dunbar as the wife of James Fraser of Castle Leathers, he passed the buck to Lovat. In Major Fraser’s Manuscript, James referred to his brother-in-law, Alexander Fraser of Phopachy, leading to the assumption that Alexander had married James’ sister. However, based on information obtained from the late Sir Ninian Brodie of Brodie, the elderly chief of Clan Brodie who handed over the care of his ancestral home to the National Trust for Scotland, as relayed to Barrie Leslie by Fiona Dingwall, the Property Manager of Brodie Castle:

Grizel Brodie (b. 1636) was the daughter of Alexander 15th Brodie of Brodie (1617-1780) s/o David 14th Brodie of Brodie (1586-1632). Grizel married Sir Robert Dunbar of Grangehill in 1654 and they had 11 children, who seem to have been born between 1655 and 1677. They had a daughter Margaret who married James Fraser of Castle Leathers; there is no date of birth or marriage of Margaret. Grizel and Sir Robert also had a daughter Janet (b.1677) who died unmarried. In addition, a photocopy of the Brodie family tree shows that Grizel and Sir Robert had a daughter Jean who married Alexander Fraser of Phopachy. Barrie Leslie has yet to hear more regarding the wives of these two Fraser men.

Dr James Fraser & Dr Patrick Carmichael
Dr Patrick Carmichael   &   Dr James Fraser

The whole thing started with a comparison of noses, I kid you not. Barrie has two miniature photos that have been passed down in his family; he believes one of them to be Dr Patrick Carmichael and the other Dr James Fraser, the son of Alexander Fraser of Phopachy who was a London apothecary.

"I was wondering if you or Neil had any idea which was Dr James Fraser, the one in the blue coat or the one in the brown coat. I don’t know the clothes of the time, but I suspect that Dr James Fraser is the one in the blue coat. Any ideas?" Barry asked.

Naturally, Neil agreed that the one in the blue coat [on the right] is most like a Fraser (handsome, debonair, with a Fraser nose)!

James Fraser of Torbreck, apothecary in London, who died 15 Dec 1770 in Edinburgh (interred 17th at Grayfriar’s) and had a sasine of the lands of Torbeck, Balrobert and Knocknagael on May 3, 1760, was the younger son of Alexander Fraser 4th laird of Phopachy (fl. 1725). There was a sasine of Torbeck, March 19, 1773, in favour of James’ nephew, Alexander Fraser (1744-1821), the son of James’ brother Robert, as heir to the deceased Dr James Fraser of Torbeck [Duncan Warrand, Some Fraser Pedigrees, p. 135]. I have just found...  James was their 5th child.

It really is a small world. Barrie recently sent the following message in response to the article on the Fraser-McCord Connection at http://www.electricscotland.com/canada/fraser/mccord.htm

"I have just found another link to the Frasers. My Captain James Leslie of the 15th Regiment of Foot at Louisbourg and Quebec had a son, James Leslie, who went to Montreal and married Julia Langan in 1815. Captain Leslie resigned his commission and returned to Nigg in Kincardineshire and married Elizabeth Stuart in Fordoun and had nine children. James was their 5th child.

James Leslie (1786-1873) married Julia Langan (1796-1834), one of the daughters of Patrick Langan & Juliana Fraser, d/o Malcolm Fraser & Margery McCord. Barrie Leslie kindly sent photos of Patrick Leslie (s/o Hon. James Leslie & Julia Langan) and Mrs Patrick Leslie (ne Delisle), with the following notation. Patrick Leslie: Martin, Photographist, Cor. Craig & Bleury Streets, Montreal. Mrs Patrick Leslie: W. Notman, Photographer to Her Majesty, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Halifax.

Mrs Patrick Leslie Patrick Leslie
Mrs Patrick Leslie Patrick Leslie

Hi Marie,

Thanks for the additional information which I can add to my file as James Leslie, Banker of Montreal, was the younger son of my 4 x great-grandfather James Leslie, Minister of St. Fergus & Jean Forbes of the Lundquhan family.

I would be pleased to find out more about Colonel J. Norman Leslie, late Commanding Officer Royal Canadian Artillery and Honorary Colonel of the New Brunswick Scottish Regiment, who died in Kingston. He was my 3rd cousin 3 x removed. I have no idea if he married, or if he did whether he had any children. Just as a matter of interest, his "Memorian Notice" is on the Notice Board at St. John’s Church, Fetternear, Aberdeenshire, along with the one for Col Charles Leslie, who wrote Historical Records of the Family of Leslie.

Col J. Norman Leslie The photograph of Col J. Norman Leslie, taken at a costume ball in Montreal in 1898, shows him wearing the uniform of Capt Leslie of the 15th Regt of Foot at Louisbourg and Quebec. I believe that the uniform is a reproduction; however the Grenadier’s Helmet is the original one worn by Capt James Leslie. The photograph was taken by W. Notman, Photographer to the Queen. Incidentally, I don’t know if you are familiar with the painting by Benjamin West depicting "The Death of General Wolfe," but Capt Leslie is reputed to have been the only Grenadier Officer there. Capt James Leslie was left one hundred guineas in General James Wolfe’s will. Also, after the storming of the heights of Abraham, he was in command of "Capt Leslie’s Schooner" with a Company of Highlanders on board.

Barrie

So, the unidentified Grenadier Officer (#11) in the painting by West on the Muster Rolls page at http://www.clanfraser.ca/muster.htm  can finally be identified as Captain James Leslie of the 15th Regiment of Foot.

Much has been written about the family of the Hon James Leslie & Julia Langan, including their son, Patrick Leslie who married Mlle Delisle of Montreal, yet her first name is never mentioned [Histoire de Saint-Simon par Jean-Nol Dion, l’occasion du 150e anniversaire de la paroisse Saint-Simon de Bagot]. Paul Lessard has confirmed that Patrick Leslie (1823-1882) & M.-Elmire Delisle (1835-1871) had three daughters and one son, namely, M.-Julie Katherine Clara Stuart Leslie (1858-1887); M.-Georgina Stuart Leslie (1863-c.1925) who married Godfrey Weir; M.-Lucy Beatrice Stuart Leslie (1866-1867) and Col James Norman Stuart Leslie (1868-1950) who married Annie Gertrude St. John Dever. It is not known if there are any surviving descendants. Nevertheless, Barrie Leslie in Australia was pleased to receive copies of the various documents related to the members of this family in Canada.

Addendum:

Captain James Leslie, 15th Regiment of Foot [the unidentified Grenadier officer on the right in the painting by Benjamin West, depicting the death of Major General James Wolfe in 1759]

The Commissions Book for 1757 states:

James Leslie, Gent, to be Ensign in Our 15th Regt of Foot commanded by Colonel Jeffery Amherst. Given at St James's, 27th Jan 1757, George R.

He was promoted to Lieutenant on 9th June 1758, to Capt Lieutenant on 7th Aug 1771 and finally to Captain on 25th May 1772. He resigned his Commission on 20th June 1777 while serving in America.

The first muster available for the Regiment, covering the six months up to April 1760, signed off in Quebec on 30th Sept 1760 show Lt James Leslie in Capt Arthur Loftus's Company. The two musters for the next 12 months [signed in Quebec] show him in the Company of the Commanding Officer Major General Jefferey Amherst.

The next muster for April - Oct 1761 was signed off in Camp on Staten Island, when James Leslie was in James Barbutt's Company.

The next three half yearly musters from Oct 1761 to April 1763, were signed off in Quebec on 13th Sept 1763, but do not say where the Regiment was actually stationed. The 15th regiment had Battle Honours for Martinique 16th Jan -12th Feb 1762, Fort Moro in Havana 7th Jun - 14 Aug 1762. These campaigns were particularly unhealthy, when more soldiers died from disease than from enemy action.

Lt James Leslie remained in James Barbutt's Comapany until Barbutt was replaced by James Cuthbert in Dec 1762. Cuthbert did not join the Company until 12th Aug 1764, so Lt James Leslie was effectively in charge and signed the musters for his Company.

The Seven Years war ended in 1763 and the 15th Regiment remained in Canada for the next 4-5 years with musters being signed off in various places, Quebec, La Prairie and St Johns. Lt James Leslie remained in the same Company under James Cuthbert and later Andrew Cathcart, although the Oct 1765 - April 1766 muster lists him "Absent with Col Massey's leave".

The Regiment then returned to Britain but the next muster was for a long period and was signed off at Cirencester in Jan 1769 when Lt James Leslie was shown as "recruiting".

Subsequent musters were signed at various places in England, Scotland and Ireland. During this period, in 1771, while in Andrew Cathcart's Company, Lt James Leslie was promoted to Captain Lieutenant and was switched to the Company of the Commanding Officer, Col Hotham. He remained in this Company when the command of the Regiment passed to Major General Sir Charles Thompson Bart, in 1772 and yet again when it later passed to Major General Richard, Earl of Cavan.

Lt Capt James Leslie became a full Captain in the Regiment, in charge of his own Company in the muster period Oct 1775 - Jan 1776.

At this time the Regiment left Ireland for America and Service in the American Revolution [War of Independence]. Capt James Leslie was wounded three times in this campaign and was listed as "sick" in the muster for the first six months of 1776 that was signed off at Staten Island in Aug 1776.

The next muster was signed at New York in Dec 1776 and finally Capt James Leslie is listed as "resigned 20 June" 1777 on a muster signed off in Philadelphia on 27th March 1778, when his Company was taken over by Capt Peirse on the same day.

Prior to Capt James Leslie's resignation he served in the following battles during the American Revolution [War of Independence]:

27th Aug 1776, Brooklyn.
16th Nov 1776, Fort Washington.
25th April 1777, Danbury, possibly a wound in this battle caused his resignation.

I believe that the 15th Regiment also took part in the battles of White Plains and Long Island and Gen George Washington had to spend the winter at Valley Forge.

A memorial to Capt James Leslie is at Fordoun County of Kincardine [9/1.220] No 123 F.S. Capt Jas Leslie 15th Reg of Foot d Kair 1/4/1791 - 55, by s. Jas Mert Canada.

[Above information on the career of Captain James Leslie relayed to Marie Fraser by J. Barrie Leslie, for the benefit of other researchers.]


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