The barony of Auchinleck is in Ayrshire, and in
1300 the Laird of Auchinleck is reputed to have followed Sir William Wallace
to Glasgow where he fought and slew the Northumbrian Earl Percy.
John of Aghelek, otherwise Achinfleck, is the
1st recorded of the Angus family of the name and did homage in 1306.
The origin of the name is probably
descriptive of their lands ie 'auchen' seems to be applied to areas of high
land separating areas of water, while 'lech' may indicate dead in the sense
of barren or sterile.
The Angus Auchinlecks held the office of
Hereditary armour bearers to the Earls of Crawford and lived in the tower
known as Affleck near the village of Monikie. The tower passed out of the
family hands but still stands to this day. The family married into the
distinguished family of Boswell, through one of the daughter of Sir John
Auchinleck of that Ilk, and adopted the style 'of Auchinleck'.
James Boswell the famous biographer of Samuel
Johnson, was a member of this family. General Sir Claude Auchinleck was
commander in chief in India in 1941 when Winston Churchill assigned him to
lead the Allied offensive in the western desert of Egypt and India.
He led the British Eighth Army at the first
Battle of El Alamein in 1942. The battle was indecisive and Auchinleck was
replaced by Field Marshal Montgomery.