LESLIE, JOHN, bishop
of Clogher, was born at Balquhain, in the north of Scotland, after the
middle of the sixteenth century. He was of an ancient and highly respectable
family. The earlier part of his education he received at Aberdeen, the
latter part at Oxford. He afterwards travelled into Spain, Italy, Germany,
and France, and acquired such a proficiency in the languages of all these
countries, excepting the last, that he spoke them with the fluency of a
native. In the Latin language he particularly excelled, and was so familiar
with it, that it was said of him in Spain, when he resided there, Solus
Lesleius Latine loquitur. He remained on this occasion twenty-two years
abroad, and, during that time was present at the siege of Rochelle. He also
accompanied the duke of Buckingham on the expedition to the isle of Rhee.
Leslie stood high in favour
with Charles I., and was by that monarch admitted a member of his privy
council. In 1633 he was appointed to the bishopric of Raphoe, in Ireland,
where he built a handsome palace. This building he afterwards held out
against Cromwell, adopting the loyal alternative of enduring a siege rather
than submit to the usurper.
On the death of his royal
patron he went abroad, where he remained till after the restoration. He then
returned to England, and in 1661 was translated to the see of Clogher. Here
he remained till his death, which took place in 1671, when he was upwards of
one hundred years of age. He was then the oldest bishop in the world, having
filled that dignified station for fifty years.