Tuesday, May 26, 2009

26 May 1746: Lady Anne Leslie to her brother

(Click image to see full size letter).

"I have been the most courageous creature in the world for some weeks, and I wear a sword and will make it revenge me upon any body who dare brand my name with ... injustice. As I am but a young soldier I have not tried any fighting yet (duels excepted), but I know I can bragg as well as any man."

Our daily MEMSO extract turned up a fantastic personal letter from Lady Anne Leslie to her brother, David, lord Balgonie, future 6th Earl of Leven. Writing in the days after the final defeat of the Jacobites at Culloden on 16 April, Anne describes how she was taking part as secretary and aide de camp of the Earl of Crawford in the aftermath of the defeat. She claims, probably in jest, to have taken to wearing a sword, and mixes jokes and cheekiness to her brother with descriptions of how she danced with the Prince of Hess at an Edinburgh ball.