Alexander Melville, 5th Earl of Leven (d. 2 September 1754) was the son of David Melville, 3rd Earl of Leven. On 23 February 1721, he married Mary Erskine and they had one child,David Melville, 6th Earl of Leven (1722–1802). His first wife Mary died in 1723 and on 10 March 1726, he married Elizabeth Monypenny. They had four children Lady Mary Melville, General Lord Alexander Melville (1731–?), Lady Anne Melville (d. 1779, Lady Elizabeth Melville (d. 1788). The title Earl of Leven (pronounced "Lee-ven") was created in the Peerage of Scotland in 1641 for Alexander Leslie. He was succeeded by his grandson Alexander, who was in turn followed by his daughters Margaret and Catherine (who are usually not included in the numbering of the Earls). Thereafter, there was a dispute relating to succession to the title between David Melville and John Leslie, 1st Duke of Rothes. However, in 1681, Melville's claim was admitted after the Duke of Rothes died. In 1707, Melville succeeded to the title Earl of Melville, and thereafter the earldoms have been united. The painting is dated and signed by the artist.
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