Farm Leira in county Leirar and Melasveit was a church site and a mansion for a long period.
After 1630, it was the seat of the governor of West Iceland, Arni Oddsson (1592-1665), and his successor, Bauka Jon, took over in 1666. He lead a colourful life as an official until 1672. He had to fight off a charge of scorcery, and was later charged with unlawful dealings with his nephew, Torfi Hakonarson, who sold Jon some tobacco from a Dutch fishing vessel. His journey to Copenhagen to reclaim his honour was successful, and he brought back a letter to bishop Brynjolfur, ordering him to consecrate him as the vicebishop to Holar, which he did in 1674 against his will. In 1684, Bauka Jon became the bishop at Holar, much against the will of the clergy. Bauka Jon continued his doubtful behaviour and business transactions all the time to his dying day in 1690.
The grand grandson of Bauka Jon, Magnus Gislason, bought Leira in 1745. Olafur Stephensen and his son Magnus lived at Leira until 1803. Magnus had the printing works on island Hrappsey moved to Leirargardar, where it was operated during the period between 1795 and 1816. Quite a number of books and magazines were printed there. Jon Thoroddsen (1818-1868) lived there, partly as the district magistrate of the Borgarfjordur District. He is renowned for his literature, “Boy and Girl”, “Man and Woman” and some poetry.
West Iceland Saga Trail