Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Ogilvy, James (1593?-1666)

OGILVY, JAMES, first Earl of Airlie (1593?–1666), son of James, seventh lord Ogilvy, by his first wife, Lady Jean Ruthven, daughter of William, first earl of Gowrie, was born probably about 1593. His grandfather was James, sixth lord Ogilvy of Airlie [q. v.] He succeeded his father as eighth Lord Ogilvy about 1618. For his attachment to the royalist cause during the struggle between the court and the presbyterians, Charles I created him earl of Airlie by patent dated at York 2 April 1639, During the Scottish war he suffered severely, his estates being wasted and all his houses razed to the ground, so that, remarks a letter-writer of the period, 'they have not left him in all his lands a cock to crow day' (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1640-1, p. 58). He went to court in April 1640 to avoid taking the covenant, but, returning to Scotland, was present in the covenanting Parliament of 1643. In the following year he and his three sons joined Montrose; they were consequently forfeited by parliament on 11 Feb. 1645, exempted from pardon in the treaty of Westminster, and excommunicated by the kirk on 27 July 1647. But having obtained on 23 July 1646 an assurance and remission from Major-general Middleton [see Middleton, John, first Earl of Middleton], who was authorised to pacify the north of Scotland in this way, parliament was obliged, though unwillingly, to rescind his forfeiture on 17 March 1647. He did not afterwards take any active part in public affairs, and died in 1666 (Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, viii. p. 227).

He married about 1614 Lady Isabel Hamilton, second daughter of Thomas, first earl of Haddington, by whom he had three sons and two daughters. The sons were: James, second earl [q. v.], and Sir Thomas and Sir David Ogilvy. One daughter, Isabel, cleverly enabled her brother James to escape from the castle of St. Andrews on the eve of his intended execution; she died unmarried. Her sister, Elizabeth, married in 1642 Sir John Carnegie of Balnamoon, Forfarshire (Fraser, Earls of Southesk, p. 431).

[Cal. State Papers. Dom. 1639-1641, passim; Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, 1625-1666, passim; Balfour's Annals, iii. 268; Douglas's Peerage, ed. Wood, i. 32,33; Gardiner's Commonwealth, i. 373.]

H. P.