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OGILVY or OGILVIE, JAMES, fifth or sixth Lord Ogilvy of Airlie (d. 1605), was the son of James, fourth or fifth lord Ogilvy, by Catherine, daughter of Sir John Campbell of Calder, knight. He succeeded his father some time before 17 Dec. 1547, and he was a lord of the articles for the parliament of 1559. On 10 March 1559-410 he obtained from Donald, abbot of Coupar-Angus, a charter of the lands of Meikle and Little Forthar in the barony of Glenislt. With the lords of the congregation he was present at the seizure of St. Johnstone's (Perth) in June 1559 (Cal. State Papers, For. Ser. 1558-9, entries 880, 908). He was one of those who, at the camp of Leith on 10 May 1560, ratified the treaty of Berwick with the English (Knox, Works, ii. 53), and on 27 April he signed a band to defend 'the liberty of the Evangel' (ib. p.63). On 27 June 1562 he was attacked in the streets of Edinburgh, and his right arm was mutilated, by Sir John Gordon, son of George, fourth earl of Huntly [see under Gordon, George, fourth Earl of Huntly]. The dispute had reference to the lands of a relative (ib. p. 45 ; Keith, Hist. of Scotland, ii. 156 ; Reg. P. C. Scotl. i. 218). Sir John, who was one of the lovers of Mary Stuart, was subsequently executed at Aberdeen for breaking his ward and engaging in rebellion.

Ogilvy joined the queen in the roundabout raid against Moray after her marriage to Darnley (ib. i. 379). He was one of those who subscribed the band for Bothwell's marriage to Mary in Ainalie's tavern on April 1567. After Mary's escape from Lochleven, he signed the band for her at Hamilton on 8 May 1508, but, having gone north to muster his forces, arrived too late to be of service to her at Langside (Keith, History, ii. 818). Subsequently he took up arms under the Duke of Hamilton (Herries, Memoirs, p. 114), and on this account was, on 2 March 1568-9, declared a rebel (Reg. P. C. Scotl. i. 646), but on 15 April signed a 'band to the king' (ib. p. 654). At the parliament held at Perth on 31 July 1569, he voted for the queen's divorce from Bothwell (ib. ii. 8). He attended the convention at Edinburgh after the murder of the regent Moray in 1570 (Herries, p. 123; Calderwood, ii. 544). In April he, with other lords, signed a letter to Queen Elizabeth, asking her 'to enter in such conditions with the Queen's Highness in Scotland as may be honourable for all parties' (Calderwood, ii. 549). In August following Morton made an attempt to surprise him and Sir James Balfour at Brechin, which they were holding on behalf of the queen, but they made their escape (ib. iii. 7-8; Herries, p. 130). Subsequently he went abroad, and, at the instance of Mary queen of Scots, he was in August 1571 sent with letters specially directed to Mar and Morton to induce them to recognise her (Labanoff, Lettres de Marie Stuart, iii. 356). On 13 Jan. 1575 Mary, in a letter to the Archbishop of Glasgow, sent assurances of her good will to Lord Ogilvy (ib. iv. 239), but some time after this he appears to have written to Mary complaining of the want of appreciation of his services (Mary to the Archbishop of Glasgow, 25 Feb. 1576, ib. 293). Some time before this he was placed in ward, and on 1 May 1576 he gave surety that, on his release from the palace of Linlithgow, he would within forty-eight hours enter his person in ward within the city of Glasgow (Reg. P. C. Scotl. ii. 527). In November 1577 he was, though still in ward, employed on behalf of Mary to open up communications with Morton (Labanoff, iv. 400). After Morton's resignation of his regency in 1578, he was, on 13 March, discharged of his ward (Reg. P. C. Scotl. ii. 677), and on the 24th he was chosen a member of the new privy council (ib. v. 678). He was one of the 'eight notable men' nominated by the king on 8 Sept. for the reconciliation of the nobility (ib. iii. 25-6; Moysle, Memoirs, p. 15). Having on 8 April been named by the assembly of the kirk as one of the persons ‘suspected of papistrie,’ a minister was appointed to confer with him and report (Calderwood, iii. 401), and ultimately, on 28 Jan. 1580–1, he subscribed the confession of faith (ib. p. 501). He was employed by the agents of Mary to be an intermediary with the King of Scots in persuading him to co-operate with the proposed Spanish invasion in 1580 (Labanoff, v. 173); and was subsequently empowered to induce him to consent to go to Spain (ib. pp. 214–15). He was involved in the plot for the fall of Morton, and was one of the assize who convicted him of treason in June 1581 (Calderwood, iii. 557; Moysie, p. 32). He afterwards shared in the rewards that followed on the establishment of the new régime, obtaining a charter of the office of bailie of the monastery of Arbroath, and also charters to himself and Jean Forbes, his wife, and James, their son, of the castle of the monastery on 31 Oct. 1582 (Reg. Mag. Sig. Scot. 1580–93, entry 453), and of the lands of Schangy, 18 Feb. 1582–3 (ib. p. 515). He attended the convention of estates on 7 Dec. 1583, which declared the raid of Ruthven to be a crime of lèse-majesté (Calderwood, viii. 21; Reg. P. C. Scotl. iii. 614). At the coronation of the queen, 10 May 1590, Ogilvy followed in the procession behind the king (Calderwood, v. 96), and in 1596 he was sent to Denmark to assist at the coronation of Christian IV (Calderwood, v. 437; Reg. P. C. Scotl. v. 318). On 6 Feb. 1598–9 he was ordered to submit to the king and council a feud between him and the Earl of Atholl (ib. v. 523), and on 19 April the master of Ogilvy appeared for his father and himself, when Atholl, having failed to appear, was ordered into ward in the castle of Dumbarton under pain of treason (ib. p. 552). On 7 March 1600 Ogilvy was ordered, under pain of rebellion, to remain in ward within his place of Arbroath (ib. vi. 91). This order was given owing to a feud between the Ogilvys and Lindsays, with whom William Stewart, brother of the Earl of Atholl, was associated. On 23 March Ogilvy appeared and protested that, although he had subscribed an assurance to Alexander Lindsay, lord Spynie, he ought not to be held answerable for those of his kin who had subscribed assurances for themselves, and his protest was admitted (ib. p. 95). On 2 March 1602 charge was given by the council for the renewal of the assurances between the Ogilvys and Lindsays (ib. p. 492). Ogilvy died in 1605. On 24 Feb. 1606–7 the king, in a letter on ecclesiastical matters to the council, ordered that trial be taken of the ‘heinous offences’ committed at his burial, ‘wherein there was some superstitious ceremonies and rites used, as if the profession of Papistrie had been specially licensed and tolerated’ (Reg. P. C. Scotl. vii. 299).

By his wife Jean, eldest daughter of William, seventh Lord Forbes, Lord Ogilvy had six sons and a daughter. Among the sons were James, seventh lord, whose son James, first earl of Airlie [q. v.], is separately noticed; Sir John, to whom his father, on 13 March 1563–4, granted a charter of the lands of Kinloch; David, who had a charter of the lands of Lawton. The daughter, Margaret, was married to George Keith, fifth earl Marischal.

[The authorities mentioned in the text.]

T. F. H.