earl of, a title possessed by a family of the name of Ogilvy, lineally
descended from Gilbert, third son of the first thane of Angus, who fought
at the battle of the Standard in 1138, and obtained from William the Lion
the lands of Powrie, Ogilvy, and Kyneithin, when, as was customary in
those days, he assumed the name of Ogilvy from his barony.
In 1392 Sir
Walter Ogilvy of Wester Powrie and Auchterhouse, sheriff of Angus, was
slain with sixty of his followers, at Gasklune near Blairgowrie, in
endeavouring to repel an incursion of the clan Donnochy, or sons of Duncan
(the clan now called Robertson) who had burst down upon the low country
from the Grampian mountains. Among the slain at the battle of Harlaw in
1411, was his eldest son, "the brave lord Ogilvy, of Angus
sheriffprincipal." See OGILvY, surname of.
Ogilvy, knight, the second son, was in 1425 constituted lord high
treasurer of Scotland. In 1430, he became master of the royal household.
In the following year he was appointed a commissioner for renewing the
truce with England. In 1434 he attended the princess Margaret into France,
on her marriage with the dauphin. By an order from the king he erected the
tower or fortalice of Eroly or Airly in Forfarshire, into a royal castle.
He married Isabel de Durward, heiress of Lintrathen, by whom he acquired
that barony. He died in 1440, leaving two sons. From Sir Walter, the
younger, sprang the earls of Findlater and Seafield, and the lords of
Banff; see BANFF, FINDLATER, and SEAFIELD.
The elder son,
Sir John Ogilvy, knight; of Lintrathen, was succeeded by his eldest son
Sir James Ogilvy of Aislie, ambassador from Scotland to Denmark in 1491.
By James IV. he was created, 28th April of that year, a peer of parliament
by the title of lord Ogilvy of Airlie. James, the seventh lord Ogilvy, for
his loyalty and faithful services to Charles I., was on the 2d April,
1639, created earl of AIRLIE, ALYTH, and LIN TRATHEN, He distinguished
himself in the campaigns of the marquis of Montrose, in particular at the
battle of Kilsyth in 1645. Nimmo, in his history of Stirlingshire, states,
that at the commencement of that engagement, a thousand High landers in
Montroses army, without waiting for orders, marched up the hill to attack
the enemy. Though displeased with their rashness, Montrose despatched a
strong detachment to their assistance, under the command of the earl of
Airlie, whose arrival not only preserved this resolute corps from being
overpowered by a superior force, but obliged the Covenant ers to retreat.
This was the most complete victory Montrose ever gained. The loss on his
side was small, only seven or eight persons having been slain, three of
whom were Ogilvies, relations of the family of Airlie.
second earl, was taken prisoner at Philiphaugh, and sentenced to death,
but escaped from the castle of St. Andrews, the night before the day of
his intended execution, in the clothes of his sister.
David the third
earl had two sons; the eldest, James, lord Ogilvy, having engaged in the
rebellion of 1715, was attainted of high treason. He was afterwards
pardoned, but, dying without issue, he was succeeded by his brother, John,
fourth earl. His son David, lord Ogilvy, joined Prince Charles Edward
Stuart, at Edinburgh, in 1745, with six hundred men, chiefly of his own
name and family. He also was attainted of high treason, but escaped to
France, where he had the command of a Scotch regiment in the service of
the French king, called Ogilvys regiment. Having obtained a free pardon,
he returned to Scotland in 1783, and died in 1803. The title was for some
time in abeyance. Walter Ogilvy, Esq. of Airlie, Lord Ogilvys son, styled
the seventh earl, as sumed the title in 1812, but it was not restored
till May 1836, when his son David was confirmed in it by act of
"the bonnie house of Airlie" of Scottish song, once the chief residence of
the family, was destroyed, with Forthur, another of their seats, by the
marquis of Argyle, in consequence of an order of the committee of estates,
in 1640. The place had been regarded as almost impregnable by nature, and
had already, under Lord Ogilvy, eldest son of the proprietor, successfully
resisted an attack made by the earls of Montrose and Kinghorn, but on the
approach of Argyle in 1641, with 5,000 men, the garrison fled, leaving the
fortress an easy prey to the Covenanters, who set it on fire, and reduced
it to ashes; Argle himself, according to tradition, having taken a hammer
and assisted in the demolition of the doorways and hewing of the stone
work, till he was completely fatigued. The modern house of Airlie, erected
upon the ruins of the old castle, is a beautiful mansion, most
picturesquely situated upon a peninsulated rock, at the point where the
river Melgam forms a junction with the Isla. A fragment of the old castle
remains, consisting of an old strong gateway and part of a tower.
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