James Ogilvy, 1st Earl of Airlie

James, first Earl of Airlie, seventh Lord Ogilvy of Airlie, born 1586, succeeded his father about 1617 as Lord Ogilvy. In 1631 he was one of the commissioners to inquire into the causes of the burning of Frendraught. He got, in 1636, from the Privy Council a licence for 'etting of flesh' in Lent. He early joined the Royalist cause.

King Charles I., by patent dated at York, 2 April 1639, created him EARL OF AIRLIE, LORD OGILVY OF ALYTH AND LINTRATHEN, with remainder to his heirs male.

In July 1640 the Marquess of Argyle, with 5000 men, destroyed his houses of Airlie and Forther, and 'left him not in all his lands a cock to crow day,' a circumstance which gave rise to the song 'The Bonny House o' Airlie.' He went to Court April 1640, but returned and was present at the Covenanting Parliament of 1643. He joined the Marquess of Montrose in September 1644, and with his two sons was exempted from pardon by the Act of Estates 7 August 1645. He was one of those commanding at the battle of Kilsyth, 15 August, and was excommunicated 27 July 1646. He and his son were exempted from pardon 11 February 1646, and his forfeiture not rescinded until 17 March 1647. In 1664 he writes that he 'can not get anywhares abroad for my age and infirmitie, I being thre scoir and eighteen yeirs,' and he died soon afterwards, thus finishing a long, active life of loyalty. He married (contract dated 22 November 1610) Lady Isobel Hamilton, second daughter of Thomas, first Earl of Haddington. She was born 18 February 1596, and survived him. They had issue:-
  • 1. James, second earl.
  • 2. Sir Thomas Ogilvy, born 23 August 1616, Gentleman Pensioner of the Privy Chamber. He was killed fighting on the Royalist side at the battle of Inverlochy, 2 February 1645. He married (contract dated 21 March and 28 October 1640) Christian Ruthven, Lady of Fernilee, eldest daughter of Patrick, Earl of Forth and Brentford, relict of Colonel Thomas Ker of Fernilee, with issue, two daughters:-
    • (1) Clara, married (contract dated 22 August 1664) Robert Fletcher in Ballinschoe.
    • (2) Christina, married Sir James Ramsay of Bamff.
  • 3. Sir David Ogilvy of Clova, Knight, an ardent Royalist. He was M.P. for Forfarshire 1669-72 and 1681-82, married in 1667 Margaret Hamilton, widow of John Kennedy of Culzean, eldest daughter of John, first Lord Bargeny, with issue:-
    • (1) David Ogilvy of Clova. He died in 1726, leaving no issue.
  • 4. Margaret, married (contract dated 17-18 February 1631 to Patrick Urquhart of Lethintie and Meldrum. She assisted her brother, Lord Ogilvy, to escape in her attire from prison in 1646.
  • 5. Helen, married (contract dated 23 November 1642) to Sir John Oarnegy of Balnamoon.
  • 6. Isabel, born 5 April 1618. In 1650 she obtained a bond for 14,000 merks in tocher good.
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