James Ogilvy, 1st Lord of Airlie

Sir James Ogilvy of Airlie, first Lord Ogilvy of Airlie, succeeded his father. He was one of the conservators of a truce with the English in 1484, was created by King James IV., 28 April 1491, LORD OGILVY OF AIRLIE, 'in barone and banrent, a lord of his Parliament, and he and his heirs to be callit and nominat Lord Ogilvy of Arely in all tyme to cum with all prerogatives and priuilegiis,' and on 18 May 1491 was sent as ambassador to Denmark.

He died about 1504, before 25 September, when there is a protest by John Ogilvy, brother to the late James, Lord Ogilvy of Airlie, as to his right to the lands of Fornochty. Douglas says he married, first, Elizabeth Kennedy, and, secondly, Mary Douglas, daughter of Archibald, fifth Earl of Angus, but adduces no proofs. He had some matrimonial relation with the Douglas family, as his son John, second Lord Ogilvy, is in a charter of 1496 styled brother 'of Hugh Douglas, Dean of Brechin, son of Hugh, Earl of Ormond.' He is known to have married Helen Graham, who was his spouse on 20 November 1486. He certainly married, lastly, Jonet Lyle, who died about 1525, and who was mother of two daughters. He had issue:-
  • 1. John, his successor.
  • 2. Archibald, styled brother of John, son and heir-apparent of James, Lord Ogilvy, 1494.
  • 3. Walter, stated to be ancestor of the Ogilvys of Balfour.
  • 4. Alexander, mentioned in 1493-94. He married Nicholas Stratoun.
  • 5. Malcolm, mentioned in a procuratory by James, Lord Ogilvy, to 'Malcolm Ogilvy his son,' etc., after 1501.
  • 6. John Ogilvy of Craig, or in the Craig, is mentioned as son of James, Lord Ogilvy, in the procuratory cited, and as brother of John, Lord Ogilvy, in April 1505.
  • 7. Isabella, married (dispensation following on a bull of Pope Innocent VIII. as within the fourth degree of consanguinity, dated at Dunkeld, 10 January 1490) to Alexander, son and apparent heir of Sir James Stewart, Lord of Buchan and Auchterhouse.
  • 8. Janet (daughter of Jonet Lyle), contracted in 1503 to Alexander Gordon, son and apparent heir of George Gordon, younger, of Midmar, whom failing to James his brother, when old enough to complete a marriage with her, or failing her, her sister Marion, but the marriage does not seem to have taken place.
  • 9. Mariota, 'Domina de Melgund.' At Cortachy there is a document by Marioun Ogilvy (signed Mary Ouegylvy) dated at Airlie, 6 August 1525, as 'ye dochter executrix and intromittour of Jean Lyle Ladie Ogyluy my modyr.' She owes her prominence in Scottish history to her position as mistress of Cardinal David Betoun, who, on the 22 May 1528, as Abbot of Aberbrothock, granted her for certain sums of money and 'other causes,' the liferent of the lease of the lands of Burnton of Ethie and others; and afterwards the lands of Melgund, which he had acquired in 1542. She remained with the Cardinal until his death. On 26 November 1549 she was charged with 'interlymning the Queen's Grace letters,' and obliged to give surety. She received as 'Lady Melgund' a tack of the thirds of Methven in 1575. She died in 1575, leaving a will, dated 22 June of that year, making her sons David Betoun of Melgund and Master Alexander Betoun, Archdean of Lothian, her executors, and desired that she should be buried 'in the Ile of the Paroch Kirk of Kennell quhair my predecessouris lyis.'


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