James Ogilvy, 2nd Earl of Airlie

James, second Earl of Airlie, was born about 1611, and, in 1630, was still being educated with his brothers under a tutor at St. Andrews. Like his father and all his family, he early embarked in the wars on the side of the King, and held Airlie Castle against the Earls of Montrose and Kingliorn 1640, but was forced to surrender. He was declared a rebel and exempted from pardon. In February 1643 he went to Court with Montrose, and in July was therefore charged with high treason. He acted as Montrose's aide-de-camp, was taken prisoner and imprisoned in the Tolbooth, but was liberated after the battle of Kilsyth. He was again taken prisoner after Philiphaugh, 18 September 1645, and condemned to death, but escaped from the Castle of St. Andrews the night before his execution, having changed clothes with his sister Lady Margaret Urquhart ('Lady Meldrum'), 20 January 1646, and was not betrayed, although a reward of 1000 sterling was offered for him dead or alive. He was pardoned by Act of Parliament, 7 June and 9 July 1649, and gave satisfaction to the Kirk. He joined King Charles II. at Scone in 1650, and was afterwards captured at Alyth by Cromwell's troops and imprisoned in the Tower of London (with a short interval) until January 1657. After the Restoration he received a pension from King Charles II., which was very irregularly paid, commanded a troop of horse, and was sworn a Privy Councillor. He declared for the Prince of Orange, but was fined 1200 Scots for not attending the Parliament, and in 1693 he was on account of age excused from attending Parliament. He died after 1698 and before 1704, being described as 'a little light man . . . always very loyall, and a great follower of his cousin the great Marquess of Montrose.' A matrimonial project he had with Lady Magdalene Carnegie, afterwards wife of the Marquess of Montrose, not being carried out, he married (contract dated 20-25 March 1629) Helen Ogilvy, eldest daughter of George, first Lord Banff. She was the Lady Ogilvy of the burning of Airlie, and was, after the destruction of her husband's castles by Argyll, forced (though with child) to flee with her children to Dundee. She died after February 1664. He married, secondly (contract dated 31 October 1668), Marie, Marchioness-dowager of Huntly, daughter of Sir John Grant of Freuchie and widow of Lewis, third Marquess of Huntly. As a Catholic she was excommunicated, and her marriage was arranged with great difficulty. She survived her husband.

He left issue by his first marriage:-
  • 1. James, baptized at Banff, 6 August 1633, died young.
  • 2. David, succeeded his father.
  • 3. Anne, married, with a tocher of 6000 merks (contract dated 10-13 February 1660), to Sir John Wood of Bonnytoun.
  • 4. Margaret, married, first, to Alexander, second Lord Halkerton, and, secondly, to Patrick Lyall.
  • 5. Marion, married, first (contract dated 11 October 1666), to James, Lord Coupar (see that title) ; secondly, 31 July 1669, to John, third Lord Lindores.
  • 6. Helen, married (contract dated 3 March 1686) to Sir John Gordon of Park.
  • 7. Elisabeth, baptized at Alyth, March 1650.


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