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Clan Ogilvie





The Ogilvy family clan are an ancient part of the Scottish history books. The first recorded mention of their name is in the year of 1177, Gillebride; First Earl of Angus gave the lands of Angus to his son Gilbert. The Ogilvy name is said to originate from the old Pictish language which was used in Scotland . ‘ Ocel Fa' meaning; ‘High ground' is how it would have been spelt then.

In the year 685A.D. this land was the realm of the Picts who were a fierce war like nation. They fought with the English invaders from Northumbria and defeated them at a place called Nechtansmere, once and for all stemming the advances into their territory.

They were led by a great Pictish leader called King Brude. The Ogilvy clan could trace relations back to this great warrior. When Gillebride the first Earl of Angus took his title in the year of 1144, he had succeeded from a man called Dubhucan, who was definitely related to King Brude.

The family had to suffer the humiliation of signing the ‘Ragmans Roll' at Berwick in the year of 1296. This was a document drawn up by the brutal Edward the First of England, which made the Scottish peerage go to the small border town of Berwick to swear allegiance to him. Edward of England had slaughtered the townspeople and left their dead bodies lying on the streets as a warning to any hesitant Scots.

King Robert the Bruce the great Scottish independence fighter, granted to Patrick of Ogilvy, a charter for the lands to the barony of Kettins in Forfar.

The Ogilvy Family fought at the great battle of Bannockburn on the twenty-fourth of June , 1314 , when Robert the Bruce defeated a numerically superior English army commanded by Edward the Second of England. The Huge English army was sent scurrying for the border and home.

The Ogilvy family became hereditary sheriffs of the Angus area in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Sir Patrick Ogilvy fought for ‘ Joan of Ark ' against the English and received the title, ‘ Viscount d'Angus' . Another later Ogilvy, Sir Walter, was appointed Lord High Treasurer of Scotland in the year 1425, and was made ambassador to England five years later. In the year of 1459, Sir John Ogilvy of Lintrathern received a charter for the lands, and castle of Airlie . His son also called John was to become the first Lord Ogilvy of Airlie in the year 1491.

The seventh Lord Ogilvy was appointed Earl of Airlie in the year 1639.

The Ogilvy family were Jacobites, and suffered great hardship for their belief in the true monarchy being restored to its rightful position. The first earl and his son joined Montrose to oppose the enemies of Charles the first; Sir Thomas the earl's eldest son died at the battle of Inverlochy in the year of 1645.

In the following century the Ogilvy, family were ‘out' for both the 1715 and 1745, struggle for truth. Other branches of the Ogilvy clan can be found at; Findlater, and Deskford, Dunlugas, Inverquharity, and last but not least, Ogilvy of Barras.


Chief: Earl of Airlie

Clan Seats: Airlie Castle , and Cortachy Castle , Angus

Plant: White Thorn

Memorials: Unknown


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© Crann Tara 2006