Donald Ogilvy

Unlike Ranald MacDonald, this reinvented Tory Highland clansman, with his Jacobite ancestors and plaid-wrapped portrait, was able to afford a seat in the last pre-Reform parliament and died wealthy. Marrying a nabob's daughter and keeping a townhouse in Aberdeen rather than Edinburgh or London must have contributed to his prosperity, but location was probably more important. Whereas MacDonald's lands were truly marginal, Ogilvy's Angus estate, straddling the Highland Line, included rich pasture and arable ground; while his rugged glens were conveniently accessible for hunting parties.

The seat of the Earls of Airlie was at Cortachy
Walter Ogilvy, brother of the attainted Earl of Airlie David, who came out in the '45, last in a long series of family Jacobite involvement.
Jean Ogilvy, daughter of John Ogilvy, a physician in Forfar. Jean and Walter were divorced in 1798 (4). She died in 1818 at Cortachy.
At his death he lived at 154 Union Street, Aberdeen.
Clova. His seat was at Balnaboth, at the head of Glen Prosen.
Political views
Tory. He was MP for Forfarshire in 1831-2. The Morning Chronicle reported a meeting on 16 May 1832:
The Reformers gained a complete victory in this county on Monday. A meeting to consider the Reform Bill was called by a Requisition, at the head of which was the Lord Lieutenant. His Lordship was put into the chair, and Resolutions in favour of a "wise and moderate" Reform were moved by his brother, the Hon. Donald Ogilvy. Counter resolutions, approving of the Ministerial Reform Bill, in its original form, were moved by Lord Duncan; and after a smart debate, the counter-resolutions were carried by 50 votes to 240. Thanks were then voted by acclamation to Lord Duncan and Mr Maule; and the anti-reformers had some difficulty in making their estate from Forfar. The county has thus established its character for independence and public spirit. (7)
Wealth at death
A letter to Donald in 1825 from his solicitors suggests he received a large income from sheep and sport, as well a large dowry from Maria, an India heiress (3). He still appears wealthy in his will: furniture in house at Aberdeen was worth, £1300, furniture in Balnaboth and Bachnagairn shooting lodges, £413. He settled the estate on his second son Donald, subject to payments of annuities to the other children, the generous levels of which suggest its income was large: £300 to Walter, David and Clementina, £450 to Dorothea, to reduce to £300 if she married. (5)
Chapel connection
1815, wedding. He has a memorial in St John's graveyard although he doesn't appear to have had a house in Edinburgh.
Married on
8 February 1815
Maria Morley
Walter (1822), Donald (1824), David (1826), Jean, Dorothea Maria, Henriette Anne Mary, Julia Clementina. One daughter was born 10 months after the wedding. (6)

Donald Ogilvy (3)



  1. Registers of Charlotte Chapel (NAS CH12/3)
  2. Edinburgh Post Office Directory 1818
  3. Eunice Shanahan, 'Hon Donald Ogilvy of Clova' in Letters from the Past (online accessed 3 November 2011)
  4. Frances J Grant (ed) The Commissariat of Edinburgh: Consistorial Processes and Decreets 1658-1800 (Scottish Records Society, Edinburgh 1909) p.90
  5. Donald Ogilvy's Will, National Archives of Scotland.
  6. Caledonian Mercury, 6 November 1816.
  7. Morning Chronicle, 23 May 1831.

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