"Ogilvie". A plate illustrated by R. R. McIan, from James Logan's The Clans of the Scottish Highlands, published in 1845, showing the dress tartan of the Ogilvies.
The lands of Ogilvy are in Angus and the name is derived from Ocel-fa which is old British for high plain. In Pictish times Angus was ruled by a mormaer who was one of the ancient Celtic nobles of Scotland who became the first earls. The Mormaer of Angus title became Earl of Angus and Gillebride, Earl of Angus gave the Ogilvy lands to his son, Gilbert, before 1177.
In the 14th and 15th centuries the Ogilvys became hereditary sheriffs of Angus. A son of Sir Walter Ogilvy of Auchterhouse was killed in a clan battle with the Clan Robertson in 1394 and Ogilvys also fought at the Battle of Harlaw in 1411. Sir Patrick Ogilvy commanded the Scottish forces that fought alongside Joan of Arc against the English, and he was styled Viscomte d'Angus.
In 1425 Sir Walter Ogilvy, younger son of Ogilvy of Wester Powrie, was appointed High Treasurer of Scotland. He was also an ambassador to England in 1430 and four years later he attended Princess Margaret on her marriage to the Dauphin, heir to the throne of France. Sir Walter had numerous sons, including another Walter who became the ancestor of the Earls of Seafield and Deskford. His eldest son was Sir John Ogilvy of Lintrathern who received a charter for Airlie Castle and its lands in 1459. In 1491 Sir John's son, Sir James Ogilvy of Airlie was appointed ambassador to Denmark. In the same year he was also advanced to the ranks of the peerage as Lord Ogilvy of Airlie.
The Clan Ogilvy supported the Stuart cause and joined the Earl of Mar in the Jacobite rising of 1715. Lord Ogilvy was attained but was allowed to return home in 1725, although his titles were not restored. When he died in 1730 his younger brother, John Ogilvy, assumed the style Earl of Airlie. During the Jacobite rising of 1745 his son, David Ogilvy, raised a regiment that was composed mostly of Ogilvys to fight for theYoung Pretender. In 1746 the regiment fought at the Battle of Culloden. After the defeat at Culloden Ogilvy escaped to France. There he entered royal service and obtained the rank of general. The earldom of Airlie was not restored until an Act of Parliament in 1896 when it was confirmed to David Ogilvy, sixth earl.
Airlie Castle, also known as Errolly Castle, is about four miles north-east of Alyth in Angus. It is actually a mansion that was built in 1793 that incorporates some of an old castle. A deep ditch defended an angle side of land between two rivers. the original castle was built in 1432 by the Ogilvies.