Friday, 3 January 2014

1st Earl of Seafield

THE EARLS OF SEAFIELD WERE THE GREATEST LANDOWNERS IN MORAY, WITH 96,721 ACRES

This family descends from a younger son of the house of AIRLIE.

SIR WALTER OGILVY, knight, of Auchleven,
second son of the Treasurer of Scotland, Ogilvie, by Isabel Durward, heir of Lintrathen, who married Margaret, only daughter and heir of Sir John Sinclair, of Deskford and Findlater, and thereby acquired those estates.
Sir Walter obtained permission from the crown, in 1455, to fortify his castle at Findlater, and to make it a place of strength. He died in 1473, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR JAMES OGILVY, knight, of Deskford and Findlater, who wedded Margaret, eldest daughter of Sir Robert Innes, of Innes, and was succeeded in 1510 by his grandson,

ALEXANDER OGILVY, (son of Sir James Ogilvy, who died in 1505-6, by Agnes, natural daughter of George, 2nd Earl of Huntley,) who obtained a charter, in 1511, for incorporating the lands of Deskford, Findlater, and Keithmore, into one entire barony, to be designated by the name of Ogilvy.
He married Janet, second daughter of James Abernethy, 3rd Lord Saltoun, and had a son, JAMES, whom he disinherited, settling estates upon John Gordon, 2nd son of George, 4th Earl of Huntley; but after a feud and some bloodshed between the Gordons and Ogilvys, the baronies of Deskford and Findlater were restored by an arbitration, of which Queen MARY was overs-woman.
The rightful heir,

JAMES OGILVY,  of Cardell, who was succeeded by his grandson,

SIR WALTER OGILVY, knight, who was elevated to the peerage, in 1616, by the title of Lord Ogilvy of Deskford.

His lordship wedded firstly, Agnes, eldest daughter of Robert, 3rd Lord Elphinstone, by whom he had a daughter,
Christian, married to Sir John Forbes of Pitsligo.
He espoused secondly, Lady Mary Douglas, 3rd daughter of William, Earl of Morton, and had by that lady,

JAMES, 2nd Lord, who was created, in 1638, Earl of Findlater. His lordship married Lady Elizabeth, daughter of Andrew, 5th Earl of Rothes, by whom he had two daughters,
ELIZABETH, wedded to Sir Patrick Ogilvy, of Inchmartin;
Anne, married to William, 9th Earl of Glencairn, LORD CHANCELLOR OF SCOTLAND.
He married secondly, Lady Marion, daughter of William Cunningham, 8th Earl of Glencairn, but by her he had no child.
Lord Findlater thus having no male issue, procured a renewed patent, dated 1641, conferring the titles of Earl and Countess of Findlater upon his son-in-law, Sir Patrick Ogilvy, and that gentleman's wife, Lady Elizabeth Ogilvy, his lordship's elder daughter.
At his decease the peerage so devolved upon

SIR PATRICK OGILVY AND HIS LADY, as Earl and Countess of Findlater. His lordship died in 1658, and was succeeded by his son,

JAMES, 3rd Earl, whose eldest surviving son,

JAMES, 4th Earl, a lawyer of great eminence at the Scottish bar, who filled successively the offices of Solicitor-General and Secretary of State for Scotland; Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer; and High Commisssioner to the General Assembly of the church.

His lordship had been elevated to the peerage before the decease of his father, in 1698, by the title of Viscount Seafield; and, in 1701, Viscount Reidhaven and EARL OF SEAFIELD.

Earls of Seafield (1701)


The heir apparent is the present holder's son James Andrew Studley, Viscount Reidhaven (b 1963). He became a Muslim in 1990.


CULLEN HOUSE, Buckie, Moray, was the ancestral seat of the Earls of Seafield.

The main part of the house dates from 1543. An east wing was added in 1711, and there were alterations by David Bryce in 1858.

The House and estate buildings were converted into fourteen dwellings in 1983.

Prior to the use of Cullen House by the Earls of Seafield, the castle of Findlater, now a ruin, on a rocky coastal outcrop about two miles to the east, was the seat.

Several hundred yards from Cullen House, on the site of the old village, stands Old Cullen, a dower house, Georgian in design. Formerly the Factor's house, it is now the residence of Lord and Lady Seafield.

The Earls of Seafield owned a further 160,224 acres of land in Inverness-shire, and 48,936 acres in Banffshire.

Seafield arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

No comments: