fp-1.4 Ogilvies of Boyne

The Ogilvies of the Boyne

Researched by Findlay Pirie

This document lists a varied set of articles that give information about the Ogilvies who built Boyne Castle. The family had a great influence on what happened in Portsoy and the surrounding area from the 16th century onwards.

<<<<< Records of the County of Banff 1660-1760 by James Grant

Sir Patrick Ogilvie, 8th of Boyne, was the eldest lawful son and heir of Walter Ogilvie of Boyne.

During the Civil Wars, Walter Ogilvie 7th of Boyne took an active part on the Covenanting side; and in 1645 Montrose, after his victory at Auldearn, sweeping along the north of Banffshire, harried his lands from Portsoy to Banff. Later, Boyne had so mitigated his enthusiasm for the Covenant as to join the Duke of Hamilton and Charles in the invasion of England, which ended in the defeat of Worcester, an indiscretion for which, on his return home to Boyne, he had to suffer church discipline.

In the year of the Restoration, Walter Ogilvie settled on his eldest son the barony and thanedome of Boyne. The law of entail had not then been enacted, and a method of settling real estate on families, before Sir George MacKenzie’s Entail Act of 1685, was for a father to create a liferent in himself, and to convey the fee to his heir. In an act of the Parliament, dated 5th September, 1661, the son is designed Sir ‘The Act is of Parliaments of Scotland, Vol. VII., p. 410. Ogilvie of Boyne, Knight, which shows that by that date he had received the honour of knighthood.

  • In 1664 Sir Patrick married Anna, daughter of James, seventh laird of Grant. His father, Walter, died between 30 April, 1666, and 26 October, 1667.
  • On 24 April, 1671, the crown issued a warrant for a charter to Sir Patrick Ogilvie of Boyne of the lands of the barony and thane-dome of Boyne, which had been resigned for new infeftment, the holding to be changed from ward to taxtward.
  • On 25 August, 1674, a commission was issued to the laird of Boyne to be captain of one of the companies of a new regiment of foot; and on 21 July, 1675, a docket of the warrant for a charter to Sir Patrick Ogilyie of Boyne, on resignation of James, Earl of Findlater, for new infeftment to Sir Patrick Ogilvie was executed.
  • On 29th May, 1676, Boyne was promoted Lieutenant Colonel of the Militia regiment of foot in the shire of Aberdeen, the colonel of which was the Earl of Errol.
  • On 23rd September 1678, he received a commission to be captain of a company in His Majesty’s new regiment of foot whereof the Earl of Mar was colonel.
  • In 1681, he was created a Judge of the Court of Session under the title of Lord Boyne.
  • On 20th June, 1682, a commission was issued to him to be Lieut. Colonel of the Militia regiment in the Shire of Banff and Erroll’s part of Aberdeen, of which the Earl of Erroll was Colonel.
  • On 1st June, 1677, he received a royal protection against paying annual rents on his mortgages.

<<<<< Young  Boyne, a Jacobite.

Meantime young Boyne, excluded from Parliament, was dipping deeper into the Jacobite adventure. In the memoirs of Colonel Hooke, emissary from the court of Louis XIV. to the Jacobites in Scotland, he is seen in 1707-8 flitting through a maze of Jacobite intrigue. At this time he was a broken and landless man, with his ancestral estate falling into the hands of his relative Seafield, and with no hope of preferment except through revolution. As doer for the Duke of Atholl he is seen passing between Scotland and France arranging for a French descent and a Jacobite rising in Scotland, which materialized in March 1708.

Earlier, on 29th February, he landed at Gamrie, Banffshire, as the following letters from the Countess of Seafield to the Earl in London, and from the Laird of Troup to Castlefield, Sheriff-depute of Banff, show:-

” March 9th, 1708. Dearest Heart … We are mightily alarmed here with the invasion from France. I send you a letter to Castlefield. I shall say nothing of the matter. It is said the laird of Boyne is a Colonel. “

To Nicholas Dunbar of Castlefield, Sheriff Department of Banff- I forgot to write concerning that matter, but this present commission which is suddenly in all appearance to fall in by a French descent makes people they know not how to order their business. No doubt you have heard of the gentleman who set ashore here from France, and who has gone to Boyne, and thence to the Highlands and throughout the kingdom. If you have not heard it, then I can assure you of the truth of it. He was all night the 29 February in William Hards at Nethermilne, and went away the first of March before the sun got up and he landed at about 6 hours in the evening. He passed for an Edinburgh merchant. The ship was about 16 or 20 guns, 70 to 90 men. Give not me for your author.

Alexander. Gairden  “The French naval descent on the Firth of Forth was frustrated by Admiral Sir George Byng on I3th March, and the expedition, the strongest ever fitted out from France in the Jacobite interest, after suffering some casualties, returned to Dunkirk. Young Boyne escaped to France, and was soon after attainted.”

Boyne Castle

<<<<< Banffshire Journal. Tuesday, January 6th. 1942: -

THE THANEDOM OF THE BOYNE   – In the middle ages the ancient thanedom of Boyne comprehended an extensive district in the north of Banffshire, including a vast forest of the same name, together with adjoining territory.  The thanedom comprised most of what is now the parish of Boyndie, and part of Fordyce and Banff on each side.  Clearings in this immense forest were gradually made by the early settlers, and a little primitive cultivation took place as the ground was cleared.  By and by allotments and smallholdings were carved out, and the countryside began to assume an appearance not very different from that of modern times.

In the distant past the activities of the district were shrouded in the mist of ages, and as little documentary evidence remain describing the place in olden times, imagination is left free to conjecture as an aid to fill in the blanks in the picture.  No doubt, belted knight and hawk-flying hunter then spent much time and found interesting occupation in the chase in that forest region.  It is recorded that William the Lion hunted the wild boar in a forest in the district.  The baying of hounds, the blast of the hunting horn, and the sight of falcons, hooded and jessed, would be familiar everyday experiences in the forest then.  The ringing of armour and the tramp of horses echoed through the glades in the days before a settled population occupied the deforested district and transformed the scene …

…    About a half mile down the Burn of the Boyne (from the Lintmill) stands the picturesque ruins of the Old Castle of the Boyne, once the seat of the lords of the manor, ancestors of the Earls of Seafield.  Surrounded on three sides by the stream, it occupied a position easily defended in days when such precautions were necessary, and overhangs the steep wooded glen whose trees in summer are clothed in a foliage of delicate green.  Its venerable walls, hoary with time, and steeped in untold memories, which had witnessed many an exciting scene, and resounded to the tread of its mail-clad owners, are now given over to owls and bats.   Starlings and jackdaws preen their wings, on the gaunt ruins, ring-doves coo in the trees close by, and wallflower flaunts its yellow blossom from the top.  Swallow’s nests on the stout old walls of the pile are no more plentiful than are the tales and legends that have grown up round it, lore enough to furnish many chapters, both thrilling and eerie.  Ancient trees twine their gnarled branches amid the remnants of the its once solid masonry.  The place is now of great peace in the midst of a lovely haugh, with memories stretching back to early Celtic times.  Memory still loves to linger round scenes of former years, once enduringly enshrined in the hearts of the people.

Boyne Castle 2012

<<<<< Banffshire Reporter, Wednesday, August 26th 1903: -

LOCAL NOTES – A little further on we come to the burn of the Boyne, where smuggling used to be carried on to a great extent, and a short distance up the burn, which is famous for its trout, stands the ruins of the Castle of Boyne, once the most magnificent seat of the Ogilvies in the north.  The remains of the older fortress may be traced on a rock promontory at the mouth of the burn.   This castle was granted by David II to Sir John Edmonstone of Edmonstone, in the county of Edinburgh, for services rendered to the King during his captivity in England.  Sir James Edmonstone, son of Sir John, married the widow of Douglas, the sister of Robert III., and the Wolfe of Badenoch.  From the Edmonstones it passed by marriage to the Ogilvies.


Queen Mary stayed over-night on September 19th. 1562 at the original Castle.  This was built on rocks at the shore and was known as Craig of Boyne Castle.  Historical records show that parts of this building were still visible in the year 1788

Boyne Castle

<<<<< From the booklet “Bits and Pieces about Portsoy” by Mary A. MacDonald, 1962: -

MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTLAND VISITS BOYNE CASTLE – On September 19th. 1562, Mary, Queen of Scotland, departed from Spynie, dined at Cullen, and supped at ‘Craig o’ Boyne’.

The Boyne Castle, well known to the present generation was built at a later date, perhaps by Alexander Ogilvie, Earl of Boyne.  His wife Mary Bethune (Mary Beaton) was one of the Queen’s Marys – said to be “the hardest and the wisest.”

It is interesting to note that, after Mary Bethune’s death, Alexander Ogilvie, married for the second time.   His choice on this occasion was Lady Jean Gordon whom Bothwell divorced in order to marry Queen Mary.


Mary Beaton one of the Queen’s four Marys, married Alexander Ogilvie, the 4th. Earl of Boyne, in 1566.

<<<<< From the booklet “Deskford Parish” by George Anderson Clarke: -

MARY BEATON  – It is reputed that Mary Beaton and her husband were buried in the Kirkton Churchyard, Deskford, sometime after 1606. Mary in 1566 married Alexander Ogilvie of Boyne Castle but is best remembered as one of the Queen’s “Four Maries”.

<<<<< From the book “Ruined Castles in Vicinity of Banff” by James Spence 1873: -

ALEXANDER OGILVIE – In 1566 Alexander Ogilvie married one of the Queen’s four Maries – Mary Bethune (Mary Beaton).  Alexander Ogilvie and Mary Beaton were both alive in 1606.  They were both buried in the Churchyard of Deskford.

<<<<< Banffshire Reporter, Wednesday, 20th. April 1998: -

AN INTERESTING DOCUMENT – TRANSLATION OF A CHARTER BY KING CHARLES I. TO WALTER OGILVIE OF BOYNE (1625) – A correspondent “C” sends us the following translation of a charter granted by King Charles I., in 1625, to Walter Ogilve of Boyne: -

At Edinburgh, 29th July, 1625, King Charles I., with consent of John Earl of Mar, and other officers of state, confirmed to Walter Ogilvie of Boyne the lands, barony and thanage of Boyne, with castles, manor houses, mills, fishings, in both salt and fresh water, tenants, &c., and patron of benefices, with an annual rent of six merks from

  • the burgh of Banff ;
  • the burgh and harbour of Portsoy, of old erected into a free port and burgh of barony, comprehending the towns and lands of Boigtouns ( Over and Nether Boigtouns),
  • the lands of Reidhyth and fish boats thereof,
  • the lands of Ardinboth, the towns and lands of Portsoy and harbour thereof,
  • the lands of Skeulhenrie, Aird and Dammis, Auchmoir, Roquhillie, Smyddieboyn, Kindroth with mosses and commonties,
  • the lands of Cowhyth and Scotismylne, Ardbrangan, Cairntoun, Fentie and Greinfauld, Thripland and Greincoitt,
  • the lands of Dolloquhyis (Over and Nether) with the new lands thereof,
  • the lands of Warielip and Quhythillis with fishings,
  • the lands and mansion of Bochragie, Kilbuchleis, Denheid, Quhentie, Fischkillie and Hillanddis of Buchragie,
  • the lands of Mylne of Boyndie, Padocklawis, Cullynnortis, Garrochslot, all lying adjacent, within the county of Banff ;
  • the lands of Raggel within the lordship of Abirbrothock, county of Banff ;
  • the greater tithes of the said towns and lands Quhentie, Ardbrangane and Dalloquhye, with the tithes of the white fish of the port at Knockinahair in the parish of Inverboyndie,

said lordship and county ; which the said Walter Ogilvie resigned, and which the King anew incorporated into the free barony and thanage of Boyne that one sasine taken at the gate of the Castle of Craig of Boyne should stand for all ; and anew erected the town and burgh of Portsoy into a free burgh of barony with free port and with liberties as in the original charter.

Boyne Castle

(The original charter gives wrongly 30th. December as St. Thomas’ Day, on which one of the fairs was to be held.  The present charter leaves the day of the month blank.)  Provided that if the said Walter have no heirs male of his body, but only heirs female, the heirs of tail succeeding should pay to the said heirs female, if only one, 20,000 merks, if there should be two, 20,000 pounds equally between them, if three or more, 40,000 merks between them, and the elder of these heirs female to have for her share 10,000 pounds, on their completing the age of fourteen year; and that George Ogilvie of Moncoffer, lord of Banff, junior, and Walter Ogilvie of Inverrichnye, his brother, uncles of the said Walter Ogilvie of Boyne on the mother’s side, or either of them and their heirs male succeeding to the aforesaid lands and others should marry one of their sons to an heir female of the said Walter Ogilvy of Boyne ; and that it be lawful to the said Walter Ogilvy of Boyne during his life to alienate irredeemably, pledge, or set in long or short tacks the aforesaid lands.

To be held by the said Walter Ogilvy of Boyne and the heirs male lawfully begotten of his body, whom failing by the said Walter Ogilvy of Inverrichnye and his heirs, as above ; whom failing by the said Walter Ogilvie of Boyne and his heirs male and assignees whatsoever bearing the surname and arms of Ogilvie.  Paying for Raggell and said tithes 12 shillings blench, and to the minister of Inverboyndie £11 13s 4d and relieving the Marquis of Hamilton of taxations, &c., for said tithes, for the rest rights and service, use and wont.

<<<<< Banffshire Journal, Tuesday March 21st. 1933:-


In the paper on the Ogilvies of Boyne which was contributed to the Banffshire Field Club on Wednesday by Mr. Alistair N. Taylor of Glenbarry, and which will in course, be printed in these columns, there was some interesting references to Portsoy.

Boyne Castle

The first occurred in the period of Sir Walter Ogilvie, 3rd. of Boyne, who was chosen Provost of Banff in 1549, while in the following year, for his good services, the Queen made Portsoy a burgh of Barony, from which time, almost four centuries ago, the town has enjoyed the prestige conferred by a grant of the kind.  It was probably his son, Alexander Ogilvie, 4th. of Boyne, who built what we know today as the Castle of the Boyne, successor to the Craig of the Boyne, near the sea, shortly after his marriage in 1566 to Mary Beaton, one of the Queen’s Four Maries, and there is small doubt the erection of this costly and huge pile was a contributing factor to the financial disabilities from which the family suffered in later years.

It is mentioned in certain works of local history that Mary Beaton was buried in the churchyard of Deskford.  Nothing in the nature of authoritative evidence has appeared that such was the case and Mr. Taylor is strongly inclined to believe that her dust rests in the burying ground of the Boyne family in the churchyard of Boyndie.

It was in the time of Sir Patrick Ogilvie, 8th. of Boyne, that Portsoy got its first improved harbour.  He was a notable man this holder of the thanedom of Boyne, one of the most remarkable men Mr. Taylor is inclined to think that Banffshire has ever produced.  His principal seat was Boyne Castle; his lands amongst the most fertile in the North of Scotland, extended from Portsoy to Banff and inland to Culphin; for nearly a quarter of a century he represented Banffshire in the Scots Parliament and in that capacity he was strongly against the Act of Union; he sat on the Bench of Court of Session as Lord Boyne, and he was also a soldier.   To Portsoy he proved a good friend.  He was one of the improvers of the small harbour the town then had and in the Register of the Privy Council there is to be found a supplication by him dated 1679 that within his lands and Barony of Boyne: -

“There is ane convenient place for a harbour called Portsoy which already does safely harbour small vessels and boats and if built and erected might prove a safe harbour for all sorts of ships within the kingdom, and being situated in that part of the country where there is no safe harbour for the space of four score miles along the coast the petitioner intends to cause erect and build ane harbour at that place which will prove so advantageous to the lieges that all encouragement ought to be given thereto ; and this being a work that will cost great charges, and expense, and wherein the whole people in the kingdom will be concerned, and without assistance and supply it will be impossible for the petitioner to perfite the same he craves warrant for a voluntary contribution.”

Favourable regard was had to the supplication and the Lords recommended the clergy to intimate throughout the Kingdom a general contribution.   That was in 1679 and there is evidence that the work proceeded slowly for in 1692 Lord Boyne asked the Town Council of Cullen for men to “dight out the harbour at Portsoy,” Mr. Taylor adding that twenty men were sent and more afterwards.   The scheme represented the first improved harbour of Portsoy and now, two and a half centuries later, the undertaking has again been the subject of public discussion and only last year under discussions detailed in a Parliamentary Order that harbour and its successor passed into possession of the community.

Sir Patrick did more than develop the harbour of Portsoy.  He worked the famous marble quarries of the town, the produce of which as Mr. Taylor pointed out was for long so popular, not only in Britain and elsewhere that considerable quantities of it were exported.  In arrangements connected therewith there is provided a curious instance of tariff protection and as well of the speed with which the old Scots parliament could on occasion carry through the business, Mr. Taylor’s narrative continuing:  -

“In the Acts of Parliament of Scotland under date 20th. November 1700 there is a petition of Sir Patrick and James Ogilvie, elder and younger of Boyne, craving the discharge of the exacting of customs or tonnage for marble found in their own ground, which they shall export.  They also requested that the importing of foreign marble be discharged.  It is recorded that the petition was read and remitted to the Committee for Trade and six days later a draft of an Act in favour of the Ogilvies relating to the marble was read for the first time. It shows the rapidity with which the old Scots Parliament dealt with business that on 23rd. December 1700 the Draft of the Act in favour of Sir Patrick and James Ogilvie, the elder and younger of Boyne for certain immunities to the marble found on their ground was again read and being put to vote was approved, whilst on 31st. January several Acts were ‘touched with the sceptre,’ amongst them being the Act in favour of Sir Patrick and James Ogilvie anent their marble.

Mr. Taylor in explanation of all those speedy doings in tariffs and legislation playfully observed that “Perhaps it should be mentioned that James Ogilvie, younger of Boyne, was at this date Member of Parliament for Banffshire!”   The scheme, therefore, had one sturdy and influential supporter in Parliament and it seems to have gone through with the least possible amount of trouble or delay.

Boyne Castle

<<<<< From the book “Ruined Castles in the Vicinity of Banff” by James Spence 1873: -


This castle, which occupies the level summit of a precipitous bank, forming the eastern side of a ravine, through which flows the burn of the Boyne, is situated near the coast of the Moray Firth, about two miles to the east of Portsoy. Below it, on a rocky peninsula, jutting into the sea on the west side of the mouth of the burn, a few masses of shapeless masonry, the rude remains of a very ancient time, mark the site of the original stronghold of the regality, to which the name of “Castle of the Craig of Boyne” more appropriately belongs, and of which nothing is now known beyond what may be gathered during a ten minutes survey of its ruins.

It is impossible to say exactly when the noble structure of the second castle was built, but judging from its style, it is probable that it dates from the thirteenth, or even the twelfth century.  Who the lords of the more ancient castle on the cliff at the mouth of the burn were, no one can tell but it may be safely assumed that the later castle, like that of King Edward, was built by the Comyns, or by clients of theirs, as we find that previous to their overthrow by Bruce in 1308, the Comyns were hereditary sheriffs of Banffshire, and that, after that date, the thanedom of the Boyne was for some time in the hands of the kings; for David Bruce, after the final expulsion of Edward Baliol and his adherents, granted the thaledom to a faithful servant, using the words “omnes terras nostras thanagii nostri del Boyen” – i.e., all our lands of our thanage of the Boyne

However this may have been, it is at least certain that this castle is one of the oldest in the North, and it has also had the good fortune to be preserved longer in a habitable condition than most of its compeers.

Boyne Caastle

It now remains for us to give a more detailed account of the various families that from age to age occupied the halls of this ancient fortress, and, in doing so, we shall commence with the Edmonstone family – the first family of which we have any authentic knowledge.  The Edmonstones or Edmistons, who are supposed to be a branch of the Seton sept, held as their earliest possession in Scotland, the lands of Edmonstone in the county of Edinburgh.  The first of the name mentioned in any document is Henry, 1248.  A descendant of his, Sir John Edmonstone of that Ilk, received from David I., in 1368, a grant of the thanedom of the Boyne, on account of the services he had rendered to that monarch in his negotiations with England.

The son of Sir John married the daughter of Robert II, the widow of the hero of Otterburn, and was in high office and favour under his brothers-in-law, Robert III and Albany.  On the death of Sir James Edmonstone of Edmonstone and Boyne, Sir Walter, second son of the Laird of Deskford and Findlater, having married one of the deceased baron’s daughters, obtained the thanedom in 1486.  In 1575, Sir George Ogilvie of Dunlugas acquired the estate of Boyne, from the elder branch of the family, and it continued in possession of the descendants of his second son until purchased by the Earl of Findlater in 1731.

It does not appear that many of the Boyne Ogilvies were personally distinguished in the general history of the country, but a few notices of them, not altogether uninteresting, may be gleaned from our early records: -

1495 – James IV confirms to his beloved servant, Walter Ogilvie of Boyne, a charter of the lands of Auchannoquhy and Culfyn in the Forest of Boyne, granted to the said Walter by George, Earl of Huntly.

1506 – Walter Ogilvie holds the office of Sheriff of Banffshire, and presides in a court of inquisition anent certain lands, which court was held “super montem Castri de Banff,” upon Castle-hill of Banff.   In the same year, Alexander Galloway, Chaplain of Collihill, grants two acres in the barony of Balquhain to the Blessed Virgin of the Chapel of Garioch, “for the good of the souls of the honourable and venerable men, Walter Ogilvie of Boyne, Knight,”

1516 – The third son of Sir Walter, William, who at that time held the important office of High Treasurer, received from John, Duke of Albany, governor of the kingdom, a charter of the forest of Boyne.

1550 – The town of Portsoy, which belonged hereditarily to the Thanes of Boyne, was erected into a burgh of barony with all the usual privileges, “for good, faithful, and free service rendered to us” (Queen Mary) “by Sir Walter Ogilvie of Boyne.”

1562 – The Queen grants a letter, conveying to James, Earl of Mar, “the gift of the marriage of Alexander Ogiluy, sone and apperand air of vmquhile Schir Walter Ogiluy of Boyne, Knicht.  And failyeing him be deceis vnmariit, the marriage of ony vther air or airis male of female that sal happin to succeid to the said vmquhile Schir Walter in hi landis and heritage,” &c.

1566 – This Alexander Ogilvie married one of the queen’s “four Maries” – Mary Bethune (Mary Beaton).  The marriage contract is signed by the queen and Darnley ; by the Earls of Huntly, Argyle, Bothwell, Murray, and Athole ; and also by the bride and bridegroom.  Alexander Ogilvie and Mary Bethune were both alive in 1606.  They were both buried in the churchyard of Deskford.

About the middle of the seventeenth century, the laird of the Boyne, was a zealous and active Whig and Covenanter, and suffered in consequence during the short time that Montrose was dominant in the north.   His estates were harried at that time, while he himself was safe behind walls that were too strong for any artillery that could be brought against them by such an army as that led by the “gallant Graham.”

A change, however, soon took place in the politics of this family, and after the Revolution, they are found in opposition to the Government.

In the reign of James II, Sir James Ogilvie of Boyne was a Lord of the Court of Session, and to him the first Lord Seafield, son of the Earl of Findlater, was much indebted.  Being the second son of a nobleman at that time in poor circumstances, he studied law, and Sir James bore all the charges of his education both at home and abroad, and patronised and protected him when he began to practice his profession.

In the reign of Queen Anne, Sir James Ogilvie sat in the last Scottish Parliament, and strongly opposed the Union, and all the arrangements connected with it.   He was a thorough going Jacobite, and active in all the plots of the time for the Stuart cause.   In 1707, he was one of the fifteen noblemen and gentlemen who signed a kind of treaty with the French king and King James, earnestly entreating the latter to come over as soon as possible, and declaring the forwardness of the nation to venture all for the King’s service.   The consequence of this was that he was obliged to expatriate himself, being, says a contemporary historian, “so straitened in circumstances that he could not reside in Scotland.”    This policy and straitened circumstances continued, and the latter increased until in 1731 the estates of Boyne were sold to the fifth Earl of Findlater and second Earl of Seafield.

<<<<< From the book “Banff and District” by Allan Edward Mahood 1919: -


The picturesque and interesting ruins of Boyne Castle are situated five miles west of Banff, on the old road to Portsoy, and a mile and a half east from Portsoy Station.    Routes: – The direct and shortest route from Banff is past St. Brandon’s Church.  For this and other routes see Chapter XIII

The more recent Castle of the Boyne is the one generally spoken of. Cordiner (1788) says it is “beautifully situated on the margin of a rocky mount, projecting in a deep glen, protected on the north-west by a lofty wooded hill; the glen winds down for about a mile to the firth, where it opens among the cliffs, to the sea; and there (by the sea) are found the ruins of still more ancient towers”    The burn of the Boyne nearly surrounds the mount, which is precipitous on three sides, and a ditch and ramparts defended the accessible or south side where the ground slopes gently down to the Castle.   The ditch is 55 feet wide and in parts 10 feet deep, with a wall of masonry on the outer sides and at the ends.  It is crossed by a raised causeway which leads to the gateway in the middle of the south wall, with around tower on either side.

A spiral stair can be traced in the left hand gate-tower.   The Castle forms a square of about 90 feet each side, having a large and strong round tower at each angle.   Two of these towers commanded the entrance causeway, which was also defended by the gate-towers and loopholes in the south wall.   Inside there is a square court, on the west and south sides of which are the three-storied remains of the Castle.    Several of the rooms have still the vaulted ceiling, and some of the window openings remain entire with their wide and nearly flat-topped arches.

The newest part of the “L” shaped Castle is on the west side of the courtyard.   On the ground floor there are vaulted rooms some, still in fair preservation.   The first floor can be reached by a few rude modern stone-steps.  It had a set of rooms, in all 77 feet long by 22 feet wide, the partition walls of which are gone.  There are openings for windows on each side and at the ends, also for windows in the towers.  A window of a vaulted chamber of the north-west tower, on this floor, looks down into the ravine.  In the angle between the south-west tower and the west wall there is a half-round tower which is a peculiar feature.   The ceiling or flooring above this storey and the roof are gone.   The interior of the four corner towers is square, while they are rounded outside.

Of the south block the inner wall facing the courtyard has in great part disappeared, exposing the long flat arches over the windows in the outer wall.  The walls in this part are more massive and darker than in the rest of the ruins.  The east and north sides of the courtyard were defended by thick walls and the strong towers at the south-east and north -east corners.  The north-east, the north-west, and the south-west corner towers with intervening walls overhang the declivity to the ravine and formed a good defence when the Castle was built.  The position is commanded by high ground on all sides.

Cordiner, writing about 1788, said “The orchards on either hand, that still abound with various fruit, and rows of aged trees, which shade the avenues, leading to the Castle, and in decaying grandeur open the prospect of the falling towers, impress one with a sense of the early taste.  Within, the walls exhibit the mouldering memorials of many historical paintings.  In the largest tower (perhaps the south-west tower) the paintings have been preserved by a peculiar fortune.    It appears from some dates that about a hundred years ago a new coat of plaister had been laid over the whole, now (it) is dropping off and discloses saints and prelates pourtrayed on the walls, and many parts of the History of the new Testament designed.   Figures also in devotional attitudes, with emphatic scrolls, in Saxon characters,  ‘sursum corda, sic itur ad astra’   Unfortunately a large portion of the ruins fell in 1888, the paintings have perished, and the place is greatly altered since Cordiner’s day.  Still much remains to be admired and to show what the whole was like.   Many parts are in danger of falling, and the destruction of a valuable link with the past history of Scotland is threatened.

The date of the building has been assigned to the 12th or 13th century.   The earlier Castle, at the sea, may have been built then, but not the present one.   The architecture indicates that the latter was built about the time of the 1602 Castle at Huntly.

Dr. J. Milne considered that the thicker walled portion with darker and better masonry, might date from the 16th century, and the west side with better accommodation was built in the 17th century when the upper story of the old wing and the four round towers were also added.  “The vaulted chambers in the base of the castle were not used as dungeons, but for stores of fuel and provisions, and sometimes as cow houses and stables.”

The walls are mostly formed of very large irregularly shaped stones with wide interspaces filled with quite small stones set in very hard mortar.  There are no typical Norman arches in the ruins.   The arches are wide and nearly flat.

The steep grassy slopes overhanging the burn are a mass of flowers in the spring and early summer.  The opposite bank of the burn rises as a precipitous cliff covered with trees, which, with the fresh green of spring, the deeper green of summer, or the warm tints of autumn, form a delightful background to the Castle ruins.   These are well seen from the road leading to the mouth of the burn.

After exploring the ruins and upper glen with its treasures of plant life, the burn side may be followed to the sea by the adventurous, or the road to the north past the smithy may be taken down to the river mouth.   Only foot passengers are allowed to cross the high-arched bridge, over the burn, which leads to a large limestone quarry and lime kilns.   A footpath ascends the slope on the left bank to the “Craig o’ Boyne,” or small promontory jutting into the sea.   On this spot stood the old Castle, the real “Craig o’ Boyne.”    Ruins of some of the towers existed about 1788 (Cordiner), but for many years there have only been small remains of buried foundations, including a small square masonry pit, which has puzzled many concerning its purpose.  Mr. Garland, of Cowhythe, found on this site pins and needles of brass and bone, a cloth mark of the 16th. century with black letter inscription, bones of sheep, antlers of deer, jaws of wolves and wild boars, and fragments of pottery and glass.   Some of these were sent to the Edinburgh Museum.   From the cloth mark it seems that this Castle was inhabited in the 16th. century.

<<<<< The geology of this part of the coast, which is very interesting, is described in Chapter XVI.

HISTORY – The Comyns were Thanes and hereditary Sheriffs of Banffshire previous to the overthrow by Bruce in 1308.    After this the thanedom of the Boyne was for a time in the King’s hands, and in 1368 David I. granted it to Sir John Edmonstone of Edmonstone in Midlothian.  In 1426 the Accounts of the Bailies and Propositi of Banff mention payment of £4, out of the fermes of the town and water, “to the heir of the deceased David Edmonstone, Lord of Boyne.”   Sir Walter Ogilvy of Auchleven, son of Sir Walter of Lintrathen, married Margaret Sinclair, daughter and heiress of Sir John Sinclair of Deskford and Findlater.  Their younger son, Walter, married the daughter and co-heir of Sir James Edmonstone, and acquired the thanage of the Boyne in 1486.   In 1495 James IV confirmed to Walter Ogilvy of Boyne a charter of the lands of Auchannoquhy and Culfyn in the Forest of Boyne.  In 1506, Walter Ogilvy was Sheriff of Banffshire and held a court “super montem Castri de Banff.

Mary Queen of Scots

In 1549 “Ane nobill man Walter Ogilby off Bowyne Knyt is to be haill consentt, .chosen – provest and maister to manteyne and defend them, and their liberteis” – by the “comburges” of Banff.  In 1550 Portsoy was made a burgh of barony for service rendered by Sir Walter Ogilvy of Boyne to Queen Mary.  The Queen stayed at Boyne Castle on the 19th. September 1562.   In 1566 Alexander Ogilvy, his son, married Mary Beton or Beaton, one of the Queen’s “four Maries :-

“Yestreen the Queen had four Maries,
The day she’ll hae but three;
There was Mary Beton and Mary Seton
And Mary Carmichael and me.”
(Old Ballad.)

The modern spelling is Bethune.   Alexander Ogilvy and his wife were alive in 1606.   They were buried at Deskford.    Whyte Melville, in his novel, “The Queen’s Maries,” describes this Mary Beton, and her marriage.   Maurice Hewlett, in the Queen’s Quhair,” introduces several of the county families of the North-east, including Findlater, Ogilvy of Boyne and his wife Mary Beton, the Earl of Huntly and his sons.   He also mentions Queen Mary’s journey to the North and the Battle of Corrichie.

In 1575 Sir George Ogilvy of Dunlugas acquired the Boyne property from the elder branch.   Spalding states that in 1645 “Montrose marches from Findlater to Boyn, plunders the country, and burns the bigging. The Laird himself kept the Craig of Boyne, wherein he was safe, but his hail lands for the most part were burnt up and destroyed.”

In 1650 Walter Ogilvie of Boyne “satisfied and was received” by the Church after being accessorie in the rebellion.   Gordon of Straloch in 1662 says the Castle in his time was “arx, cui Rupis Boenae (Crag of Boyn) nomen, pulchra sane.”

Sir James Ogilvy of Boyne was an ardent Jacobite and had to leave the country.   The Castle and estate were sold in 1731 to the Earl of Findlater, who lived at Cullen House.  Boyne Castle about this time ceased to be inhabited.

A very pleasant afternoon or morning walk can be had by taking the train to Portsoy and walking back to Banff via Cowhythe and Boyne Castle.  The distance is about 6½ miles.  On leaving Portsoy Station turn to the right, and on reaching the main street, turn again to the right and proceed eastwards to a sharp curve, and there ask for the old road to Boyne Castle.  This old road turns off sharp to the left and goes down hill.   It then turns eastward, crosses the Burn of Durn and ascends from 50 feet above sea level to 224 feet in the first half mile.   After that it is a gradual descent to the Burn of Boyne, 83 feet above sea, from which there is a short ascent to the Castle.

The walk from Portsoy to the Castle takes from half an hour to forty minutes, but more time may be well spent on the road.   The view from the hill, on the east of the Burn of Durn, includes the Bin of Cullen (1050 ft.) to the west, the Hill of Durn (661 ft.) to the south -west, and a little south -east of it, but further off, is Knock Hill (1409 ft.).    Northward is the Firth with its ever-changing colours, and away far to the north-west the mountains of Sutherland and Caithness can be seen when the horizon is clear.

Beyond Banff, on the east, are seen the headlands of Gamrie and Troup.  These headlands are at times of that intense deep blue which is usually associated with foreign climes.  Off the left hand side of the road Cowhythe House will be noticed, and behind it is the Hill of Cowhythe.  Half a mile north of the house, when the first triangulation for the ordnance Survey was made, the plumb-line was found to hang 10 seconds to the south instead of being vertical.   If not taken into account this deflection would have caused Cowhythe to be charted 333 yards too far south.  Special measurements, taken along a line from Nairn to Fraserburgh, through Cowhythe, also southward to the Grampians, showed a deflection of the plumb-line over a large area, but greatest at Cowhythe 257 feet above the sea.   The extraordinary deflection of the force of gravity has been attributed to more than one geological feature of the neighbourhood.   This point is marked on the one inch Ordnance map.

After passing Cowhythe the Burn of Boyne backed by the wooded hill, and the corn mill with its undershot wheel, form a very pretty picture.  There are several spots here which are suitable for sketching: – (a) the mill viewed from the road before reaching the burn, (b) the mill as it appears from the bridge, (c) the bridge with the cottage and trees as seen from near the mill.   The road ascends from the bridge and in about a couple of hundred yards a path can be seen crossing a field on the left hand side, and leading direct to Boyne Castle.   There is no stile, but it is easy to get over the wall.  Or, continue a short distance further on the road and turn to the left, near two cottages, by a gate into a field, at the other end of which is the Castle amongst the trees.

<<<<< From the book “Jacobites of 1715″ by Frances McDonell: -

James Ogilvie, of Boyne.   Eldest son of Sir Patrick Ogilvie of Boyne, and his first wife Anna Grant, he was born in 1667.  He married in 1688, Anna, daughter of Major George Arnot of Grange in Fife, by whom he had a son James and one daughter.  He married secondly, a Frenchwoman of the name Busilie, by whom he had a son, John Lewis.

James Ogilvie, younger, of Boyne.  Son of James Ogilvie of Boyne and his first wife Anna Arnot.   Lived mostly with his father in France, returning for the Rising.  He never married, and died at Rouen in 1717.

<<<<< Banffshire Journal, Tuesday, April 25th 1933 (Contributed by Mr. Alastair N. Taylor): -


Sir Patrick Ogilvie, 8th of Boyne.  In 1660 his father Walter Ogilvie, settled on Patrick, the barony of the thanedom of Boyne.   The law of entail was not then in operation, and before Sir George McKenzie’s act of 1685, the method was for a father was to create a liferent in himself and convey the fee to his heir.  In 1663, he is named Sir Patrick Ogilvie, knight.  In May 1664 he married Anna Grant, eldest daughter of the deceased James Grant of Freuchie, Laird of Grant.  On 3rd July of that year provision was made for her “as apparent Spouse to Sir Patrick Ogilvie, yor. of Boyne, Knight,” of the lands of Buchragie and its Manor Place and of the lands of Dallachy, all in Boyndie.

An armorial stone, originally at Boyne, now built into the wall at Cullen House, bears the arms of Ogilvie and Grant impaled with the date 1668.  James Grant died in September 1663 but his will was not confirmed until July 1665.  Amongst “debts restand be the defunct” there is “Ittem, to the defunct’s daughter Anna, twelv thousand poundis.”    Under “Legacie and letter Will” there is “Item, I leave to my daughter Anna Grant, the soum of eight thousand merks Scotts.”   This is curious, as 12,000 pounds Scots and 18,000 merks Scots, equally amount to £1,000 sterling, so James grant was merely leaving his daughter the exact sum he owed her.

According to the Register of the Privy Council Sir Patrick Ogilvie of Boyne was, in 1664, granted a commission to apprehend rebels. The year 1667 was an unfortunate one for him as his father, Sir Walter, is stated to have died  between April 1666 and October 1667, while there is an entry in the Diary of John Row, under date 28th April 1667 as follows; “Sabbath, died the Lady of Boyne, spouse to Patrick Ogilvie of the Boyne, in a sudden fit of swarfing” (fainting).

Sir Patrick married secondly about 1679, Anna, daughter of the last Douglas of Whittinghame, widow of Patrick Barclay of Towie.

On the death of his father, Sir Patrick entered into possession of a large estate; his principal seat was, of course, Boyne Castle and the dower house was at Buchragie.  Traces of the latter can still be made out to the west of Boyndie Kirk.   The lands stretched from Portsoy to Banff. He had early turned his attention to law; and his ability, coupled with his influence, marked him out for political advancement.  The Freeholders of Banffshire sent him, along with Sir James Baird of Auchmedden, the Sheriff Principal (who had married his aunt, Christian Ogilvie) to represent them in the Scots Parliament in 1669, which lasted until 1674.  He was re-elected in 1678 and again sat in 1681 and 1685 for the county with Sir George Gordon of Edinglassie.  He represented Banffshire in 1689 with Alexander Duff of Braco, and continued to sit until April 29th 1693; when his seat was declared vacant because he had not signed “the assurance” and Sir James Abercromby of Birkenbog was chosen in his place.  Thus Sir Patrick represented his native county for a period of twenty-four years in all.

His knowledge of the law was extensive and in1681 he was made a Judge of the Court of Session under the title of Lord Boyne.  Previous to this, in July of the same year, Sir Patrick Ogilvie, with many others, had signed a declaration that “it is unlawful under all circumstances to take up arms against the King.”   The Register of the privy Council, 1684, also records that “Sir Patrick Ogilvie of Boyne, Lord Boyne, purchases a suit of clothes made of English Cloth!”  This seems to have incensed the masters and others concerned in the manufactory at Newmilnes who lodged a complaint against a certain Robert Cunningham and others, merchants in Edinburgh, for illegally selling English cloth and thus infringing the monopoly of the complainers – a special complaint being made against “Andrew Irvinge” who had sold “a sute of English cloath to Lord Boyne.”

In January 1686 he received a pension from King James II, for what reason is not clear, as he still continued to exercise his functions as a Judge, but as he had, in June 1677, received a royal protection against paying annual rents on his mortgages, he was possibly already falling into financial difficulties and, as a good Jacobite, was considered worthy of Royal support.  The accounts of the Lord High Treasurer for this year show a list of the pensions his Majesty had granted to fifty-two persons, whereof there is above £12,000 sterling paid to Papists, amongst them Ogilvie of Boyne.

<<<<< Assaulted at Edinburgh.

In May 1686 Lord Boyne was insulted in the High Street of Edinburgh, as he was returning from Court, by Campbell, younger, of Calder, who after spitting in his face and offering to strike him, called him a rascal and a villain, and said that if his Lordship ha had a sword he would have run him through.  The Court of Session committed Campbell to the Tolbooth and laid the matter before the King, who directed that Campbell should ask His Majesty’s pardon and theirs, and particularly Lord Boyne’s, on his knees.  This he did no September 14th.

The trouble seems to have arisen in connection with Sir Patrick Ogilvie’s third wife, whom he married in December 1862.  She was Anne Montgomerie, youngest daughter of  Hugh, 7th Earl of Eglinton and widow of Sir Adam Ramsay, Bart. of Waughton.  In the Diary of  Lord Fountainhall, the above incident is described; after recounting the attack by young Calder in the High Street, he sums it up tersely by saying – “the cause was, he was said to have lyen with Boyne’s lady.”   On the 27th April Lady Boyne’s brother, Francis Montgomerie, in a letter to his sister, writes – “since the sad breach betwixt my Lady Ann and her Lord is too notour, I only express myself trulie afflicted therewith, and wishes heartily an reparation.”

The relations between Lord Boyne and his wife are referred to at some length in the correspondence of James, Earl of Findlater and Seafield.  She was at this time about to have a baby and her husband’s considerable doubts as to its paternity, probably accounted for his apparently heartless treatment of her.  But, that she was still living at Boyne is proved by a letter which she writes to her “deir Sister,” Lady Findlater, from that place on 1st October 1686, in which she complains of her husband’s behaviour. “I trusted to my Lord Boyne’s promise in seinding to Abd. To bring a meidwyfe to bring me to bed, in a chaire; and now when I expect he should doe it, will not condiscend, so I send thrie dollars and intraite ye will send a fott man with this enclosed to my Lady Abd. who will send ye meidwyfe, as she wrets in her letter qch I have sent to you…. I have seall simptons that I cannot be long before I be brought to bed.  Ye three dollars are to hyre a horse to ye meidwyfe, and ane other for ye chair…onlie if ye have any love for me ye will obey this desyre for I am her, who is, Your most affectionate sister and humble servant -   Ann Ogilvie.”

The next day Lord Boyne wrote to Lord Findlater as follows: “My Lord – I cannot expres the trouble my wyf’s deportment hath occasioned me since I saw yow; but I must endevor to bear all, the best way I can.  I cannot rationally venture in a hows with her, since burning is the least she threttins, and banish myself from my own hows I cannot; But she must resolve to goe somewhere and be brought to bed.  I shall not spair monie on her expence, but in my hows she shall never com. I wish some of her friends deall with her, to goe to some convenient place, and not expose herself mor than she hath done, to be the talk of all who hear of her.  Since your Lordship wes pleased to call for me this day I judged it my dewtie to let you know my thoughts in this affair.  I am My Lordship, Yowr most humble servant,   Patrick Ogilvie.”

The next letter on the subject to Lord Findlater and Seafield from George Leslie of Birdsbank, Sheriff Clerk of Banffshire shows that Anna Ogilvie was then living in the latter’s house in Banff, as doubtless Sir Patrick wishing to return to Boyne, had compelled her to leave that place.  George Leslie’s letter furnishes so many details of the trouble between husband and wife that it may be quoted in full.  It is dated Banff, October 26th 1686.

“My Lord – I have presumed to give your Lordship this trouble, tho perhaps it come unseasonable to your hands, and thought fit to tell that my Lady Ann, Boyne’s lady is now heir at my hous.  I am sorry I have not accomodations for hir, that is suitable to one off her qualities; but as it is, she is very welcome to it.  It wer tedious to give your Lordship account of all the passadges off this day and I sall only modestly say she meets with a little severitie and hardship.  She is hir on her road ffor Aberdeen and this same night I have taken the ffreedome to wreit to my Lord Boynd, to qch letter I caused  Achmedden (who is att this place as yet) subjoyne ane post script.  And both of ye are pressing with Boyne to come in heir to-morrow, and speak with her, and bot consent that ane midwyf ffrom Abd. be sent for, by some discreet person to be brought hither.  Its lyk maters my be composed, and off all evils the lest is to be chosen; and on their terms probablie she may be perswaded to stay in this toun, and rather in the minister’s hous heir than in any place els. Wherffor since she cannott be at the Boyne, she will stay in no place qrin he is interested; so iff my Lord Boynd come in and consent to her propisitions, its lyk maters may be settled.   And iff not I find hir positive shee will goe forward to Abd, tho she travell bot ane myle in the day, on ffoott.   So since your Lordship is to be att Boyne tomorrow morning my weak opinion is, that ye wold be a little the mor tymeli, and truly, tho Boynd would dissent to come in, I wold advyse your Lordship to perswad him to come in, and to come alongst with him and I doubt not bot Achmedden being heir the effeir my be taken up by advyse and the mediations of frinds.  I sall leave thes to your Lordship’s considerations; bot I think it necessarie ye come in, and bring my Lord Boynd alongst with your Lordship for both prudence, and I may even say charitie, is to be observed in such caices.  I think it not fitt that my Lord Boynd see this letter, or know that your Lordship has heard from me, but let all flow simply as from yourself – And I am in all duty, My Lord, Your Los, very affeconat and oblidged servant – Geo. Leslye.”

In a letter from James Ogilvie, to his mother Lady Seafield, written from Edinburgh on 27th November 1686, he says “your Sister (Lady Boyne) is come to the toune, bot her child is not yet christened, neither is there any appearance of ane reconciliation betwixt her Lord and her.”

It is not known if the child was a boy or a girl nor what became of it; there is no further allusion to it in the family correspondence.  Nor is it known whether Lord Boyne and his wife ever became reconciled, nor even the date of her death.

Besides Lord Boyne’ activities as a Member of Parliament and a Judge of the Court of Session, he also undertook some military duties – both as a volunteer and in the regular forces, which seems curious for so busy a man.

In 1688 his eldest son by his first wife, Anna Grant, married Anna Arnot, and amongst the papers in Cullen House there is an Instrument of Resignation of the Lands, Barony and Estate of Boyne and others in favour of James Ogilvie, younger of Boyne, and Mrs. Anna Arnot, his wife, and heirs male, dated 20th. July of the same year.  This was for the marriage contract.

Portsoy Harbour in the 21st Century

<<<<< Works in Portsoy.

Portsoy owes a great deal to Lord Boyne.  In the Register of the Privy Council there is to be found a Supplication by Sir Patrick Ogilvie of Boyne, dated Edinburgh, 25th February 1679, which states that within his lands and barony of Boyne “there is ane convenient place for a harbour called Portsoy, which already does harbour small vessels and boates, and if built and erected might prove a safe harbour for all sorts of shipes within the kingdome, and ane shelter to strangers in the time of stormes; and being situat in that part of the countrey where there is no safe harbour for the space of four-score myles along the coast, the petitioner intends to cause erect and build the harbour at that place, which will prove so advantadgious to the leidges that all encouradgment ought to be given thereto: and this being a work which will cost great charges, and expenses, and wherein the whole people in the kingdome will be concerned, and without this assistance and supply it will be impossible for the petitioner to perfite the same,”  he craves warrant for a voluntary contribution.  The Lords recommend the clergy to intimate throughout the kingdom a general contribution.  Work on the harbour must have proceeded slowly, for in 1692 Lord Boyne asked the Town Council in Cullen for men “ to dight out the harbour of Portsoy.”  Twenty men were sent and more afterwards.

Besides developing the harbour of Portsoy, Lord Boyne also worked the marble quarries of that town, the produce of which was for long popular, not only in Britain but elsewhere, that considerable quantities of it were exported.  In the Acts of Parliament of Scotland under date 20th. November 1700 there is a Petition of Sir Patrick and James Ogilvie, elder and younger of Boyne, “craving the discharge of the exacting of customs or tunnege for marble found in their own ground, which they shall export.”  They also requested that the “importing of all forraign marble be discharged”  (an early instance of protection!).   It is recorded that this petition was read and remitted to the Committee for Trade and six days later a draught of an Act in favour of the Ogilvies, relating to the marble was read for the first time.  It shows the rapidity with which the old Scottish parliament dealt with business, that on 23rd. December 1700 the “Draught of the Act in favours of Sir Patrick and James Ogilvie, elder and younger of Boyne, for certain immunities to the marble found in their own ground,” was again read and being put to the vote, was approved; whilst on 31st. January 1701 several Acts were “touched with the Scepter,” amongst them the Act in favour of Sir Patrick and James Ogilvie anent their marble.  (Perhaps it should be mentioned that James Ogilvie was at this date Member of Parliament for Banffshire).

During most of King William’s reign, Sir Patrick Ogilvie took little part in Banffshire affairs and it was only when Queen Anne came to the throne that his interest revived; he attended many county meetings, presided over several of these and in general took an active part in county administration.  He was convener of the county from 1703-1706 and made his last appearance as a Commissioner of Supply in July 1706.  At a meeting of Commissioners of Supply of Banffshire, held on 15th. October 1702 Sir Patrick took the oaths of assurance and allegiance to Queen Anne and like many other Jacobites, came back to political life, for James II had died 16th September 1701, and Ann’s succession was the more readily accepted.

According to the “Correspondence of Nathaniel Hooke”, Sir Patrick Ogilvie was mentioned in 1705 in the Duke of Perth’s instructions as one of those who had distinguished themselves by their loyalty to the exiled family since the Revolution and as favouring a descent on England.  The same authority states that in September 1707 he signed credentials to his son James to treat with the Old Chevalier as to the means of his restoration to the throne.  Sir Patrick also, in the same year, signed the Jacobite memorial to Louis XIV, He was strongly opposed to the passing of the Act of the Union.

By 1705 Sir Patrick was falling into financial difficulties and both he and his son James were contemplating the sale of the Boyne Estates to Lord Findlater in order to settle with their creditors.  The matter dragged on for some time but was finally concluded by a Decreet of Sale on 3rd November 1709.  In the Cullen House charter room there is a document which shows the completion of the whole affair.  “James, Earl of Findlater and Seafield, having acquired and completed his titles to the regality of Ogilvie, as also having purchased at a public roup before the Lords of Session in 1709 the Barony and Thanedom of Boyne holden of the Crown, and Lands in the Forest of Boyne holden of the Duke of Gordon, being all the Estate of Sir Patrick and James Ogilvie, Elder and Younger of Boyne, the Earl did make up his Titles, to the said Estate, by Charter and Sasine under the Great Seal in 1710.”

It is not stated where Sir Patrick lived after parting with the estate of Boyne – he must have been an old man by then and he may have been allowed to remain in his family home, but he died, between the Pasch and Michaelmas Head Courts of 1714, about the critical period of Queen’s death. (1st August in that year), and was thus saved the strife and strain of the Rising of the Fifteen, in which he no doubt would have joined.   He was an elder of the Church of Boyndie. The low arched building on the north side of the Church of Boyndie is said to have been the burying place of the Ogilvies of Boyne and Sir Patrick was probably the last of the family to be buried there.

By his first wife, Anna Grant of Grant, he left James, 9th. of Boyne.   By his second wife, Anna Douglas of Whittingham, he had a son, Archibald of Rothiemay, born circa 1680, and a daughter Mary, who married Patrick Ogilvie of Balfour.   By his third wife, Anne Montgomerie, a child (sex unknown) born in 1686.

Sir Patrick was altogether one of the most remarkable and many-sided men Banffshire ever produced.

Notes : -   Without the efforts of Sir Patrick Ogilvie it is certain that Portsoy would have remained a minor village on the Moray Firth coast.  His persistence in successfully pursuing his quest for the first safe harbour at Portsoy completely altered the economy of the village and brought a period of untold wealth to the area. Unfortunately it did not last and so far it has never been repeated.

An ungrateful population sadly has never recognised the work of their laird.  At the neighbouring village, Whitehills, where they did not experience the same patronage they have a “Boyne Street” and an “Ogilvie Place”.   It is difficult to understand why Portsoy have failed to honour Sir Patrick when lesser mortals have been recognised. Could a lack of knowledge of our local history be the reason ?     -   F. Pirie,  December 2007


James Ogilvie entered keenly into Jacobite intrigue from 1707 and as time went on became more and more involved, and was in consequence outlawed and had to flee to France.  For a full description of his life see “History of Portsoy  – The Jacobites of Portsoy.”

Male heirs


Sir Walter Ogilvie, 1st. of Boyne

m. Margaret Edmonstone daughter of Sir John Edmonstone of Boyne & Tulliallan, Perthshire in 1484.

George Ogilvie, 2nd. Of Boyne (1480-1512)

Sir Walter Ogilvie, 3rd of Boyne (1504-1561)

Alexander Ogilvie, 4th of Boyne (1570-1619)

m. Mary Beaton 1566

James Ogilvie, 5th of Boyne (1621-1666)

Sir Patrick Ogilvie, 8th of Boyne

Sir James Ogilvie, 9th of Boyne (1667- ?) A Jacobite forced to flee the country.

m. (1) Anna Arnot of Grange, Fife, in Feb 1688 and had one son

Anna Arnot evicted from Boyne Castle in 1716.   She died in Scotland in 1718

m. (2) Mademoiselle Busilie in France and had four children. She died in 1725.

Sir James died in France before 21st August 1728

<<<<< From the Banffshire Reporter of July 29, 1903:-

A correspondent, “C” who is conversant with the history of the leading families of this district, but who has frequently had occasion to remark how little is known even by well-informed persons of the family of Ogilvie of Boyne, sends us the following from Nisbet’s Heraldry, without, however, guaranteeing the accuracy of the descent as here stated of the most recent members that appear in this table.  The ancient genealogy is unchallengeable.


I.-SIR WALTER OGILVIE OF AUCHLEVEN, second son of Sir Walter Ogilvie of Lintrathen, ancestor of the Earls of Airlie, m, 1437 Margaret daughter and sole heiress of Sir John Sinclair of Findlater and Deskford and had –

(1) Sir James, ancestor of Earls of Findlater.

(2) Sir Walter.    (see II)

II. SIR  WALTER OGILVIE, Sheriff of Inverness and chamberlain of Moray, married Margaret, second daughter and co-heiress of James Edmonston of that ilk, with whom he got the lands of Tulliallan, which he excambed on 25th. Feby., 1484, for the lands of  Boyne with his brother-in-law Patrick Blackadder.  He had issue –

(1) George.  (see III)

(2) Walter, ancestor of Lord Banff

(3) Sir William, of Geddes and Strathern, Lord High Treasurer.

<<<<< III             GEORGE OGILVIE OF BOYNE had a charter to the lands of Boyne as son and heir of his father on 27th. March 1491, and of the lands of Fergustoun on 19th. October 1506 and died before 1517 leaving –

(1)   Sir Walter    (see IV)

(2)   Elizabeth, m. Sir William Leslie of Balquhain.

<<<<< IV – SIR WALTER OGILVIE OF BOYNE had a charter to himself and spouse of the lands of Ardenboith, &c., in thanedom of Boyne, 18th. July 1825, and died before 11th May 1567.  He m. Christian Keith and had issue –

(1) Alexander.   (see V)

(2) Walter, had charter of the lands of Baldovy, Banffshire, 3rd August1556

(3) Marjory, had a charter of lands of Easter Airdis, called Corbettsland, 13th Decr 1555, m. James Dunbar of Tarbet

(4) Christian, m. Patrick Mowat of Buchoillie.

(5) Margaret, m. John Stewart, master of Boquhan, who died before 1549

(6) Barbara, m. Alexander Ogilvie of Cardell.

<<<<< V – ALEXR. OGILVIE OF BOYNE, m. Mary, daughter of Robert Bethune of Creich (one of the Queen’s four Maries) and had issue –

(1) James   (see VI)

(2) Andrew

(3) Robert

He is said to have m. (secondly) Jane, third daughter of George, 4th Earl of Huntly, and widow of James, Earl of Bothwell, and Alexander, Earl of Sutherland, who died 14th May 1629 aged 84.

<<<<< VI -JAMES OGILVIE OF BOYNE, had a charter of the barony of Boyne on 26th July 1606, and died 1619.  He m. Elizabeth, daughter of Alexander Irvine of Drum and had –

<<<<< VII -SIR WALTER  OGILVIE served heir to his father 12th July 1620, to his great grandfather 19th Nov 1625, MP for Banff 1644, adhered to King Charles I.   He had issue –

<<<<< VIII-SIR PATRICK OGILVIE, MP, Banff 1669-74, 1678, 1681-2, 1685-6, 1689-93, appointed a Lord of Session 1st Nov 1681, knighted by King Charles II, m. 1664 Mary, daughter of Sir James Grant of Grant and had –

(1) James  (see IX)

(2) Ann, m. Thos. Fotheringham of Powrie

He married  (2) a daughter of Douglas  of Whittingham, and had –

(1) Archibald    (see XI)

(2) Mary, m. Patrick Ogilvie of Balfour and had issue –

(3) Major Walter

<<<<< IX -JAMES OGILVIE accompanied James 7th to France, died before 21st Aug 1728, m. (1) Anna, daughter of Arnot of that ilk, and had

(1) James – died unmarried in France

He married (2) Mdlle. Busilie in France and had two sons.  The eldest died unmarried.  The second was -

<<<<< X -JOHN LEWIS OGILVIE, Colonel a la suite in Ogilvy’s Scot’s Regiment died at Guigne, in Bril, France, 10th October 1762 m. a French lady, and had two daughters.  He was succeeded by his uncle, Archibald Ogilvie of Rothiemay

Family Tree

(Book 1/Ogilvies of Boyne)

3 Responses to fp-1.4 Ogilvies of Boyne


  2. Our family has an OGILVIE line said to come from Andrew Ogilvie i.e. Andrew of Raggall d. 1620 m. (Unknown).
    This line i.e. his sons appears to be as follows:
    (1) James m. Marie Abercromby.
    (2) Walter m. Anna Gordon of Arradoul.
    (3) Patrick, Sasine of Raggall & Buchraggie m. Elizabeth (Unknown).

    Patrick (No 3) is said to have had two sons: -
    (1) James
    (2) George m. (Unknown)
    George (No 2) is also said to have had a son: -
    (1) William m. (Unknown)
    It is this (No 1) William’s son Charles that our OGILVIE line attaches itself to but its Charles’s son William that places some mystery on all of this when he succeeded to become Sir William Ogilvie 8th Bart. of Carnousie and his son also follows as Sir William the 9th Bart.?

    Can anyone supply any further information on the above mentioned Ogilvy/Ogilvie lines?

  3. kenneth boyne

    i’am searching family history and got stopped, my gr pa 5x back Michael boyne born in Ireland, told most of us came from around trim not sure,i cant find a mother or father for my Michael,but a Edward boyne and Michael seem to be linked,edward was at his wedding and in service together 67th foot. the moved to isle of man were he died,his grandson came to usa which is my line, theres a lot of lost info. of were his son is buried,shows new Orleans but I’ve been there it only talked about Michael jr in the masons. I think he went to England were it is said his wife died there. looking for any link of help. theres a roomer of Michael was the excape grace of a lord? what ever that is, told we had roalty in blood? my aunt who died new a lot, that’s gone, esther boyne from isle of man traveled from Ireland -iom-england and usa on boat she worked on till she died I think this was our lost link of info. thanks for any help. Kenneth boyne
    ps- I found the boynes used a spelling of byrne/byne/boyne now maybe more?

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