OGILVIE, Charles (c.1731-88), of Pall Mall, London

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1774 - May 1775

Family and Education

b. c.1731, 4th s. of James Ogilvie of Auchiries, Aberdeen by his w. Margaret Strachan.  m. Mary, da. of James Michie, c.j. of S. Carolina, 2s.

Offices Held


After the ’45, during which his brothers served with the Jacobite army, Charles Ogilvie emigrated to South Carolina.1 By 1755 he was a member of the Charleston firm, Ogilvie and Ward, exporting rice to Britain and Portugal and importing wine and European goods. About 1760, as senior partner in a new firm, Charles Ogilvie and John Forbes, he returned to Britain to take charge of the London end of the business.2 In 1764 he reorganized the firm to include members of his wife’s family and his nephew George of Auchiries.3

In London Ogilvie was of the group of Carolina merchants who advised the Colony’s agent, Charles Garth, in his dealings with Government departments on matters affecting the interests of the province. Thus in 1764 they petitioned the Privy Council for encouragement in the production of hemp, and in 1770 for a reduction of the rice duty and for the continuance of the bounty on colonial indigo. In 1766 Ogilvie with his partner John Forbes and Lord William Campbell petitioned for 20,000 acres in East Florida.4

He held considerable lands and property in Carolina both in his own right and in that of his sons. In 1774 he visited the colony with his nephew George. While George remained in Carolina looking after his uncle’s business, Ogilvie in late June 1774 set sail for England.5 At the general election in October he was elected for West Looe, presumably with Government support; but took no part in the crucial debates on America, and in May 1775 vacated his seat, possibly because the interruption of trade had affected his financial position. His will, dated 1 Nov. 1775, shows him uncertain whether, after payment of debts, £1,000 would remain.6

Most of the American estates belonged to his sons; and when George Ogilvie in 1778 refused to renounce his allegiance and was ordered to leave Carolina, he wrote home to Auchiries of his distress at having ‘to leave the affairs of his uncle and his children in the condition he must’.7 Charles Ogilvie seems to have returned to Carolina during the British occupation,8 and at the end of the war joined the thousands of loyalists petitioning for reparation. His sons recovered at least part of their property and in 1788 one of them went out to Carolina to report to his father on conditions there.9 Charles himself did not revisit Carolina, although his children returned to settle.  He died in 1788.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Edith Lady Haden-Guest


  • 1. A. H. Tayler, Jacobites of Aberdeenshire and Banffshire in the Forty-five, 367-9, 383-5.
  • 2. S. Carolina Gaz. 5 June 1755, 4 Dec. 1755, 24 Mar. 1759, 22 Dec. 1759.
  • 3. Ibid. 7 Jan. 1764.
  • 4. APC Col. 1745-66, pp. 646-8, 815; S.C. Hist. Gen. Mag. xxxiii. 140-4.
  • 5. Geo. Ogilvie to Peggy Ogilvie, 25 June, 22 Nov. 1774, Ogilvie-Forbes mss, S.C. Hist. Soc. (Charleston).
  • 6. S.C. Hist. Gen. Mag. vi. 118.
  • 7. Geo. Ogilvie to Alex. Ogilvie of Auchiries, 25 Apr. 1778 Ogilvie-Forbes mss.
  • 8. S.C. Hist. Gen. Mag. xxxiv. 197.
  • 9. John Alexander to Chas. Ogilvie, 8 Apr. 1788.