John Ogilvie Esquire
A member of a prominent Dundee family which boasted former Provosts, John Ogilvie was the third generation to join the family firm of writers titled 'J & J Ogilvie.' His untimely death arrived only two years after that of his father.
Subscription value in 1863:
Relative to inflation up to 2023:
Relative to income compared to 2023:
Personal details and history
Date of birth
Place of birth
Name of spouse
James (1842): Anne (1843): Rachel (1847): Elizabeth Stormonth (1849): John Maxwell (1850): George (1851): William Maxwell (1852): Andrew Jameson (1854): Unamed (1856): Mary Isabella (1859): Margaret Maxwell Bethune (1863):
Age at death:
Place of death:
4 Park Place, Dundee
Date of death:
Affiliations, clubs, offices and related subscribers
Clubs / societies
Subscriber 166 – James B Nicoll – a neighbour of the Ogilvies, living at 3 Park Place
Subscriber 170 – Andrew Ogilvie – brother of John Ogilvie
Subscriber 240 – P H Thoms – father in law of John Ogilvie’s niece, Rachel Jameson Duncan
Subscriber 242 – T W Thoms – husband of John Ogilvie’s niece, Rachel Jameson Duncan
Subscriber 252 – Miss Whitson – an ‘aged relative’ (according to John Ogilvie’s daughter, Mary Isabella)
Career and worklife
Partner - in partnership with his father, James Ogilvie
Place of work
J & J Ogilvie, writers
Career to date:
John Ogilvie entered the law office of his father, James Ogilvie, circa 1833. He was the third generation of his family to have followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, John Ogilvie, who founded the law firm in Dundee in the later 1760s. The office of 'J & J Ogilvie' was forever located at 3 New Inn Entry, High Street, Dundee. The firm built a creditable reputation, with his father earning the nickname of 'Honest John.'
John Ogilvie was born the eldest son of James Ogilvie, writer, and his wife, Rachel Jameson. His father was a notable figure in Dundee having been described, when he died in 1867, as ‘the oldest solicitor in the town.‘
John Ogilvie’s grandfather, also John Ogilvie, founded his law firm in Dundee in the later 1760s, with his father, James Ogilvie, entering into partnership around 1802, under the designation of ‘J Ogilvie & Son.’
Continuing with tradition, John Ogilvie, and subsequently, his own son, John were entwined within the family firm – firstly as ‘J & J Ogilvie’ and, finally (by the later 1860s) as ‘John, James & John Ogilvie,’ (sometimes ‘J J & J Ogilvie’).
The extended Ogilvie families lived in the fashionable district at the west end of the Nethergate. John Ogilvie and his family resided at 4 Park Place, with his father, James Ogilvie residing at the south corner of the same street, at 1 Park Place, fronting the Nethergate.
John Ogilvie remained in business for 36 years. His abilities as a lawyer had always been acknowledged and ‘by the members of the bar, Mr Ogilvie was very much esteemed.’
It was declared that;
‘His appointment as one of the Sheriff Substitutes in Dundee was regarded with great satisfaction and in that capacity he invariably acted with the utmost discretion.‘
John Ogilvie’s death in 1869 came as a result of having contracted typhus fever. At the time, the youngest of his children was merely 6 years old. In a short period over 1869/70, his wife Anne had endured the loss of her husband, her eldest son, James and a daughter Elizabeth (Bessie).
This man, coming as he did from a respected firm of solicitors, or writers as they were then called could claim a respected profile in the town among his colleagues and associates. As a family man in a Victorian age, his second youngest daughter, Mary, reported;
‘Coming after so many brothers and sisters I did not know my father very well. He used to play with me sometimes, and had a wonderful trick of making half-a-crown go through the table, (of course it went through for I heard it fall into the cup below!) but I should have welcomed more tokens of affection. Children should grow up lapped in love.’
A wistful note which could never grow fonder as her father, John Ogilvie, died while she was 10 years old.
- Old Parish Registers. Dundee. Births. (1810). 282/ 90 441. ScotlandsPeople website.
- Old Parish Registers. Dundee. Marriages. (1840). 282/ 220 431. ScotlandsPeople website.
- Scottish Post Office Directories. Dundee, 1850. p.141. National Library of Scotland website.
- Census Returns. Dundee. (1851). 282/2 8/ 48. ScotlandsPeople website.
- Scottish Post Office Directories. Dundee, 1861-62. p.189. National Library of Scotland website.
- Statutory Registers. Dundee. Deaths. (1869). 282/1 467. ScotlandsPeople website.
- Dundee Courier. 10 November 1869. p.2. British Newspaper Qechive website.
- Dundee Courier. 29 June 1867. p.2. British Newspaper Archive website.
- Scottish Post Office Directories. Dundee, 1867-68. p.177. National Library of Scotland website.
- Scottish Post Office Directories. Dundee, 1864-65. p.168. National Library of Scotland website.
- Ogilvie, Mary I. A Scottish Childhood, And What Happened After. (1952). Oxford. George Ronald. pp.2 and 22.
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