William Ogilvie (Ardglass)

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William Ogilvie (1740–1832) was a Scottish-born scholar and tutor.

Life[edit]

William Ogilvie was hired by Emily FitzGerald, Duchess of Leinster to tutor her children after the death of her eldest in London. He was introduced to her by Dean Marley and was described as speaking with a harsh Scots voice, was dour, ungainly, often rude and frequently unshaven. Eccentric in his age this shy, reserved, rather grubby man believed that children were sensible immature people and had an excellent rapport with them.

He had a particular fondness for Lord Edward FitzGerald, preparing him for his military career. After leaving the army Lord Edward was appointed commander in chief of the United Irishmen just before the Irish Rebellion of 1798. Ogilvie visited him whilst he was in hiding from the authorities.

Ogilvie married Lady Emily, who continued to be known as the Dowager Duchess of Leinster, months after the death of her husband, but their love affair had begun before his death in Frescati House. Ogilvie is known to be the biological father of Lord George Simon FitzGerald. Lady Emily escaped the scathing of the Dublin aristocracy for marrying this uncouth, boorish man by moving to Paris after marriage. It was said she may as well have married her footman! A further three children were born to them after their marriage, namely Cecilia, Charlotte and Emily.

Ogilvie purchased the Ardglass estate in County Down from his stepson Rear Admiral Lord Charles FitzGerald and he and Lady Emily lived there for part of their marriage in Ardglass Castle.[1] He spent his latter years rebuilding the town which was once a major trading port. He successfully established a harbour here in 1813 and built public baths making the town one of the most fashionable watering places in the North of Ireland. A firm believer in self-sufficiency, Ardglass had gardens laid out for residents to grow their own produce.

He died in 1832 and his remains were interred in the Church of Ireland on Kildare Street in Ardglass. He died fondly remembered as "a man of character, a man of splendid determination, a man absolutely devoid of petty meanesses, and a man of exceptional tenderness".

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bence-Jones, Mark (1988). A Guide to Irish County Houses. London: Constable. p. 10. ISBN 0 09 469990 9.