THE EARLS OF FINDLATER
The lands of Findlater passed by marriage from the Sinclair family to a branch of the Ogilvies, descendants of the Mormaers of Angus. Later again, when the earldom of Findlater became either extinct or dormant, the lands passed to the Grants of Grant, who became Ogilvie-Grant, earls of Seafield. The lands of Findlater and Deskford were great enough to support one of the earldoms of a powerful and extended house, but not great enough to maintain the position of a family of minor gentry, whose senior line ended in an heiress. Had the family been grand enough, they would have continued to use the name Findlater, just as did the Gordons of Huntly when the heiress married a Seton.
Ogilvy, 4th Earl of Findlater, 1st Earl of Seafield,
son of James Ogilvy, 3rd Earl of Findlater and Lady Anne Montgomerie, daughter of 7th Earl of Eglinton
Ogilvy, 5th Earl of Findlater, 2nd Earl of Seafield,
son of James Ogilvy, 4th Earl of Findlater, 1st Earl of Seafield and Anne daughter of Sir William Dunbar of Durn
born circa 1688
Ogilvy, 6th Earl of Findlater, 3rd Earl of Seafield, (1714-1770)
son of James Ogilvy, 5th Earl of Findlater, 2nd Earl of Seafield and Lady Elizabeth Hay
Born circa 1714
Died 3 November 1770 Cullen House, co Banff Buried Cullen
Married 9 June 1749 Huntingtower, co Perth
Lady Mary Murray, daughter of the Duke of Atholl
Born 3 March 1720 Huntingtower
Died 29 December 1795 Banff Castle Buried Cullen Church
From 1730 he was styled
Lord Deskford until, in 1764, he succeeded his father and became Earl of Findlater
and Earl of Seafield. He finished his education with foreign travel. On 23 April
1740 Horace Walpole wrote about him to General Conway:
"You saw Lord Deskford at Geneva, don't you like him? He is a mighty sensible man---there are few young people who have so good understanding. He is mighty grave and so are you, but you both can be pleasant, when you have a mind. Indeed one can make you pleasant, but his solemn Scotchery is not a little formidable."
On 9 June 1749 he married Lady Mary Murray, daughter of the Duke of Atholl, and they became the parents of one son. From 1754 until 1761 he was a Commissioner of Customs; from 1761 until 1770 Chancellor of King's College, Aberdeen, and from 1765 until 1770 a Lord of Police. On 3 November 1770 he died by his own hand. Source: Leo van de Pas
James Ogilvy, 7th Earl of Findlater, 4th Earl of Seafield, (1747-1811)
Extract from a Dresden newspaper, published in 1999, by Siegfried Thiele
A Brief Stop at Findlater's
around Loschwitzer church is being cleaned up again. Cleared of rubble to the
right of the gateway, is a faded memorial stone. An observer can just decipher
that, in this tomb, Lord Findlater, together with two men called Fischer reached
their final resting-places.
In his lifetime (1747-1811) the lord's full title was "Lord James Ogilvy, 7th Earl of Findlater, 4th Earl of Seafield Viscount of Reidhaven and Baron of Deskford and Cullen" .He was a Scotsman, not short of titles or means, that he had acquired as the sole heir to huge amounts of land and industrial property .However, rank and possessions did not bring him a great deal of happiness. Lord James had one flaw: he did not like women and was exiled from Scotland and England on account of " certain unnatural transgressions".
From then on Lord Findlater was regarded in Europe as an undesirable, but one who made a considerable contribution to the improvement of gardens, parks and buildings. This untiring patron made an offer to the Dresden City Council to finance the building of the tower of the Church of the Three Kings. Yet Lord Findlater's primary interest was the Loschwitzer vineyards. He loved to drink but made little wine. The exposed location appealed to him, as well as the view over the Elbe with the mountains in the distance. And so the lord let the money flow. The old-fashioned owners of the vineyards did not want to sell and put up a bitter fight. As events turned out, the upright wine merchant showed himself to be the shrewder businessman. He exploited his connections at court, bluffed and cajoled with the extension and straightening of Bautzner Strasse and brought to bear the influence of his confidant and secretary the builder Johann Georg Fischer. With the help of his name Findlater had, by the end of 1805, finally acquired five out of the eight vineyards.
On Bredemannschen mountain, where today Castle Albrechtsberg rises to the sky, Findlater had the master builder Giese from Gotha build him a magnificent palace. This classical building soon gained for itself the title of "The most beautiful family palace in Dresden".
But the lord was not able to enjoy the wonderful view from his tower. He died in the year it was completed. Fischer, to whom his friend and patron had already in his lifetime, given Eckberg and the manor of Helfenberg, had, as his sole heir, to deal with Findlater's Scottish relatives. Furthermore, tragically, when his relationship with the lord became known, Fischer's wife, who lived with their children in Helfenberg, divorced him. Johann Georg Fischer was buried, at the age of 87, in Findlater's tomb in front of Loschwitzer church.
"Findlater's" , which was taken over in 1821 by an hotelier called Krebs, was for many more years the scene of wining and dining. Jean Paul, Gerhard von Kuegelgen, Richard Wagner and Gottfried Semper all stayed there. The middle of the century saw more hard times. Prince Albrecht of Prussia started a crash programme of demolition and building and that was that.
Article by Siegfried Thiele, translated by Wing Cmdr John Findlater, RAF (retd). Picture reproduced from Loeffler -"Das Alte Dresden".