10th March 1615 - Death of John Ogilvie

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10th March 1615 - Death of John Ogilvie


John Ogilvie (1579-1615) was born in Keith in Banffshire into a respected Calvinist family.  

He was educated in various Catholic educational establishments in Europe.  He decided to become a Catholic and in 1596 was received into the Catholic Church in Belgium.  He joined the Society of Jesus in 1608 and was ordained a priest in Paris in 1610.  He asked to be sent to Scotland to minister to the few remaining Catholics in the Glasgow area.   He returned to Scotland in 1613 disguised as a horse trader.  His ministry lasted less than a year.  In 1614 he was betrayed and arrested in Glasgow and jailed in Paisley were he suffered terrible tortures in an attempt to make him divulge the identities of other Catholics.  Nonetheless, Ogilvie did not relent and was convicted of high treason.  On 10 March 1615 he was paraded through the streets of Glasgow and hanged, disembowelled, according to the penalty at the time, at Glasgow Cross.  As a martyr he was beatified in 1929 and canonised in 1976.  
Glasgow City Archives in The Mitchell has a volume of the items used in the exhibition in 1976 held under reference number TD471.
 

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​Glasgow in the 17th century.  John Ogilvie was held as a prisoner in Tolbooth which was on the Trongate side of the Mercat Cross .
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​John Spottiswoode (1585-1639), was nominated Archbishop of Glasgow in 1603 on the death in France of James Beaton, the last Catholic Archbishop.  He was the predominating figure at the examination and trial of John Ogilvie 1614-1615.  
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​The Bishop’s Palace near the Cathedral, where John Ogilvie was imprisoned after his arrest and held for examination by Archbishop Spottiswoode.​
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​John Ogilvie from a copy of the Douai portrait, 1622
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An official document drawn up by Archibald Heygate in his capacity as notary, showing his notarial mark, incorporating the motto ‘fides fortuna maior’ (faith greater than fortune), and his initials A.H.  The document was drawn up in 1611.  Heygate, sometime Town Clerk of the City, and a Catholic, left Scotland for Rome after the sentence of banishment passed on his son for helping Ogilvie.
 

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