Earl of Seafield is a title in the Peerage of Scotland. It was created in 1701 for James Ogilvy, who in 1711 succeeded his father as 4th Earl of Findlater. The earldoms of Findlater and Seafield continued to be united until 1811, when the earldom of Findlater became dormant, while the earldom of Seafield remains extant.
The first Earl of Seafield's branch of the Ogilvy family descended from Sir Walter Ogilvy, whose brother Sir John Ogilvy was the ancestor of the Earls of Airlie.
In 1616, the aforementioned Sir Walter Ogilvy's descendant and namesake, Sir Walter Ogilvy, was created Lord Ogilvy of Deskford in the Peerage of Scotland. His son, the second Lord, was created Earl of Findlater in the Peerage of Scotland in 1638. Three years later, in 1641, Lord Findlater obtained a new patent with remainder to his daughter Elizabeth and her husband Sir Patrick Ogilvy. Upon his death in 1653, the first Earl of Findlater was succeeded by his son-in-law Sir Patrick while Elizabeth was granted the style and title of Countess of Findlater as though she held the title in her own right.
In the late 17th century, James Ogilvy, eldest son of the third Earl of Findlater, was a prominent statesman and served as Secretary of State for Scotland, as President of the Scottish Parliament, as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, as Lord Chancellor of Scotland, as Lord Chief Baron of the Court of the Exchequer in Scotland and as a Scottish Representative Peer. In 1698, thirteen years before he succeeded his father, he was raised to the Peerage of Scotland in his own right as Lord Ogilvy of Cullen and Viscount of Seafield, with remainder, failing heirs male of the body, to heirs of entail. In 1701, he was further honoured when he was created Lord Ogilvy of Deskford and Cullen, Viscount of Reidhaven and Earl of Seafield, also in the Peerage of Scotland and with the same remainder. In 1711, he succeeded his father as fourth Earl of Findlater.
The earldoms of Findlater and Seafield remained united for the next hundred years. However, on the death of his great-grandson, the seventh and fourth Earl respectively, the lordship of Ogilvy and Deskford and the earldom of Findlater became dormant. The earldom of Seafield and its subsidiary titles were inherited by the late Earl's second cousin Sir Lewis Alexander Grant, 9th Baronet, of Colquhoun (see Colquhoun baronets for earlier history of the Grant family). He was the grandson of Lady Margaret Ogilvy, daughter of the first Earl of Seafield. On his succession to the earldom, he assumed the additional surname of Ogilvy, styling himself Grant-Ogilvy.
After the fifth Earl of Seafield's death in 1840, his younger brother and successor, the sixth Earl, reversed the order of the surnames, styling himself Ogilvy-Grant. In 1858, the latter's son, the seventh Earl, was created Baron Strathspey, of Strathspey in the Counties of Inverness and Moray, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. The barony became extinct on the death of his son, the eighth Earl, in 1884, while the Scottish titles were passed on to the Earl's uncle, the ninth Earl. The barony of Strathspey was revived for him only a few months after he succeeded his nephew.
On the death of the eleventh Earl of Seafield in 1915, the baronetcy and barony of Strathspey separated from the earldom. The baronetcy and barony, which only could be passed on to male heirs, were inherited by the late Earl's younger brother, the fourth Baron (see the Baron Strathspey for later history of these titles). The earldom and the other subsidiary titles, which could be inherited by females, were passed on to the Earl's daughter and only child, the twelfth Countess. As of 2014, the titles are held by her only son, the thirteenth Earl, who succeeded in 1969.
The family seat is Cullen House, near Cullen, Moray. Many Earls of Seafield are buried at the mausoleum at Duthil Old Parish Church and Churchyard, which lies just outside the village of Duthil, Inverness-shire, and now serves as a Clan Grant Centre. The 11th Earl was killed in action in 1915 and is buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery in Belgium.Walter Ogilvy, 1st Lord Ogilvy of Deskford (d. 1626)
James Ogilvy, 2nd Lord Ogilvy of Deskford (d. 1653) (created Earl of Findlater in 1638)
James Ogilvy, 1st Earl of Findlater (d. 1653)
Patrick Ogilvy, 2nd Earl of Findlater (d. 1658)
James Ogilvy, 3rd Earl of Findlater (d. 1711)
James Ogilvy, 4th Earl of Findlater (1663–1730) (created Earl of Seafield in 1701)
James Ogilvy, 5th Earl of Findlater, 2nd Earl of Seafield (d. 1764)
James Ogilvy, 6th Earl of Findlater, 3rd Earl of Seafield (d. 1770)
James Ogilvy, 7th Earl of Findlater, 4th Earl of Seafield (1750–1811) (earldom of Findlater dormant)
Lewis Alexander Grant-Ogilvy, 5th Earl of Seafield (1767–1840)
Francis William Ogilvy-Grant, 6th Earl of Seafield (1778–1853)
John Charles Ogilvy-Grant, 7th Earl of Seafield (1815–1881)
Ian Charles Ogilvy-Grant, 8th Earl of Seafield (1851–1884)
James Ogilvy-Grant, 9th Earl of Seafield (1817–1888)
Francis William Ogilvy-Grant, 10th Earl of Seafield (1847–1888)
James Ogilvie-Grant, 11th Earl of Seafield (1876–1915)
Nina Caroline Studley-Herbert, 12th Countess of Seafield (1906–1969)
Ian Derek Francis Studley, 13th Earl of Seafield (b. 1939)
The heir apparent is the present holder's son James Andrew Studley, Viscount Reidhaven (b.1963).
The heir apparent's heir presumptive is his brother Hon. Alexander Derek Henry Studley (b. 1966).