John Ogilvy (b. 22 December 1881) was the eldest son of James Ogilvy Reginald Fairlie of Myres Castle, J.P. (1848-1916), by Jane Mary, 3rd daughter of John Buchanan of Dowanhill, (d. 1931). A Captain in the Highland Light Infantry he was killed in action at the battle of Loos on 25th September 1915. His younger brother Reginald Francis Joseph (b. 1883), an architect of distinction who trained under Sir Robert Lorimer (see note to lot 13) became a Royal Scottish Academician (1933) and later lived at Myres Castle. They had two brothers, James Ogilvy, J.P., Fife (b. 1885) and Rev. Gilbert Thomas Ogilvy (b. 1893) and a sister Margaret Elspeth Mary (b. 1889).
The brothers were the sons of James Ogilvy Reginald Fairlie, who was a great friend of the third Marquess of Bute, and like him converted to Catholicism whilst at Christ Church Oxford, no doubt under the influence of Cardinal Newman. He was appointed private chamberlain to Pope Leo XIII in 1878, and held similar appointments to Pope Pius X and Pope Benedict XV. He bought Myres Castle, near Auchtermuchty in Fife in 1887.
This double portrait was painted in the same year that Lockhart came down from Edinburgh to fulfill a commission from Queen Victoria to record on a large canvas The Jubiliee Ceremony at Westminster Abbey (The Royal Collection, Windsor Castle). He subsequently remained in London and devoted himself principally to portraiture.