Ramsay Clan Crest: A unicorn's head.
Ramsay Clan Motto: Ora Et Labora (Pray and labour).
History of Clan Ramsay:
A family of Anglo-Norman origin, Symon de Ramesie was granted lands in Midlothian by David I. King David was also Earl of Huntingdon, where Ramsey is considered a local name, so in all likelihood Symon had accompanied David from England when he became King of Scots in 1124.
Sigmund de Ramesie witnessed a Charter for the Church of Livingstone to the Abbey of Holyrood before 1175. The de Ramsays grew in strength, and by the 13th century there were five influential branches – Dalhousie, Auchterhouse, Banff, Forfar and Clatto. William de Ramsay of Dalhousie served as a member of the King's Council during the minority of Alexander III, and another Sir William, probably his grandson, paid homage to Edward I of England in 1296.
Thereafter. this Sir William supported Sir William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, and in the later 14th century, Sir Alexander Ramsay of Dalhousie led a group of Resistance Fighters against English incursions into southern Scotland from the caves of Hawthornden and Gorton in Roslin Glen. In 1342, he was made Sheriff of Teviotdale, but incurring the enmity of the Douglases was captured by them and held prisoner in Hermitage Castle, where he died of starvation.
In 1400, another Sir Alexander Ramsay held Dalhousie Castle against Henry IV of England, in 1513, and yet another Alexander Ramsay died at the Battle of Flodden. In 1600, John Ramsay of Dalhousie killed the Earl of Gowrie and his brother, who had allegedly plotted to kidnap James VI, and a grateful King created him Earl of Holderness . At the same time, John's brother George became Lord Ramsay. The 2nd Lord Ramsay was created Earl of Dalhousie in 1633. he was passionately opposed to the religious reforms of Charles I and opposed the Marquis of Montrose at the Battle of Philiphaugh in 1645.
The 9th Earl of Dalhousie (1770-1838 ) served as Governor-General of Canada
from 1819 to 1828. The 10th Earl (1812-1860) was Governor General of India
from 1847 to 1856. The 16th Earl (1914-99 ) was Governor General of the
Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland and became Lord Chamberlain to Her
Majesty the Queen.
Allan Ramsay (1685-1758), born at Leadhills in Lanarkshire, was a celebrated poet, publisher and bookseller who gained fame in Edinburgh. Allan Ramsey (1713- 84), son of the poet,was appointed Portrait Painter to George III in 1767.
Andrew Michael Ramsay (1686-1743) was known as the Chevalier de Ramsay and was Tutor to Prince Charles Edward Stuart and Prince Henry Stuart, sons of the de jure James VIII.
Sir Andrew Crombie Ramsay (1814-91) was born in Glasgow and became Director General of the Geological Survey.
Sir William Ramsay (1852-1916) was born in Glasgow and was Professor of Chemistry at Bristol, then at University College, London.
Sir William Mitchell Ramsay (1851-1939) was Professor of Humanities at Aberdeen University.
Surname distribution in Scotland: The highest concentrations of the Ramsay name occur in Perth and Kinross (Perthshire and Kinross-shire), Stirlingshire, Clackmannanshire, Edinburgh City and the Lothians (an amalgamation of the historic counties of Linlithgowshire, Edinburghshire and Haddingtonshire).
Places of interest:
Dalhousie Castle, Midlothian. Owned by Ramsays from 13th century. Today it operates as a hotel.
Brechin Castle, Brechin, Angus. Acquired through marriage to the de Maule,
Panmuir, and today Seat of earls of Dalhousie.
Bamff House, near Alyth, Perthshire. Lands held by Ramsays of Bamff from the early 13th century. The castle incorporates a 16th century tower.