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The Scottish Nation
Dalhousie


DALHOUSIE, earl and marquis of, the former a title in the Scottish peerage, and the latter in that of the united kingdom, (conferred on the tenth earl in 1849) possessed by a family of the name of Ramsay, of German origin, the first of whom in Scotland was Simon de Ramsay, who settled in Lothian under King David the First; and which, previous to its being ennobled, on several occasions made a conspicuous figure in Scottish history. [See RAMSAY, surname of.] A descendant of the above Simon, Sir Alexander Ramsay of Dalhousie, who lived in the fourteenth century, is celebrated as one of the bravest warriors of that age. He was appointed warden of the middle marches, and in 1342 constable of the castle of Roxburgh, which he had taken by escalade. Having been by David the Second nominated sheriff of Teviotdale, an office held by Douglas of Liddesdale, he was, out of envy, treacherously seized by that baron, and starved to death within the walls of Hermitage Castle.

      The title is taken from the lands and barony of Dalwolsey, a name which may imply Del-Wolsey, of Wolsey, an English name. Wolsey, or Woolsea, the island of wool, is nearly similar in signification to Ramsey or Ramsea, the island of Rams. This title was first conferred on William, second Lord Ramsay, (see RAMSAY, lord,) in 1629, who was created Earl Dalhousie of Dalhousie castle, and Lord Ramsay of Kerington in Mid Lothian, by Charles the First, on 29th of June 1633, to himself and his heirs male. He had the office of high sheriff of the county of Edinburgh 24th October 1646, and on May 4th 1648, he was nominated colonel of horse for Mid Lothian, for “the Engagement,” in the duke of Hamilton’s ill-appointed and hastily-levied army for the relief of Charles the First, but does not appear to have accepted the commission, as he sat in the parliament of the following January in which a severe act was passed against all who had joined in it. For his loyalty to the king, however, a fine of fifteen hundred pounds was imposed upon him by Cromwell’s act of grace and pardon, 12th April 1654. He died 11th February 1674. He was twice married, and had four sons and three daughters. His first wife, Lady Margaret Carnegie, eldest daughter of David, first earl of Southesk, died in April 1661, and at her funeral, as appears from a curious Confession of one “Jonet Watsone,” accused of witchcraft, (inserted in the Appendix to Pitcairn’s Criminal Trials, vol. iii.) “Ther was ane rix-dollar given to Jean Bughane, to be pairted (divided) among a certain number of poore folks, wherof she was one,” but Jean Bughane having run away with the money, to have amends on her for so doing, she gave herself over to the devil, &c.

      His eldest son, George, second earl, only enjoyed the title one year, as he died in 1675. He had seven children. His third son, the Hon. George Ramsay of Carriden, entered the army, and in his youth served in Holland and the Low Countries. In 1690 he had the rank of brigadier-general, after the action at Valcour, and was appointed colonel of the Scottish regiment of guards. After the battle of Landen in 1693, he was promoted to the rank of major-general, and in 1702 to that of lieutenant-general, and appointed commander-in-chief of the forces in Scotland. He died at Edinburgh 2d September 1705. Maky, in his Memoirs, describes him as a “gentleman of a great deal of fire, and very brave; of a sanguine complexion, well-shaped, a thorough soldier, and towards fifty years old.” He had a daughter, who did not long survive him.

      The eldest son, William, third earl, was, in 1678, appointed captain of the Edinburghshire militia. On 23d February 1682, he was sworn a privy councillor, and, soon after, constituted high sheriff of the county of Edinburgh, but died the same year (1682). He had three sons and a daughter, Lady Elizabeth, married to Lord Hawley.

      George, the fourth earl, his eldest son, was under age at his father’s death, and it appears from Fountainhall’s Memoirs that the earl of Perth, then chancellor, who was a roman Catholic, endeavoured, but without success, to get him sent to Douay, to be educated in the Popish religion. The young earl, who was unmarried, was killed in Holland, by one Mr. Hamilton, in 1696.

      His next brother, William, fifth earl, who succeeded him, took the oaths and his seat in parliament, 29th October 1700, and was appointed high sheriff of the county of Edinburgh, 24th February 1703. He steadily supported the union, and voted in favour of that measure in every division. On the breaking out of the war of the Spanish succession, he was colonel of the Scots guards in the forces sent to the assistance of the Archduke Charles of Austria (afterwards the emperor Charles the Sixth), in his competition with Philip of Bourbon, for the crown of Spain, and had the rank of brigadier-general, 1st January 1710. He died in Spain, unmarried, in October following. His younger brother, the Hon. James Ramsay, died young, and the earl had been persuaded by his mother to execute a disposition of his estate and honours in favour of his sister, the Lady Hawley; but it was found to be ineffectual as regards the honours, and not valid as to the estate. Her ladyship, however, succeeded to his personal property.

      The title descended to William Ramsay, son of the Hon. Captain John Ramsay, (second son of the first earl) by his wife Miss Sinclair. The sixth earl, who was a colonel in the army, was served heir to the fifth earl, 9th February, 1711, and died at Dalkeith 8th December 1739, in the seventy-ninth year of his age. He was twice married, and by his first wife had three sons and two daughters, who all, except the eldest son, died unmarried. George, Lord Ramsay, the eldest son, died in the lifetime of his father, at Dalhousie, 25th May 1739, aged about forty. By Jean, second daughter of the Hon. Harry Maule of Kelly, brother of James fourth earl of Panmure, he had seven sons, of whom four died young, two of them poisoned by eating the berries of the ivy. The survivors were, Charles, seventh earl; George, eighth earl; and the Hon. Malcolm Ramsay, lieutenant-colonel in the army, and deputy adjutant-general to the forces in North Britain, who died, unmarried, at Edinburgh on 18th July 1783.

      Charles, the seventh earl, succeeded his grandfather in 1739, and on 22d December 1753, was appointed captain of a company in the 3d regiment of foot guards, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the army. He died, unmarried, at Edinburgh, 29th January 1764, and was succeeded by his brother, George, the eighth earl, who had been admitted a member of the faculty of advocates in 1757. At the general election of 1774, the eighth earl was chosen one of the sixteen representatives of the Scots peerage, and rechosen in 1780 and 1794. On 25th February 1775, he was appointed one of the lords of police, an office which he held till the suppression of that board in 1782. In 1777 he was lord high commissioner to the General Assembly of the church of Scotland, and every year thereafter till 1783. On the death of his uncle, William, earl of Panmure, in 1782, without issue, the extensive estates of that nobleman devolved upon him in liferent, in virtue of a settlement executed by Lord Panmure in 1775, with remainder to his son, the Hon. William Ramsay. Lord Dalhousie died at Abbeville in France, 4th November 1787. A high eulogium of his lordship, in Latin, by his old preceptor, Professor George Stuart, is recorded in Douglas’ peerage, Wood’s edition, vol. i. p. 407. His lordship married, 30th July 1767, Elizabeth, daughter of Andrew Glen, Esq., and niece and heiress of James Glen, Esq. of Longcroft, Linlithgowshire, by whom he had seven sons and five daughters. George, the eldest son, became ninth earl. The second son, the Hon. William Ramsay, on his father’s death, succeeded to the large possessions of the Panmure family, and in consequence assumed the name and arms of Maule of Panmure. In 1831, he was created Lord Panmure of Brechin and Navar, in the peerage of the United Kingdom [See MAULE, surname of, and PANMURE, lord.] James, the third son, was a lieutenant-general in the army, born 1st October 1772, died 15th November 1837. John, fourth son, also a lieutenant-general in the army, was on the general staff in India, born in 1775, and died 28th June 1842, leaving issue. The fifth son was named Andrew. The sixth son, Henry, was in the naval service of the East India Company; and David, the seventh son, a captain in the army, died in 1801.

      George, ninth earl, a distinguished military commander, the eldest son of the eighth earl, was burn 22d October 1770. He received his education at the High School and university of Edinburgh, and was a school companion and fellow-student of Sir Walter Scott. He entered the army as a cornet in the 3d dragoon guards, July 2, 1788, and soon after was appointed captain in the independent company raised by himself. On 4th January 1791, he was made captain in the 2d battalion of the royals, which he joined at Gibraltar. In June 1792 he became, by purchase, major in the 2d foot, and went in command of that regiment to Martinique. In August 1794 he succeeded to the lieutenant-colonelcy; and in 1795, having been severely wounded, he returned to England. He served in Ireland during the rebellion of 1798. In 1799 he accompanied the expedition to the Helder, and was present in all the actions of the campaign in Holland. On 1st January 1800, he received the brevet of colonel, and in that year he was employed under General Maitland before Belie-Isle. He afterwards proceeded to Egypt, and was present in the actions of the 6th and 21st of March 1801. He commanded a detachment sent to reduce the forts of Aboukir and Rosetta, and subsequently advanced to Cairo. In 1802, he was placed in garrison at Gibraltar, and in 1803 appointed brigadier-general on the staff in Scotland. He received the rank of major-general, April 25, 1805. In May 1808 he was appointed to the staff in England, and afterwards served in the expedition to the Scheldt, and was latterly in command of Flushing.

      On the evacuation of Walcheren in Dec. 1809, he returned to England, and was subsequently appointed to the staff in the Peninsula. During the peninsular war he commanded the seventh division. He received a medal and clasp for the battles of Vittoria and the Pyrenees, and was one of the general officers to whom the thanks of parliament were voted. On June 4, 1813, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general, and on 11th Sep. following was made a military knight grand cross of the bath. He had been for some years a representative peer of Scotland, but Aug. 11, 1815, he was created a peer of the United kingdom as Baron Dalhousie of Dalhousie castle. In Aug. 1816, he was appointed to the command of Nova Scotia, and in 1819, he succeeded the duke of Richmond as captain-general and governor-in-chief of the forces in North America. He attained the full rank of general in 1830. He was also captain-general of the royal company of Archers or Queen’s body-guard in Scotland. He died at Dalhousie Castle, March 21, 1838. By his countess, Christian, only child and heiress of Charles Broun, Esq. of Coalstoun, East Lothian, he had 3 sons; George, Lord Ramsay, born 1806, died unm. 1832; Charles, born in 1807, died in 1817; and James Andrew Broun, tenth earl.

      The latter, created in 1849, marquis of Dalhousie, of Dalhousie Castle and of the Punjaub, peerage of United kingdom, was born April 22, 1812, and educated at Oxford university, where in 1838 he took the degree of M.A. In June 1843 he was appointed vice-president of the board of trade, and sworn of the privy council. From Feb. 1845 to July 1846 he was president of that board. In 1845 he was constituted lord clerk register and keeper of the signet in Scotland, and the same year was made constable of Dover Castle, and lord warden, keeper and admiral of the Cinque Ports. In Aug. 1847, he was appointed governor-general of India, and he remained in that high office till July 1855. A knight of the Thistle, 1848. He m. January 21, 1836, Susan Gerogiana, eldest daughter of George marquis of Tweeddale, issue 2 daughters, Lady Susan Georgiana, born 1837, and Lady Edith Christian, born 1839, the latter married in 1859, Sir James Fergusson of Kilkerran, bart. He died Dec. 19, 1860, when his title of marquis became extinct.

      The Scottish titles of earl of Dalhousie, and Baron Ramsay, devolved on his cousin, Fox, 2d Lord Panmure, 11th earl (see PANMURE, Baron).


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