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The Ramsay family is of ancient Anglo-Norman origin who came north to Scotland with David I, who granted them lands in Lothian. Simon de Ramsay was the first recorded in Scotland in the 12th century. The principal family of the name was the Ramsays of Dalhousie, the first of that designation being William Ramsay who was a member of the council of magnates of the realm in 1255. His successor also named William became eventually a devoted adherent of Robert the Bruce and one of those who signed the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320. Sir Alexander Ramsay of Dalhousie continued to support the Bruce line to the throne and he sent reinforcements from sea to Black Agnes, the Countess of Dunbar who was holding out  against the English. Unfortunately, however, when he was appointed constable of the castle of Roxburgh his rival Sir Willaim Douglas, through jealousy, seized him and shut him up in Hermitage Castle where he is said to have starved to death. His descendants survived and in 1618 Sir John Ramsay of Dalhousie and Melrose was created Lord Ramsay of Melrose and in 1633 his son William was created first Earl of Dalhousie. The Earls of Dalhousie through marriage with the de Maule family also acquired Brechin Castle in Angus. Queen Victoria's granddaughter, Princess Partrica of Connaught and Strathearn married the Hon. Alexander Ramsay, son of the 13th Earl of Dalhousie in 1919. The Ramsays of Banff descend from Neis de Ramsay, physician to Alexander II.



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