This noble family, which is said to be of German descent, has been of note in Scotland since the reign of DAVID I.
At that period (1140) we find
SIMON DE RAMSAY, of Dalhousie, in Lothian, a subscribing witness to a grant of the church of Livingston in West Lothian.
From this Simon descended
SIR ALEXANDER RAMSAY (c1290-1342), Knight, of Dalhousie, warden of the Middle Marches, and, in 1332, constable of Roxburgh Castle, which he had taken by escalade.
This gallant soldier acquired so high a reputation in his conflicts with the English, that to be of his band was considered as a branch of military education requisite for all young gentleman who ambitioned to excel in arms.
In reward for capturing the fortress of Roxburgh, DAVID II bestowed upon Ramsay the office of sheriff of Teviotdale, which William Douglas then held. From that moment, Douglas, once the friend and companion in arms of Ramsay, became his implacable foe.
In performance of the duty of his office, Ramsay held a court in Hawick church, in 1342, whither Douglas came with an armed retinue and was courteously welcomed by the high-minded and unsuspecting Ramsay; but, regardless of every feeling save that of vengeance, he seized the sheriff, and dragging him from the judgement seat, had him conveyed to Hermitage Castle, in the dungeon of which he perished by famine.
It is reported, that above the place of Ramsay's confinement there lay a heap of corn, and that with grain which dropped down through crevices in the floor he sustained a miserable existence for seventeen days.From Alexander we pass to his lineal descendant,
JAMES RAMSAY, who left at his decease, about 1580, two sons, namely,
GEORGE;The elder son,
SIR GEORGE RAMSAY, knighted by JAMES VI of Scotland, was elevated to the peerage, as Lord Ramsay of Dalhousie, in 1618; and was succeeded, in 1630, by his eldest son,
WILLIAM, 2nd Lord, who wedded, in 1633, Margaret, daughter of David, Earl of Southesk, by whom he had two sons, George, and John, and one daughter.
His lordship was advanced to an earldom, as EARL OF DALHOUSIE, in 1633, and was succeeded by his eldest son,
GEORGE, 2nd Earl, who died in 1675 and was succeeded by his eldest son,
WILLIAM, 3rd Earl, who wedded Mary, daughter of Henry, Earl of Drogheda, by whom he had three sons and a daughter.
Dying in 1682, he was succeeded by his eldest son,
GEORGE, 4th Earl.
The heir apparent is the present holder's son Simon David Ramsay, Lord Ramsay (born 1981).
- George Ramsay, 4th Earl (died 1696)
- William Ramsay, 5th Earl (died 1710)
- William Ramsay, 6th Earl (c. 1660–1739)
- George Ramsay, Lord Ramsay (died 1739)
- Charles Ramsay, 7th Earl (died 1764)
- George Ramsay, 8th Earl (died 1787)
- George Ramsay, 9th Earl (1770–1838)
- George Ramsay, Lord Ramsay (1806-32)
- James Andrew Broun-Ramsay, 10th Earl (1812-60), 1st Marquess.
Marquesses of Dalhousie (1849)
- James Andrew Broun-Ramsay, 1st Marquess of Dalhousie (1812–1860)
Earls of Dalhousie (1633; Reverted)
BRECHIN CASTLE, Angus, stands on a massive bluff of rocks above the River Southesk on the site of a much older fortress belonging to the Scottish kings.
The present house was last reconstructed in the early 1700s and incorporates parts of the original Castle dating back to the 13th century.
The building has evolved from a defensive role to its present great house style.
Brechin Castle is steeped in history: In 1296, EDWARD I received the submission of John Balliol, King of Scots, there; and, in 1303, Sir Thomas Maule defended the castle against the English for three weeks until his own death brought about its surrender.
In 1643, Patrick Maule, 1st Earl of Panmure, bought the whole of the Brechin estate from the Earl of Mar.
The Castle was at that time a simple L-shaped house of three storeys.
The 4th Earl of Panmure, married to Lady Margaret, daughter of the 3rd Duke of Hamilton, eventually rebuilt the Castle as it is today.
First published in November, 2013. Dalhousie arms courtesy of European Heraldry.