David Ramsay

Ramsay was older than most of the Captains in this study, around 65 and his days at sea behind him when Trinity House presented him with a silver snuff-box in 1813 for managing the Port of Leith defences and recruitment. Soon after his daughter Catherine's funeral in 1814, he lost two sons in battle, one at New Orleans, and the other at Waterloo.

Lived
c.1750 - 18 November 1818
Origin
Templehall, East Lothian
Father
William Ramsay of Templehall, factor to the Duke of Roxburgh, and the forfeited estate of Henry Kerr of Graden.
Mother
Jean Cumming, daughter of Rev John Cumming of Threeburnford (4)
Address
He lived briefly at 24 Dublin Street, of which there is a description when he sold it in 1815:
Consisting of three floors. On the principal floor there are an excellent dining-room, a small parlour and bed room; above, an elegant drawing-room and three bed-rooms; below, a good kitchen, a large room lighted from the street, well suited for a writing-chamber, apartments for servants, cellars etc with back-ground ... A three-stalled stable and coach house. (8)
Profession
Royal Navy. Lieutenant 1773. Commander 1790. Captain 1806. He commanded the new ship The Queen in 1793 and The Agreeable in 1797 (6). Between 1799 and 1802 he appears to have commanded the Pomona, and in 1808 the Eurydice (6,8,9) He was responsible for overseeing the defence of the Port of Leith and organising the Press Gang, and in recognition of his work in 1813 was presented with a silver snuff box by Trinity House. (5)
Political Views
In 1798 he organised a subscription amongst naval officers in Greenock in aid of the war effort, subscribing the very generous sum of £52 10s. His open letter to the Lord Advocate hints at their honest patriotic poverty at a time of national crisis, although he was perhaps hoping it would result in a commission for him:
My Lord, Our situation in life will not admit of our entering (in general) very liberally into public subscriptions; but at the present period, we look upon it that every good Subject is called upon to contribute all in his power to the assistance of the Government. Under this impression, we yesterday held a meeting of all the Naval Officers here, and we had the satisfaction to find them all of the same opinion; and they have requested me to transmit, for the approbation of the Lords of the Admiralty, the list of our Subscriptions, which I take the liberty to enclose for your perusal. And I have the Honour to be, My Lord, Your Lordship's most obedient humble Servant, D. Ramsay. (7)
Chapel connection
daughter's funeral, 1814
Spouse
Mary MacLeod
Children
Catherine (died 13 October 1814); William Norman (Major, served from 1799 Holland, Egypt, Portugal, Spain, and France and fell at Waterloo aged 33 (3)), Alexander (fell at New Orleans, 1815), Anne (d.1830), Frances, Louisa.

Major Norman Ramsay
Galloping his Troop
Through the French Army
to Safety at the
Battle of Fuentes
d'Onoro, 1811

Tomb of William and
Alexander Ramsay

Sources

  1. Registers of Charlotte Chapel (NAS CH12/3)
  2. Edinburgh Post Office Directory 1818
  3. 'Monumental inscriptions in Inveresk Kirkyard extant in 1857' in James Paterson, History of the Regality of Musselburgh (Musselburgh, James Gordon, 1857) reproduced on John A. Robertson, Your Scottish ancestors traced (accessed 11 November 2011)
  4. Hew Scott, Fasti Ecclesi Scoticanae (Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1915-) vol.1 p. 376
  5. 'Box, presented to Captain David Ramsay, Royal Navy', National Museums of Scotland online collections database, accessed 14 November 2011
  6. Star 20 April 1793, 9 January 1797, 30 July 1799
  7. True Briton, 15 February and 6 November 1798.
  8. Caledonian Mercury 9 September 1802, 9 February 1815
  9. Cobbett's Weekly Political Register 20 August 1808

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