Descendants of Peter Ramsay, Stabler in Edindburgh Part 1

Hamish Bain has been in touch to say he has a mezzotint of Sir Alexander Charles Gibson Maitland, 2nd Bt, of Clifton Hall (my great great great great great gandfather). Turns out there’s a copy on the National Portrait Gallery website, which explains that is was by Thomas Goff Lupton, published by James Keith, after Sir John Watson-Gordon mezzotint, published May 1847.

He mentioned that his maternal grandmother, Daisy Shaw nee Ramsay, said that her father William Ramsay, great grandson of Peter Ramsay the Stabler, would refer to this portrait as “Cousin Sandy”.  He points out that she was wrong about the relationship as it was his son who married Susan Ramsay of Barnton and so old Sir Alexander was no relation of ours. I’m not surprised that there’s some confusion. Firstly,  Susan Ramsay did marry an Alexander Maitland, who was the son of Sir Alexander Charles Gibson Maitland and there’s a number of other Maitlands called Sandy, including Sir Alexander Charles Ramsay Gibson Maitland, 3rd Bart, who was the son of Alexander Maitland and Susan Ramsay (the elder brother of my great great great grandfather George Ramsay Maitland).

Sir Alexander Charles Ramsay Gibson Maitland, 3rd Bart

So Hamish‘s maternal grandmother might have been right about a Sir Alexander Charles Gibson Ramsay, 3rd Bt being a reasonably close cousin as Susan Ramsay of Barnton’s father (George Ramsay of Barnton) was the nephew of Peter Ramsay the stabler in Edinburgh. The William Ramsay that Hamish’s maternal grandmother refers to was William Hamilton Ramsay, son of Peter Ramsay (junior), a banker in Edinburgh and grandson of Peter Ramsay the stabler. William Hamilton Ramsay was born in 1821, whereas Sir Alexander Charles Gibson Ramsay, 3rd Bt, was born in 1820 so they would have been contemporaries. They were also mason judging by the “History of the Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary’s Chapel) no.1. Embracing an account of the rise and progress of freemasonry in Scotland” … as was Charles William Ramsay Ramsay (cousin of Sir Alexander Charles Ramsay Gibson Maitland, 3rd Bart):

William Hamilton Ramsay of the Thistle Lodge, Glasgow, became a member of Mary’s Chapel in 1844, and in 1847 was elected Secretary, from which office he was in 1849 promoted to that of Master. He retired from the chair in 1852. Mr Ramsay is a nephew of the late Lord Belhaven, and is now Major in the Lanarkshire Militia, and Master of Ceremonies in Grand Lodge, the duties of which office he discharges with great success- He is also an influential member of Grand Committee. He held the office of Master of the Rifle Lodge on its institution. But his fame in Masonic circles chiefly rests on his services to the body of Knight Templars, in which for many years he has taken the leading place. He is presently the Prior of the Lothians, and Registrar of the Chapter-General of the Order ; — and through his instrumentality H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, on his visit to Edinburgh in October 1870, became connected with that body.

Sir Alexander Gibson Maitland of Cliftonhall, Bart., a member of Canongate Kilwinning, was affiliated in the Lodge of Edinburgh in November 1848, and elected Master on St John’s-day of the same year. He retired in 1849. His father served as Junior Grand Warden during the years 1798-1800. Sir Alexander is Provincial Grand Master of Stirling- shire. He is descended from the Hon. General Alexander Maitland (fifth son of the sixth Earl of Lauderdale), a distinguished military officer. On the death in 1866 of Mr Ramsay of Barnton, Sir Alexander inherited his large estates, and thereupon assumed the surname of Ramsay before that of Gibson. He is M.P. for the county of Edinburgh.

Charles William Ramsay Ramsay, of Barnton, in the county – of Edinburgh — son of William Ramsay Ramsay, of Barnton, and sometime M.P. for Midlothian, by his wife, the Hon. Mary Sandilands, daughter of James tenth Lord Torphichen — was affiliated into Mary’s Chapel in 1863, his mother lodge being the Apollo University, Oxford. He was chosen Junior Grand Deacon in 1863, and was appointed to the Provincial Grand Mastership of Linlithgowshire in 1 864, in which year he died from the effects of an accident at the early age of twenty-one, universally lamented. His portrait will be found at page 165. His grandfather, George Ramsay of Barnton, was Depute Grand Master in 1798-99. His maternal uncle, Robert eleventh Baron Torphichen, was Substitute Grand Master in 1840, and was an enthusiastic member of the Craft. He was long Master of the Mid-Calder Lodge, and when unable from infirmity to attend its communications at. its usual place of meeting, he obtained special permission from Grand Lodge to open that Lodge in Calder House, his private residence. James ninth Lord Torphichen was Depute Grand Master in 1786-87. The Honourable Walter Sandilands, advocate, another of the Torphichen family, was Master of Torphichen
Kilwinning in 1737.

Charles William Ramsay Ramsay died unmarried having got erysipelas from a scratch after having been knocked of a carriage, and so the estates passed to his cousin Sir Alexander C. Gibson- Maitland, Bart., of Clifton Hall, Midlothian, whose mother was the eldest dau. of Mr. George Ramsay of Barnton.

Anyway, Hamish mentions that the baptism of three of Peter Ramsay the stabler’s children can be found in the Old St Paul’s registers, printed in Northern Notes and Queries. This is interesting as I only though he had two having read the following about him in Cassell’s Old and new Edinburgh : its history, its people, and its places ([1881-83?]) by James Grant:

“He  [Peter Ramsay] has left one son, William Ramsay, jun., Esq., banker in Edinburgh, and one daughter, the widow of Captain Mansfield, of the South Fencible Regiment, who lost his life at Leith in 1779, when attempting to quell a mutiny.”

Hamish also mentioned that he thinks the Alexander Nasmyth portrait of the Ramsay of Barnton children has been reproduced in a book on Nasmyth by JCB Cooksey. Might see if I can check out a copy at my local library, which would be cheaper than the 70 quid plus VAT which the Photography & Licensing department of the National Galleries of Scotland want to charge me (see here). It would also be good to see if I could help bring some of descendants of Peter Ramsay the stabler who have contacted me to see if they can collaborate on who knows what about this branch of the Ramsay family.

One thought on “Descendants of Peter Ramsay, Stabler in Edindburgh Part 1

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