Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 47.djvu/232

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

proceeded M.A. in 1823. After making what was then the grand tour during 1818–22, he entered the Inner Temple, where he was called to the bar on 21 Nov. 1823. A pupil of the eminent conveyancer, Richard Preston [q. v.], he practised in London and Ipswich, where he resided in later life, and died in 1870. He married the only daughter of Captain Ralph Willett Adye [see Adye, Stephen Payne], and left issue.

As a legal author Ram obtained a well-founded reputation for painstaking research, methodical arrangement, and lucidity of style. His works, all published in London, are as follows: 1. ‘The Science of Legal Judgment: a Treatise designed to show the Materials whereof, and the Process by which, the Courts of Westminster Hall construct their Judgments, and adapted to practical and general use in the Discussion and Determination of Questions of Law,’ 1822, 8vo; New York, 1871, 8vo. 2. ‘Observations on the Natural Right of a Father to the Custody of his Children and to direct their Education; his Forfeiture of this Right, and the Jurisdiction of the Court of Chancery to control it,’ 1825, 8vo. 3. ‘An Outline of the Law of Tenure and Tenancy: containing the first principles of the law of real property,’ 1825, 8vo. 4. ‘A Treatise on the Exposition of Wills of Landed Property,’ 1827, 8vo. 5. ‘A Practical Treatise of Assets, Debts, and Incumbrances,’ 1832; 2nd edit. 1837. 6. ‘A Treatise on Facts as Subjects of Inquiry by a Jury,’ 1851, 8vo; New York, 3rd edit. 1873.

[Gent. Mag. 1810, ii. 493; Grad. Cantab.; Law List; Marvin's Legal Bibliography; private information.]

J. M. R.

RAM, THOMAS (1564–1634), bishop of Ferns and Leighlin, was born at Windsor, and educated at Eton and King's College, Cambridge, where he graduated M.A. and became a fellow. In 1599 he accompanied Essex to Ireland as chaplain, and in the following year was made dean of Cork. Mountjoy, Essex's successor as lord deputy, retained him as chaplain, and he was also precentor, vicar-choral, and prebendary of St. John's in Christchurch, Dublin. In 1604 Ram was presented by the crown to the vicarage of Balrothery, near Dublin, but resigned the deanery of Cork on being appointed to that of Ferns in the following year. On 2 May 1605 he was consecrated in Christchurch, Dublin, bishop of the lately united sees of Ferns and Leighlin, and was allowed to hold his other preferments in commendam, on account of the extreme poverty of the diocese, the result of fraudulent or improvident alienations made by former bishops, and of lay encroachments (cf. Strafford Letters, i. 344).

Ram found the diocese of Ferns reduced from about 500l. a year to one-seventh of that value; but he recovered 40l. a year in land after a long lawsuit. Leighlin was worth only 24l., all the lands having been alienated, and there being no prospect of recovering them by law. Ram was a careful bishop, constantly resident, holding an annual visitation, and taking care to leave no parish unprovided. He did what he could to maintain schools, but the recusant clergy excommunicated all who used them. Ram was one of twelve bishops who, on 26 Nov. 1626, signed a protest against tolerating popery (Mant, p. 423). He built a see-house at Old Leighlin, and bequeathed a library for the use of the clergy, but this was destroyed in the rebellion of 1641. He died in Dublin on 24 Nov. 1634, and was buried in his own private chapel at Gorey, co. Wexford.

His son Thomas inherited an estate at Gorey called Ramsfort, which the bishop had acquired, and which was possessed by the family until lately. Colonel Abel Ram, the ‘ram of Gorey,’ who fell foul of Swift in 1728, was the bishop's descendant.

Another son, Robert Ram (fl. 1655), graduated at Trinity College, Dublin, and took orders. While still an undergraduate he was presented to the prebend of Crosspatrick by his father, but he held it only three or four years. He was minister of Spalding in Lincolnshire at or soon after the outbreak of the civil war, his politics and religious views being such as suited the parliamentary leaders. On 31 Jan. 1642–3 Ram wrote to the people of Croyland condemning their folly in resisting the parliament. The Croylanders replied by attacking Spalding and carrying off Ram and others on 25 March. On 13 April Croyland repulsed an attack, and Ram was near being shot by his own friends. On the 25th Cromwell appeared, and the Croylanders placed their prisoners bound on the top of the breastwork; but the place quickly surrendered, and they were delivered.

In 1644 Ram published the ‘Soldiers' Catechism, composed for the Parliament's army,’ which had a great circulation, and passed through many editions. A parody appeared in 1645, containing Ram's questions with such answers as ‘I fight to rescue the king out of the hands of his and the kingdom's friends, and to destroy the laws and liberties of my country,’ and ‘The ill-will I bear to my country moves me to take up arms.’ Ram's catechism was republished in 1684 by John Turner, with a preface in