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Ramsay
Ramsay
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university, the dispute, it is said, having been originally occasioned by the fact that his son had been corporally chastised—not then an uncommon case—by one of the regents. At Ramsay's instance the town council, on 10 Nov. 1667, resolved ‘that the lord provost, present and to come, should be always rector and governor of the college’ (Grant, History of the University of Edinburgh, i. 211); and moreover ‘the town, in a competition between them and the college of Edinburgh, got a letter from the king in 1667 by Sir Andrew Ramsay's procurement determining their provost should have the same place and precedency without the town's precincts as was due to the mayors of London and Dublin, and that no other provost should be called lord provost but he’ (Lauder of Fountainhall, Decisions, i. 400). By his corrupt and tyrannical procedure as lord provost, especially by the creation of offices and employments to oblige those who supported him, Ramsay became obnoxious to many of the citizens. A motion to supersede him, made in March 1672, was lost by only two votes, and, it having failed, an action was raised in 1673 against his right to hold the lord-provostship, on the ground that, as a senator of the College of Justice, he held higher rank than a merchant. After long pleadings a compromise was arrived at, the council agreeing to pass an act that no provost, dean of guild, or treasurer should in time coming hold office for more than two years (Lauder of Fountainhall, Historical Notices, pp. 57–81). In the same year articles of impeachment were also given in against Ramsay by the Earl of Eglinton, on the ground that he had obtained a letter from the king to ‘thrust Mr. Rockhead out of his employment as town clerk of Edinburgh without a formal and legal sentence,’ and that he had ‘represented to his majesty that the town had risen in a tumult against the king, and had thereupon procured another letter commanding the privy council to proceed against the chief citizens as malefactors’ (Mackenzie, Memoirs, pp. 250, 261, 262). Dreading the results of the impeachment, Lauderdale prevailed on Ramsay to resign the offices both of provost and of lord of session.

In 1685 Ramsay was named a commissioner of trade. He died at Abbotshall on 17 Jan. 1688. Ramsay purchased the estate of Abbotshall, Fifeshire, from the Scotts of Balwearie, and obtained the estate. of Waughton, Haddingtonshire, by marriage to the heiress of the Hepburns. He was succeeded in the baronetcy and estates by his son Andrew.

[Lauder of Fountainhall's Decisions, and Historical Notices (in the Bannatyne Club); Sir George Mackenzie's Memoirs; Grant's Hist. of the University of Edinburgh; Wilson's Memorials of Edinburgh; Brunton and Haig's Senators of the College of Justice.]

T. F. H.

RAMSAY, Sir ANDREW CROMBIE (1814–1891), geologist, born 31 Jan. 1814, was third child of William Ramsay, a manufacturing chemist of Glasgow, by his wife, Elizabeth Crombie. The father was a man of scientific tastes and marked ability; the mother was a woman hardly less strong than tender. As the boy was delicate in his early years he was sent to school at Salcoats, but when his health improved he returned to Glasgow and attended the grammar school. But in 1827 his father died, leaving a very scanty provision for his widow and four children. Andrew, in consequence, had to take a clerkship in a cotton-broker's office. Here he was anything but happy, but he found consolation in literature and in science, becoming gradually absorbed in geology. In 1837 he started in business with a partner, but with so little success that he gave it up after a three years' trial.

In the autumn of 1840, however, the British Association met at Glasgow, and in anticipation of their visit a geological model of the Isle of Arran was prepared. In the construction of this Ramsay, who for the last four years had spent his holidays in that island, took far the greatest share, and it not only got him a commission to write a small book on the island (published in 1841), but also introduced him so favourably to some of the leaders of the science that in the spring of this year Roderick (afterwards Sir Roderick) Impey Murchison [q. v.] invited him to act as his assistant on a tour to America, which he was then contemplating. Ramsay at once accepted the offer, and started for London, to find on his arrival that his services would not be required; for his employer had changed his plans and was going to Russia. But Murchison had done his best to save Ramsay from being a loser by procuring for him a nomination to the geological survey under Sir Henry Thomas de la Beche [q. v.], and so the young geologist, instead of crossing the Atlantic, was at work at Tenby within a fortnight of his arrival in London. The pay of the post was small, but there were good prospects of improvement, and the work was thoroughly congenial. For four years Ramsay was engaged in the southern part of Wales, after which he gradually pushed on northwards. His energy and the excellence of his work soon won the approval of his chief, and on