Born in Aberdeen, Dean Ramsay became one of the more
popular church figures in Edinburgh’s history.
He was childhood was spent on his great-uncle’s estate
in Yorkshire and in 1806 attended the Cathedral Grammar
School in Durham.
He continued his education at St John’s College,
Cambridge, and in on gaining his Bacherlor of Arts in 1816,
he was ordained as curate of Redden, Somerset where spent
much of his time studying botany, architecture and music.
He was particularly fond of music and was an accomplished
In 1824, Ramsay came to Edinburgh to curate at St George’s
in York Place. He was then in appointment as minister of
St John’s. Princes Street in 1830 where he remained
until his death.
was also made Dean of the Diocese of Edinburgh in 1841 in
addition to his appointment at St. John's.
In 1828 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
and became Vice-President of the society In 1862.
Chief founder of the Scottish Episcopalian Church Society in
1838, Dean Ramsay also helped establish Trinity College, Glenalmond,
A socialable fellow, Dean Ramsay or as he was known to
friends 'The Dean', was known forhis many ancedotes,
many of which formed the basis for his publication in
of Scottish Life and Character’
a book which ran to twenty one editions.
His popularity meant he was greatly mourned when he
died in 1872 and his congregation placed a commemorative
tablet Inside St. John’s and his eight-metre
high celtic cross was erected outside the church in
1879 as a memorial to him. Designed by Rowand Anderson,
it was made by Farmer and Brindley of London.