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Dalhousie Castle

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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Dalhousie Castle, a noble mansion in Cockpen parish, Midlothian, on the left bank of the river South Esk, 2¼ miles S by W of Dalkeith, 1¼ mile SE of Bonnyrigg, and 1¼ S by W of Dalhousie station on the Waverley route of the North British, this being 9 miles SE of Edinburgh. In the first half of the 12th century Simon de Ramsay received a grant of lands in Midlothian from David I.; in 1296 and 1304 William de Ramsay swore fealty to Edward I. of England for the lands of 'Dalwolzie.' His son, Sir Alexander, was one of the great Scotch leaders in the War of Independence, the capturer of Roxburgh, who for reward was starved to death in the Castle of Hermitage (1342); in 1400 his namesake and fourth descendant successfully defended Dalhousie against Henry IV. of England. This Sir Alexander was slain at Homildon (1402), as was another at Flodden (1513). In 1618 George Ramsay, eleventh in descent from the first Sir Alexander, was raised to the peerage as Lord Ramsay of Melrose, a title changed in the following year to that of Lord Ramsay of Dalhousie; and in 1633 his son and successor, William, was created Earl of Dalhousie and Baron Ramsay of Kerington. During his time we find Oliver Cromwell dating his letters from Dalhousie Castle, 8 and 9 Oct. 1648. The fifth, sixth, seventh, and ninth Earls were all of them soldiers, George, the ninth (1770-1838). for service done in the Peninsula being raised in 1815 to the peerage of the United Kingdom as Baron Dalhousie of Dalhousie. His third son and successor, the Indian administrator, James Andrew Broun-Ramsay (1812-60), was born and died at

Dalhousie, at Dalhousie received a call from the Queen and Prince Albert on 4 Sept. 1842, was GovernorGeneral of India from 1847 to 1855, and in 1849 was created Marquis of Dalhousie, of Dalhousie Castle and the Punjaub. This title died with him, but those of Earl of Dalhousie and Baron Ramsay devolved on his cousin, Fox Maule, second Lord Panmure (1801-74), whose cousin and successor Admiral George Ramsay (1806-80) became a peer of the United Kingdom in 1875 as Baron Ramsay of Glenmark. His son, the present and thirteenth Earl, John William Ramsay, Commander R.N., K.T. (b. 1847), is eighteenth in descent from the first Sir Alexander, and holds 1419 acres in Midlothian and 136,602 in Forfarshire, valued respectively at £3452 and £55,602 per annum. (See Brechin and Panmure.)

Dating from the 12th century, Dalhousie is described by the Queen as ` a real old Scottish castle, of reddish stone; ' but by the ninth Earl it was so altered and enlarged that it is hard to say how much is old and how much modern. Anyhow it is a stately castellated pile, with lofty tower and a fine collection of family portraits; on 10 Oct. 1867 it narrowly escaped entire destruction by fire, with the loss of the third story and attics of the central portion. The park is finely wooded, and the garden of singular beauty. Less than a half mile to the NW flows Dalhousie Burn, which, rising near Newbigging, runs 5 miles north-eastward along the boundary of Carrington with Lasswade and Cockpen, and through the interior of the latter parish, till near Dalhousie station it joins the South Esk. A pretty streamlet, with steep but wooded banks, it makes a descent from about 700 to less than 200 feet above sea-level.—Ord. Sur., sh. 32,1857. See Peter Mitchell's Parish of Coekpen in the Olden Times (Dalkeith, 1881).

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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