James Andrew Broun Ramsay

(Marquis and 10th Earl of Dalhousie)

1812 - 1860

James Broun-Ramsay
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

James Broun-Ramsay

Politician and statesman. Born in Dalhousie Castle (Midlothian), the third son of George Ramsay, 9th Earl of Dalhousie (1770 - 1838), Dalhousie was educated at Oxford. Elected to Parliament in 1837, at the age of 25, he was appointed President of the Board of Trade at 33 and went on to become the youngest Governor-General of India (1847). He was created Marquess of Dalhousie in 1849. In the same year, he carried out the annexation of the Punjab, following the Sikh Wars. In 1852, after the Second Burmese War, he annexed Burma. His controversial policy for the annexation of the independent Indian states continued, based either on the pretext of their rulers dying without a male heir or, in one case, on the basis of mal-administration.

He organised government across all departments; railways, roads, postal and telegraph services and irrigation. He opened the Ganges Canal and is credited with establishing the Indian Railway system. His annexations had given rise to resentment and were a factor in the Indian Mutiny (1857), which took place the year after Dalhousie left his post due to the ill-health of his wife. However, he is remembered as having done more than any other to create a modern system of government and his legacy lives on in India today.

Dalhousie's wife died at sea on the return journey from India, at the age of just 38, and he returned home alone and died at Dalhousie Castle not long after. He is buried in the family vault at the nearby Cockpen Parish Church. Because they had no heirs the title was inherited by his cousin, Fox Maule, Lord Panmure. The hill station of Dalhousie in Himachel Pradesh (India) is named after him.

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