Ramsay, Laurence (DNB00)

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RAMSAY or RAMSEY, LAURENCE (fl. 1550–1588), versifier, apparently joined in 1550 a body of sectaries, meeting at Faversham in Kent, who advocated anabaptism and Pelagianism (Strype, Memorials, II. i. 370). Subsequently he identified himself with advanced puritanism. About 1571 he venomously attacked the catholics in a pedestrian poem in seven-line stanzas entitled ‘The Practise of the Diuell. The auncient poisened Practises of the Diuell, in his Papistes, against the true professors of Gods holie worde, in these our latter dayes. Newlie set forth by L. Ramsey,’ London (by Timothie Rider), 4to (Bodl.). The same publisher issued in 1578 a broadside by Ramsay, ‘A short Discourse of Mans fatall end, with an unfayned commendation of the worthinesse of Syr Nicholas Bacon’ (folio sheet; Britwell), and on 5 Aug. 1583 Edward White obtained a license for the publication of Ramsay's ‘Wishinge and Wouldinge,’ which is not known to be extant. It was possibly a poem resembling Nicholas Breton's ‘I would and I would not.’ Ramsay seems in later life to have been attached to the household of the Earl of Leicester, who affected sympathy with the puritans. After Leicester's death, Edward Aggas obtained (15 Oct. 1588) a license for the publication of ‘Ramsies farewell to his late lord & master therle of Leicester, which departed this worlde at Cor'burye the 4 Sept. 1588.’ No copy is now known. None of his works are in the British Museum Library.

[Strype's Annals, II. i. 125, 268–9; Brydges's Restituta, iii. 439; Collier's Stationer's Register (Shakespeare Society), ii. 181; Ritson's Bibl. Poet. p. 309; Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. xii. 142.]

S. L.