Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/897

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RAMSAY, SIR W.—RAMSEY

RAMSAY, SIR WILLIAM (1852-), British chemist, nephew of Sir A. C. Ramsay, was born at Glasgow on the 2nd of October 1852. From 1866 to 1870 he studied in his native city, and then went to work under R. F ittig at Tübingen. Returning to Glasgow in 1872 he became assistant in the Young laboratory of technical chemistry at Anderson's College, and from 1874 acted as tutorial assistant in chemistry at the university. In 1880 he was appointed to the chair of chemistry at University College, Bristol, becoming principal in the following year, and in 1887 he succeeded A. W. Williamson as professor of chemistry at University College, London. His earlier work was mainly concerned with organic chemistry, and he published researches on picoline and its derivatives in 1876-78 and on quinine and its decomposition products in 1878-79. Later his attention was taken up with questions of physical and inorganic chemistry. With Sydney Young and others he investigated the critical state and properties of liquids and the relationship between their vapour pressures and temperature, and with John Shields he applied measurements of the surface tension of liquids to the determination of their molecular complexity. In 1894 he was associated with Lord Rayleigh in the discovery of argon, announced at that year's meeting of the British Association in Oxford, and in the following year he found in certain rare minerals such as cleveite the gas helium which till that time had only been known on spectroscopic evidence as existing in the sun. In 1898 his work with Morris William Travers (b. 1872), who from 1894 had assisted him at University College, London, and in 1903 was appointed professor of chemistry at University College, Bristol, enabled him to announce the existence in the atmosphere of three new gases, neon, krypton and xenon. Turning to the study of radioactivity, he noticed its association with the minerals which yield helium, and in support of the hypothesis that that gas is a disintegration-product of radium he proved in 1903 that it is continuously formed by the latter substance in quantities sufficiently great to be directly recognizable in the spectroscope. Among the books written by Sir William Ramsay, who was created K.C.B. in 1902, are A System of Chemistry, 1891, The Gases of the Atmosphere, 1896, and Modern Chemistry, vol. i. Theoretical, vol. ii. Systematic, 1901, and he edited a series of “Textbooks of Physical Chemistry.”


RAMSAY, SIR WILLIAM MITCHELL (1851–), British archaeologist, was born on the 15th of March 1851. He was educated at the universities of Aberdeen, Oxford and Göttingen, and was a fellow of Exeter College, Oxford (1882; honorary fellow 1898), and Lincoln College (1885; honorary 1899). In 1885 he was elected professor of classical art at Oxford, and in the next year professor of humanity at Aberdeen. From 1880 onwards he travelled widely in Asia Minor and rapidly became the recognized authority on all matters relating to the districts associated with St Paul's missionary journeys and on Christianity in the early Roman Empire. He received the honorary degrees of D.C.L. Oxford, LL.D. St Andrews and Glasgow, D.D. Edinburgh, and was knighted in 1906. He was elected a member of learned societies in Europe and America, and has been awarded medals by the Royal Geographical Society, the Royal Scottish Geographical Society and the University of Pennsylvania. His numerous publications include: The Historical Geography of Asia Minor (1890); The Church in the Roman Empire (1893); The Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia (2 vols., 1895, 1897); St Paul the Traveller and the Roman Citizen (189 5; Germ. trans., 1898); Impressions of Turkey (1897); Was Christ born at Bethlehem? (1898); Historical Commentary on Galatians (1899); The Education of Christ (1902); The Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia (1905); Pauline and other Studies in Early Christian History (1906); Studies in the History and Art of the Eastern Provinces of the Roman Empire (1906); The Cities of St Paul (1907); Lucan and Pauline Studies (1908); The Thousand and One Churches (with Miss Gertrude L. Bell, 1909); and articles in learned periodicals and the 9th, 10th and 11th editions of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. His wife, Lady Ramsay, granddaughter of Dr Andrew Marshall of Kirkintilloch, accompanied him in many of his journeys and is the author of Everyday Life in Turkey (1897) and The Romance of Elisavet (1899).


RAMSBOTTOM, an urban district in the Heywood parliamentary division of Lancashire, England, 4 m. N. of Bury, on the Lancashire & Yorkshire railway. Pop. (1901) 15,920. It has iron and brass foundries, machine factories and textile establishments.


RAMSDEN, JESSE (1735-1800), English astronomical instrument maker, was born at Salterhebble near Halifax, Yorkshire, on the 6th of October 1735. After serving his apprenticeship with a cloth-worker in Halifax, he went in 1755 to London, where in 1758 he was apprenticed to a mathematical instrument maker. About four years afterwards he started business on his own account and secured a great reputation with his products. He died at Brighton on the 5th of November 1800. Ramsden's speciality was divided circles, which began to supersede the quadrants in observatories towards the end of the 18th century. His most celebrated work was a 5-feet vertical circle, which was finished in .1789 and was used by G. Piazzi at Palermo in constructing his well-known catalogue of stars. He was the first to carry out in practice a method of reading off angles (first suggested in 1768 by the duke of Chaulnes) by measuring the distance of the index from the nearest division line by means of a micrometer screw which moves one or two fine threads placed in the foctis of a microscope. Ramsden's transit instruments were the first which were illuminated through the hollow axis; the idea was suggested to him by Prof. Henry Ussher in Dublin. He published a Description of an Engine for dividing Mathematical Instruments in 1777.


RAMSEY, a market-town in the Northern or Ramsey parliamentary division of Huntingdonshire, England, on the south-western border of the Fen country, on branch lines of the Great Northern and the Great Eastern railways, 13 rn. S.S.E. of Peterborough. Pop. of urban district (1901) 4823. The fine church of St Thomas a Becket is transitional between Norman and Early English, and has a beautiful Norman east end. The tower was built in 1672 of stone from RamseyAbbey. An old oak lectern, dating from the middle of the 1 5th century, carries a chained copy, in a Tudor binding of brass, of Dean Comber's (1655-99) book on the Common Prayer, and a black-letter copy of Erasmus's Paraphrase of the Gospels. There are many interesting tombs in the churchyard, and the church register contains several entries relating to the Cromwell family, who removed hither from Huntingdon and owned the abbey estates till 1674. Of the ancient Benedictine abbey, the only remains are a part of a gateway, a lodge (a beautiful Perpendicular relic) and some buttresses, while some broken stone arches and walls remain of the conventual buildings. The modern mansion of Ramsey Abbey contains many documentary relics of the abbey, as well as an early monument representing the founder.

According to a 12th-century chronicle of one of the monks, the name Ramsey is derived from the words “ ram, ” referring to the tradition of a solitary ram having taken up its abode here, and “ ey ” meaning an island. Ramsey, however, was not completely insulated, like some of the monasteries of the Fen district. The abbey was founded by Ailwin, earl of the East Angles, in 969, and a charter of King Edgar granted lands and privileges for the purpose. Ramsey Abbey was noted for the school established within its walls, and for its library of Hebrew works. Its abbot was mitred. The lands were granted after the dissolution to Sir Richard Cromwell.


RAMSEY. a seaport and watering-place on the north-east coast of the Isle of Man, 15 m. N.N.E. of Douglas. Pop. (1901) 4729. It lies on the wide Ramsey Bay, at the mouth of the Sulby river, the estuary of which forms a small harbour. To the north and west the' country is fiat, but to the south the lower slopes of the North Ballure hill rise sharply. A creek of the Sulby river on the north side of the town is formed into a picturesque lake. The Queen's pier permits of the landing of passengers at all times, and Ramsey is served by