Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Ramsay, George (1800-1871)

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RAMSAY, Sir GEORGE (1800–1871), philosophical writer, second son of Sir William Ramsay, bart., of Bamff House, Aylth, Perthshire, by Agnata Frances, daughter of Vincent Biscoe of Hookwood, Surrey, and elder brother of William Ramsay (1806–1865) [q. v.], professor of humanity at the university of Glasgow, was born on 19 March 1800. He was educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1823, and M.B. in 1826. He succeeded his elder brother, Sir James Ramsay, as ninth baronet on 1 Jan. 1859, and died at Bamff on 22 Feb. 1871. He married, in 1830, Emily Eugenie, youngest daughter of Captain Henry Lennon of Westmeath, by whom he had issue three sons, of whom the eldest, Sir James Henry Ramsay, the historian, succeeded to the title. His youngest son, George Gilbert Ramsay, LL.D., was elected to the chair of humanity in the university of Glasgow in 1863.

Ramsay was a voluminous writer on philosophical topics, but made no contribution of importance to philosophical inquiry. His publications are: 1. ‘An Essay on the Distribution of Wealth,’ Edinburgh, 1836, 8vo. 2. ‘A Disquisition on Government,’ Edinburgh, 1837, 12mo. 3. ‘Political Discourses,’ Edinburgh, 1838, 8vo. 4. ‘An Enquiry into the Principles of Human Happiness and Human Duty,’ London, 1843, 8vo. 5. ‘A Classification of the Sciences,’ Edinburgh, 1847, 4to. 6. ‘The Philosophy and Poetry of Love,’ New York, 1848, 8vo. 7. ‘Analysis and Theory of the Emotions,’ London, 1848, 8vo. 8. ‘An Introduction to Mental Philosophy,’ Edinburgh, 1853, 8vo. 9. ‘Principles of Psychology,’ London, 1857, 8vo. 10. ‘Instinct and Reason, or the First Principles of Human Knowledge,’ London, 1862, 8vo. 11. ‘The Moralist and Politician, or Many Things in Few Words,’ London, 1865, 8vo. 12. ‘Ontology, or Things Existing,’ London, 1870, 8vo.

[Times, 27 Feb. 1871; Foster's Baronetage, ‘Ramsay;’ Brit. Mus. Cat.]

J. M. R.