Alexander Ramsay of Dalhousie

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Sir Alexander Ramsay of Dalhousie (sometimes spelt: Dalwolsey) (died 1342) was a Scottish patriot known for his prowess in battle, and the 1342 capture of Roxburgh Castle.


Alexander Ramsay (abt 1290-1342) was the eldest of two sons born to Sir William Ramsay of Dalhousie( abt 1235-1320), the other being Sir William Ramsay of Inverleith.

Military career[edit]

Sir Alexander became Warden of the Middle Marches in command of Lothian men, and one of the Regent's chief commanders at Boroughmuir, where Guy de Namur, a Flemish ally of England, was defeated. He was present at the capture of Leuchars Castle, at St Andrews in 1335, and in June 1338 he relieved Dunbar Castle and assisted the Countess of Dunbar in her struggle to maintain the stronghold against the English.

His tragic story begins when he and his party of men recaptured Roxburgh Castle from the English in 1342. The titular constable of the Castle, Sir William Douglas, had several times tried unsuccessfully to retake it. For his brave and heroic feat, Sir Alexander was appointed constable of Roxburgh and Sheriff of Teviotdale. Sir William Douglas was so outraged by the appointments, that he sought revenge by capturing Sir Alexander and imprisoning him in the dungeon of Hermitage Castle where he was left to starve. Legend has it that he survived for seventeen days by eating small quantities of grain that fell through the cracks in the floor of the castle granary above the dungeon.

His brother, Sir William Ramsay of Inverleith succeeded Sir Alexander at Dalhousie in 1342 and was famous for his raid around Norham Castle, and the ensuing Battle of Nisbet Muir in 1355.

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