Born in Aberdeen in 1793, Dean Edward Bannerman Ramsay became one of the more popular church figures in Edinburgh’s history.
His childhood was spent on his great-uncle’s estate in Yorkshire and in 1806 he attended the Cathedral Grammar School in Durham.
He continued his education at St John’s College, Cambridge, and on gaining his Bacherlor of Arts in 1816, he was ordained as curate of Redden, Somerset where he spent much of his time studying botany, architecture and music.
He was particularly fond of music and was an accomplished flautist.
He was also made Dean of the Diocese of Edinburgh in 1841 in addition to his appointment at St. John’s.
In 1828 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and became Vice-President of the society In 1862.
Chief founder of the Scottish Episcopalian Church Society in 1838, Dean Ramsay also helped establish Trinity College, Glenalmond, in 1846.
A socialable fellow, Dean Ramsay or as he was known to friends ‘The Dean’, was known for his many ancedotes, many of which formed the basis for his publication in 1858 ‘Reminiscences of Scottish Life and Character’ a book which ran to twenty one editions.
His popularity meant he was greatly mourned when he died in 1872 and his congregation placed a commemorative tablet Inside St. John’s and his eight-metre high celtic cross was erected outside the church in 1879 as a memorial to him. Designed by Rowand Anderson, it was made by Farmer and Brindley of London.
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