« ZurückWeiter »
pressure of legal charges, the traffickings in these petty holdings by way of “wadset” (mortgage) or sale was perpetual. Little progress towards the absorption of these small lairdships by big landowners would seem to have been made prior to the eighteenth century. The movement leading to the consolidation of landownership was evidently voluntary, and due to the working of economic causes.
Of course the subdivision of ownership involved still greater subdivision of tenancies. If a petty laird occupied his own land we are sure to hear of a string of tenants and cottars under him. An extreme case of partition will be found in charter No. 199, where Gilbert Ramsay II mortgages “the shadow half of the east third part of the town and lands of Lytill Bamff, with the shadow half of the houses thereto belonging ” (p. 226).
Economists will find interesting details of the prices of agricultural produce, the corresponding prices in England at the time being also given. The progressive debasement of the Scots currency in its downward course is also illustrated. But the class perhaps to whom my documents will most appeal are the family historian and the genealogist. My Indexes supply them with the names of 270 families, almost all of them belonging either to Forfarshire or Perthshire. Ministers, notaries and schoolmasters will appear as well as owners and occupiers of land. Early names always have an interest, if only with regard to their derivation and etymology, and so I give the names of indesignate persons down to the year 1600 or thereabouts ; to have gone on further with obscure indesignate individuals would have swelled the work to unreasonable proportions. In connexion with the names, I should explain that in the heading of a document I give the names, whether of persons or places, according to the modern form, as I understand it; in the body of a document the names are given just as they are found. For the benefit of English readers I may explain that “of” in connexion with land indicates ownership; “in” indicates tenancy or occupancy only. Robertson “of” Downie is a proprietor; Robertson “in ” Downie an occupier. With respect to the names of places, I only give the names of towns, or of places of some interest, or where something happened. As in my other works, so here, I use double turned commas to denote words quoted in the absolute original; words or passages translated or modified in any way are given in single turned commas. Lastly I must acknowledge my indebtedness to the Rev. Henry Paton and his son Mr. Henry M. Paton for their beautiful transcription of the documents.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
FACSIMILE OF ORIGINAL BAMFF CHARTER
To face p. 7
SEAL OF ADAM RAMSAY I
. To face p. 12
SEALS OF GEORGE RAMSAY I AND GEORGE RAMSAY II
To face p. 104 BAMFF CHARTERS AND PAPERS
(From Article in New Genealogist of July 1914)
Owing to the paucity of the twelfth- and thirteenth-century records that have come down to our days, the first links in the pedigree of the Ramsay family as settled in Scotland are involved in considerable obscurity. With regard to the origin of the name, tradition claims Ramsey in Huntingdonshire as the place from whence it was taken, and early charters commonly spell it with an “e as in the Latinized form de Rameseia.
The settlement of the Ramsays in Scotland goes back to the twelfth century. But the promotion at that time of Englishmen from Huntingdonshire to good positions in Scotland can easily be accounted for. During nearly the whole of that century, and part of the next, the Earldom of Huntingdon was held by members of the Scottish Royal family. King David I, his son Henry, King Malcolm the Maiden, William the Lion, his brother David, David's son John, all at various times enjoyed that great fief (1109?-1237). David I was a great patron of the Southern men ; many Englishmen were settled in Scotland during his time (1124–1153). To him she owes her Bruces, Balliols, Lindsays, Maules, Riddels, Sinclairs, Hays, and probably the Ramsays
The first of the name to appear in Scottish history is Symon de Rameseia, who attests two charters, neither of them dated, so that their dates must be inferred from what is known of the
1 See Chalmers, Caledonia, i. 508, &c.