He was an eccentric, happiest at home in his garden

As far as I can establish there is no surviving painting of John Ramsay of Ochtertyre. He died in 1814, several decades before the science of photography.

John Ramsay was born at Ochtertyre House in Stirlingshire in the summer of 1736 and was just 12 years old when he ‘succeeded’ his father as laird of Ochtertyre.

John Ramsay was educated at Dalkeith Grammar School and then studied classics at the University of Edinburgh. He then trained at his late father’s law firm until he was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates, however he never practised.

Instead, he retired to the family estate at Ochtertyre House, near Blair Drummond, on the banks of the River Teith. Here “he lived a life of elegant ease, like a classical Roman in his villa, looking after his estate, observing life, reading and writing notes on 18th-century Scotland which eventually filled ten folio volumes”.

He was visited by Robert Burns in 1787 and by Walter Scott in 1793.

Walter Scott’s character, Jonathan Oldbuck in “The Antiquary” was based on Ramsay.


Footnote:
Ochtertyre is a private estate and, as a family home, is not open to the public. I have visited Ochtertyre to look for the ‘Jougs tree’.  Alas, this ancient Ash tree has not survived the gales of time.

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