From the Book of Eminent Burgesses of Dundee 1513 to 1885.

John Ramsay L'Amy of Dunkenny - 26th September 1780



The name of L'Amy or LAMBY has been associated with the estate of Dunkenny since the beginning of the fifteenth century, and it was possessed by a family of that name till about the middle of the seventeenth century. The property then passed out of their hands for some time, but was again in the possession of a L'amy in 1684. The exact connection of JAMES RAMSAY, merchant, Dundee, with this family does not appear, but it is probable that his son whose name is here enrolled came into the estate through his mother, and assumed her name in addition to his own. By a Deed, dated 9th January, 1734, JAMES RAMSAY handed over to trustees, consisting of the Provost, Bailies, Dean of Guild, and Convener of the Trades, the sum of 2,000 merks to be applied in building and furnishing "a Workhouse within the Town of Dundee, for "containing idle and vagrant persons, as well men as women, to be employed in such work as the patrons should think fit; and in the second place, to furnish necessary utensils and instruments for performing the work wherein the said persons should be employed for their subsistence, or otherwise for promoting virtue and manufactory in the Workhouse." An alteration was made in this charity by the Town Council, with consent of the founder, on 22nd April 1743, by which the patrons were permitted to apply the sum of £100 Scots annually towards the salary of a teacher of Mathematics, until a Workhouse should be erected, and this arrangement was continued for many years. The interest on the capital sum was paid for some time to the cashier for the Workhouse, which was fitted up in the Old Hospital, and the idea of building a separate Workhouse was abandoned. JAMES RAMSAY was buried in the Howff, lair No. 805, and his tombstone is thus inscribed:

"Hic conduntur reliquae Jacobi Ramsay
quondam in hac urbe meraatoris,
qui obiit Anno D. 1753,acetatis 63.
Joannes Ramsay L'Amy de Dunkenny
tam gen. pri. et ejusdem natu maximus. F. H. P.C0."

[Here lie the remains of James Ramsay, formerly merchant in this burgh, who died A.D. 1753, aged 63. John Ramsay L'Amy of Dunkenny, his eldest son, and now Chief of the Race (of L'Amy), caused this to be erected.]

JOHN RAMSAY L'Amy was born circa 1730, and was married in 1760 to AGNES, daughter of ROBERT HAMILTON of Kilbrachmont, in Fife. His house in Dundee stood at the foot of Couttie's Wynd, facing the shore, and was in the possession of his family when Union Street was opened up. He was not officially connected with public affairs in the Burgh, but in the election of the Town Council on 28th September, 1780, he acted as proxy for GEORGE DEMPSTER of Dunnichen, and it was for the purpose of qualifying him for the task that his name was entered on the Burgess Roll. When a proposal was made in 1783 to purchase the old Meal Market and Guardhouse in the High Street for the purpose of building an English Episcopal Chapel on the site which they occupied, Mr L'Amy was one of those who laid the matter before the Town Council and carried the project into operation. On 4th April, 1798, he was sent by the Council as Commissioner to the General Assembly, a duty seldom delegated to any one not actively engaged in the public service. He survived till 1814, his wife having predeceased him in 1782. His son, JAMES L'Amy. Sheriff Depute of Forfarshire, was enrolled as a Burgess on 4th October, 1825.



Iain D. McIntosh, Friends of Dundee City Archives