John Ramsay, Earl of Holdernesse

John Ramsay, Viscount Haddington, Baron of Kingston upon Thames and Earl of Holdernesse was buried in St Paul's chapel in Westminster Abbey on 28th February 1626 but he has no monument or marker. He was the son of James Ramsay who died about 1580. While in service with James VI of Scotland he had an argument with a fellow servant at Falkland Palace while the king was in residence. He was convicted of treason but pardoned by the monarch. In 1600 he travelled with the king to Perth and saved him from an attack by members of the Ruthven family and was knighted. In 1603 he travelled with the king, now also James I of England, to London. In 1609 he married Lady Elizabeth Ratcliffe, daughter of the Earl of Sussex and poet Ben Jonson wrote a masque for the ceremony. Two of their sons and a daughter, who all died young, are buried in St Paul's chapel - James 1618, Charles, Baron of Kingston 1621 and Bridget 1621. He married secondly Martha Cockayne but had no children by her. He was created Earl of Holdernesse in 1621 but having no surviving sons the title became extinct at his death.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography


28th February 1626


Chapel of St Paul

John Ramsay, Earl of Holdernesse
St Paul's chapel

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2022 Dean and Chapter of Westminster