Rev. ANDREW MITCHELL RAMSAY

PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER


The Rev. Andrew Ramsay arrived at Melbourne on 4 January 1847 with his wife and family per "Anne Milne" from Greenock, Renfrewshire, Scotland. He was the first minister at Port Phillip of the United Secession which later became the United Presbyterian Church. In Melbourne he ministered at various locations including three months at the Scots Church, Melbourne following the departure of the Rev. James Forbes. When the Rev. Irving Hetherington arrived Rev. Ramsay's followers left and eventually erected a church on the opposite side of Collins Street to the Scots Church. This opened in 1851 and was known as St. Enoch's Church.

Andrew Mitchell Ramsay was born on 5 March 1809 at Shettleston, near Glasgow, Scotland, the son of Robert Ramsay, gentleman, and his wife Margaret, nee Mitchell. He was educated at the University of Glasgow and the Theological Hall of the Relief Church; licensed by the Relief Presbytery of Glasgow in 1832; and ordained on 29 May 1833 as minister of Allars Relief Church, Hawick, Roxburghshire. He resigned from Hawick on 17 February 1846.

In July 1840 in Scotland he married Isabella Milne of Hull, Yorkshire, England. Isabella was born on 18 December 1813, the daughter of George Milne and his wife Hannah, nee Haldenby.

Andrew ministered at St. Enoch's Church until his death and was regarded as having been an eloquent preacher. His published works include "The Voice of the Storm" (1850) and "How the Money Goes" (1856). The State Library of Victoria has copies of these together with his diaries from 1844 to 1868 and other family papers. An article about him appears in the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

His sister, Janet Ramsay (c1814-1883) also travelled to Port Phillip on the "Anne Milne". She married Adam Anderson at Melbourne in 1848. An older brother, James Ramsay (c1795-1886) also came to Victoria at some time.

Andrew died on 31 December 1869 at St. Enoch's Manse, Collins Street, Melbourne and was buried on 4 January 1870 at the Melbourne General Cemetery, Carlton. His widow Isabella died on 26 December 1905 at "Banool", Yarra Glen and was buried on 28 December 1905 at the Melbourne General Cemetery, Carlton.

Their children were:

1. Robert Ramsay. Solicitor. Member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly (1870-1882). Born 16 February 1842 at Hawick, Roxburghshire, Scotland; died 23 May 1882 at Melbourne and was buried at the Melbourne General Cemetery. He married in 1868 in Victoria to Isabella Catherine Urquhart.

2. Hannah Haldenby Ramsay. Born about December 1843 at Hawick, Roxburghshire, Scotland and died in 1874 in Victoria. She married in 1869 in Victoria to John Garlic.

3. George Milne Ramsay. Born 22 November 1845 at Hawick, Roxburghshire, Scotland and died at sea 1 January 1847 on the "Anne Milne" en route to Melbourne. He was buried at the Old Melbourne Cemetery.

4. Margaret Mitchell Ramsay. Born 28 October 1847 at Little Flinders Street, Melbourne and died 29 February 1848 at Melbourne. She was buried at the Old Melbourne Cemetery.

5. James Douglas Ramsay. Born about 12 July 1853 at Melbourne. He died 19 November 1895 and was buried at the Melbourne General Cemetery.

6. Andrew Ramsay. Born and died in Scotland?

Contributed by Alexander Romanov-Hughes (PPPG Member No. 52)


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