RAMSAY, JAMES [SSNE 6657]
Sir James Ramsay was one of several of his name to be in Swedish service during the time when Gustav II Adolf participated in the Thirty Years' War (1630-32). He may be the Captain Ramsay Fischer noted as serving in Samuel Cockburn's [SSNE 4219] regiment in 1615, in charge of a company of 120 men. It was undoubtedly this James Ramsay who served as lieutenant colonel to Sir Andrew Gray [SSNE 378] in Bohemia in 1620-1623. During this time he sent a letter in French to the governemt of the Palatinate in Amberg in April 1621 (in French). Later in his career, James Ramsay became one of two colonels of that name serving simultaneously in Sweden, hence his nickname of "the Fair" whilst the other was known as "the Black" [SSNE 3315]. Ramsay "the Fair" recruited a regiment to serve with James Marquis Hamilton [SSNE 1348] along side the Swedes in June 1630. His officers included Scots, Englishmen and Welsh, though the recruiting grounds for the soldiers were all in England and Wales. Ramsay became governor of Brissac/Breisach in Baden, Germany, probably ca.1632. However, it appears that soon after this he left Swedish service, along with Colonel John Hepburn (with whom he had served under Andrew Gray) and entered French service
State Archive Amberg, Akte 196. James Ramsay to the Palatine Government in Amberg, April 1621; Acts of the Privy Council of England, vol.46, 1630-1631, edited by P. A. Penfold (London: HMSO, 1964), p.377, 8 June 1631; R. Monro, His Expedition with a worthy Scots Regiment called Mac-Keyes (2 vols., London, 1637), II, The List of the Scottish Officers in Chiefe; J. Grant, Memoirs of Sir James Hepburn, (Edinburgh, 1851), p.254; T. Fischer, The Scots in Sweden, (Edinburgh, 1907), p.224; J. Polisensky, 'A note of Scottish Soldiers in the Bohemian War, 1619-1622' in Steve Murdoch, (ed.), Scotland and the Thirty Years' War, 1618-1648 (Leiden, 2001), p.111. We thank Peter Engerisser for updating this record with the Amberg reference and for pointing out the connection to Hepburn.