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Updated 05/22/2020


Lord Panmure

Fox Maule-Ramsay, 11th Earl of Dalhousie, KT, GCB, PC (22 April 1801 – 6 July 1874), known as Fox Maule before 1852, as The Lord Panmure between 1852 and 1860.

When his father died he inherited the greater part of the Panmure Estate an estate that was quite extensive and covered a large area of the Angus countryside especially around Monikie, Brechin and Edzell. He lived both at Panmure House just east of Monikie (It was demolished – partly blown up by Army engineers in the 1950’s) and Brechin Castle, he preferred Brechin Castle.
Described as one of the most outstanding personages in the public life of Dundee and Forfarshire, he seemed to have shone in social circles, it was said that He was blessed with a constitution of steel, embodied in a Herculean frame.

He had an enjoyment of healthy humor, an absolute freedom from ‘hypocritical loftiness’, his ‘overflowing river of good spirits’, his readiness to assist in largesse from out of his purse any deserving object, and made everyone proclaim him a good comrade. His popularity was not confined to the boundaries of Angus but even in Edinburgh he endeared himself by his liberality, broad mindedness and youthful pranks and received the title of ‘generous sportsman’

Lord Panmure was beloved by his numerous tenantry, towards whom he acted in a generous manner. His favourite toast was “Live and let live” and that kindly sentiment pervaded his everyday life. The tenants in token of their gratitude and high esteem, subscribed for and erected, in honor of ‘His Lordship’, upon the top of Downie Hill, in Monikie, a noble circular column, 105ft in height – “The Panmure ‘Live and let Live’ Testimonial”. The Hill is 500 feet above sea level, isolated from other high grounds, and commanding an uninterrupted view in every direction.

At the age of eighteen he became a Cornet in the 11th Dragoons (Prince Albert's Own Hussars) 1788, Captain in 1791 of an Independent Company of Foot, which he raised, and which was disbanded later that year. He Retired from the Army in 1825. He was the Whig Member of Parliament for Forfarshire 1796, and also in nine successive Parliaments from June 1805 until 1831. He was created a Burgess of Dundee in 1831.

Every public enterprise and charitable institution between the Tay and the Don Rivers benefited by his actions, amongst the principal of which were the erection and endowment of the Mechanics Institute in Brechin, large donations to Dundee Royal Infirmary and Orphan Institute & Lunatic Asylum. He gave a handsome annuity to the widow of the Hon Charles Fox (Politician), after whom his son was named; he was the first to move in rewarding the heroic actions of Grace Darling; he also supported Neil Gow the famous Scottish fiddler and many other artists.

The Improvements Bill in 1824 allowed Dundee to alleviate slum conditions by demolishing some decaying property and creating a new street to connect the Cowgate with the Meadows. This new street was opened in 1839 and named ‘Panmure Street’ in recognition of his donations to the Dundee Royal Infirmary, (later on Panmure Terrace was also named after him). The Infirmary was not Lord Panmure’s only good turn for Dundee. In 1847 he parted with some of his lands to allow the formation of the Monikie and Crombie Reservoirs.

It is also documented that at the renovation of Brechin Cathedral an attempt was made to demolish the famous Round Tower – one of only two on the mainland of Scotland, the other being at Abernethy – Lord Panmure threatened to hang anyone from the top of the tower who removed a stone from it!

It seems he knew Robert Burns. When Burns knew Maule, he was an officer in a regiment stationed at Dumfries. In a letter of 29th October 1794, Burns sent the epigram: ‘To the Hon. Wm. R. Maule of Panmure’, to Mrs. Dunlop. Later on after Burn’s death, Lord Panmure settled on Burns's widow a pension of fifty pounds, but only had to disburse it for eighteen months, after which Burns's son, James, was able to relieve him of the charge.

"Thou fool, in thy phaeton towering,
Art proud when that phaeton is prais'd?
'Tis the pride of a Thief's exhibition
When higher his pillory's rais'd."