Welcome to Ramsden.info

All things Ramsden on the WWWeb

This is the personal WWWeb site of Colin John Ramsden of Australia. I've collated this site as a place of interest for Ramsdens. It contains a collection of all things Ramsden that is publicly and freely available on the internet. All quotes and references are listed.

Here you'll find stories relating to the Ramsden family name, and famous Ramsden's in history.

Jesse RamsdenThe most famous of which is likely to be Jesse Ramsden, who made optical instruments like telescopes, theodolites and sextants during the middle of the 18th century. One such instrument, was a sextant much prized by Captain Cook in his voyages of discovery in the Great Southern Oceans.

Ramsden made SextantThis same Ramsden made another sextant which was used by Captain Philip on the first fleet voyage from England to Botany Bay in 1788. So it can be said that a Ramsden assisted in the discovery AND colonization of Australia and New Zealand, and the discovery and mapping of the other islands of the Pacific (including Hawaii).

Furthermore, the famous (to Australians) New South Wales (NSW) explorer Lieutenant John Oxley as Surveyor General of the (colonial) Territory (of NSW) relied upon a Ramsden made theodolite for his surveying in his journeys of exploration of the NSW interior during 181718. So it can also be said that this Ramsden assisted in the exploration of early Australia, which was provided by his optical mathematical instruments.

Col - check out other famous navigators of the period including Tasman and Bligh.

Apparently, the Ramsden disk is the name given to the small disk of light visible in the back focal plane of an eyepiece. And that there's a Ramsden lens for use in telescopes, comprised of a 2-piece field lens and eye lens.

Ramsden Observatory on the southern rim of Sinus Medii is positioned directly over the Moon's sub-terrestrial point

Did you know that there is a 24Km wide feature on the Earth's moon named the 'Ramsden Crater'? In fact, Jesse Ramsden was also responsible for the 'Ramsden lens' used in telescopes, and this crater on the moon was posthumously named after him. Some wit has created a tongue-in-cheek website which claims that an observatory on the dark side of the moon is named the 'Ramsden Observatory' in honour of Jesse's achievements.

Ramsden Chain and Houndslough Heath Survey Map

Jesse was also responsible for the development of the high quality long distance surveying chain used by cartographers to triangulate and measure long distances during the era of military uncertainty in the late 18th century. The 'Ramsden chain' was an important new element in accuracy for long distance terrestrial surveying of the time. Built from 100x1ft long hinged steel links, the Ramsden chain (at 100ft) was designed to measure and aid in the survey of vast distances and differed from the smaller Gunter chain (at 66ft) designed for smaller measures of furlongs and acres. See Ramsden Chain.

Jesse was indeed a famous Ramsden, and he also rates mention in other stories as the source for exiling some people (who did him wrong) as convicts to the very NSW colony that his instruments helped discover and explore.

However, Jesse was not the only Ramsden to influence history.

During the Battle of Coral Sea, 8 May 1942, Marvin Lee Ramsden, a member of USS Lexington's crew throughout his career, remained at his exposed station, despite wounds, continuing to operate a range finder in the face of intense enemy strafing and dive-bombing attacks until he was killed in action. For his gallant and intrepid conduct, he was posthumously awarded the Silver Star.

USS Ramsden

The US Navy ship of the light frigate class destroyer was named USS Ramsden (after Coxwain M.L. Ramsden) which saw service from 1943 in the second world war (WWII) in the Atlantic (shot down a Nazi Luftwaffe plane), and subsequently in the Pacific supporting the convoys supplying the allied forces against the Japanese until 1946.

The USS Ramsden next saw service from 1952 to 1954 during the Korean war protecting transport and convoy ships of the Pacific Fleet based out of Pearl Harbour. The USS Ramsden saw her third and final service defending the USA from 1957 to 1960 as part of the infamous 'Early Warning System' ring of defence against the communist nuclear threat during the Cold war.
For details about this historic Ramsden, see USS Ramsden.

There was a Joseph Ramsden who was a part of the founding Plymouth settlers in the New World (now known as the USA). Joseph died way back on May 25, 1674, leaving behind 1 horse and cart, 1 cow and calf, 2 pigs, as well as assorted clothing, cooking and farming implements and tools.

Look up details and dates of the Plymouth settlers.

Ramsdens Superstore on Ramsdens Corner in Grimsby

Did you know that there's a Ramsden Superstore on Ramsdens Corner in Grimsby in England?

There's also three separate places called Ramsden in England at Kent, Oxfordshire, and Worchestershire.

There's even a water reservoir named Ramsden in South Yorkshire, UK, and a Ramsden Reef named after the vessel Eliza Ramsden which sank near Dandenong in Victoria Australia.

Ramsden Farm cottage, grounds and lake

There's an accommodation house which has been named after Ramsden Farm in Kent, and a non-profit social club named after Ramsden Heath village adjacent to a beautiful and peaceful stone village on the north-east edge of the Cotswolds, Ramsden in Oxfordshire.

There's a Ramsden Road in Huddersfield, South Yorkshire, UK; Orpington, Kent, UK;  Yarra, Melbourne, Australia; both a Ramsden Rd and a Ramsden Gate in Wandsworth, London, UK; and a Ramsden Drive in Havering London.

The University of Huddersfield, Queensgate campus,  has a building named Ramsden, erected in the latter part of the 19th century to educate designers, chemists and engineers for the local textile industry.

St Catharine's College, Cambridge, boasts a Ramsden Room which seats 100, used for meetings, classes, conferences and presentations.

Harry Ramsden's Logo

Harry Ramsden is renowned for originating a retail chain of Fish and Chips stores throughout the UK. That venture was apparently bought out and unfortunately bastardised by corporate franchise retailers, but the business name Ramsden remains to this day.

The etymology (study of a word's origins and history) of the family name 'Ramsden' reveals that it is closely related to similar names like Ramson, Ramsbottom, Ramsdale, Ramsglen, and Ramsvale. All these names derive from the English so-called middle-ages period dating back to the 14th century or earlier. In those periods, early English was heavily augmented by the languages of the conquerors which occupied England over the ages to that point in time. "hramsa" was the old English word for what we now know commonly as garlic, and "denu" was the old English word for den, which is a variation of glen, vale, or dale which are all words still in common use for a small valley, so when put together, means a "valley of garlic". Families who resided in the "valley of garlic" were referred to as such, and came to be called Ramson, Ramsbottom, Ramsdale, Ramsglen, Ramsvale or Ramsden amongst other variations.

Genealogists and historians who have studied the occurrence of family names have determined that Ramsden and its variations most likely originated in the Yorkshire district of Northern England, as today, the greatest number of people bearing the family name Ramsden reside in the region of Yorkshire.

Indeed, there are public web records indicating that prior to 1860, Longley Hall (perhaps it still exists) was the business centre of a Sir John William Ramsden located between the family's two main estates of rural Almondbury and Huddersfield, and that they also had a country house in the 1870's called Byram located near Knottingley, West Yorkshire. Apparently, their business centre later moved to Huddersfield (which they owned much of) and which became more commercial with the construction of the government railway through the town (in the 1880's).

J W Ramsden is responsible for the land donation and an initial 500 for the construction of the Church of St John the Evangelist, Newsome, near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire in 1871-1872. Interestingly, Huddersfield is also the location of the Ramsden Reservoir completed in 1880, so it's not hard to make an assumed link between it and this Ramsden.

Col - check out those locations and name origins.

With the release of the proceedings of the Old Bailey, it is now public record that four Ramsdens have been involved over the years with trials at the Old Bailey. First mention is awarded to the aforementioned Jesse Ramsden, who describes himself as a ... (to be continued).

There's a James Ramsden convicted of "Robbery with Violence" in the Manchester district court in 1862 at the age of 31 who was  sentenced to 14 years exile, which was subsequently enacted in 1863 via the convict transport "Clyde" sent to the Swan River Colony before it became known as Perth, in the region which subsequently was annexed from NSW in 18xx to become known as the colony of Western Australia. Federation of the Australian colonies did not occur until 1901, and was referred to as the Commonwealth of Australian States.

Introduce Omar Ramsden here

Mustard Pot by Ramsden & Carr, London, 1908-9

Omar Ramsden is referred to as "quite possibly the best designer of silver working in the first half of the 20th century" in the outstanding catalog to the travelling Ramsden exhibition of 1992-4  "English Silver: Masterpieces by Omar Ramsden" from the Campbell Collection. See Omar Ramsden.

Frances Ramsden made a short-term movie career in the 1940s as a brunette actress co-star in The Sin of Harold Diddlebock (1947), a slave girl in Abbott & Costello's Lost in a Harem (1944) and a café waitress in Marlene Dietrich's Kismet (1944).

There are many more Ramsdens listed on the web today, with some outstanding credits to our name. See Ramsdens on the web.

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