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Name: RAMSDEN, John Frecheville 'Chops', Sir

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Nee: 6th baronet, High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire

Birth Date: 7 Jan 1877 London

Death Date: 6 Oct 1958 Ardverikie, Kinlochlaggan,Scotland

First Date: 1926

Profession: Bought Dr Doering's farm 'Waterloo' above Naivasha and renamed it 'Marula'. Partner with E.S. Grogan in estates on Tanganyika border at Ziwani.

Area: Naivasha, 1930 Kipipiri Estate, Gilgil, 'Marula'

Married: In Henstead, Norfolk 15 May 1901 Joan Fowell Buxton b. 8 Apr 1881 Thorpe, Norfolk, d. 10 Aug 1974 Scotland ( dau of Geoffrey Fowell Buxton, sister of Rose Cartwright)

Children: John St. Maur (26 Apr 1902 London-8 June 1948); Geoffrey William Pennington (28 Aug 1904 London-1986); Mary Joyce (Feilden) (12 Nov 1907 Turweston-2000)

Book Reference: Over my Shoulder, Golf, Manual, Debrett, Wymer, Frampton, White Man, Red 31, Tobina Cole, Hut, Macmillan, Land, EA & Rhodesia, Stud, Burke, Eton, Naivasha

War Service: Capt. Norfolk Yeo

School: Eton & Trinity College, Cambridge

General Information:

Manual - 1927 - 'It is understood that Sir John Ramsden quite recently purchased for £110,000, the farm 'Waterloo', comprising 25,000 acres ..... this valuable estate ...... is to be divided into small farms suitable for settlers with a moderate amount of capital. .' ........... 'Kipipiri' Estate near Gilgil of 73,000 acres. There is always, more or less, a house party at Kipipiri and most persons of note who visit Kenya Colony generally manage to find an opportunity of staying with so genial and interesting a host. The management of this important property is in the hands of Capt. Mervyn Jones and each of the various departments is in charge of a European overseer, there are 10 Europeans and over 1000 natives employed.                                                    Frampton - 1933? - At 'Clouds' - one evening while Peggy Frampton was dressing for dinner John Ramsden appeared at the door. 'There's a bit of a party going on in there. I think you had better not join us tonight, Peggy'. - there was an 'orgy' going on!
White Man - partner with Lord Delamere and Lord Egerton of Tatton in Colonists Ltd. - to open up the Southern Highlands of Tanganyika - Not a success
President of Gilgil Golf Club in 1926-33.
Macmillan - 1930 - The Anglo-Baltic Timber Co. Ltd., Importers of Building Materials, Saw-Millers - Directors:- Sir John Ramsden Bart., Lord Egerton of Tatton, The Hon. D.G. Finch Hatton, MC, Major J.W. Milligan, DSO (Chairman), and Mr Donald F. Seth Smith, MC. The General Manager at Nairobi is Mr L.P. Robinson Land - Sir J.F Ramsden leased 43247 acres from East African Syndicate Ltd at Gilgil and then a further 29254 acres
EA & Rhodesia - 9/10/58 - Sir John Frecheville Ramsden, sixth baronet, died in Scotland on Monday in his 82nd year. The only son of the fifth baronet and Lady Helen Guendolin, third daughter of the 12th Duke of Somerset, he was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge; he played polo for the University, was master of the drag, and for many years afterwards played polo and encouraged the development of the game. Succeeding his father in 1914, he served in the Norfolk Yeomanry in the 1914-18 war. In 1919 he sold a 6000 acre estate at and around Huddersfield for more than £1.25m. He later disposed of some splendid 18th century furniture, one Queen Anne walnut suite realising 2,800 guineas, and a three day sale in 1932 of furniture from his Bulstrode seat in Buckinghamshire almost reached £50,000.
But he was a simple, natural person, who set no great store by possessions. He was a keen and good gardener, with a special love of rhododendrons; and only last month he arranged for the permanent loan of his fine collection of East African books to the East African Office in London.
His attachment to Kenya, which he last visited only a few months ago, was undiminished. He often visited the Colony with Lady Ramsden, and had devoted large sums to its agricultural and industrial development. He had been High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire, a Deputy Lieutenant of the West Riding of Yorkshire, and a Justice of the Peace for Cumberland; but to his many friends he was always "Chops" Ramsden, that nickname dating from the time when he grew side-whiskers at Cambridge.
He is known to have declined a peerage. In Lady Ramsden (nee Joan Fowell Buxton), whom he married in 1901, he had a devoted wife, who shared his love of East Africa. There were two sons and a daughter of the marriage. The elder son was murdered in Malaya 10 years ago. The family honours pass to the other son, Major Geoffrey William Pennington, who in 1925 assumed the surname of Pennington by deed poll. An old friend writes:- "A very great gentleman has passed on. Service was certainly the motto of Sir John Ramsden, who notwithstanding his established position in society, was a reserved, even humble man of a very kindly manner with a dislike for ostentation in any form. His contribution to Kenya will remain a lasting monument to his memory, for he had devoted a large part of his life and resources to industrial development in that country and Malaya.
He and his cousin, the late Lord Egerton, were strong believers in East Africa and among the greatest contributors to the development of the highlands. Both were truly pioneers. Accompanied by his devoted lady, he was a regular visitor to Kenya even in his declining years.
EA Stud Book 1954 - Brood Mares - Thoroughbred - Breeders - Sir John Ramsden
Eton (1899) - Polo for Cambridge 1899, Master of Drag 1898-9.
Naivasha - In 1909 Dr. Doering, a Johannesburg dentist, was allocated land on condition that he imported some thousand Merino sheep from South Africa. This ranch was known as Waterloo Estate, and ran from the present Morendat bridge to Gilgil on the west side of the main road. At a later date, about 1925, David Begg, a Scotsman, was brought out to manage the flocks and did so most successfully, continuing in his work after Sir John Ramsden bought the land in 1927.
Naivasha - The years rolled along, land changed hands occasionally but the biggest sale was in 1952 when the Marchese Bisleti bought Marula Estate from Sir John Ramsden.
Web - Oxford dnb - Happy Valley - Another man who was crucial to the Happy Valley set, although never recorded as a participant in its orgies, was a stately, erudite, and independent-minded baronet, Sir John ('Chops') Ramsden (1877-1958). Ramsden, who had owned most of Huddersfield until 1919 and as late as 1930 held 150,000 acres in Britain and rubber plantations in Malaya, owned 70,000 acres in Kenya, where he was a large-scale dairy farmer, sold land to Wanjohi valley settlers, and built houses for the de Janzés among others.

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