1866: Gordon Ramsay uses indecent language




In late 1866, a newspaper in colonial Jamaica reported a clash that had occurred its own offices. The incident involved Gordon Ramsay, a high-ranking British military officer with a well-earned reputation for heavy-handedness and brutality. During his tenure as provost-marshall of Morant Bay, hundreds of civilians were tortured or executed by troops under Ramsay’s command. Ramsay was later sent to court martial for murder but was eventually acquitted on a technicality. According to the newspaper report, Ramsay entered its offices objecting to its coverage of his military service:

“…He thereupon became violent, both in manner and speech, and used language both offensive and indecent to Mr Robert Jordan… He was ordered out of the place but positively refused to go, and shortly after assaulted Mr Jordan who, in return, struck him with a ruler…”

Ramsay was eventually escorted from the premises but continued his tirade:

“He swears to murder someone in our office. It would, perhaps, not be the first murder that he has committed…”

Source: Morning Journal, Kingston, Jamaica, November 10th 1866. Content on this page is © Alpha History 2016. Content may not be republished without our express permission. For more information please refer to our Terms of Use or contact Alpha History.

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