He was educated at Eton College and the University College, Oxford.
He succeeded in the earldom in 1887 on the death of his father. Lord Dalhousie was attached to the Forfar and Kincardine Artillery, a Militia regiment, when he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Scots Guards on 10 February 1900. He fought in the Second Boer War (1899-1901), and was promoted a lieutenant on 14 December 1901.
He later fought as a Captain in the First World War.
He was a Justice of the Peace for Forfarshire, and was commissioned a Deputy Lieutenant of the county in December 1901. Lord Dalhousie married Mary A. Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby, in 1903.
They had four children:
John Gilbert Ramsay, 15th Earl of Dalhousie b. 25 July 1904 daughter 3 May 1950
Lady Ida Mary Ramsay b.
29 January 1906
Lady Jean Maule Ramsay b.
16 April 1909, daughter 16 January 1997
Simon Ramsay, 16th Earl of Dalhousie b. 17 October 1917 daughter 15 July 1999
Lord Dalhousie died on 23 December 1928 at Brechin Castle.