Ludovic Ransom, Eighth Earl of Ellesmere, was the elderly husband of Geneva Dunsany and putative father of William Ransom. He was killed shortly after William was born.

Personal History

Upon his death, the earl had no close family.

Events of the Novels


In 1757, Lord Ellesmere marries Geneva Dunsany in an arranged marriage in May. He pays Lord Dunsany 30,000 pounds in exchange for marrying a virgin of good name. Lord Ellesmere is extremely kind to Geneva until her pregnancy starts to show. He knows the baby is not his as he is impotent.

In January 1758, Geneva gives birth to a healthy baby boy, but a few hours later she starts hemorrhaging and dies. Lord Ellesmere has a lot to drink and is in a belligerent mood when Lord and Lady Dunsany arrive. The Dunsanys want to take the baby to Helwater, but Lord Ellesmere tells them that the boy is his heir even if his mother was a whore. Lord Dunsany is outraged at the slur on his daughter's reputation and attacks Lord Ellesmere.

Jamie Fraser leaps in, separates them, and prevents Lord Ellesmere from ringing for his servants. Dunsany's footman, Jeffries, arrives with two drawn pistols. Jamie tries to lead Lord Dunsany out of the study, but just as he does Lady Dunsany enters carrying the baby. Lord Ellesmere rushes at Lady Dunsany, knocking her aside and grabbing the baby from her. He moves towards the window and Lord Dunsany tries to grab the baby back. Lord Ellesmere opens the window and threatens to drop the baby out if the Dunsanys do not leave, thrusting the baby towards the windowsill. Jamie grabs a pistol from Jeffries and fires at Lord Ellesmere. Ellesmere staggers and drops dead as Jamie catches the baby.


Little is known about Ellesmere's personality, other than traits displayed in extremity and under the influence of alcohol: in a drunken rage, he used foul language to slur the name of his newly deceased wife, and threatened to drop an infant out of an open window.

Physical Appearance

Ellesmere was heavyset but in decently good health, with balding hair and thick eyebrows.


  • Ludovic is the Medieval Latinized form of Ludwig,[2] from the Germanic name Chlodovech, which was composed of the elements hlud "famous" and wig "war, battle".[3]
  • Ransom is of early medieval English origin, and is a patronymic from the Middle English given name Rand(e), a short form of any of the various Germanic compound personal names with the first element "rand" meaning "shield, rim", for example Randolph. The surname dates back to the mid 14th Century.[4]



  1. Date of birth for William Ransom, the same day as the Earl's death, is given as January 9 on the Outlander Timeline.
  2. Behind the Name: Ludovic - accessed 22 May 2016
  3. Behind the Name: Ludwig - accessed 22 May 2016
  4. Name Origin Research Surname: Ransom – Accessed 17 March 2014

Start a Discussion Discussions about Ludovic Ransom

  • All of William's names

    2 messages
    • william has many names; his family names, Christian names, titles, sur names, regiment titles. Why doesn't he ever use Dunsany? He u...
    • William's legal putative father, the 8th Earl of Ellesmere, was named Ludovic Ransom. So Ransom is the family surname. Another example...