Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for Annandale

Annandale, the middle one of the three divisions of Dumfriesshire. It is bounded N by Lanarkshire and Peebleshire, NE by Selkirkshire, E by Eskdale, S by the Solway Firth, W by Nithsdale, and NW by Lanarkshire. Regarded now as commensurate with the basin of the river Annan, together with small adjacent portions of seaboard, it anciently included parts of what now are the southern extremities of Esk-dale and Nithsdale Under the name of ` Estra-hanent, ' it was given by David I., in 1124, to Robert de Bruis, grandson of one of William the Conqueror's Norman barons This Robert, eventually disagreeing with David on a question of national policy, in 1138 renounced his allegiance to the king; in 1141 he died at Guisburn, or Guisborough, in Yorkshire, leaving his patrimony there to his elder son. His youuger son, also called Robert Bruce, adhered to David I., received the inheritance of Annandale, and lived through the reign of Malcolm IV. into that of William the Lyon. His son, another Robert, succeeded him in Annandale, married a natural daughter of William the Lyon, and died in 1191. Robert, fourth Lord of Annandale, laid the foundation of the royal house of Bruce by marrying Isabella, second daughter of David, Earl of Huntingdon, and brother of William the Lyon. His son and namesake opposed the Comyn influence in the affairs of Scotland, and, at the age of 81, engaged in the competition for the Scottish crown, but ultimately resigned his rights in favour of his son. That son, still Robert, went in 1269 to Palestine with Edward of England; married, soon after his return, Margaret, Countess of Carrick in her own right; came thence to be known as Earl of Carrick; and had, by his lady, five sons, the eldest of whom became the royal Bruce. Annandale, throughout the time of the Bruces, and specially under King Robert, figured conspicuously in Scottish history. Lochmaben was the chief seat of the family; and it abounds to the present day in memorials or traditions of their princely grandeur. All Annandale, indeed, is rich in relics and memories of the Roman times, of the great struggle for the Scottish crown, and of Border wars and forays. Its Roman antiquities and mediæval castles outnumber those of an y other district of equal extent in Scotland. The lordship of Annandale passed, about 1371, on the demise of David II., to Randolph, Earl of Moray; and afterwards, with the hand of his sister Agnes, went to the Dunbars, Earls of March. The Douglases got it after the forfeiture of the Dunbars; and they eventually lost it by their own forfeiture. A marquisate of Annandale was conferred in 1701 on the Johnstones, who previously had been created Barons Johnstone of Lochwood (1633), and Earls of Annandale and Viscounts of Annan (1643). The marquisate became dormant in 1792, at the death of George, third marquis, and is now claimed by Sir Frederick John William Johnstone of Westerhall, Bart., John James Hope-Johnstone, Esq. of Annandale, and three others. The famous Ben Jonson was really not a Jonson but a Johnstone, a descendant of the Annandale Johnstones. See Mrs Cumming Bruce's Family Records of the Bruces and the Comyns (Priv. prin., Edinb. 1870).

(F.H. Groome, Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland (1882-4); © 2004 Gazetteer for Scotland)

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "the middle one of the three divisions of Dumfriesshire"   (ADL Feature Type: "countries, 3rd order divisions")
Administrative units: Dumfries Shire ScoCnty
Place: Annan

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