Everything looks good as far as i have records.I have James Scott Agnew and Mary Ramsey.I will update my information with those descendants of James and Mary.
I can say one thing.We have quite a heritage beyond those people.
I will include here some information I shared with some others recently.
The following has been condensed from the Book “The Hereditary Sheriffs of Galloway”Written by Sir Andrew Agnew of Lochnaw and published in 1893.
I believe that I have some understanding of the early events of the times in the early days of Agnews at Lochnaw Castle in Galloway.
During the reign of David II, son of Robert the Bruce around 1363 a young Agnew got the keeping of the Kings Castle at Lochnaw and was appointed Constable.
A M’Clellan, a tribal chief, was in occupation of the castle and had to be removed from the Castle.That was not an easy job since the Castle was in the middle of a lake or Loch Naw.He would not leave.
A plan was devised to have a scuffle and to appear to hang one of Agnew’s best men and then leave.They made it look like the man was hung after a fight and then they left and hid.The occupants of the castle came over by boat to look at the hung man.Agnew and his men ran out to grab them and they ran.The Agnew group ran after them and it took a while to subdue them.When they returned the man had indeed been hung because they were gone so long.
That is how they took the castle.Agnew set up housekeeping and was the constable for a while.
Of Agnews neighbors one was Alexander Campbell at Corswall and he was a son of Sir Duncan Campbell of Loudoun whose elder brother was Sheriff of Ayr.
This leads us to a story of how Archibald Douglas came to be Lord of Galloway.Malcolm Fleming had been its holder but he had died and it passed to his grandson, Thomas Fleming who was a weak sort of person.Douglas came to be in control because of the unfitness of Thomas Fleming.Some of Flemings problems had been encouraged by Douglas.
Fleming had put out an offer for the head of Alexander Kennedy.They had quarreled often.Fleming had said that, “to the one who brought him the head of Alexander Kennedy would go 40 Markland of Stewarttowne.”Alexander heard of this and he had the titles of the estate drawn up in legal form.
Alexander rode all night , timing his arrival at Wigtown for Yule-day morn, at the hour he knew the Earl Flemming likely to be at morning mass.
Bursting into the church, his charter in his hand, “My Lord” he exclaimed, “you have promised this 40 Markland to whoever will bring you my head, and so we meet to offer it to your Lordship as your humble servant, and there fore I will desire your Lordship to keep your word to me, as you would to any other.”His dagger dangled at his side.The spurs and scabbards of his followers clanked on the pavement as they crowded in behind him.The Earl perceived that if he refused it would cost him his life and therefore took pen and subscribed the same.
Alexander thanked his Lordship and mounted his horse and went on his way.No one offered to come to the rescue of Fleming.
As a result of that and other signs of being unpopular, Fleming, disgusted with the Galloway Baronage, who on their part openly despised him, fell in with the Grim Archibald’s proposal.A bargin was speedly concluded.For 500 pounds he surrendered his lands, his castle, his powers and privileges, his very Title (though this was not eventually confirmed by the King) to Archibald Douglas who thence became Lord Paramount both ease and west of Cree and gave special prominence to his style of Lordship of Galloway.Charter dated 6 Feb 1371.
The death of David II in 1371 further increased the prestige of the Douglasses, as it was not until they had been conciliated that the Kings Nephew could assend to the throne as Robert II.It altered also, considerably the status of all Galloway Officials who had held appointments directly from the King.Although, Archibald governed in the Kings name, he considered himself solely responsible for order with the right of appointment to all offices vacant, requiring all Crown Vassals to acknowledge himself as their superior.
Meanwhile a son had succeeded the first constable of Lochnaw.It seems that the Agnews were left at Lochnaw.
Concurrently with the succession of this generation, William Douglas, a natural son of Archibald, was entrusted with management of Galloway affairs.
William became the first swordsman of his day.He soon made himself such a name that he had proved himself a successful rival to the King of France, whose hand the Princess Egidia, the first lady of her day, is said to have refused, for the love of this Galloway knight.
Archibald’s power rose to a place where is was almost equal in power to King Robert II.
William Douglas, Archibald’s son, despairing of finding fighting near home, foolishly accepted an invitation from certain-fire-eating Teutonic Knights to assist in a war against Prussians, and sailed for Dantzic, never to return.He fell in a few days after landing, not in battle, but at the hands of an assassin.Though quixotic in his contempt for a quiet life, his untimely death was a real loss to Galloway where high and low long mourned him as a friend.
He had long acted as his fathers right hand man, and by the tact and kindliness of his disposition so administered affairs as to occasion the least possible friction between the ruler and the ruled.
After his death the demands of the Douglas, if not more peremptory, were more harshly pressed, their tenour being that all officials, whether appointed by the Crown or not, must acknowledge him as their sole superior.In Kirkcudbright he altered the style of Sheriff to Steward, as making the holder as his personal officer.The Baronage also were desired to renew their titles to their lands from himself under the pain of confiscation.Most of the Lairds complied.
Agnew of Lochnaw, whether from real affection to the King, or emboldened by his close relations with the Kennedys who were near at hand, and the distance and strength of his keep, nelected to bring in his commissions to be checked at Threance, and Douglas sent to fetch him.
Archibald found his fortalice a harder nut to crack than he had expected.It was a far cry from Threave to Lochnaw, and the ways none the easiest.
An inland roar by Knockwassan, inder the beaten hill of Dindinnie, leads to Lochnaw by the valley of the Piltanton.Here the Agnews lay in ambush for a party of the Douglasses who were coming to attack them.A fight ensued, both being well matched, when a stalwart band of M’Ewans, holding under the former took the Douglasses in the rear, who were made prisoners to a man.Having stripped of their arms, they let them go, and afraid of retaining what might afterwards prove evidence against them, threw the weapons into a flow moss called Loch-na-folie.
The Earl Archibald Douglas beleaguered the Island at Lochnaw for a few days to starve the garrison into an unconditional surrender.
The Earl did not treat the Constable with any wanton cruelty.He allowed him to leave with his family unmolested and to go where he pleased.Though he delt more roughly with the Castle, firing whatever was combustable in its massive structure and toppling over the battlements whence the flag had flown in defiance of his summons.
Note from Chron. Of Lincluden, 63.
The Agnews of Lochnaw being disposed by Archibald the Grim, and their lands given to William Douglas (Not the son William who had been killed), emigrated beyond his influence to Ireland.But not liking their place of abode, the father and son removed to the Court of Robert III, at Perth, the former being a member of the Royal household and the latter having the good fortune to attract the notice of the Kings daughter Margaret.
They lost little time in getting to the Court of Robert III.Robert, doubtless expressed much sympathy but could give them no money or men.He however allowed them to remain at the Court, whether with or without appointment, where he was able to attract the favorable notice of the Princesses Margaret and Mary.He assisted probably at the Marriages of both, Margaret to Archibald Douglas, son and heir of the elder Archibald and Mary to George, first Earl of Angus, 24 may 1397 and Mary afterwards to James Kennedy of Dunure.
Meanwhile the jurisdictions of the Agnews and their lands of Lochnaw were bestowed on William Douglas (Probably an illegitimate grandson of the Earl) who took posession of the shattered keep, styling himself Constable and also Sheriff of Wigton.
Shortly after this Archibald “the Grim” died in 1401.
His successor, also Archibald who had married Princess Margaret, daughter of Robert III, fought in Northumberland 14 Sep 1401.He received five severe wounds and was taken prisoneras well as was his brother-in-law, George of Angus.
Earl Douglas was released by his captor, Percy, on condition of his assisting him in an attack on his own King.The Lord of Galloway asked nothing better but was again taken prisoner while in this battle.Henry IV quickly helped with his release by sending 13 Knights as hostage for his ransom.
Douglas Brother-in-law angus died while still a prisioner and the hand of Princess Mary being free gave it to James, son of Sir John Kennedy of Dunure (1401).James and Mary had three sons and one daughter (the daughter married Andrew Agnew, the son of the Constable of Lochnaw, Andrew became the first Heredity Sheriff of Galloway).
Archibald left for France after he came to terms with Charles VIII.He had committed the Management of his affairs to his Countess, Margaret.Charles appointed him Lt General of the Kingdom.He died there in battle at Verneuil, 17 August 1424.
After that the Agnews regained the lands of Lochnaw and built a new Castle and Andrew was made to be Sheriff with more power coming to his family later as a gift from King James.
Below is the rest of the story as I sent it to a friend:
It is a small world. I had known that my Ancestor, Andrew Agnew, the 1st Heriditary Sheriff of Galloway had died on May 1st, 1455 but did not know the circumstances. There had been problems between the Agnews and the Douglasses I understand. It is a long story. The Agnews had held the office of the constable of the Kings Castle of Lochnaw for a while and held the lands around the Castle. They were run off by some of the Douglas bunch. I will get the specifics later.
Andrew Agnew had gotten the Office of Heridity Sheriffs of Galloway. They got Lochnaw Castle back and other lands. Andrew Agnew (He had been the son of the constable) had been close to Margaret Stewart, Lady of Galloway, Daughter of Robert III and wife of Archibald Douglas, 4th Earl of Douglas. When Archibald Douglas, 4th Earl of Douglas died everything went to Margaret and not to the sons. She was the Duchess of Touraine and Andrew Agnew was her Squire. He had been around for quite some time. At about the same time that Archibald died, James I, her brother was released from his long captivity and all the rights and privileges connected with the Lordship of Galloway were confirmed by the king in their fullest sense to his "Beloved Sister" and she ruled for nearly twenty years at Threave, a veritable queen.
Prominent among members of her household by a rather strange coincidence was Andrew Agnew, son of the Constable driven from Lochnaw years earlier. To make the story shorter, Andrew Agnew got Lochnaw back along with more power than any sheriff had had and it was to be his and his descendants forever. They kept that until it was no longer an office. It lasted from the 1400s until the very late 1700s. The family still hold some Baronets. The family held and lived in the Castle until 1997. It is still in very good condition, but is owned by a man from Hong Kong now.
I have moved away from the subject of Andrew's Death on May 1st, 1455. That was the day of the Battle at Arkenholme Scotland. On this day, Andrew Agnew led his men into a battle with Sir James Douglas, 9th Earl of Douglas and his brother, Archibald Douglas, Earl of Moray. Archibald Douglas, Earl of Moray died that day and My Ancestor, Andrew Agnew, 1st Sheriff died as well.
His son, Andrew Agnew, of Lochnaw, d. 1483 was on the field as well. It was a victory for the Agnews over the Douglas Group that day and Sir James Douglas, 9th Earl of Douglas, was not a factor again after that. The next Agnew of Lochnaw was rewarded even more by the King for that day.
It is a small world. The men on the battle field that day were sons of James Douglas, 7th Earl of Douglas and Beatrice Sinclair. This a really a long story and I am just beginning to understand it as it is outlined in the book "The Hereditary Sheriffs of Galloway".
Thanks, Jimmie __________________________________________________
Story as condensed by Jimmie Lee Robbins, Sr., July 2006
We are cousins and I can say that i am very glad to have you for a cousin.We share a common interest.