Britannia, by William Camden


Small T THE Shire of Dumfrise contains Annandale, Wachopdale, and Nidisdale. It takes its name from the chief Burgh of the Shire. On the west it hath Galloway and Kyle, on the east it is bounded with Solway-Frith, and the March of Scotland and England; on the north with part of Clidsale, Twedale, and Tiviotdale, and on the south with the Irish-sea. From west to south-east, it is about fifty miles long; and in breadth about thirty four. The Inhabitants were a stout warlike People, and in former times the bulwark of the Kingdom. The soil, generally, is not so good for Corn, as for Pasturage; so that they deal mostly in Cows and Sheep, which turn to considerable gain.⌉

Annandale. Joined to Eskdale on the west-side, lies Annandale, that is, the Valley or Dale upon the river Annan, into which the access by land is very difficult. ⌈It runs in a streight line from west to east, about twenty four miles in length, and fourteen in breadth. The places of greatest note are these: A Castle upon Lough-Maban, which is three parts surrounded with water, and strongly walled. Their tradition about this Lough-Maban, that a Castle stood formerly in the middle of it: that which now stands upon the brink, is going to decay. Logh-Maban. The Town of Logh-Maban, a Royal burgh, situate upon the south side of the water of Anan, in the middle of the Country. Moffet. Near the source of which river, stands Moffet, famous for its Medicinal-well.⌉ Annandale Town is almost upon the very mouth of the river Annan; divested of all its glory by the English War in the reign of Edward the sixth. ⌈Afterwards, it gave the title of Viscount to Sir John Murray, whom King James the sixth did also create Earl of Annandale.⌉

In this Territory of Annandale, the JonstonsThe Jonstons. are men of greatest name, a family born for War; between whom and the Maxwells (who by ancient right preside over the Stewartry,The Stewartry of Annandale. for so it is term’d) there * * So said, ann. 1607.hath been too long an open enmity and defiance, even to blood-shed. ⌈The Laird of Johnstoun was created Lord Johnstoun by King Charles the first, and Earl of Hartfield by the same King; which title was changed by King Charles the second into that of Earl of Annandale; and this, by the favour of King William the third, into that of Marquiss of Anandale, in the person of William, son of the said Earl; who also in the next reign, was deservedly honour’d with the Offices of President of the Council, and Secretary of State.⌉ This Valley, Edgar King of Scots, upon his restoration to the Kingdom by the Auxiliaries that he had out of England, gave, for his good services,The Bruses. to Robert Brus, Lord of Cleaveland in the County of York; who bestowed it, by the King’s permission, upon Robert his younger son, being unwilling himself to serve the King of Scots in his Wars. From him, are branched the Bruses Lords of Annandale; of whom, Robert Bruse married Isabella, daughter of William King of Scots by the daughter of Robert Avenel: his son likewise, Robert the third of that name, married the daughter of David Earl of Huntingdon and Garioch; whose son Robert sirnamed the Noble, upon failure of the issue of Alexander the third, King of Scotland, did in right of his mother challenge the Kingdom of Scotland, before Edward the first King of England (as direct and superiour Lord of the Kingdom of Scotland, so the English say; or, as an Honorary Arbitrator, as the Scots will have it;) as being more nearly ally’d in degree and blood to King Alexander the third, and to Margaret daughter of the King of Norway, although a second sister’s son. Who soon after resigning his right, granted and gave over to his son Robert Brus Earl of Carrick, and to his heirs (I speak out of the Original Record) all the right and claim which he had or might have to the Kingdom of Scotland. But the point was determined in favour of John Baliol (who sued for his right, as descended from the eldest sister, though in a more remote degree,) in these words, Because the person more remote in the degree descending in the first line, is to be preferred before a nearer in the second line, in the succession of an inheritance that cannot be parted.

Nevertheless, the said Robert, son to the Earl of Carrick, by his valour possess’d himself of the Kingdom, and establish’d it in his posterity. A Prince, who as he was illustrious for his great Exploits, so did he triumph over Fortune (so often his Adversary) with invincible courage and constancy of mind.

⌈Between Annandale and Eskdale lieth Wachopdale,Wachopdale. so called from the water of Wachop running through it; and is much of the same nature with the adjacent Countries already described. The most ancient Monument remarkable hereabouts, is St. Ruth’s Church,St. Ruth’s. where is a Pillar curiously engraven; with a Danish Inscription upon it. Near this place, the people have a way of making Salt of Sea-sand: the Salt is something bitterish, which probably proceeds from the nitre in it.⌉

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:52