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There ar twa theories as tae the oreegins o the name Agnew. The maist widely acceptit is that the name is French an derives frae the Barony d'Agneaux in Normandy. Emigrants frae the region first settled in Ingland afore muivin north in the 12t century tae Liddlesdale, Scotland. The ither theory is that the Clan Agnew wis connectit tae ane o the tribes in Ulster, Ireland, perhaps a sept o O'Gnive — pronounced O'New. Ither versions o the name include O'Gnive, O'Gnyw, an MacGnive. The Agnews mey be relatit tae Keeng Somerled frae whom the Clan MacDonald descends.
In 1318 the Agnew Lord o Larne accompanied Edward Bruce, younger brother o King Robert I o Scotland, to Ireland. Edward hae been invited bi the Erse Lords to expel the Inglis an to rule as High King o Ireland. Agnew stayed in Ireland for three years while Edward attempted to establish himself.
Andrew Agnew o Lochnaw wis granted the lands an constableship o Lochnaw Castle in 1426. In 1451 he wis appointed Sheriff o Wigtown, an honour still held bi his direct descendants.
During the 15th century, the Clan Agnew rose to pouer under the influential Clan Douglas. The Agnews o Galloway initially benefited when the Clan Douglas fell out o favour with the monarch. However this brought them into conflict with the Clan MacKie an the Clan MacLellan.
Andrew Agnew o Lochnaw wis killed at the Battle o Pinkie in 1547, fighting against the Inglis.
Sir Patrick Agnew wis MP for Wigtownshire frae 1628 to 1633, an again frae 1643 to 1647. He wis made a Baronet o Nova Scotia on 28 July 1629. He married Anne Stewart, dochter o the first Earl o Galloway. When he died in 1661, he wis succeeded bi his eldest son, Andrew, who would also be returned as MP for Wigtownshire. Sir Patrick wis created Sheriff o both Kirkcudbright an Wigtown in the 1650s, while Scotland wis part of the Protectorate with Ingland.
Andrew Agnew, the fift Baronet, married a kinswoman, Eleanor Agnew o Lochryan, with whom he had twenty one children. He wis a decorated sodger commanding the 21st Foot (which later became the Royal Scots Fusiliers) against the French at the Battle o Dettingen the French in 1743. King George II o Great Breetain, the last Breetish monarch to led troops in battle, remarked to Agnew that French cavalry had been let among his regiment. Sir Andrew replied, "Yes, please your Majesty, but they didna win back again".
During the 1745 Jacobite Rising the Clan Agnew continued their support o the Breetish Government. Sir Andrew held Blair Castle, seat o the Duke o Atholl who wis chief o the Clan Murray, against the Jacobite forces. The Clan Murray were divided, their chief supporting the Breetish Government while his son supported the Jacobites. Agnew's forces were near starvation when Charles Edward Stuart called the forces to retreat to Inverness to meet the advance o Prince William Augustus, Duke o Cumberland.
- Lochnaw Castle wis the seat o the chief o Clan Agnew.