Crest: An eagle issuant and reguardant Proper.
|Motto||CONSILIO NON IMPETU ("By Council, not by Force")|
|War cry||AGNEW! ("Agnew!")|
|District||Dumfries and Galloway|
|Sir Crispin Agnew|
|11th Baronet of Lochnaw|
|Historic seat||Lochnaw Castle|
The origin of the name Agnew is disputed, although it is generally asserted to have been Norman, from the Barony d'Agneaux. The Agnews first settled in England but later appear in Liddesdale, Scotland towards the end of the 12th century.
A separate origin has also been suggested through the Celtic natives of Ulster, the O'Gnimh, who were the hereditary poets or bards of the O'Neills of Clanaboy, and who acquired the anglicized name of Agnew. In English the name was first written as O'Gnyw and O'Gnew. This would give the Agnews a shared origin with the Clan Donald from Somerled, who was the 12th century King of the Isles.
15th and 16th centuries
Sir Patrick Agnew was MP for Wigtownshire from 1628 to 1633, and again from 1643 to 1647. On 28 July 1629 he was made a baronet of Nova Scotia. Agnew married Anne Stewart, daughter of the first Earl of Galloway. When he died in 1661, he was succeeded by his eldest son, Andrew, who would also be returned as MP for Wigtownshire. He had been created Sheriff of both Kirkcudbright and Wigtown in the 1650s, while Scotland was part of the Protectorate with England.
Andrew Agnew, the fifth Baronet, married a kinswoman, Eleanor Agnew of Lochryan, with whom he had twenty one children. He was a distinguished soldier commanding the 21st Foot (which later became the Royal Scots Fusiliers) against the French at the Battle of Dettingen in 1743. King George II of Great Britain, the last British monarch to lead 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 Jacobite rising of 1745 the Clan Agnew continued their support of the British Government. Sir Andrew held Blair Castle, seat of the Duke of Atholl, against Jacobite forces. Agnew's forces were near starvation when Charles Edward Stuart called the Jacobite forces to retreat to Inverness to meet the advance of Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland. See main article: Siege of Blair Castle.
- Way, George and Squire, Romily. (1994). Collins Scottish Clan & Family Encyclopedia. (Foreword by The Rt Hon. The Earl of Elgin KT, Convenor, The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs). pp. 64 - 65.
- The Scots magazine and Edinburgh literary miscellany, Volume 70, Part 1 (1808).