Annan, Dumfriesshire

Historical Description

ANNAN, royal burgh, and a parish, in the county of DUMFRIES, 15 miles (E. S. E.) from Dumfries, and 79 (S.) from Edinburgh; containing, with part of Brydekirk quoad sacra district, 5471 inhabitants, of whom 4409 are in the burgh. This place, which is of remote antiquity, and supposed to have been a Roman station of some importance, was, after the departure of the Romans from Britain, occupied by the ancient inhabitants till their expulsion by the Northumbrian Saxons. After the dissolution of the Saxon heptarchy, the surrounding territories were annexed to the kingdom of Scotland, in the reign of Malcolm Canmore; and the lands were subsequently granted to Robert de Bruce, Lord of Annandale, who built a castle for the defence of the town, in which he occasionally resided. From its proximity to the English border, the town was frequently plundered during the Border warfare, and sometimes burnt; and it suffered greatly in the wars consequent on the disputed succession to the Scottish throne, in the reign of Edward I. of England. In 1298 the town and church were burnt by the English, but they were subsequently restored by Robert Bruce, who in 1306 ascended the throne of Scotland; and in 1332, Edward Baliol, after his coronation at Scone, repaired to the castle of Annan, whither he summoned the nobility of Scotland to pay him homage. During his continuance here, Archibald Douglas, the firm adherent of the Bruces, having collected a force of 1000 cavalry at Moffat, advanced to Annan during the night, and surprised and defeated his guards. Baliol was then induced to make his escape from the castle, and, hastily mounting a horse with neither saddle nor bridle, with considerable difficulty reached Carlisle, without a single attendant.

Transcribed from Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, 1851