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The Hannays of Knock and Garrarie



These were an off-shoot from the Hannays of Grennan about the time of Charles II. They held the farms of Knock and Garrarie from the Maxwells of Monreith on friendly terms, for as long as wood grew and water ran. They were connected by marriage with the Maxwells of Monreith, both families having married into the family of the McCullochs of Myretown near Monreith. John Hannay of Knock in 1710 married Janet Dickson and had two sons, John and Robert.

John married his cousin Miss Grizel Dickson, and from them descended Peter Hannay of Baldoon, a well-known agriculturist of the 18th century; Mr. Hannay of Malabae known as the Galloway Saint; Elliot Hannay, for many years in the War Office, and Alexander Hannay, banker in Dumfries. The second son, Robert, in 1746, married Jean Maxwell daughter of Alexander Maxwell of Balmangan, a direct descendant from John Maxwell, Lord Herries, the loyal friend of Mary, Queen of Scots, who after the battle of Langside conveyed her to Sanctuary at Dundrennan Abbey, which is close to Balmangan. From the marriage of Robert Hannay and Jean Maxwell came six sons, vzt, John (B.1751), Samuel (B. 1753), Robert (B.1755(,David ((B. 1758), William (B. 1761) and James (B. 1763). The first five died unmarried. James acquired Lochbank, near Castle Douglas and Blairinnie in Kirkcudbrightshire and married Marion Shaw of Mid Kelton, whose mother, Jean Brown of Caraluith, was a cousin of Professor Thomas Brown, meta-physician, author and poet. The Browns of Carsluith were a very old Galloway family. The last Abbot of Sweetheart Abbey was one of them.

James Hannay had a family of six sons and six daughters. Robert (B.1789) (D. 1868) was an advocate of the Scotch Bar, but lived and died at Kew. Jane (B. 1791, D.1861) married Mr. James Lidderdale who acquired Lochbank. Maxwell (a girl, B.1792, D. 1816) died in youth, unmarried. David (b.1794, D.1864) was a solicitor and lived at Carlingwark (close to Lochbank) and latterly in London, where he died. He was the father of James Fontenoy Hannay, author and Consul at Barcelona, and was himself the author of a novel filled with Galloway anecdotes. James Fontency Hannay was born at Dumfries on February 17th 1827. At the age of 13 he entered the Royal Navy. In 1845 he left the Navy and devoted himself to literature, contributing to the Quarterly Review, Westminster Review, Athenaeum, Punch and other periodicals. From 1860-4 he was the editor of the Edinburgh Courant. At the general Election of 1857, he stood for the Dumfries Burghs, but was defeated. In 1868 he was appointed British Consul at Brest. From Brest he was posted to Barcelona, where he died on January 9th 1873. He was twice married and had a family of seven of whom the eldest is David Hannay, well known as an expert writer on Naval History, reviewer and journalist.

The following is a list of James Fontenoy Hannay`s works:

  • Biscuits and grog,
  • The Scarlet Cap, and Hearts are Trumps, published in 1848.
  • King Dobbs, a satirical romance published in 1849.
  • The Poetical works of Edgar Allen Poe, edited.
  • Blackwood Carlyle and Singleton Fontency, a novel of sea life which gave him a brilliant reputation, published in 1850, 3 volumes and again in 1855 a cheap edition.
  • Sketches in Ultramarine, a collection of Naval Papers (1848-52).
  • Notice of the Life and genius of Edgar Allen Poe, London 1853.
  • Sands and Shells, published 1854.
  • Euntace Conyers, published in 1855
  • Characters and Criticisms, a collection of essays.
  • Brief Memoir of the late Mr. Thakeray, published 1864.
  • A Course in English Literature, published 1866.
  • Three Hundred Years of a Norman House, published 1867.
  • Studies on Thackeray, published 1869.
  • A Critical Essay, published in the latter part of his life.

... Reverting, after this digression, to the remaining members of the family of Mr. James Hannay of Lochbank ...
James(B. 1769, D. 1863) became a Captain in the 8th Foot, and married a Miss Macnaughton. He lived nearly all his life at Ballylough, Co. Antrim. He was a very tall man, being 6ft.4ins. in height. Many of his descendants were remarkable for the same peculiarity, more especially three of his granddaughters who were all over six feet tall and strikingly handsome, to boot.

These were the daughters of the eldest son Colonel Edmund Hannay. His other children were: the Rev. Robert Hannay, Vicar of Belfast; Agnes Hannay who married first, Captain Wray and afterwards Admiral Alexander and Marion who married Mr. Kinhan, Belfast. The Rev. Robert Hannay was the father of Canon James Owen Hannay, Canon of St. Patrick`s (Protestant) Cathedral, Dublin, who is otherwise well-known under the pseudonyn of George A. Birmingham, the novelist and playwright. His best know play is entitled General John Regan and among his other works are included The Wisdom of the Desert (1904), The Seething Pot (1905), The Bad Times (1908), The Search Party (1909), The Northern Iron (1909), Lalage`s Lovers (1911), The Major`s Niece (1911), The Simpkins Plot (1912), The lighter side of Irish Life (1912), Priscilla`s Spies (1912), The Red Hand of Ulster (1912), Spanish Gold (1912), The Inviolable Sanctuary (1912), etc.,

James Hannays next son, John, was born in 1789 and died in 1868. He was a writer to the Signet in Edinburgh. He married Miss E. Kennedy of Lincluden, in Dumfriesshire and with that marriage became possessed of the Estate of Lincluden. His son Lennox Hannay, was Recorder of Pontefract and eventually became Stipendiary Magistrate of Marlborough Street Police in London. He had two sons and two daughters of whom one son, James, and one daughter Janet, (widow of the late Christopher Schofield) now survive. The property of Lincluden has passed out of the family.

Of the remaining children of James Hannay, Agnes, (B.1800, D. 1879) married Mr. Charles Dunbar Thompson of Torhousemuir, near Newton Stewart, Wigtownshire; Walter (B.1801. D. 1880), was an artist in London and died there unmarried; Marion McDowwall (B.1803, D. 1873) married Dr. A.I. Hannay of Grennan; Sophia (B.1806, D. 1860) died unmarried; Esther (b.1808 D. 1889) married Mr. James Keyden, Glasgow; and William (B.1810, D. 1836) went to India as an Officer in one of the Company`s Cavalry Regiments and died there. It will be noted that with the exception of the Maxwell and William, the family were notable for longevity.


Return to Various Recorded Early Hannay Families