a surname originally Ahannay, and also met with as De
Anneth, belonging to an old family in Galloway, supposed to be
of Scandinavian origin, which is first mentioned about the end of
the 13th century, cut without any lands named as
belonging to them at that period. In the Ragman Roll, amongst those
barons who swore fealty to Edward I. In 1296, occurs the name of
Gilbert de Hanyethe. The family early obtained the lands of Sorby or
Sorbie, from which the parish of that name is called, and which they
retained until the latter part of the 17th century. Their
arms occur in the celebrated MS. Volume of emblazonments of Sir
David Lindsay of the Mount, lord lion king at arms. Sorbie-place,
the seat of the family from the reign of James IV., was anciently a
tower of some strength, and is now a picturesque ruin, surrounded
with wood, about a mile east of the village of Sorbie. The lands of
Sorbie at present belong to the earl of Galloway.
personages of the family of Hannay occur in the public records; – as
John de Hanna, 1424, Robert Hannay of Sorbie, son of Odo Hannay of
Sorbie, 1488, Alexander Hannay of Sorbie, 1500, &c. Patrick Hannay
sat for Wigtown in the Scottish parliament in 1581; and another
Patrick Hannay in 1637. One of them married a daughter of Stewart of
Garlies, ancestor of the earl of Galloway, early in the sixteenth
century, another of the race was James Hannay, dean of Edinburgh, in
the time of Charles I., the same who, on reading the liturgy, by
appointment of the king, on July 23, 1637, in the Cathedral church
of St. Giles, Edinburgh, was assailed by sticks, stones, bludgeons,
joint-stools – the day of the “Jenny Geddes” riot. Another, Sir
Patrick Hannay, was director of the Chancery in Ireland in the same
Sir Robert Hannay of Mochrum, descended from the Sorbie family, was
created a baronet of Nova Scotia. He left a daughter, Jane, married
to Sir Robert Reading of Dublin, whose blood flows in the noble
houses of Hamilton and Abercorn.
Sorbie estates went to the earl of Galloway in the latter part of
the seventeenth century, there still survived some junior branches
holding lands of less value in Wigtownshire. Of these were Kirkdale,
– the pedigree of which is given below, – and Grennan. Hugh Hannay
of Grennan occurs in 1612; and another Hugh in 1631; and John Hannay
in Grennan was fined for nonconformity in 1662. Grennan ultimately
devolved, through a co-heiress, on Dr. Alexander Hannay of Glasgow,
whose widow (daughter of James Hannay of Blairinnie) only sold it in
our time. Robert Hannay, Esq., East India merchant, Maxwell Hannay,
and others, are of the doctor’s family. A male scion of Grennan,
sprung from a marriage in Charles the Second’s reign with one of the
M’Cullochs of Myrton, was settled at Knock and Garrarie in
Wigtownshire, before 1700, as kinsmen to the Maxwells of Monreith.
Alexander Hannay, Esq., Banker, Dumfries, and Elliott Hannay, Esq.,
War Office, London, descend from the Knock branch. Of this line,
too, Robert Hannay, son of John Hannay of Knock, and born in 1720,
married a daughter of Maxwell of Newlaw, a lady who was fifth in
descent from the great John Maxwell, Lord Herries, of Queen Mary’s
time. Descended from this marriage are, Captain Hannay of Ballylough,
Antrim, Ireland; John Hannay, Esq. of Lincluden, Kirkcudbrightshire;
James Lennox Hannay of the English bar, and many others; also, James
Hannay, Esq., appointed in 1860 editor of the Edinburgh Courant,
whose father and grandfather both possessed land in Galloway,
and who, besides the Maxwell descent, has a descent also from the
old M’Dowalls, Irvings, and Browns of Carsluith. Born at Dumfries,
February 17, 1827, he was partly educated in England. He entered the
royal navy in 1840 as a midshipman, and served for the following
five years on the Mediterranean station. In 1845, he left the
service, and settling in London, devoted himself to literature. At
the general election of 1857, he became a candidate for the
representation in parliament of the Dumfries burghs, which his
father had twice contested in other days, but was defeated, –
polling 185 votes. The following is a list of his works: –
in Ultra-Marine: a Collection of Naval Papers. (1848-52).
Fontenoy. A Naval Novel. 1850, 3 vols. 8vo. 1853, cheap edition.
Satirists. Six Lectures, delivered in the summer of 1853, in London,
Conyers, A Novel. 1855, 3 vols. 1857, cheap edition, 12mo.
Translated into the German.
contributed to the Quarterly Review. 1861.
Hannay, M.A., of the Sorbie family, published, in 1622, a book of
curious poems which once had reputation, but are now very rare and
almost forgotten. He was the grandson of Donald Hannay of Sorbie,
and is supposed to have employed his sword in the service of the
unfortunate but high-spirited queen of Bohemia, the daughter of our
James VI., and wife of the elector Palatine. These poems procured
him some celebrity, and among his eulogists were “Edward Leuenthorp,
Robert Hannay, Johannes Dunbar, John Marshall, John Harmer, J.M.C.,
William Lithgow, and Robert Alane.” The following is a specimen of
the laudatory epistles which were dedicated to him. Galdus, therein
referred to, is the celebrated Galgacus, the leader of the
confederated Caledonians against the Romans. From his having been
thought to have learned the art of war in South Britain, he was
called Galdus or Gallus, the British work Gal signifying a
stranger. In Scottish history he is known by the name of Corbredus
Galdus (History of Galloway, 1841, vol. i. p. 66, Note.) Some
accounts affirm that he was slain in a battle on the banks of the
Cree, and interred at Cairnholy. The poem is given as originally
“TO HIS MUCH RESPECTED FRIEND MASTER PATRICK
“Hannay, thy worth bewrayes well whence thou’rt
And that that honour’d Name thou dost not wrong;
As if from Sorby’s stock no branch could sprout,
But should with rip’ning time bear golden fruit.
Thy Ancestors were ever worthy found,
Else Galdus’ grave had grac’d no Hannays ground.
Thy father’s father Donald well was knowne
To the English by his sword, but thou art showne
By pen (times changing) Hannay’s are
Active in acts of worth be’t peace or warre,
Goe on in virtue, Aftertimes will tell,
None but a Hannay could have done so well.
Galdus (that worthie) who so bravely fought with the Romans, lies
buried in the lands of Patrick Hannay of Kirkdale in Galloway. Jo.
of his works are: – ‘Two Elegies on the Death of Queen Anne; with
Epitaphs.’ London, 1619, 4to. ‘A Happy Husband; or Directions for a
Maid to choose her Mate. Together with a Wife’s Behaviour after
Marriage,’ London, 1619, 8vo. ‘Philomel, or the Nightingale,
Sheretine and Mariana; A Happy Marriage; Elegies on the Death of
Queen Anne; Songs and Sonnets.’ London, 1622, 8vo. Of the latter
collection, Mr. Lowndes, in his bibliographer’s Manual (Part iv., p.
992), says, “A remarkable volume in five parts; engraved title by
Cyprian Passe, in eleven compartments, the bottom centre occupied
with a portrait of the author.” The last portion, ‘Songs and
Sonnets,’ was reprinted in 1841, in square 12mo, 42 pages, by Mr. E.
V. Utterson, at his private press at Beldornie, Isle of Wight, 12
copies only. One of them is in the Advocates’ Library. In 1858 a
copy sold for £1 19s. An original copy of the ‘Two Elegies on the
Death of Queen Anne,’ small 4to, (London, 1619) is also in the
A copy of
his Poems, the rare collection in 5 parts, published in 1622, with
the original frontispiece by C. de Passe, and portraits of the
author and Anne of Denmark, and a copy of it cleverly executed by H.
Rodd, sold at the sale of Archdeacon Wrangham’s library for £40. The
same work, with a portrait of Anne of Denmark, by Crispin de Passe,
inserted, brought at Bindley’s sale, £35 14s. It was resold at
Perry’s sale for £38 6s. Again, at the sale of the books of Sir M.
M. Sykes, it brought £42. Again, at the sale of the library of Rev.
M. Rice, it brought £21. At Heber’s sale, the same book, wanting
title and frontispiece, sold for £3 9s.
of the same surname, Robert Hannay, published at London in 1694 ‘An
Account of the Proceedings of the Quakers, at their Yearly Meeting
in London, on the 28th of the Third Month,’ 1694, 4to.
Alexander Hannay, a younger son of the family of Sorbie, purchased
the lands of Kirkdale, stewartry of Kirkcudbright, and obtained a
charter of the same, from his nephew, Patrick Hannay, Esq. of Sorbie,
paternal ancestor of the Hannays of Mochrum.
Alexander Hannay of Kirkdale left a son, John Hannay, who inherited
son, Patrick Hannay of Kirkdale, married Ann, daughter of Patrick
Mackie, Esq. of Larg.
also named Patrick Hannay of Kirkdale, by his wife, Agnes, daughter
of Gavin Dunbar of Baldoon, had a son, William Hannay of Kirkdale.
This gentleman married Elizabeth, daughter of Alexander Gordon, Esq.
of Castranian, a cadet of the ancient family of Lochinvar
(afterwards viscounts of Kenmuir).
Samuel Hannay, Esq. of Kirkdale, married Jane, daughter and
coheiress of Patrick Mackie of Larg (by his wife, Agnes, daughter of
Sir Patrick Mackie of Larg), with issue.
eldest son, William Hannay of Kirkdale, married Margaret, daughter
of Rev. Patrick Johnston of Girthon, with issue. Alexander Hannay, a
younger son of this marriage, entered the army, and fought at
Minden. He afterwards went to India, and became very famous there as
“Colonel Hannay” in Warren Hastings’ time.
brother, Sir Samuel Hannay of Kirkdale, was, on Sept. 26, 1783,
served and retoured male heir of Sir Robert Hannay of Mochrum,
knight, who was created a baronet of Nova Scotia, March 10, 1630,
with remainder to his male heirs whatsoever. In 1768 he married
Mary, daughter of Robert Mead, Esq., and had 4 sons and 4 daughters.
The eldest son, Samuel, succeeded his father in December 1790. The 3
other sons all died unmarried. The daughters were, 1. Margaretta,
died unmarried; 2. Eliza, wife of George Woodroffe, Esq., without
issue; 3. Jane, married Thomas Rainsford, Esq., and had a large
family; 4. Mary Hastings.
son, Sir Samuel Hannay, the next baronet, born August 12, 1772, was
in the service of the emperor of Austria, and held an official post
in Vienna. He built a large mansion on his property which forms a
fine object from the Wigtownshire side of the bay. The property is
supposed to be the principal scene of Sir Walter Scott’s novel of
Guy Mannering; and Dirk Hatterick’s Cave, once noted for smugglers,
is below the house. Sir Samuel died in 1841, when the title became
succeeded in the estate of Kirkdale, by his sister Mary Hastings
Hannay, in virtue of a deed of entail, made by Ramsay Hannay,
brother of the first Sir Samuel Hannay, he having purchased the
estate on the death of his brother. Mary Hastings Hannay died
unmarried in 1850, and was succeeded in the estate of Kirkdale by
her nephew William Henry Rainsford Hannay, in right of the said deed
of entail, when he assumed the additional name of Hannay. On his
death, without issue, in 1856, his brother Frederick Rainsford
Hannay, succeeded to the estate.
of Hannay of Kingsmuir, Fifeshire, claim to be the representatives
of the Hannays of Sorbie, and are so described by Nisbet. As the
name implies, the lands of Kingsmuir, – at one period a common muir,
on which almost all the neighbouring proprietors had a right of
pasturage, and many a right of cutting turf, – originally belonged
to the crown. About the beginning of the 18th century,
Kingsmuir became the property of the ancestor of the present
proprietor, George Francis Hannay, Esq. In 1710, when Sibbald
published his “History of Fife,” the possessor of the estate was
named Peter Hannay, Esq. of Kingsmuir. Ann Hannay, who possessed it
shortly after, was married to Erskine of Dun; but dying without
issue, left the estates to a kinsman, from whom the present
proprietor descends. George Francis Hannay, born in 1788, succeeded
his brother, Peter Hannay, lieutenant R.N. (Who fought at Trafalgar
in the Defiance) in 1819. He married Robina, only child of
Robert Cunningham, Esq. of Pittarthie, captain in the army. Heir,
his son, George, captain Fife artillery, born 1824.
of Hannay of Rusko, Kirkcudbrightshire, was formerly from
Wigtownshire. Robert Hannay, Esq. of Rusco, born in 1807, married
Bridget, daughter of Thomas Smith, Esq., London, with issue. Heir,
his son, Robert, born in 1836.
arms are, Three roebucks’ heads couped, Azure, collared, Or; with a
bell pendent thereat, Gules. On the frontispiece of Mr. Patrick
Hannay’s book of poems are his arms in Taliduce, with his picture,
being Argent. Three roebucks’ heads, couped, Azure; with a mollet in
the collar point, for his difference, his father being a younger son
of Hannay of Sorbie, with a croslet fitched, issuing out of a
crescent, sable; for crest and motto relative thereto, Per ardua
ad alta. The family of Kingsmuir, Fifeshire, carries the last
blazon without the Mollet, and the same crest, with the motto,
Cresco et spero. (Nisbet’s Heraldry, vol. i. p. 335).