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By the elevation of the Bruces to the throne Annandale became a Crown hold-
ing, and was conferred by Robert I. on his nephew Thomas Randolph, lord of
Nithsdale and Earl of Moray. ¹ The Moray line ended in a daughter who married the
Earl of March, and when Earl George was forfeited in 1409 Annandale was acquired
by the Earl of Douglas, ² from which family it reverted to the King after the tragedy
of 1440. James II. conferred the lordship upon his younger son, the Duke of Albany,
who forfeited it by rebellion; and in 1487 it was finally annexed to the Crown.
Having been granted to Randolph as a free regality - i.e. with a jurisdiction regal in
scope, as far as was possible to a vassal, - on reversion to the Crown it ranked as
a stewartry, while Lochmaben remained a royal castle under a constable. In later
days the two offices of Steward of Annandale and Constable of Lochmaben were
usually held by one person (see p. xli.), and from 1410 - first, in the sense of
regality-depute, under the Earls of Douglas and then from 1455 under the Crown -
till the 17th century the stewardship was hereditary in the Maxwells. ³
The changes in Nithsdale during the 14th century also worked towards an
expansion of the Douglas family. The forfeited Comyns went out, and a marriage
brought in the Douglases in the person of William the first Earl, who married a
daughter of the Earl of Mar, to whom had come the lordship of Nithsdale. The
ancient Mar line thus failing, the Earls of Douglas enjoyed both that title and the
lordship. ⁴ The second Earl, the James Douglas who fell at Otterburn in 1388, left
two sons, both illegitimate, of whom William the elder was provided with the barony
of Drumlanrig. ⁵ Archibald, lord of Galloway and third Earl, conferred the lord-
ship of Nithsdale upon his second son, who left one daughter as issue. She married
the Earl of Orkney, and so brought Nithsdale to the Sinclairs; but in 1455 James II.
secured a surrender of the lordship by the Earl, as well as of his hereditary office
of sheriff of Dumfries, for compensation elsewhere. The Comyn barony of Dal-
swinton fell to Walter Sewart of the Galloway family, ⁶ and Duncow to a Boyd. ⁷
Dalswinton remained with the Stewarts till the 17th century, when it passed from
the Earl of Galloway to the Earl of Queensberry. After the forfeiture of the Boyds
in the middle of the 15th century Duncow is found in possession of a Maxwell.
Another family now came into prominence in upper Nithsdale. William de
Crichton, of a Midlothian stock, had married the heiress of the Roos or Ross line who
held half the barony of Sanquhar; the other half he acquired by purchase. The
seat of these Rosses was probably at Ryehill, by which they were sometimes dis-
tinguished, ⁸ and where there is a mote-hill (No. 556). Later there are Crichtons
in Ryehill. William de Crichton's great-grandson was in 1485 created Lord Crichton
of Sanquhar. The Crichtons, too, benefited by some of the Douglas property when
that family came to grief, and continued in Sanquhar Castle and barony till the
early part of the 17th century. In 1617 William Crichton entertained James VI.
lavishly in the Castle, and in 1633 was created Earl of Dumfries. These succes-
sive honours proved too much for the estate, and in 1639 it was sold to the first
Earl of Queensberry.
The adjacent barony of Morton was in 1440 granted by James II. to James
Douglas of Dalkeith, afterwards Earl of Morton, though deriving his title from

1 Reg. Mag. Sig., i., App. i., No. 34.
2 Ibid., No. 920.
3 Johnstone MSS., p. 10 (Hist. MSS. Comm., xv., App. ix.).
4 Reg. Mag. Sig., i. p. 647.
5 Buccleuch and Queensberry MSS., p. 8 (Hist. MSS. Comm., xv., App. viii.).
6 Reg. Mag. Sig., i., App. ii., No. 323.
7 Ibid., Nos. 306, 315.
8 New Stat. Acct., iv. p. 306 n.

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