LORDSHIP in southwestern Scotland. The River Annan rises in the Moffat Hills and flows southwards to the Solway Firth near the town of Annan.
The great family of Bruce held the lordship from c.1124 until King Robert the Bruce gave it to his nephew and companion in arms, Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray. Randolph’s daughter and eventual heiress, Agnes, brought the lordship to the Earls of Dunbar (or March), who lost it near the end of the century when the Earl deserted to the English after his daughter, betrothed to the heir to the throne, had been jilted. The lordship was then given to the Douglases. After the execution of the Earl of Douglas in 1440 it reverted to the King.
Annandale was part of the county of Dumfries and also of the Western March. The principal family, the Johnstones, were often Wardens of the March, and in 1661 their chief became Earl of Annandale, and a Marquis in 1701. The latter title became extinct in 1792, when the former became dormant. It was revived in 1985.
In 1975 Annandale & Eskdale became the eastern district in the Dumfries & Galloway Region; it was abolished in 1996.