~ A Family History: The Annandales and Clan Johnstone ~
The Johnstone Clan rose†to prominence in the 14th Century. It is said, it was the Johnstone Chief who warned Robert the Bruce that his life was in danger from Edward I, sending him a sign of a spur with wings attached, a sign to flee from the English Court.
For generations, the Johnstones battled with their neighbours the Maxwells, vying for supremacy over the Borders. Their conflict came to a head at the Battle of Dryfe Sands in 1593 when the 8th Lord Maxwell was cut down by a Johnstone blade. The Maxwells resorted to treachery to exact their revenge. In 1608, when both chiefs met to try to end years of bloodshed, the 9th Lord Maxwell brutally murdered the Johnstone Chief, an act which, after his capture,†cost him his head in 1614.
In 1633, Charles I†made James Johnstone Lord Johnstone of Lochwood. In 1643, he†became Earl of Hartfell and fought for the Royalist Cause with the Marquis of Montrose. He was captured and imprisoned and released due to the efforts of the Marquis of Argyll. After the Restoration of Charles II, he was given the earldom of Annandale and Hartfell in return for his support and as recompense for the theft of all the familyís silver plate from Newby Castle near Annan and the fines levied by Cromwell.
Later in 1701, William, 3rd Earl of Hartfell and 2nd Earl of Annandale and Hartfell, Secretary of State for Scotland, President of the Privy Council, President of the Parliament for Scotland, Lord High Commissioner and Lord Privy Seal was created 1st Marquis of Annandale. He was succeeded by his two sons, but after the death of the unmarried 3rd Marquis in 1792, the family titles became dormant and the Johnstone estates devolved upon the Hopetoun Family through Henrietta Johnstone, Williamís daughter who married Charles Hope, the 1st Earl of Hopetoun in 1699.
Nearly 200 years passed without a chief of Clan Johnstone. But in 1985, based on the Charter of 1662, the Johnstone Chiefship and the earldoms of Annandale and Hartfell were confirmed upon Patrick Johnstone of Annandale and of that Ilk. Patrick is now the 11th Earl of Annandale and Hartfell and the present Clan Chief.
The Johnstone crest is the Winged Spur. The family motto 'Aye Ready' sits overhead.