Early Renwick History

The name Renwick is of Anglo-Saxon origin and it’s believed that it came from the family that lived in the region of Renwick beside the Eden River in Cumberland England.

Professional researchers have established that the first record of the surname Renwick was in Cumberland where they lived from early times The first records of the Renwick surname appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain.

The history of the Anglo-Saxons provides a valuable background for the history of the Renwick family. The family name Renwick is one of the most notable of the Anglo/Saxon race. This founding race of England, a fair skinned people led by the Saxon General/Commanders Hengist and Horsa, settled in Kent from about the year 400 A.D. .The Saxons were a Teutonic tribe of people originally from Germany.

During the Dark Ages, the Renwick clan was prominent in Cumberland and was recorded as a family of great antiquity, being Lords of the manor in that county in 1266. Originally called Ravenswick, the name later became Renwick, a barony on the east side of the Eden River. Renwick is a topographic surname that is given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree.

During the surname research it was noted that the Renwick surname was spelled in many different ways including Renwick, Ravenswick, Rennick and Renick. These variations occurred even in references to the same person.

In 865 the Danes invaded England and the Anglo-Saxons lost some of their power. However Alfred the Great the Anglo Saxon King, signed a treaty with the Danes in 886 to share power.

William the Conqueror of Normandy disputed the royal succession in England circa 1066 and brought an army to enforce his claim on the throne. The success of the Normans at the Battle of Hastings 1066 over Harold's Anglo Saxons brought the end to Anglo-Saxon and Danish rule in England.

Circa 1266, Edward I, forfeited the possessions of Andrew de Hercla, Earl of Carlisle, because of his rebellion against the Crown. This included the Renwick landholdings.

The Renwick clan was one of the major Scottish border clans and with their neighbours, the Ridleys, and Musgraves, they carried out many raids across the English / Scottish border.

During the late 16th century during the reign of the Tudors, English families moved to Ireland in search of work and land. In Ireland, settlers became known as the Adventurers seeking land in Ireland. Also called Undertakers, they undertook to maintain their Protestant faith.They lived in the Pale region of Ireland. One of the first settlers was a soldier named Renwick who had a lease of land in county Kildare in 1585.

In 1650 after Oliver Cromwell’s conquest of Ireland, his soldiers and Protestant supporters were granted lands belonging to Irish Catholic Celts and Normans. Records show that Renwick families settled in Irish counties Monaghan and Meath at that time.While some of the confiscated lands were returned during the reign of King Charles II, most remained in the hands of Protestant newcomers Many Renwick landowners were listed in Griffiths Valuation of Ireland 1847 in Monaghan and Fermanagh

James Renwick had the distinction of being the last person to be executed in Scotland for his religious beliefs in 1688, and became one of Scotland's many martyrs. Distinguished members of the family include Renwick of Cumberland.