Maxwelton House, the home of Annie Laurie, was known as the Castle of Glencairn. It was the ancient dwelling place of the noble family "Cunningham", Earls of Glencairn. Its name is derived from the celtic language, "Gleann-carn," Glen of Cairns (Heap of stones).
In 1611, the 7th Earl, James, Lord Kilmours and his father-in-law, Sir Robert Gordon of Lochinvar, sold the Maxwelton lands to Stephen Laurie, a merchant of Dumfries - keeping only a few square feet, for the sake of the title. Having married into the most powerful family of the region, Stephen decided it would contribute favourably, to promote his image to re-name the castle, Maxwelton House. He was an ambitious man and worked hard at increasing his standing in the town of Dumfries. He was a baillie and with the continous lawlessness of the border families, Maxwells, Johnstons, Bells, Irvines and Carlyles, he had to be seen to be keeping order. Letters of warning had been issued on the 17th December 1608, against John, Lord Maxwell and Robert, his wife's brother, Maxwell of Dinwoodie for non-appearance at the council, to answer to treason, and for escaping from Edinburgh Castle on December 4th 1608. On December 23rd, Robert Logan, the messenger, denounced the two Maxwells by giving three sharp blasts on his horn, at the Dumfries market cross. This had to be done in the presence of witnesses, one of them being Stephen Laurie. He was also witness at further hornings, which denounced the Maxwells. To the reader this will appear strange, when you consider how proud he was to have married into the most powerful family in the region. Even taking their name for his new home. It clearly shows that his ambition knew no bounds - by 1618 he was M.P. for Dumfries.
Source: (MONIAIVE AND THE PARISH OF GLENCAIRN (visitors booklet) by Jacquie Field, 1989, page 14.)