James Boswell died in 1795 believing he had touched and kissed a cache of Shakespeare's original letters and papers discovered by a Mr. Ireland. His friend, Edmond Malone, publicly exposed the lot as a forgery just a year later.
John Vans AgnewBorn 1724
Of Agnew in the parish of Kirkcowan, Galloway. Son of Patrick Vans of Barquhanny and Barnbarroch (ca. 1694-1733) and Barbara McDowall, dau of Patrick McDowall of Freugh. Married (1747) to Margaret Agnew, dau of Robert Agnew of Sheuchan, and Margaret McDowall. John Vans and his wife were thus first cousins, their mothers being sisters. In 1771 he had built the family's present seat of Barnbarroch. He had at least six children. His oldest son, Robert Vans Agnew (1755-1809), succeeded him as Laird of Barnbarroch and Sheuchan.
Life with Boswell:
Boswell met John Agnew at Kirroughtrie (the Heron estate) on September 29, 1762. He described him as "a genteel, ingenious gentleman".