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Agnew in 1880

Sir William Agnew, 1st Baronet (20 October 1825 – 31 October 1910) was an English politician and art dealer. Thomas Agnew & Sons, his London art business in Mayfair flourished as one of the leading art dealerships in London from 1860, until it closed in April 2013, still with the Agnew family involved, and still known as "Agnew's Gallery", or more informally "Agnew's".[1]


In the middle of the 1860s, Agnew and his brother Thomas provided much needed financial backing to the publishing firm Bradbury and Evans, becoming partners in the business.[citation needed] Agnew became a Liberal Member of Parliament, first for South East Lancashire between 1880 and 1885 and later for Stretford from 1885 to 1886. He was created a baronet, of Great Stanhope Street, London, in 1895.

He bought the Rougham estates in Suffolk, England, in 1904.


Mrs Philip Leslie Agnew, John Singer Sargent, 1902

He was the son of Thomas Agnew (1794–1871) and his wife Jane Garnet Lockett.

On 25 March 1851, he married Mary Kenworthy (before 1836 – 2 September 1892), a daughter of George Pixton Kenworthy. Their children were:

  • Mary Caroline Agnew, died 2 February 1888
  • Florence Agnew, died 2 September 1890
  • Sir George William Agnew, 2nd Baronet (19 January 1852 – 19 December 1941)
  • Charles Morland Agnew (14 December 1855 – 23 May 1931)
  • Walter Agnew (29 April 1861 – 17 April 1915)
  • Philip Leslie Agnew (30 June 1863 – 5 March 1938)

Agnew's present-day descendants include Sir John Keith Agnew, 6th Baronet, of Rougham, and John Stuart Agnew, a parliamentary candidate of the UK Independence Party.



  • Roberts, William. "Sir William Agnew, 1825–1910". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  • Charles Mosley, ed., Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 1, pages 42–44

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