|Clan Murray (Moireach)|
Crest: On a Wreath Or and Sable a demi-savage Proper wreathed about the temples and waist with laurel, his arms extended and holding in the right hand a dagger, in the left a key all Proper.
|Motto||Furth fortune and fill the fetters|
|Plant badge||Butcher's Broom, or Juniper|
|Bruce Murray, 12th Duke of Atholl|
|The 12th Duke of Atholl|
|Historic seat||Bothwell Castle|
- 1 History
- 2 Atholl Highlanders
- 3 Castles
- 4 Clan Chief
- 5 Badges and Crest
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 Notes
- 9 External links
Origins of the Clan
The progenitor of the Clan Murray was Freskin who lived during the twelfth century. It has been claimed that he was Pictish but it is much more likely that he was a Flemish knight, one of a ruthless group of warlords who were employed by the Norman kings to pacify their new realm after the Norman conquest of England. David I of Scotland who was brought up in the English court, employed such men to keep hold of the wilder parts of his kingdom and granted to Freskin lands in West Lothian. The ancient Pictish kingdom of Moray (Moireabh in Scottish Gaelic) was also given to Freskin and this put an end to the remnants of that old royal house. In a series of astute political moves Freskin and his sons inter married with the old house of Moray to consolidate their power. Freskin's descendants were designated by the surname de Moravia ("of Moray" in the Norman language) and this became 'Murray' in the Lowland Scottish language. The original Earls of Sutherland (chiefs of Clan Sutherland[note 1]) descend from Freskin's eldest grandson, Hugh de Moravia, where as the chiefs of Clan Murray descend from Freskin's younger grandson, William de Moravia.
Sir Walter Murray became Lord of Bothwell in Clydesdale thanks to a marriage to an heiress of the Clan Oliphant. He was a regent of Scotland in 1255. He also started construction of Bothwell Castle which became one of the most powerful strongholds in Scotland. It was the seat of the chiefs of Clan Murray until 1360 when it passed over to the Clan Douglas.
Wars of Scottish Independence
During the Wars of Scottish Independence, Andrew Moray took up the cause of Scottish independence against Edward I of England and he was joined by William Wallace. Andrew Moray was killed following the Scottish victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297 after which Wallace assumed command of Scottish forces. It has been suggested that the whole war might have taken a different course if Moray had survived the battle at Stirling Bridge as he had shown significant skill in pitched battle which Wallace lacked. His son was Sir Andrew Murray, 4th Lord of Bothwell and third Regent of Scotland who married Christian Bruce, a sister of king Robert the Bruce. This Andrew Murray fought at the Battle of Halidon Hill in 1333.
The lordship of Bothwell passed to the Douglases in 1360 when the fifth Murray Lord of Bothwell died of plague and his wife, Joan (herself daughter to Maurice de Moravia, Earl of Strathearn), took Archibald the Grim, Lord of Galloway and later Earl of Douglas, as her second husband.
15th and 16th century clan conflicts
The Murray's feuds with their neighbors were not as numerous as those of many other clans. However one incident of note, the Battle of Knockmary in 1490 pitted Murrays of Auchtertyre against the Clan Drummond.
There were many branches of the Clan Murray who disputed the right to the chiefship. It was not until the 16th century that the Murrays of Tullibardine are recorded as using the undifferenced arms of Murray in 1542, in a work that pre-dates the establishment of the Lord Lyon's register of 1672 and is considered of equal authority. The claim to the chiefship by the Murrays of Tullibardine rested upon their descent from Sir Malcom, sheriff of Perth in around 1270 and younger brother of the first Lord of Bothwell. The Murrays of Tullibardine consolidated their position as chiefs with two bands of association in 1586 and 1598 in which John Murray, later the first Earl of Tullibardine, was recognized as chief by numerous Murray lairds including the Morays of Abercairny in Perthshire who were amongst the signatories.
In 1594 the Murrays fought on the side of Archibald Campbell, 7th Earl of Argyll, chief of Clan Campbell at the Battle of Glenlivet, whose forces consisted of 10,000 Highlanders from his own clan, Clan Forbes and the Chattan Confederation. Their enemy was George Gordon, 1st Marquess of Huntly, chief of Clan Gordon whose forces consisted of 2,000 Highlanders of his own clan, with men of Clan Cumming and Clan Cameron.
17th century and Civil War
Sir John Murray of Tullibardine who was created first Earl of Tullibardine in 1606 married Dorothea Stewart, heiress to the Earls of Atholl. The Stewart earldom of Atholl became a Murray earldom in 1629 and a marquessate in 1676.
The chief of Clan Murray, James Murray, 2nd Earl of Tullibardine, was initially a strong supporter of King Charles I, receiving the leader of the royalist army, James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose at Blair Castle in 1644, and he raised no fewer than eighteen hundred men to fight for the king. It was this addition of men that won Montrose the Battle of Tippermuir in 1644.
18th century and Jacobite risings
War in France
John Murray, Marquis of Tullibardine was killed fighting for the British at the Battle of Malplaquet (1709), a major conflict of the War of the Spanish Succession between France and a British-Dutch-Austrian alliance. In 1745, Lord John Murray's Highlanders fought for the British against the French at the Battle of Fontenoy.
Jacobite rising of 1715
Jacobite rising of 1719
At the Battle of Glen Shiel in 1719 men of Clan Murray fought under William Murray, Marquess of Tullibardine against the Government in support of the Jacobite cause. William Murray was wounded but escaped to France. On 25 July 1745 he landed land with the Young Pretender, (Charles Edward Stuart), at Borodale, Scotland to launch the Jacobite rising of 1745.
Jacobite rising of 1745
The first Duke of Atholl's younger son was Lord George Murray, a Jacobite general who was the architect of the early Jacobite successes of the Jacobite rising of 1745. Most military historians concur that if Lord George Murray had been given the sole command of the Jacobite army that the Old Pretender (James Francis Edward Stuart) might well have gained his throne. Lord George's elder brother, the next duke, supported the British-Hanoverian Government. As a result, at the Battle of Prestonpans (1745), two British regiments, Murray's 46th and 42nd met a Murray regiment in the Jacobite lines led by Lord George Murray. George would go on to lead the Jacobite charge at the Battle of Falkirk (1746) and the Battle of Culloden (1746). He died in exile in the Netherlands in 1760.
After Culloden, on 27 April 1746, William Murray, Marquess of Tullibardine, who had landed with the Jacobite leader, Charles Edward Stuart in Scotland, suffering from bad health and fatigue, surrendered to a Mr Buchannan of Drummakill. He was taken to the Tower of London, where he died on 9 July. Lord George Murray escaped to the continent in December 1746, and was received in Rome by the Prince's father, the "Old Pretender" (James Francis Edward Stuart), who granted him a pension. Despite this, when Murray journeyed to Paris the following year, the Prince refused to meet with him. Murray lived in numerous places on the continent over the next years, and died in Medemblik, Holland, on 11 October 1760, at the age of 66. John Murray of Broughton who had been secretary to Prince Charles Edward Stuart earned the enmity of the Jacobites by turning king's evidence.
Although the Battle of Culloden was the last time the Highlanders of Atholl went to war, the Murray chief's ceremonial guard which became known as the Atholl Highlanders still has the unique honour of being Europe's only legal private army. In 1845 Queen Victoria presented colours to the Atholl Highlanders.
- Blair Castle, the current seat of the chief of Clan Murray, the Duke of Atholl. The castle is home each year to the spring gathering of the Atholl Highlanders, overseen by the Duke of Atholl.
- Bothwell Castle, historic seat of the chiefs of Clan Murray, Lords of Bothwell, until 1360 when it passed by marriage to Archibald the Grim, 3rd Earl of Douglas.
- Balvaird Castle, built in 1500, for the Murrays of Tullibardine, Earls of Mansfield and Mansfield.
- The Murrays of Atholl also held Huntingtower Castle and were the keepers of Falkland Palace. John Murray, the 1st Duke of Atholl divided a great deal of his time between these two residences, especially whilst his parents were still living at the magnificent Dunkeld House (which no longer exists). His son, the famous Jacobite General, Lord George Murray, resided at Huntingtower until his conscience determined him to support the last Jacobite Rising in 1745 for the 'Young Pretender', Prince Charles Edward Stuart (aka "Bonnie Prince Charlie").
- Clan chief: Bruce Murray, 12th Duke of Atholl, Marquess of Atholl, Marquess of Tullibardine, Earl of Atholl, Earl of Tullibardine, Earl of Strathtay and Strathardle, Viscount of Balquhidder, Viscount of Glenalmond, Lord Murray of Tullibardine.
Badges and Crest
The current Clan badge, (see above), depicts a demi-savage (the upper half of a wreathed, shirtless man) holding a sword in his right hand and a key in his left. The Clan motto reads "Furth, Fortune, and Fill the Fetters", meaning, roughly, "go forth against your enemies, have good fortune, and return with captives". The demi-savage badge was favoured by the late Duke of Atholl; the Clan continues to use it out of respect.
An older badge depicts a mermaid holding a mirror in one hand and a comb in the other, with the motto "Tout prêt", Old French for "Quite ready". This badge is found in many historical and heraldic sources, and remains a valid Murray device.
- Clan Murray Profile scotclans.com. Retrieved 10 November, 2013.
- Way, George and Squire, Romily. Collins Scottish Clan & Family Encyclopedia. (Foreword by The Rt Hon. The Earl of Elgin KT, Convenor, The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs). Published in 1994. Pages 284 - 285.
- Sutherland, Malcolm. "A Fighting Clan, Sutherland Officers: 1250 – 1850". Page 3. Avon Books. ISBN 1-897960-47-6.
- Clan Murray History. electricscotland.com. Retrieved on Jan 12, 2013.
- Mackay, Robert. (1829) History of the House and Clan of the Name MacKay. p.131 – 133. Quoting: 'Scots Acts of Parliament'.
- MacKinnon, Charles. Scottish Highlanders. Barnes and Noble Publishing. 1995.
- Way, George and Squire, Romily. Collins Scottish Clan & Family Encyclopedia. (Foreword by The Rt Hon. The Earl of Elgin KT, Convenor, The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs). Published in 1994. Pages 162 - 163.
- Loudon's Highlanders History. electricscotland.com. Retrieved on Jan 12, 2013.
- The chiefs of the Clan Sutherland and Clan Murray shared a common ancestor in the direct male line. The surname of both families was originally "de Moravia" meaning "of Moray" or "of Murray" and as a result there were some people by the name of Murray who were septs of the Clan Sutherland in the far north. Most notably the Murrays or Morays of Aberscross who were the principal vassals of the Earl of Sutherland and were charged with the defense of the shire.
- Clan Murray of North America
- Clan Murray at scotclans.com
- Clan Murray History at electricscotland.com
- Abercairny Castle
- Murray Clan Society of New South Wales, Australia