Clan Murray

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Date: 3 Aug 2018 [unknown]
Location: Worldwidemap
Surnames/tags: Murray Scottish_Clans Fleming, Moncreiffe, Piper, Spalding
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Scotland Project > Scottish Clans > Clan Murray


Welcome to Clan Murray

Clan Murray Team
Team Leader Michael Thomas
Team Members Beth Gilbert, Beth Golden, Esther Baran, Amy Golder-Cooper

Clan Team

Team Goals

The focus of this team's work is to identify, improve and maintain profiles associated with the Lairds and Chiefs of Clan Murray together with members bearing the name Murray, the related families and those recognized as septs of Clan Murray.

Team To Do List

This list will be developed by the Team. If you are working on a specific task, please list it here:

  • promoting the entries of those bearing the name Murray on Wikitree, Including variations in spelling of the surname.
  • ensuring entries appearing on Wikitree are as accurate as possible, correcting mistakes once spotted.
  • encouraging interest in and study of Clan Murray.

Clan Chief: Bruce George Ronald Murray, 12th Duke of Atholl. Styled, His Grace The Duke of Atholl. Clan Chief of Clan Murray. Succeeded his father in 2012. His Dukedom has the right to raise an army (the only legal Private army) named as the Atholl Highlanders, granted by Queen Victoria.



New crest (lower right) - A demi-savage, the upper half of a wreathed, shirtless man, holding a sword in his right hand and a key in his left. An older badge (center) 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".

Motto: Furth Fortune and Fill the Fetters - "go forth against your enemies, have good fortune, and return with captives"

Region: Highlands Plant badge: Butcher's Broom or Juniper Pipe music: "Atholl Highlanders" Gaelic name: Clann Mhuirich

Allied Families (AKA Septs): - Balneaves, Buttar Butter, Butters, Flamanc, Flamang, Flamench, Flamyng, Fleeman, Fleeming, Flemen, Fleming, Flemmynge, Flemyn, Flemyne, Flemyng, Flemynge, Fleymen, Fleyming, Fliming, Flymen, Flymyng, MacKinnoch, MacKmurrie, MacMurray, MacMurre, MacMurree, MacMurrie, MacMurry, MacMurrye, MacMury, Mirrey, Monchryf, Moncref, Moncrefe, Moncreife, Moncreiff, Moncreiffe, Moncrief, Moncriefe, Moncrieff, Moncrieffe, Moncrif, Moncrife, Moncriffe, Monkreff, Monkreth, Montcreffe, Montcrief, Montcrif, Moray, Morray,Morrow, Mouncref, Mowray, Mulmurray, Mulmury, Muncrefe, Muncreff, Muncreif, Muncreiffe, Muncreyfe, Muncrif, Muncrife, Munkrethe, Muray, Murra, Murrai, Murraue, Murray, Murrie, Murry, Mury, Neaves, Pepper, Phylemen, Piper, Pyper, Ratray, Ratre, Ratteray, Rattray, Retrey, Rettra, Rettray, Rotray, Smail, Smaill, Smal, Smale, Small, Smalle, Smaw, Smeal, Smeall, Spaden, Spadine, Spaldene, Spaldeng, Spalding, Spaldyn, Spaldyng, Spaldynge.

Names associated with the clan: Murray of Atholl (chiefs), Murray of Dunmore, Murray of Mansfield

Allied clans: Clan Sutherland (Same Progenitor - Freskin of Moravia)

Rival clans: Clan Drummond, Clan Hannay

Clan Murray and its Allied Families

Coat of Arms - Bruce Murray, 12th Duke of Atholl

Clan Name - MURRAY

Adapted from an article at

The progenitor of the Clan Murray was Freskin who lived during the twelfth century. It has been claimed that he was a Pict, 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 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 intermarried 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 descend from Freskin's eldest grandson, Hugh de Moravia, whereas 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 Clan Douglas.

During the Wars of Scottish Independence, Andrew Moray took up the cause of Scottish independence against Edward I of England and 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 (daughter to Maurice de Moravia, Earl of Strathearn), took Archibald the Grim, Lord of Galloway and later Earl of Douglas, as her second husband.

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 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 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 among the signatories.

In 1562, at the Battle of Corrichie, Clan Murray supported Mary, Queen of Scots against George Gordon, 4th Earl of Huntly.

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.

In the early 17th century a deadly feud broke out between the Murrays of Broughton and Clan Hannay which resulted in the Hannays being outlawed.

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. He raised no fewer than 1,800 men to fight for the king, and helped Montrose win the Battle of Tippermuir in 1644.

In 1703, the Murrays as Earls and Marquesses of Atholl were created Dukes of Atholl, reaching the pinnacle of the peerage.

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.

During the Jacobite rising of 1715, men of the Clan Murray fought at the Battle of Sheriffmuir in support of the Jacobites under William Murray, Marquess of Tullibardine.

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.

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).[2] 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.

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Categories: Clan Murray