Clan Murray

About the Clan Murray

Where did the Clan Murray name come from? It is most probable origin was fro the region of Moray in the north-east Scotland.

Famed for their patriotism from earliest times they boasted a royal origin. They are descended from the Flemish nobleman Freskin de Moravia (also progenitor of Clan Sutherland). Flemish and Norman lords crossed the North Sea and established themselves in the Scottish realm at the invitation of the Kings of Scots from the early 12th century. Freskin and his son were granted extensive lands in Moray and intermarried with the old line of Celtic Mormaers from Moray. They took the name 'de Moravia', ie. 'of Moray' in Latin. The descendents of his grandson William de Moravia's descendents became Lords of Bothwell. The name became more generally written simply as 'Moray' (or variants), deriving from the great province of Moray, once a local kingdom, by the end of the 13th century.

From him descend the principal houses of Murray; Tullibardine, Atholl, Abercairney and Polmaise. The name Murray is believed to derive from Pictish *Moritreb, meaning 'seaward settlement', referring to the ancient province, the Mormaer of Moray much larger than the present county of Moray, running along the coast of the Moray Firth, north of the Grampians. MacMurray, Moray, Murry and Morogh are all variants of the family name.

In the 11-12th centuries Scottish monarchs began controlling their kingdom more tightly by establishing reliable knights, often Anglo-Norman families, in specific regions giving them absolute power over the local population.

David I had installed the Flemish knight Freskin in Linthgowshire. After suppressing the Celtic chiefs of Moray in 1130, David I placed loyal Freskin in control of that area. The Murray families originate from here taking the name of the lands as their surname.

Sir Andrew Murray fought in William Wallace's rebellion of 1297.

The Murrays of Tullibardine descend from Malcolm de Moray whose son, Sir John, married the daughter of the Seneschal of Strathearn bringing them the lands of Abercairney (east of Crieff) around 1320. Another marriage by the family into the old Celtic aristocracy of Perthshire by Sir William brought further lands around Tullibardine and their place in Perthshire history.

Why not take a short break of vacation in 'Murray country'!

Sir David Murray founded a Collegiate Church at Tullibardine in 1445 - this remains unaltered.

In 1528 Doune Castle (confiscated in 1424) was given back to the descendant of Duke of Albany and from him to the earls of Moray who still own this property. 

James VI granted lands around Scone to David Murray making him Lord Scone in 1605 and Viscount Stormont in 1621.

 The Earldom of Atholl passed to John Murray of Tullibardine through female decent in 1629. In 1703 Queen Anne raised the title to Duke. The chief of the Murray Clan is present the Duke of Atholl.

Lord George Murray was Bonnie Prince Charlie's brilliant general during the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion.

William Murray, son of the 5th Viscount Stormont became Lord Mansfield in 1756 and 1st Earl of Mansfield in 1776.

The regiment's officers are usually lairds from the areas around Blair Atholl, while other ranks are men with connections either to the local area or to the Duke's estate. Membership of the regiment is by the personal invitation of the Duke.



Return to Historical Blair Atholl from Clan Murray