Check all the Clans that have DNA Projects. If your Clan is not in the list there's a way for it to be listed. Electric Scotland's Classified Directory An amazing collection of unique holiday cottages, castles and apartments, all over Scotland in truly amazing locations.

The Scottish Nation
Moray


MORAY, Earl of, a very ancient title, the native possessors of which, during the middle ages, originally called maormors, appear to have been the most powerful chiefs in Scotland. In the tenth and eleventh centuries their territories extended nearly from sea to sea, and until they sunk under the ascendancy of the kings of the line of Malcolm Canmore, they may be said to have been the real sovereigns of the north.

In the year 1120, during the reign of Alexander I., Angus, earl of Moray, the grandson of Lulach, stepson of Macbeth, laid claim to the crown, and excited an insurrection in his own territories, which was supposed by the king in person. Ten years afterwards, in the reign of David I., Earl Angus again took the field, but that monarch having collected all his forces, and being aided by the martial barons of Northumberland, with Walter l’Espec at their head, Angus was defeated and slain at Strickathrow, one of the passes in Forfarshire, whither he had advanced with his army. In 1141, Wimond, called by historians Malcolm MacHeth, a monk of Furness Abbey, Lanarkshire, claimed the earldom of Moray, as the son of Earl Angus, and at various times previous to 1151, invaded the Scottish coasts, but at length had his eyes put out, and was imprisoned in Roxburgh castle as an imposter. He had married a daughter of Somerled, thane of Argyle, who, in 1153, on the accession of Malcolm IV., invaded Scotland, accompanied by his grandsons, the sons of Wimond, one of whom, Donald, being found skulking in Galloway, was imprisoned, like his father, in Roxburgh castle. Under Giuldominick, the Moraymen, about 1160, raised such a formidable rebellion that the king, Malcolm IV., marched north with a powerful army, and after compelling them to submit, caused all who had appeared in arms against him, to transplant themselves to the southern parts of the kingdom. The earldom of Moray was subsequently held by the family of Randolph, by that of Dunbar, by an illegitimate son of James IV., by the regent Moray, and by the descendants of his daughter, also Stuarts.

_____

The first of the family of Randolph was Dunegal, a Celtic chief, proprietor of Strathnith or Stranith, the original name of Nithsdale, who lived in the reign of David I. On his death his extensive possessions appear to have been shared among them by his four sons, only two of whom, Ranulph or Randolph, the eldest, and Devenald, the youngest can now be traced.

Randolph, as superior of the whole of Nithsdale, transmitted the designation of lord of Stranith to his posterity. He married Bethoc, heiress of the lands of Bedrule, a contraction of Bethoc-rule, and Buecastle in Teviotdale, and from him his descendants assumed the surname of Randolph. Thomas, his son, was one of the anti-Anglican party removed from the administration of affairs during the minority of Alexander III., 21st September, 1255, and died in 1262. His son, Thomas Randolph, lord of Strathnith, was sheriff of Roxburghshire in 1266, and great-chamberlain of Scotland from 1267 to 1278. He sat in the parliament at Brigham in 1290, when the project of marriage between Queen Margaret and Prince Edward of England was agreed to, and in 1292 he was one of the nominees on the part of Robert de Brus in his competition for the crown of Scotland. He swore fealty to Edward I., 13th June of that year, and on the 26th of the following December, with his son, the celebrated Sir Thomas Randolph, afterwards earl of Moray, he was present when Baliol did homage to the English monarch. In 1294 he was summoned to attend King Edward into France. By his wife, Lady Isabel Bruce, eldest daughter of Robert, earl of Carrick, eldest son of the competitor, he had, with a daughter (Isabel, the wife of Sir William Moray), a son, Sir Thomas Randolph, already mentioned, one of the chief companions in arms of his uncle, Robert the Bruce, who, in guerdon of his services, conferred on him the earldom of Moray, with many goodly lands and baronies. (See RANDOLPH, THOMAS, earl of Moray.)

Dovenald, or Donald, the youngest son of Dunegal of Stranith, appears to have obtained the barony of Sanquhar, the lands of Morton, and some other possessions in Upper Nithsdale; and he is supposed to have been the Donald who, along with Ulric, led the men of Galloway at the battle of the Standard in 1138, and fell in the conflict. His descendants assumed, in the 13th century, the surname of Edgar, from the name of Donald’s son; and they continued, in the 14th century, to hold various lands in Dumfries-shire. During the reign of Robert the Bruce, Richard Edgar possessed the castle and half the barony of Sanquhar, with some adjacent lands; and Donald Edgar obtained from David II. the captainship of the clan MacGowan in Nithsdale.

Sir Thomas Randolph, the first earl of Moray of the name, married Isabel, only daughter of Sir John Stewart of Bonkyl, and with two sons, Thomas, second earl, and John, third earl, had one daughter, Lady Agnes, married to Patrick, ninth earl of Dunbar and March.

Thomas, the eldest son, second earl of Moray of the Randolph family, succeeded his father, 20th July 1332. At that time Edward Baliol had invaded Scotland, and the earl of Moray had a chief command in the army under the earl of Mar, at Duplin, 12th August the same year, and was killed at the first alarm. Dying unmarried, twenty-three days after succeeding to the title, it devolved on his brother, John, third earl and last of the male line of his heroic family. Though quite a youth at the time, he at once took arms in behalf of his youthful sovereign and cousin, David Bruce, and surprised and defeated Baliol at Annan in December 1332. At the battle of Hallidon Hill, 19th July 1333, he commanded the first division of the Scots army, supported by Lord Andrew Fraser and his two brothers, Simon and James. Escaping from the carnage of that dreadful day, he retired to France, where the young king, David II., and his queen, had been sent for security, but returned to Scotland the following year, when he and the high steward were chosen joint regents of the kingdom. He was successful in taking prisoner Comyn, earl of Athol, commander of the English forces in Scotland, but, on his swearing allegiance to David Bruce, he set him at liberty. Comyn, however, disregarding his oath, repaired to the English camp, and resumed his hostilities to his lawful sovereign. The earl of Moray next, in August 1335, with a chosen party, attacked, near Edinburgh, a body of foreign auxiliaries in the service of the English king, under Count Guy of Namur, and forced them to surrender, but escorting the count to the borders, he fell into an ambush and was made prisoner by William de Pressen, warden of Jedburgh. He was confined first at Nottingham, and afterwards in the Tower of London. On 25th July 1340, he was removed to Windsor castle. He was allowed to go to France, and even to visit Scotland, which he did in 1341. The same year he was exchanged for the earl of Salisbury, a prisoner with the French. In February 1342 he invaded England, his sovereign David II. serving as a volunteer under him. At the fatal battle of Durham, 17th October 1346, the earl of Moray, with Douglas, the knight of Liddesdale, commanded the right wing of the Scottish army, and was killed at the first attack of the English. He married his cousin, Isabel, only daughter of Sir Alexander Stewart of Bonkyl, widow of Donald, earl of Mar, slain at Duplin, but had no issue.

On his death, his sister, Lady Agnes, countess of Dunbar and March, commonly called, from her dark complexion, “Black Agnes,” and celebrated in history as the successful defender of the castle of Dunbar in 1337-8, against the earls of Salisbury and Arundel, succeeded to the vast estates of the earldom, and her husband, in her right, assumed the additional title of earl of Moray. The countess died about 1369, leaving two sons, George, tenth earl of Dunbar and March, and John, who became earl of Moray in his mother’s right.

John, second earl of Moray of the Dunbar family, was one of the commissioners sent to endeavour to get Scotland included in the treaty betwixt England and France in 1384, and had 1,000 francs for his share of the money brought by John de Vienne, admiral of France in 1385. He was engaged in the battle of Otterburn in 1388, and according to Buchanan, was the leader of the Scots, after the death of Douglas, although Major says it was the earl of March. By the courtesy of the earl of Moray, Ralph Percy and many of the prisoners were set at liberty, on their word to return when called for. He was one of the guarantees of a treaty with the English, 16th July 1390, and was killed in a tourney with the earl marshal of England in 1394. By his countess, Marjory, eldest daughter of King Robert II., he had, with one daughter, Lady Mabella Dunbar, countess of Sutherland, two sons, Thomas, third earl of Moray of this branch, and Alexander Dunbar of Frendraught, in Banffshire, whose son subsequently succeeded to the earldom.

Thomas, third earl of the Dunbar family, was one of the prisoners taken by the English at the battle of Homildon in Northumberland, 14th September 1402. He had a son, Thomas, fourth earl of Moray, one of the hostages for King James I. when he was permitted to visit Scotland, 31st May 1421, also, for his final liberation, nominated by treaty of 13th December 1423. On the latter occasion his annual revenue was estimated at 1,000 merks. His cousin, James Dunbar of Frendraught, succeeded him in the earldom of Moray. The latter had two daughters. Lady Janet, the elder, became the wife of James, second Lord Crichton, eldest son of Lord-chancellor Crichton, and in 1493 the earl resigned the barony of Frendraught in favour of her grandson, Sir James Crichton, ancestor of Viscount Frendraught, (see FRENDRAUGHT, viscount of). Lady Mary, the younger daughter, married Archibald, third son of James, seventh earl of Douglas, and her husband, through the influence of his brother with the young king, was created earl of Moray, to the prejudice of the husband of the older daughter.

In revenge for the murder of the eighth earl of Douglas by King James II. in Stirling castle, on 13th February 1452, Archibald Douglas, earl of Moray, and others of his friends, burnt the town of Stirling. The earl of Moray had a safe-conduct to pass through England, on his way to Rome, with his brother, James, ninth earl of Douglas, 2d May 1453. The following year he endeavoured to excite a rebellion in the north, but was obliged to take shelter in the Hebrides. Thence he proceeded into Annandale, to join his brother, the earl of Douglas, who, after repeated rebellions, was defeated by his kinsman the earl of Angus, leader of the king’s troops, at Arkinholme in Dumfries-shire, 1st May 1455. In this battle the earl of Moray and the earl of Ormond, brothers of the earl of Douglas, were slain. Six weeks after his decease, namely, on 12th June 1455, the earl of Moray was attainted for fortifying the castles of Lochindore and Tarnan against the king, and other acts of treason, by which attainder the earldom of Moray became vested in the crown.

_____

The next possessor of the earldom of Moray was James Stewart, natural son of King James IV., by Janet, daughter of John Lord Kennedy. It was conferred upon him and the heirs male of his body, by the king his father, by charter, dated 20th June 1501. He was then but two years old. In 1517, when Lord Home was arrested by the regent duke of Albany, and put on his trial, James, earl of Moray, says Calderwood, “accused him chiefely of the slaughter of his father King James; for it was whispered among manie, that the king was not slaine at Floddon field, but one clothed with his apparel, like him in countenance and stature; that he was seen to return through Tweed, and that he was slaine beside Kelso by the Lord Hume’s friends or dependers.” (Hist. of Kirk of Scotland, vol. i. p. 59.) In 1529, the earl was one of the commissioners for treating of peace with the English. In March 1530, he was appointed lieutenant-general of the kingdom, and sent to the borders, to meet the earl of Northumberland at a day of truce; but nothing was done, because they could not agree whether they should meet on Scottish or English ground. The same year he was, with the earl of Argyle, employed against the Island chiefs, having been appointed lieutenant over the north isles, when he declared that he undertook the expedition upon his own expenses, from a desire to forward the king’s service, and to pacify the country, and that he expected no remuneration unless his endeavours were successful. The principal chiefs having given in their submission, the insurrection in the isles was suppressed in the summer of 1351. Soon after, the earl of Argyle presented a complaint to the secret council, against Alexander of Isla, which he did not appear to sustain, but proceeded again to the Isles, in concert with the earl of Moray, for which he was summoned before the king, and imprisoned, while Moray’s conduct on the occasion seems to have given the king great dissatisfaction, if we may judge from an original letter in the State Paper office, dated Newcastle, 27th December 1531, from the earl of Northumberland to Henry VIII., which alludes to “the sore imprisonment of the earl of Argyle, and the little estimation of the earl of Murray,” by the king of Scots.

In 1534, the earl of Moray and Lord Erskine, with the bishop of Aberdeen and one Robert Reid, were sent on an embassy to France, to negotiate the marriage of James V. with a French princess. The earl married Lady Elizabeth Campbell, only daughter of Colin, third earl of Argyle, and had a daughter, Lady Mary Stewart, wife of John, master of Buchan. Dying, without issue male, 14th June 1544, the earldom reverted to the crown, and was conferred on George, fourth earl of Huntly, high-chancellor of Scotland, his heirs and assignees, by charter, dated 13th February 1549. The grant, however, was recalled in 1554.

_____

The earldom of Moray was next bestowed, in 1562, by Queen Mary, on her half-brother, Lord James Stewart, natural son of James V., and afterwards regent of Scotland, assassinated by Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh at Linlithgow in 1570. For a memoir of the regent Moray, see STUART, JAMES, Earl of Moray. He held his titles by a variety of grants, which occasioned perplexity respecting their inheritance. In February 1562 he obtained the charter of the earldom. In January 1564 he had another charter, limiting the succession to heirs male; in June 1566 a third charter was granted to him, throwing open the succession to his heirs general, and in 1567 he obtained from parliament a ratification of the charter of 1563, again limiting the succession to his heirs male. He married Lady Ann Keith, daughter of William, fourth earl Marischal, afterwards countess of Argyle, and had by her two daughters, Lady Elizabeth, countess of Moray, and Lady Margaret, afterwards countess of Errol.

In 1580, James Stuart, eldest son of Lord Doune, and lineally descended from Robert Stuart, duke of Albany, governor of Scotland from 1389 to 1419, received from James VI. The ward and marriage of the two daughters of the regent Moray, and a few days thereafter he married the elder, Lady Elizabeth, and assumed the title of earl of Moray. Thus, on both sides, the first of each that branched from the royal family were regents of Scotland.

Sir James Stewart of Beith, father of Lord Doune, was the third son of Andrew, Lord Avandale. He was gentleman of the bedchamber to James V., and lieutenant of his guards. That sovereign also granted him the custody of Doune castle in Menteith, which afterwards came into the possession of his son. He was killed at Dunblane at Whitsunday 1547, by the Edmonstones of Duntreath, in resentment for the office of steward of Menteith, formerly in their family, having been conferred on him.

His son, Sir James Stewart, Lord Doune, obtained the abbey of St. Colme in commendam. He early joined the Reformation, and was one of the lords of the articles in the Estates of August 1560, when the popish religion was overturned. In 1561 he was sent to England to demand a safe-conduct from Elizabeth for Queen Mary, then about to return to Scotland, and, in the end of the same year, was dispatched as ambassador to France. He was knighted when Lord Darnley was created earl of Ross, 15th May 1565, and appears to have been concerned in the murder of Rizzio, as, among others, he was, by act of privy council 19th March 1566, ordered to be summoned to compeer and answer under pain of rebellion, &c. He joined the association against Mary and Bothwell in June 1567, and attended the coronation of James VI., but on the escape of Mary from Lochleven castle in the following year, he went over to her side, and was in the castle of Edinburgh with the queen’s party in August 1570, when his castle of Doune, a place of prodigious size and strength, was rendered without slaughter to the regent Lennox. Of this celebrated stronghold, Grose has given a view. Several modern views of it have also been printed by Stevenson and others. Appointed a privy councilor by James VI., 11th November 1579, he was created Lord Doune, 24th November 1581. He was collector-general of his majesty’s revenues, and on 23d January 1583, was admitted an extraordinary lord of session, an office which he held for three years. He died 20th January 1590. By his wife, Lady Elizabeth Campbell, eldest daughter of the fourth earl of Argyle, he had, with two daughters, two sons, James, called “the bonny earl of Moray,” and Henry, Lord St. Colme (see ST. COLME, Lord).

The elder son, James Stuart, as the royal surname was usually spelled after Queen Mary’s return from France, was the husband of Lady Elizabeth, the elder daughter of the regent Moray. As his claim to the earldom was doubtful, a charter was given to him in 1592 by James VI. And the Scottish Estates, ratifying to his son all the charters granted to the regent and the Lady Elizabeth. This, as it confirmed both what declared the succession general, and what limited it to heirs male, rendered the entire principle of the family succession inexplicable. The earl, therefore, lost no time in obtaining an entirely new charter to himself and his heirs male. Deemed the handsomest man of his time in Scotland, he is known in history and in song as “the bonny earl of Moray.” His personal attractions and accomplishments are said to have made a deep impression on the heart of the young queen, Anne of Denmark, soon after her coming to Scotland; according to the old ballad:

“He was a braw gallant,
And he played at the gluve;
And the bonny earl of Moray
Oh! He was the queen’s luve.”

Some commendations of his beauty, imprudently but no doubt innocently enough made by her majesty in the king’s hearing, as to the earl’s being “a proper and gallant man,” excited his jealousy, and he granted a commission to the earl of Huntly, to being Moray to his presence. Between these noblemen a deadly feud existed, the earl of Moray having in 1589 joined the combination against Huntly. On the pretence that the earl of Moray had given harbour to the turbulent earl of Bothwell, Huntly, on 7th February 1592, beset his castle of Donibristle in Fife, and summoned him to surrender. A gun being fired from the castle, which mortally wounded one of the Gordons, Huntly’s men set fire to the house. Dunbar, sheriff of Moray, who was with the earl at the time, anxious to save him, said to him, “Let us not stay to be burned in the flaming house. I will go out first, and the Gordons, taking me for your lordship, will kill me, while you escape in the confusion.” He accordingly rushed out, and was at once slain. Moray followed, and fled towards the rocks on the sea-shire, but the silken tassels attached to his skullcap or helmet having caught fire, as he ran out through the flames, betrayed him to his enemies. He was pursued by Sir Thomas Gordon of Cluny, whose brother had been slain at Darnaway two years previously, and Gordon of Gight, and mortally wounded. Having been stabbed in the face, some say by Huntly himself, with his last breath he exclaimed, “You have spoiled a better face than your own.”

“Oh! Lang will his lady
Look ower the castle Doune,
Ere she see the earl of Murray
Come sounding through the toun.”

Huntly departed for the north, and took refuge in the castle of Ravenscraig, belonging to Lord Sinclair, who told him, with a mixture of Scottish caution and hospitality, that he “was welcome to come in, but would have been twice as welcome to have passed by.” The countess dowager of Moray brought the dead bodies of her son and the sheriff of Moray in litters to Leith, to be buried in the aisle of St. Giles’ church at Edinburgh, in the good Regent’s tomb. She caused her son’s picture to be drawn as he lay dead, and presented it to the king “in a fine lane cloth,” with lamentations, and earnest cries for justice; but as Huntly was a favourite at court and personally liked by the king, her cries were little regarded. Tumults took place among the people, not only in the capital but in other parts of the kingdom, on account of the murder, which obliged the king to cancel the commission he had given to Huntly. That nobleman was summoned, at the instance of Lord St. Colme, the brother of the murdered earl, to stand his trial. He accordingly surrendered at Edinburgh, and on the 12th March was committed a prisoner to the castle of blackness. On the 18th a proclamation was issued by the king, prohibited the young earl of Moray from pursuing him for his father’s slaughter, in respect that he was warded in Blackness castle, and willing to abide a trial by his peers, saying that he did nothing but by his majesty’s commission. On giving sufficient surety, however, that he would appear and stand trial, on receiving six days’ notice, he was released by the king on the 20th of the same month.

The feud that subsisted between the families of Huntly and Moray originated in their rival claims to the earldom of Moray, which had been held by Huntly’s grandfather, previously to being conferred on the regent Moray, and there can be no doubt that the chancellor Maitland, and even the king himself, were both concerned in the death of “the bonny earl.” With three daughters, the latter had two sons, James, second earl of Moray, his father being reckoned the first in the present line of succession, and the Hon. Sir Francis Stuart, knight of the Bath, one of the members of the celebrated Mermaid club, founded by Sir Walter Raleigh, to which Shakspere, Ben Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher, and other poets, also belonged.

James, second earl, was in 1601, by the special mediation and appointment of King James VI., reconciled to the murderer of his father, who, two years before, had been created marquis of Huntly, in testimony of which he married Lady Anne Gordon, the marquis’ daughter. He was one of the train of nobles who accompanied the king to London, on his accession to the English throne in 1603, and on 17th April 1611, he obtained a new investiture of the earldom of Moray, to himself and the heirs male of his body, whom failing, to Sir Francis, his brother, with the same limitation.

In 1624 he was engaged in suppressing a formidable insurrection of the clan Chattan against him, an account of which has been given under the head of MACINTOSH. He was one of the chief mourners at the funeral of his father-in-law, the marquis of Huntly, 30th August, 1636. He himself died at his seat of Darnaway, or, more correctly, Tarnaway, in Elginshire, 6th August 1638.

His son, James, third earl, took no part in the civil wars, though a royalist, and died 4th March 1653. by his countess, Lady Margaret Home, elder daughter of the first earl of Home, he had, with four daughters, four sons, namely, 1. James, Lord Doune, who died before his father, unmarried; 2. Alexander, fourth earl; 3. The Hon. Francis Stuart of Culalay, who died unmarried; and 4. The Hon. Archibald Stuart of Dunearn, Fifeshire.

Alexander, fourth earl, was, by Cromwell’s act of grace and indemnity 1654, fined 3,500, for his loyalty. He was admitted justice-general 1st June 1675; appointed a commissioner of the Treasury, 27th September 1678; nominated an extraordinary lord of session 17th July 1680, and on 2d November the same year, succeeded the duke of Lauderdale as secretary of state. Entering readily into the designs of James VII., he was constituted lord-high-commissioner to the Estates in 1686, when it was attempted to obtain toleration for the roman Catholics, and in 1687 he was made a knight of the thistle. At the Revolution the earl was deprived of all his offices, and retiring to his castle of Donibristle, on the northern shore of the Forth, he resided quietly there till his death, 1st November 1700. By his countess, Emilia, daughter of Sir William Balfour of Pitcullo, lieutenant of the Tower of London, he had four sons: 1st, James, Lord Doune, who predeceased his father; 2d. Charles, fifth earl, who was created a baronet of Nova Scotia, 23d September 1681, and died, without issue, 7th October 1735, in his 76th year; 3d. Hon. John Scott, who died November 9th; and 4th, Francis, sixth earl. The latter was one of those who were summoned on suspicion of disaffection during the rebellion of 1715. He held the earldom only four years, dying 11th December 1739, in his 66th year.

His eldest son, James, seventh earl of Moray, born about 1708, was made a knight of the Thistle in 1741. The same year he was elected one of the sixteen Scots representative peers, and afterwards rechosen three times. He died 5th July 1767, in his 59th year. Under the act of 1747, abolishing the heritable jurisdictions in Scotland, he received in all 4,200, in full of his claim of 14,000, namely, for the sheriffship of Moray, 3,000, and for the stewartry of Menteith, 1,200.

His son, Francis, 8th earl, born Jan. 11, 1737, made extensive improvements on his estates. In 1767 and 1768 he planted at Darnaway, Doune, and Donibristle, upwards of 13 millions of trees, of which 1,449.660 were oaks. At the general election of 1784 and in 1790, he was chosen a Scots representative peer, and on May 28, 1796, was created a British peer by the title of Baron Stuart of Castle Stuart, in the county of Inverness, to himself and the heirs male of his body. He died Aug. 28, 1810, aged 74. With 4 daughters, he had 5 sons. The two eldest sons died young.

Francis, the 3d son, became 9th earl. Born at Edinburgh Feb. 2, 1771, he died Jan. 10, 1848. He raised an independent company of foot, which was disbanded in 1791. He was twice married, 1st, to Lucy, 2d daughter of Major-general John Scott of Balcomie, Fifeshire, M.P.; and, 2dly, to his cousin, Margaret Jane, daughter of Sir Philip Ainslie, knight of Pilton, Mid Lothian. By the former he had two sons, Francis, Lord Doune, born in 1795; and the Hon. John Stuart. By the latter he had 4 sons and 4 daughters.

Francis, 10th earl, born Nov. 7, 1795, died unmarried May 6, 1859, when his brother, the Hon. John Stuart of Borland, born January 25, 1797, a captain in the army, succeeded as 11th earl. His surviving brothers’ names are Hon. Archibald George, born in 1810, and Hon. George, born in 1814.

_____

MORAY, a surname, originally Murreff, now MURRAY, which see. The acknowledged chieftainship of the great family of this name is vested in Moray-Stirling of Abercairny, and Ardoch, both in Perthshire, descended from one Freskine, a Fleming, who settled in Scotland in the reign of David I. (1122-1153), and acquired from that monarch the lands of Strathbrock in Linlithgowshire, and of Duffus in Moray. In 1158 he was succeeded by his elder son, William. His younger son, Hugh, was the ancestor of the earls of Sutherland (see SUTHERLAND, Earl of). William’s elder son, also called William, succeeded his father in 1200. He assumed the name of William de Moravia, having extensive estates and great local influence in the province of Moray. He married the daughter and heiress of David de Olifard, son of Walter de Olifard, justiciary of Lothian, who died in 1242, and acquired with her the lands of Bothwell and Drumsargard, on Lanarkshire, and Smailholm in Berwickshire. Drumsargard, anciently Drumshargat, is now called Cambuslang, and forms a part of the entailed estate of the duke of Hamilton. Besides Sir Walter, his heir, he had several sons, who, says Chalmers, “propagated the name of Moray, by founding other houses, one of which was the Murrays of Tullibardine, now represented by the duke of Athol.” Sir Walter succeeded in 1226 to the family estates, and was the first of the name designated of Bothwell. He died in 1284. He had married a daughter of Malcolm, earl of Fife, a marriage which enabled his descendant in the fifth degree to plead the privileges of that family. His elder son, Sir William de Moravia, dominus de Bothwell, was, by Alexander III., appointed hereditarius panitarius Scotiae, an office similar to that of the great master of the household in modern times. He was one of the magnates of Scotland who were summoned to Berwick as an auditor of the claims to the crown of Bruce and Baliol. He died without issue in 1293.

His brother, Sir Andrew Moray of Bothwell, the celebrated patriot, succeeded him. He was one of the first to join Wallace, when he reared the standard of national independence. Among the barons who swore fealty to Edward I. in 1292 and 1296, whose names appear in the Ragman Roll, there are no less than 17 named Moray, Murreff, or Moravia. But Sir Andrew Moray of Bothwell is not found amongst them. Of all the barons of Scotland, he and Sir William Wallace form the exceptions. There is an Andrew Moray in the roll, but that name was a common one at that time, and the statement in Douglas’ Peerage that it was the lord of Bothwell, is a mistake. In 1297, when Wallace was basely deserted by the leaders of the Scots at Irvine, Sir Andrew Moray alone remained faithful to him. He fell at the battle of Stirling, 13th September that year, being the only person of distinction slain on the Scottish side. This was the most complete victory which Wallace ever gained in a regularly fought field, yet, such was his modesty that he allowed the name of Sir Andrew Moray to stand before his own as the leader of the Scottish army. By his wife, a daughter of Sir John Cumyn, lord of Badenoch, the lord of Bothwell had two sons, Sir Andrew, his successor, and Sir William Moray of Drumsargard, from whom the Morays of Abercairny are lineally descended.

Sir Andrew Moray of Bothwell, the elder son, was, when very young, joined in command with Sir William Wallace (Hailes’ Annals, vol. ii. p. 212), when he invaded England, soon after the battle of Stirling, and his name takes precedence of Wallace’s in the protection granted to the canons of Hexham, in Northumberland, by which the priory and convent were admitted under the peace of the king of Scotland, and all persons prohibited, on pain of death, from doing them injury. Hemingford has inserted in his history a copy of this remarkable document, which is still extant, and is dated Hexham, 8th November 1297.

Sir Andrew Moray afterwards joined the standard of Bruce, and adhered to him under every change of fortune. His faithful services were rewarded by his receiving in marriage, in 1326, in the abbey of Cambuskenneth, the king’s sister, the Lady Christian Bruce, widow of Gratney earl of Mar and of Sir Christopher Seton. The lordship of Bothwell had by Edward I. been given to Aymer de Vallence, earl of Pembroke, whom he had appointed his governor of the south part of Scotland, but upon his forfeiture it was restored by Robert the Bruce to Sir Andrew Moray. After the fatal battle of Duplin, 12th August 1332, and the coronation of Edward Baliol as king at Scone, on the 24th September, Bruce’s party chose Sir Andrew Moray regent of the kingdom. One of his first acts was to send the young king, David II., and his queen, for safety to France. Early in the following year he attempted to surprise Baliol in Roxburgh castle, but was unfortunately taken prisoner. One of his soldiers, named Ralph Golding, having advanced before his companions, was thrown to the ground. The regent generously attempted to rescue him, but not being promptly supported by his followers, he fell into the power of his enemies. Disdaining to surrender to Baliol, he cried out, “I yield to the king of England; conduct me to him.” He was conveyed to Edward at Durham, and detained in close custody, but, the following year, he either escaped, or was set at liberty. His return to Scotland infused new spirit into the national party, and he was even joined by some of the English malcontents. Marching into Buchan, at the head of a considerable force, he laid siege to the castle of Dundarg, then held by Henry de Beaumont, one of Baliol’s adherents, whom he compelled to capitulate.

In 1335, when Cumyn, earl of Athol, whom the English faction had made governor of Scotland under Baliol, was besieging the castle of Kildrummie, which was then under the charge of Lady Christian Bruce, the wife of Sir Andrew Moray, he was attacked by the latter and others of the loyal nobility, defeated and slain, 30th September that year. Sir Andrew Moray was, thereafter, at a meeting of the Estates held at Dunfermline, re-elected regent.

In the summer of 1336, Edward II. again invaded Scotland, and wasted the country wherever he went, when the Scots, remembering the lessons of the good king Robert, had recourse to a sort of guerilla warfare, taking refuge in forests and morasses, where the English could not follow them. On Edward’s departure, Sir Andrew Moray issued from his fastnesses, and laid siege to the castle of Stirling. Edward hastened to its relief, when the regent retiring to the north, made himself master of the castle of Dunnottar, in Kincardineshire, which Edward had refortified in his progress through Scotland. He also took the castles of Laurieston, in the same county, and Kinclaven, in Perthshire, and during the following winter, he harassed the Mearns and Angus. The tower of Falkland he likewise wrested from the English, and in February 1337, assisted by the earls of Fife and March, he got possession, after a siege of three weeks, of both the town and castle of St. Andrews. In this siege he is said to have employed very powerful battering machines, from some of which stones weighing 200 pounds were thrown at the walls. Following the plan of the great Bruce, Moray entirely razed and destroyed these castles. At the same time he besieged the castle of Cupar, which was defended by William Bulloch, a warlike ecclesiastic, whom Baliol, the vassal king, had created chamberlain of Scotland and governor of the castles of St. Andrews and Cupar. Finding it impossible to make any impression on this strong fortress, the regent was obliged to raise the siege. In March he took his own castle of Bothwell, and attempted to reduce the castle of Edinburgh, but did not succeed. He subdued, however, the whole of Lothian, and invaded Cumberland. In 1338 Sir Andrew Moray, worn out with the fatigues of the constant warfare in which he had been engaged, died at his castle of Avoch in Ross, respected and lamented by all true Scotsmen, and was buried in the abbey of Dunfermline, where Bruce and Randolph had been already interred. He had two sons, John Moray, lord of Bothwell, and planetarium Scotiae, who died in 1352, without issue, and Thomas, who succeeded his brother.

In 1351, Thomas Moray, who, the following year, became lord of Bothwell, was one of the seven hostages sent to England, when David II., then a prisoner, was permitted to visit his dominions. In 1357 he was one of the commissioners appointed to treat with the English for David’s release. He was also one of the eight great lords of whom three were to place themselves in the hands of the English, in security of the conditions being fulfilled on which the Scots monarch was liberated. He accordingly went to England, and died o the plague in London about Michaelmas 1361. He left an only child, Jean, his sole heiress, who married Archibald the Grim, lord of Galloway and third earl of Douglas.

_____

The Abercairny family are lineally descended from William, second son of the patriot, Sir Andrew Moray of Bothwell, and younger brother of the regent of the same name. From his uncle and godfather he got the lands and barony of Drumsargard, part of the barony of Bothwell. In a letter to King Edward I., dated in 1290, and signed by a great number of the Scots nobility, concerning a marriage between the ‘Maiden of Norway,’ the infant queen of Scotland, and Prince Edward of England, William de Moreff de Drumsargard is one (Rymer’s Faedera, vol. ii. p. 471). His name appears in the Ragman Roll, as having sworn fealty to Edward I. in 1296. He died about 1300, and was succeeded by his son, Sir John Moray de Drumsargard, a personage of great power and authority in his time. He married in 1299, the Lady Mary, only daughter of Malise, earl of Strathern, and with her acquired the lands of Abercairny and Ogilvy in Perthshire. He had three sons; 1. Maurice, created earl of Strathern, 9th February1333, and slain at the battle of Durham in 1346, without issue; 2. Sir Alexander Moray of Drumsargard, Ogilvy and Abercairny, who carried on the line of the family; and, 3. Walter, ancestor of the Murrays of Ogilface, in Stirlingshire, a family now extinct.

Sir Alexander Moray, the second son, was retoured heir to his paternal inheritance in 1349. On the death of Thomas, last lord of Bothwell, without male issue in 1366, he claimed the succession to his honours and estate, being his cousin and next heir male; but was unable to recover them from the earl of Douglas, the husband of Thomas’ daughter. “The power of the Douglases,” says the Baronage (p. 100), “being then very great, he found it impossible for him to get justice in the ordinary courts of judicature; yea, their influence was then so universal that he could not get lawyers to plead his cause.” He, therefore, resigned the lands and barony of Drumsargard to his brother, Walter, and removed to Perthshire, where he settled, and where his posterity have resided ever since. In 1397 he had the misfortune to be concerned in the slaughter of one Spalding, and was obliged to plead the privilege of the clan Macduff, as being within the ninth degree of consanguinity to the noble family of fife, and the privilege was granted to him. He died, at an advanced age, in the beginning of the reign of James I. By his wife, Lady Janet, daughter of William, earl of Ross, and sister of Queen Euphemia, relict of the baron of Monymusk, he had a son, Sir Andrew Moray of Abercairny and Ogilvy. This gentleman was knighted by James II. He had a son, Sir Humphry Moray, who succeeded his father in the beginning of the reign of James III. His son, Andrew Moray of Bothwell, married a daughter of Robertson of Strowan, and was killed at Flodden, with his eldest son, George, in September 1513. This son had married Agnes, a daughter of the illustrious house of Lindsay, and had a son, John Moray, who succeeded his grandfather, and was slain at Pinkie in 1547. By his wife, who was his own cousin, Lady Nicholas Graham, daughter of William, earl of Montrose, he had, with six daughters, three sons.

His eldest son, William Moray of Abercairny, died in 1558, without issue, and was succeeded by his brother, Robert, who married, in 1560, Catherine, daughter of William Murray of Tullibardine, progenitor of the dukes of Athol, and, with two daughters, had six sons.

The second son was the celebrated poet and scholar, Sir David Moray of Gorthy, keeper of the privy purse to Prince Henry, eldest son of James VI., “thereunto appointed by his highness’ speciall dyrreicon and commandemente.” He was the author of a very rare volume of poems, dedicated to Prince Henry, entitled ‘The Tragicall Death of Sophonisba, written by David Murray, Scoto-Brittaine, printed by John Smethwick, in Saint Dunstan’s Churchyard, in Fleet Street, 1611;’ to which is added, ‘Coelia, containing certain Sonets and small Poems.’ This volume, with a few other pieces by Sir David, was reprinted in 1823, for the Bannatyne Club, the editor of which reprint erroneously describes the author as having been tutor to Prince Henry, instead of keeper of his privy purse. The work itself is so very scarce that, at the sale of Mr. Finlay’s library, an original edition of Sophonisba sold for no less a sum that thirty-two guineas. Among the commendatory tributes prefixed, there is one from John Murray, a cousin of the author, and another by Drayton. Prince Henry died November 6, 1612, and Sir David attended his funeral, sitting in a chariot at the feet of the “lively effigy,” or figure, which represented the dead prince lying in state. What became of him afterwards is not known. We learn from a rare tract of four pages, preserved in the university library at Edinburgh, among the books presented by Drummond of Hawthornden, that, in 1615, he published at Edinburgh, a paraphrase of the 104th Psalm, and that in 1616 he addressed an elegant sonnet to his friend Drummond. His poetry is praised for the easiness of the versification, and the more than customary purity of the language.

The third son, Sir Mungo Moray of Craigie, had, by his wife, a daughter of George Halket of Pitfirrane, two sons, namely, 1st, Sir Robert Moray, lord-justice-clerk and president of the Royal Society, of whom a memoir is given under the head of MURRAY, below; and 2d, Sir William Moray of Dreghorn, master of the works to Charles II.

The fourth son was the Rev. John Murray, at first minister at Borthwick, where he was for seven years. Thence he was translated to Leith, at the earnest suit of the people thereof. Hi was a great opposer of the bishops, and on 25th February 1608, after being four years and a half in Leith, he was summoned to appear before the council, to answer for a sermon preached by him, on Galatians v. 1, at a synodal assembly at Edinburgh, as moderator of the preceding synod, wherein he inveighed against the avarice and ambition of some of the prelates. This sermon was printed at London without his knowledge, he having given a written copy of it to a friend who had requested it of him. He acknowledged it to be his, but gave in a general answer to the council, which in effect was a declinature of their jurisdiction, in the form of a supplication that the matter might be remitted to his own ecclesiastical superiors. Although favourably dismissed from the council, he was, at the instigation of the bishops, apprehended on a warrant from the king, and put in ward in the castle of Edinburgh. After being detained there a year, he was removed to Newabbey near Dumfries, and ordered to confine himself within four miles of that place. His charge at Leith was declared vacant, and Mr. David Lindsay inducted there in his stead. He remained at Dumfries about a year and a half, preaching either there or at the kirk of Traquair, on the other side of the Nith, and then went with his wife and children to Dysart in Fife, where he remained privately half-a-year. Removing to Prestonpans, then called Saltpreston, he resumed his public preaching. In 1617, at the urgent request of the parishioners and the presbytery, he was placed at Dunfermline. On the 17th December 1621, he was summoned by the bishop of St. Andrews to appear before the high commission, and answer for not conforming to the five acts of Perth, and as he paid no attention to the summons, though twice cited, he was removed from Dunfermline, and ordered to confine himself within the parish of Foulis in Strathern.

The fifth son, Captain Andrew Murray, and the sixty, who was named James, both died without issue.

The eldest son, Sir William, succeeded his father in 1594. Being about the same age as James VI., he was brought up with him at Stirling, his majesty being then under the charge of the old countess of Mar, Abercairny’s aunt of the mother’s side. He was knighted by the king and appointed master of the horse to the queen. He lived mostly at court, both in Scotland and after James’ accession to the crown of England, and died in 1640, leaving his estate greatly encumbered with debt. He had a son, Robert, who predeceased him in 1628, and left two sons, William and David.

William, Robert’s elder son, succeeded his grandfather, and was a great loyalist, but died while still a young man, in 1642. His eldest son, Sir Robert Moray of Abercairny, born in 1636, was, immediately after the Restoration, knighted by Charles II. He died in April 1704, in his 68th year. With two daughters, he had five sons, namely, 1st, William, his heir; 2d, Robert, who was so strongly attached to the interests of the Stuart family that he waited upon James VII., after his expatriation, at St. Germains, and was by him, it is said, intrusted with some commission of importance to his adherents in Scotland. 3d, Captain John Moray, who, after the Revolution, went into the French service, and rose to the rank of lieutenant-colonel. After the accession of Queen Anne, he and Captain James Murray, brother of Sir David Murray of Stanhope, were by the exiled family at St. Germains, sent over to Scotland, under the protection of her majesty’s indemnity, as a check upon Simon Fraser of Beaufort, afterwards the celebrated Lord Lovat, and to sound the dispositions of the people. He died, unmarried, in 1710. 4th, James, and 5th, Maurice, both died young and unmarried.

The eldest son, William Moray of Abercairny, greatly improved his paternal estate, and entirely relieved it from all the encumbrances upon it. He died in 1735. By his wife, a daughter of Graham of Balnagowan, he had a son and two daughters. His only son, James, had, with four daughters, two sons, Alexander and Charles, who both inherited the estate. The latter, Colonel Charles Moray of Abercairny, married the eldest daughter and heiress of Sir William Stirling, baronet of Ardoch, and died in 1810. With five daughters, he had three sons. James, the eldest son, succeeded him. He was a magistrate and deputy-lieutenant of Perthshire; captain, 15th hussars, and subsequently lieutenant-colonel of the Perthshire local militia. He died, without issue, in December 1840, and was succeeded by his brother, Major William Moray-Stirling of Abercairny and Ardoch. He married the Hon. Fanny Douglas, daughter of Archibald, Lord Douglas, and served for a long period in the army. He was ten years in India, and was severely wounded at Waterloo. He succeeded his mother in Ardoch, when he assumed the additional name of Stirling.


The contribution for this evening was by Mr D. Murray Rose, and entitled “ The de Moravia Family.”

NOTES ON THE FAMILY OF DE MORAVIA, OR MORAY.

Part I.

Family history has been a feature in the Transactions of the Gaelic Society, and it is proposed to-night to give the Jesuit of some gleanings in the genealogy of a race whose name looms largely in the early northern records. The pedigree of the Morays has had a strange fascination for antiquaries; and although cultured scholars have made a special study of it, yet comparatively little is known of the origin of this wide-spread and potent house. This is due in a great measure to the paucity of authentic documents relating to the dim and distant past. The perplexing mystery is that at the very dawn of the historic period the ancestors of the Morays appear on record as nobles of vast possessions. One of them bore the strange name of Freskin, and all we know about him is that he held estates in Moray and Linlithgow. From him descend families famous in Scottish story—the great houses of Sutherland, Moray of Duffus, and Bothwell. There is also good ground for suspecting that the illustrious Douglases —an able, wild, and unscrupulous race, whose grandeur and tragic history is unmatched in European annals—were of the same origin as the Morays. Freskin on this account acquired great importance in the eyes of students of family history. But all efforts to discover his parentage have hitherto been unavailing. One can only say, in the words of Tiberius, that he “ seems to be a man sprung from himself.” It is now improbable that any one can tell us “ who was the first mean, man of the race that did raise himself above the vulgar/' In the case of other great families genealogists seemed never at a loss; indeed they could trace pedigrees back to an antediluvian period, and, moreover, could tell usy with supernatural precision, the doings, marriages, and offspring of men who lived in Scotland centuries before Christ’s time 1 It is ta the credit of the Morays that they despised ancestry of such a kind. Like Lady Clara Vere de Vere, they could afford to smile at other claims of long descent, and remained content with the mysterious Freskin, a man who lived seven and a-half centuries ago. But Scottish genealogists unsatisfied with such a splendid lineage, wished to know this remarkable family “ in the fountain—not in the stream.” Above all, they particularly desired to know something of the worthy who in bygone ages lived to build—not boast a generous race. Little wonder then that so many conflicting surmises have been made respecting Freskin, who has been erroneously regarded as-ancestor of all Morays. His exact position in the pedigree remains unravelled, so that it may be interesting to consider the arguments adduced as to whether he was a Sutherland, or Moray chief, or a Flemish adventurer.

The fact that Freskin held estates in Moray is discounted by his possession of Strathbroc, now Uphall, in Linlithgow, during the reign of David I. This is really the sum total of our knowledge regarding him, substantiated by charters-Some writers, Skene among the number, held a very decided opinion as to his being of native Moravian descent—thus confirming the traditionary origin assigned to him by the historian of the Kilravock Family. On the other hand, writers, such as the late Cosmo Innes, questioned this theory on the ground that Freskin’s descendants “ never either for profit, or honour, asserted such a descent, nor pushed their patronymic pedigree higher than this marked ancestor.” Freskin’s possession of Strathbroc had great influence with Innes, for, he asks, “If they were of native, or Morayshire, descent, how do we find them having their earliest descent in Linlithgow?’ Another point inclined this erudite scholar to doubt the Moravian theory. He found Berowald the Fleming as the neighbour and friend of Freskin’s son—a circumstance which led him to suppose that both families were recent settlers. Yet he cautiously declined to commit himself to the Flemish descent as advocated by the author of “Caledonia.” Chalmers, he says, was “building it would seem on no other foundation than the peculiarity of the name, which he perhaps interpreted to mean a native of Frisia.” Elsewhere he writes, regarding the theory of Chalmers, “I doubt whether he had any better proof than the sound of his name, which has a Frisican air about it. I think it is quite possible he might be a foreigner, or a Frieslander, but it is rather too much to state it as a certainty.”

Freskin’s connection with Strathbroc is one of the problems awaiting solution; it is possibly a point which can never be elucidated. But having in view the troubled condition of Morayland at this period, it is not at all unlikely that the family temporarily lost their northern possessions, and had a compensating grant in the south. Indeed the tradition is that of the natives of Moray, the family of Freskin remained loyal, and were rewarded at “the dispersion of the Moravii.” Historians tell us that a system of transplantation was vigorously pursued by the Scots Kings, and Fordun alleges that King Malcolm “ removed all the inhabitants from the land of their birth .... and scattered them throughout other districts of Scotland, both beyond the hills and on this side thereof, so that not even a native of that land abode there.” This is certainly too sweeping; the recent British operations in South Africa, with the aid of a quarter of a million men, and all modern resources, prove how tremendous such a task would be in remote times. But apart from this, the Morays were related by marriage to a Lothian family, and the point might be solved did we know the exact relationship between the Morays and the Lundons, as indicated in the “Register of Newbattle.” There John de Moravia appears as son of John of Lundon—proof that from this family there apparently sprung a race of Morays, though probably of illegitimate birth. Why a son of Lundon should be distinguished as “of Moray” may be matter for speculation. It, however, militates against the hitherto accepted theory that all Morays descend from Freskin.

The Freskin mystery deepens when we consider that his son Hugh was owner of Sutherland. The late Sir William Fraser, in his “Sutherland Book,” writes, in relation to this point, that “Freskin may have held the territory, insecurely perhaps, but fortified therein by his large possessions in Morayshire, which were more under control. And this may account for the Morayshire lands passing apparently to the younger son of Freskin, the more extensive property in Sutherland being held by the elder. That the Norwegian Sagas, or historians, do not take notice of Freskin and his family does not affect the question, as they preserve to us no names of native chiefs, or rulers, except two who seem to have favoured the invaders.” *Lord Hailes, who was familiar with the Sutherland pedigree, suggested that Freskiri’s family had a grant of Sutherland on the forfeiture of Earl Harold Maddadson. It is not clear, however, that Harold was forfeited at all.

In endeavouring to ascertain the origin of the family, it is impossible to overlook the evidence afforded by the surname of Freskin's descendants. This surely would give us the most reliable clue; in most instances it is held to indicate fairly accurately the original habitat, trade or profession of the founder of a family. But in the case of the Morays they are informed that their surname was assumed on account of extensive grants in the district. Hence the suggestion that their ancestors, being of a grasping nature, did not follow the invariable custom in Scotland and take the name of their particular estates. “De Duffus,” or “de Strathbroc,” had probably a less lordly ring than “ de Moravia ”; so Freskin’s descendants grabbed the name of a great province! Yet, when we .consider the insignificance of their estates compared with the enormous stretch of territory over which the ancient Mormaers and Earls of Moray held sway, the theory seems unsatisfactory. It does not suffice to say, like Cosmo Innes, that the family never claimed descent from the ancient lords of Moray, because none of the old pedigrees, if any existed, have come down to us. Indeed, it may be suggested that if one of the ancient barons were asked about his pedigree, he would probably reply in the words of the Due d’Abrantes: I know nothing about it; I am my own ancestor.” But does the absence of such claims surprise one when it is remembered that, time and again, the rulers of Moray matched themselves in battle array against the royal house, with disastrous results? There was, without doubt, a potent reason for the assumption of the name of de Moravia, and it is only natural to conclude that it commemorates the family connection with the ancient rulers of the province. The surname of the Rosses and others, who became known under their ancestral title, is a case in point. Had Freskin been of Flemish origin, or of other than the ruling stock of Moray, his descendants would become known as “de Duffus” or “de Strathbroc,” just in the same way as the Innes, Brodie, Calder, or Dallas families derived their surnames from their lands.

These controversial points indicate some of the difficulties encountered in attempting the elucidation of the Moravian pedigree. It has perplexed genealogists in the past, and will probably continue to do so. But a matter which merits consideration, at this stage, is the appearance on record of a de Moravia who belongs to a generation earlier than Freskin. This “ancient of the olden time ” was Alexander de Moravia, father of Murdac, who was father of Bishop Gilbert of Caithness and his brother, Sir Richard of Culbin. The Morays of Culbin, with the aid of the Registers of Dunfermline (p. 195) and St Andrews (pp. 109, 260, 340), can be traced to a more remote antiquity than any other branch. Every link in their splendid lineage is capable of proof, in the direct male line, back to about 1120, and taking the female line—that of Lascelles—it can still be extended four more generations! But the barons of Culbin were not descended from Freskin.

Alexander de Moravia must now become the centre of attraction to genealogists, on account of the close relationship which existed between his descendants and those of Freskin. It is somewhat curious that Sir Robert Gordon, in the original MS. of his “Earldom of Sutherland,” should place an Alexander as first Earl of Sutherland. In the MS. printed in 1813i Alexander is discarded in favour of Walter as first, and Robert as second Earl. It is abundantly clear that Sir. Robert, groping about amid so much uncertainty, found evidence of an Alexander as a remote ancestor, yet for some reason he substituted Walter, of whom there is no record. It may be a mere coincidence, but still a strange one, that Sir Robert should place Hugh Freskin as third of the family in possession of Sutherland, and it is impossible to resist the conclusion that in Alexander de Moravia  we have the real ancestor of the Alexander de Moravia may helve been son of King Duncan II., who probably was Earl of Moray before he became King in 10P4. King Duncan i& held to be father of William Fitz Duncan of Egremont. English records prove that this William’s father was Earl of Moray, so that Alexander de Moravia was doubtless identical with Alexander, nephew of King Alexander I. great houses of Sutherland, Duffus, Both well, Culbin, Drum-sargard, Atholl, and others.

Every genealogist who has written about the Morays agrees that Bishop Gilbert and his brothers were nephews of Hugh Freskin. The “Register of Dunfermline” makes it perfectly clear that they could only have been cousins. In a brochure on the “Ancestry of St Gilbert of Dornoch” the suggestion is made that Alexander de Moravia may have been father of Freskin as well as of Murdac. This seems the only feasible solution, yet it would be hazardous to adopt it on the evidence at present available. But we need not despair of obtaining satisfactory documentary proofs, seeing that a deed of the period, relating to Caithness, was recently sold in London. As an elaborate account of the Sutherland family has been lately printed, it would be out of place to deal here, save very briefly,- with the most northerly branch of Freskin’s descendants.

Line of Sutherland.

Freskin, so far as is known, had three sons, whose seniority has been matter of debate between Innes, Riddell, Stuart, and others, but the point may be regarded as settled. The sons were—Hugh, founder of the Sutherlands; William of Duffus; and Andrew, who is possibly identical with the Andrew de Moravia who appears in Border charters, and probably became ancestor of southern Morays whose origin is unknown.

Hugh, son of Freskin, was undoubtedly owner of Sutherland, and first appears on record about 1152 as witness to a charter of a Midlothian church. On more than one occasion he is a witness with his brother William, who takes precedence of him in the charter of Strathisla to the Abbey of Kinloss. Yet William's charter of Garntuly, or Gartly, may be held to be decisive on the question of seniority, for therein William styles Hugh “domino meo et fratre meo.” This charter, confirmed more than two and a-half centuries after it was granted, has been overlooked by genealogists. It settles that William was the younger, and proves the value of heraldry in sometimes clearing an obscure point in genealogy for heralds,

The fact should not be overlooked that in the “Cartulaire de St. Bertin" p. 435, we find a witness, Tarold, son of Osbem de Freschenis, and that about 1131 we find mention made of William de Freschenis in Henry I.’s charter to the Abbey of St. George de Bocherville. But Freskin could not be son of this William. with the seals of both branches before them? unhesitatingly declared that Moray of Duffus and Both well was junior to Sutherland, in spite of Riddell's assertion to the contrary. The deed is important for another reason, because it evidently dates from a period before Bishop Gilbert obtained Church preferment, there being no reference to his being an ecclesiastic. Gilbert afterwards became famous as a saint and performer of miracles, and obtained from Hugh Freskin a grant of the lands of Skelbo, Invershin, and others.7 Such a lordly gift has hitherto been unexplained, but viewed in the light that they were probably sons of brothers—Gilbert representing the senior forfeited (?) line—the explanation is simple. Gilbert conveyed the barony of Skelbo to his brother, Richard of Culbin, who received confirmation thereof from King Alexander II. about 1235. It is these early writs of Skelbo which prove that Hugh Freskin was succeeded by his son and lieir, William.

This William is accounted the first authentic Earl of 'Sutherland; but, strictly speaking, we have no direct confirmatory evidence, save that he is styled Earl in the record of bis disagreement with the Bishops of Caithness. His son and heir, William, 2nd Earl of Sutherland, of. the Freskin line, is referred to in the “ Exchequer Rolls ” 8 in connection with fines levied from his earldom. It may be that he inherited the old turbulence of the Moravians, although it is more probable that the Norwegians compelled him, in their southward expedition, to overt acts of treason against his sovereign. He came to an amicable agreement with the Bishop of Caithness regarding the lands in dispute between the Church and the Earl, and so satisfactory was the arrangement that he became a munificent benefactor of the bishopric. He lived through the stirring times of the struggle for Scottish independence, but did not act a patriotic part. Although he pledged himself to support the Brus claims to the Scots throne, lie hesitated; and even took the oath of fealty to Edward. He also rendered assistance to the English officials in the north, as is proved by a letter of thanks “ for his good faith and good will so often shown.”9 Edward was not one to shower compliments without adequate reason, so we may be=' sure that the Earl's services were of real advantage. He died, in 1307, when a grant of the ward of William, his son and heir, was given to John, younger son of William Earl of Ross.

William, third Earl of Sutherland, succeeded while still a. minor, and followed the unpatriotic conduct of his father.. At all events, Robert Brus bitterly resented the attitude of the northern magnates, and came to the borders of Sutherland,, early in 1308, vowing vengeance, threatening to destroy the whole district. Earl William is said to have fought at Bannockburn; but of this there is no evidence, and his most-important act was probably in connection with the famous letter sent by the nobles of Scotland to the Pope in 1320. He died about 1330, and was succeeded by his brother—

Kenneth, fourth Earl, who may be regarded as one of the few men of action produced by the Moray line of Sutherland. This Earl fell at Halidon Hill while gallantly leading his men against the English. In the time of Kenneth's son, William,, fifth Earl, the line of Freskin attained its zenith. William's brilliant alliance with the daughter of King Robert Brus brought into the family a vast extent of territory, which, however, reverted to the Crown through the death of the Princess Margaret's only son, John, Master of Sutherland. According to Bower, this John died at Lincoln, on 8th September, 1361, while a hostage for his uncle, David II. As he died without issue, the royal descent claimed for the Sutherland family becomes untenable. By this time the line of Hugh Freskin had dropped the surname of de Moravia, and its cadets became known as Sutherlands.

It was probably Robert, the sixth Earl, who figures in the* pages of Froissart, for the Earls John and Nicolas, of Sir Robert Gordon, are as mythical as the black deeds ascribed to one of them. Three Johns in succession follow Robert; the seventh and the eighth earls did little to advance the family reputation; they left their kinsmen, the Morays of Culbin, Pulrossie, and Aberscross, to fight their battles. John, the* ninth and last Earl of the line, became hopelessly insane, and his sister Elizabeth brought the Earldom and lands into the Gordon family, by marriage with Adam Gordon, lord o Aboyne.

Line of Duffus.

Having thus followed the fortunes of the elder line, let u& return to William, the younger son of Freskin. The cultured Sheriff Rampini asserts that Andrew, son of Freskin, was ancestor of Duffus. The grounds upon which he bases this conclusion are not apparent, but it is in direct contradiction of the pedigree as hitherto understood. The statement may be a printer's error, because it is impossible to controvert the evidence afforded by King William the Lion's charter, which confirmed William, son of Freskin, in the lands of Strathbroc, Duffus, Bose Isle, etc., which lands his father, Freskin, held in the ' time of the King s grandfather, David. U The late Cosmo Innes placed Hugh of Sutherland as eldest of the brothers, but this was disputed by Riddell, who endeavoured to prove, in his “ Stewartiana,” that William was senior because he succeeded to Strathbroc and Duffus—the only lands with which Freskin, their father, appears connected in records. Riddell held that if Freskin acquired Sutherland, or inherited it, the eldest son naturally succeeded in the most extensive domain. But if Hugh Freskin himself acquired the northern estate by grant, as alleged, then the presumption is in favour of William being senior. Various writers have sided with either of these two, yet, as has been noted, the acquisition of Sutherland is one of the mysteries. In the brochure on St Gilbert, already referred to, the suggestion is made that “ Alexander de Moravia may have married a Sutherland heiress who outlived her sons (Freskin and Murdoc?), and bestowed her lands' on her grandson—the younger child of her first born/’ From the evidence afforded by William's charter of Gartly, which was overlooked, it is quite clear that Hugh, son of Freskin, was senior, although he did not always take precedence.

William, son of Freskin, was witness to the charter of Innes, in favour of Berowald the Fleming, about 1160, and his name appears several times in deeds recorded in the “Register of Moray.” In his charter of the “Forest of Garnetullach,” or Gartly, to Simon (? afterwards of Gartly)-and Waldein, his cousin (? after of Garviaugh), recorded so late as 5th August, 1452, William styles his brother Hugh “domino meo et fratre meo.” A special interest attaches to the witnesses of this important document: they are Pat de Polloc; William, son of Wiseman; Edward of Lamman* bridge; 12 Robert, son of William, and grandson of the .granter; John de Moravia, Gilbert and Simon, his brothers.1^ William, son of Freskin, held the important office of sheriff of Nairn, as noted by Robertson in his “Index of Missing Charters,” where he refers to a roll containing William's •account as sheriff in 1204. He had three sons—Hugh of Duffus, William of Bocharm, Croy, and Petty, and Andrew, parson of Duffus.

Hugh, who became known as Hugh de Moravia of Duffus, appears as witness with his father in several of Bang William's charters. He is also witness to the charter by which his brother William conveyed the Church of Arndilly to the Church of the Holy Trinity of Spynie. Hugh acquired a reputation for sanctity, probably, as Innes suggests, on account of his benefactions to the Church. Hugh was dead before 9th October, 1226. So far as can be ascertained, he had only two sons, Walter and Andrew.

Walter de Moravia, Knight, Lord of Duffus, succeeded before 1226, when he is mentioned in an agreement between his kinsman, William of Petty, and the Bishop of Moray. The surname of his wife is unknown, but from the fact that she bore the Christian name of Euphemia, it is not improbable that she was, as Innes concluded, a daughter of Ferchar Earl of Ross.1 Another thing that points in the same direction is the possession of Clyne, near Dingwall, as her dowry lands, lands which were granted by Earl Ferchar to Walter de Moravia before 1231. Walter had an only son—

Sir Freskin de Moravia, who married the Lady Johanna of Strathnaver, a daughter—according to Skene—of John Earl of Caithness. This marriage brought into the Duffus line a vast accession of territory—half of Caithness, and the whole northern portion of the present county of Sutherland. But Sir Freskin having no sons, his enormous estates were divided among his daughters, who carried them to the Chenes and Feddereths. Of the cadets of Duffus we have no knowledge, but as there are references to Morays whose affiliation is yet unknown, it is not improbable that some of these may yet be traced to the barons of Duffus. Duffus itself passed to the Chenes, and through the marriage of Mary, one of their co-heiresses, it went to Nicolas de Sutherland, from whom the Sutherlands of Duffus.

The Line of Petty and Bothwell.

In the house of Petty and Bothwell we have one of the most distinguished branches of the race. William, son of William Freskin, was lord of Petty, Brachlie, Arturlies, Croy, Bocharm, Arndilly, and other lands. He is frequently on record in the “Register of Moray,” among his benefactions being the conveyance of the Church of Arndilly to the Church of the Holy Trinity of Spynie. We only know the names of two of his sons, Walter and Robert. Walter de Moravia inherited his father’s extensive estates, and took a prominent part in the affairs of his district. In 1236 he was one of thfc retinue of King Alexander II., and was also one of the sureties of the treaty with England in 1244. In Rymer's “Foedera” the name of Walter de Moravia appears; yet in Paris’s “Chronica Majora” the names of “ alter de Moravia de Dunfel” and “William de Murefe de Petin” are side by side. This last entry is confirmed by the Acts of Parliament of 1248, so that the hitherto accepted pedigree of this family is wrong, for Walter was succeeded by William, who in 1248 is one of the great barons of the realm.2 Unfortunately, like so many of our northern charters, the early writs of Petty were deposited in Edinburgh, and had been rifled in 1282, hence the obscurity at this point.

Walter de Moravia, probably brother of William, next appears as lord of Petty. He supported the English marriage and alliance which rendered the Scots King so unpopular with his subjects. He was one of the guardians of the King and Queen appointed by the Treaty of Roxburgh. In 1258 he sought refuge in England, on account of disturbances between the Durward and Menteith faction, and King Henry ordered Robert de Ros to provide suitably for him in the Castle of Werk. Walter de Moray is said to have married the heiress of the Olifards, through whom he acquired the great barony of Bothwell and many manors in England. The point is by no means clear; Walter was certainly in a position to give a lease of the Manor of Lilleford to Devorgilla, widow of David. Olifard, for her lifetime, but liow he acquired the property cannot now be traced in English records. Devorgilla brought an action against William, the heir of Walter, challenging his right to the adowson of Lilleford Church. She was pr.o-bably mother-in-law of Walter, who had three sons—Sir William, Sir Andrew, and Sir Walter.

Sir William de Moray, lord of Petty and Both well, was designated “Le Riche'' on account of his immense wealth, as well as to distinguish him from the several knights bearing his surname. He did fealty to Edward in 1292, and held the honourable office, of Chief Butler of Scotland. The “ Register of Glasgow ” records some of his benefactions to the Church. Although he had done homage to Edward, he was apparently hostile to the English,' thereby incurring severe punishment. He was deprived of his Scottish estates, and his manors in England were seized in the King's name, so that the once wealthy knight was reduced, for a time, to a mere pittance. In the “Patent Rolls” of Edward I. we find that the King dealt with his property in a very arbitrary manner, and that in. the matter of a presentation to the Church of Lilleford even Edward could not overrule his rights, for the royal presentation had to be annulled. From the same source we learn that Sir William's English estates were forfeited because he granted the manor of Lilleford, the adowson of its church; together with homages, rents, services, etc., to Anthony Bek, Bishop of Durham,' who evidently extorted the gift by threats. There is some mystery about Sir William's fate; he is said to have died before November, 1300.

Sir Andrew de Moravia, brother of Sir William, took an active part against the English, and, along with his son Andrew, was captured when the Castle of Dunbar surrendered in April, 1296. At this fell blow Edward got possession of the flower of Scotland's chivalry. The long roll of captive knights and esquires possesses a melancholy interest, for scarcely a family of note in Scotland but had a representative among the prisoners. Sir Andrew the Elder was committed to the Tower of London, whilst his son was sent to Chester. Sir Andrew, whom we must style the First because of the confusing succession of Andrews, was apparently married twice. The name of his first wife has not been recovered, but his second spouse was Eufemia, the widow of William Comyn of Kilbride. He married her before 1286, without obtaining King Edward’s sanction, for in that year the "Guardians of Scotland made intercession for her and her husband. On May 25th, 1289, the King, finding that she only held her dower lands, ordered their restoration. Sir Andrew was still a prisoner in August, 1297, when his son Andrew had a safe conduct to come to see him; but the knight was dead before November, 1300. It has been suggested that after his son’s death at Stirling he was released, and returned to Scotland, where he joined Wallace. That he should be released was in accordance with Edward’s daring practice of trusting those who again and again opposed him. At any rate, as his son was not a knight, it certainly seems probable that it was Sir Andrew the First who issued proclamations with Wallace after Stirling fight, and, according to Hemingburgh, accompanied the patriot into England in the following November. He may have fallen at Falkirk, for he predeceased his brother, Sir William. Whether Sir Andrew had more sons than one is uncertain, but there may have been another John, for a person so named appears at a later date as connected with Bothwell.

Andrew de Moray the Second did not relish confinement at Chester, and, by whatever means he got free, he turned up in Mqray in the spring of 1297. He was one of the first to begin the fierce struggle to shake off the fetters of the Southron. The “freemen of Moray” were groaning under the oppression of the Guardians—at least so they alleged. In the spring of 1297 they determined to resort to arms. They found a capable and daring leader in the person of the young heir of Petty and Avoch, who inherited the fighting instincts of the race. Andrew wai no doubt exasperated at the harsh treatment his father and uncle received. But ere his plans were matured they were evidently revealed by his kinsman, Sir Heginald Chene of Duffus. Probably Sir Reginald had been invited to co-operate, or it may be that, noting the preparation and unrest among the Moravians, he went to Inverness one Sunday to confer with the Constable of Urquhart Castle^ Moray, suspecting his purpose, crossed from Avoch, and waylaying the Constable, took him prisoner. Next morning being Monday, Andrew besieged the Castle of Urquhart, but was obliged to retire on account of the assistance sent to its relief by the Countess of Ross, not, however, before attempting to carry the place by storm in a night attack. Although baffled at Urquhart, Moray was not dismayed; he returned to Avoch and seized Balkeny or Balconie, a fortress of the Earl of Ross. He afterwards directed his vengeance against Sir Reginald Chene, burnt the Castle of Duffus, and swept-through the “Laigh of Moray,” leaving devastation and ruin in his train. So far the Chenes were unable to cope with him, and to quell the rising an army was sent into the district, under Gratney, afterwards .karl of Mar, with the result that Moray's followers had to seek refuge in the hills. Yet time and again they swooped down on Chene’s lands, giving them over to fire and sword. King Edward, ignoring these doings, sought to get Andrew in his power, and, on 28th August, 1297, sent a passport to enable him to talk with his father in the Tower. But Andrew shrewdly divined that the King purposed to detain him, so, declining to avail himself of the safe conduct, he joined forces with Wallace, and fought bravely at the battle of Stirling Bridge, 11th September, 1297, and fell mortally wounded.

It was probably his father who acted in conjunction with Wallace after this fight, and accompanied the patriot to Hexham. Modern writers, such as Sheriff Rampini, Professor Murison, and Andrew Lang, are at variance as to the identity of the two Andrews, although Mr Bain, in his “Calendar of Documents,” seems to confirm the various accounts of Fordun, which have “vulneratur occubuit,” “cecedit vulneratus,” and "gladio occubuit." But it stands to reason that Andrew de Moravia, if mortally wounded at Stirling Bridge on 11th September, could not have survived and been in a position to accompany an army into England months later, as alleged. Andrew was certainly dead before November, 1300, when the heir and representative of the house of Bothwell was his son, a child of two years—destined to become the most famous of the family.

Sir Andrew de Moray the Third first appears on record at an inquest on 28th November, 1300. The Jury Record that the late William de Moravia held a vil called Kellawp in the county of Berwick of the Earl of March doing suit at. his court thrice yearly, the vill contained 5 carucates of land and meadow, the vill lies waste and the land fallow being worth ten marks yearly if restored and the lands cultivated. He also held another called Wedreburne of said Earl by same service, containing six carucates of land and meadow, from which the Domus dei of Berwick has twenty marks yearly, but is worth 40/- beyond that sum. Andrew de Moray, slain at Stirling against the King, son of the late Sir Andrew de Moray, has a lawful son named Andrew who dwells at Morajr among the king's enemies as they believe, who is the next heir, and was two years at Pentecost last.”

If we are to credit Mr Gregory Smith, this infant was an extraordinary prodigy. He asserts that Andrew, afterwards Regent, born in 1298, was “leader in the rising of Moray in 1297,” and was in command “with Wallace in Northumberland ” during the same year! 4 But, while still a child, Andrew de Moray fell into the hands of Edward, and, according to Lord Hailes, was exchanged in November, 1314, for Sir John de Segrave. After his return to Scotland he took his position as one of the great nobles of the land. He won the regard of King Robert, and in 1326 married the King's sister, Christian, who must have been considerably his senior, for she was the widow of Gratney Earl of Mar, and of the brave Sir Christopher Seton. It is almost certain that Lady Christian was Moray's second wife, so she was not mother of the subsequent Barons of Bothwell. This alliance, and the death of King Robert and of the famous Ranulph Earl of Moray, placed Sir Andrew in a more prominent position, and from this time began his stirring career as one of the most faithful guardians of the interests of his youthful sovereign, David II. After the death of Ranulph, the jealousies of the Scots nobles turned the kingdom into a state of turmoil, of which the Baliol adherents were not slow to take advantage. •Edward Baliol, at the head of the “disinherited barons,” invaded Scotland, and the battle of Dupplin seemed to seal the fortunes of the line of Brus. Baliol’s coronation was quickly followed by the renegade's southward march to Roxburgh to acknowledge the supremacy of Edward. It was while in the act of removing his quarters from Kelso to this place that he was suddenly attacked by Sir Andrew Moray, who attempted to cut off his retreat. Moray’s design of seizing the bridge at Roxburgh was frustrated by a vigorous sortie of the garrison— the Regent being captured while attempting to rescue Ralph Golding.

Moray was sent a prisoner to England, where he remained until ransomed* After his return to Scotland he held aloof from public affairs, for he was heartily disgusted at the conduct of the Scots nobles. It was the attempt of David de Strathbolgi, Earl of Athol, to seize Kildrumy Castle, then held by the Lady Christian Brus, that roused Sir Andrew to action. Hastily collecting his friends and vassals, he marched against Athol, surprised the latter’s forces in the Forest of Culbean, and totally routed them with the loss of many men, including the Earl himself. Following up this success, a Parliament was convened at Dunfermline, when Moray was constituted Warden of the Kingdom. Edward now appeared on the scene at the head of a great army; but Sir Andrew, following the tactics prescribed by Brus, cleverly evaded an action. Seeking shelter in the wilds of Brae Moray, where every pass was familiar to him, he led his men through the wood of Stronkaltere without loss. Wyntoun records an anecdote which proves his ‘sang froid' in face of danger. When Edward retired, after wasting the “Laigh of Moray," the Regent and his army followed in his rear, harassing his troops, and began the vigorous campaign which recovered many strongholds held by the English. Returning to the north, Moray laid siege to Lochindorb—the island fortress held by the widowed Countess of Athol, in response to whose appeal for succour Edward made his chivalrous raid into the north at the head of a few hundred mounted men.

The success which attended the National party was now so complete that they invaded England. Returning to Scotland, they next invested Edinburgh Castle, but for some reason raised the siege after the fight at Crichton. From this time Sir Andrew's movements are difficult to trace, but in the “Exchequer Rolls” of 1337 there is reference to him as Keeper of Berwick Castle. In the following year he retired to his Castle at Avoch, and died, according to one accounts, of dysentery. Another version is that in riding an unbroken iiorse he was thrown; his foot caught in the stirrup* so that he sustained fatal injuries. Wyntoun sings his praises in these words: —

Schir Andrew muref guid and wight,
That was a stout and bald knight
That nane better wes in his day,
Frae guid King Robert wes away.

Of his splendid services to his country, at a time of utmost peril, there can be no question. He was buried, it is said, in the Chapel of Rosemarkie, although documents in the “ Register of Moray ” 25 convey the impression that his body was interred in Elgin Cathedral. At all events his sons, John and Thomas, left, and confirmed, endowments for celebrating masses in the Cathedral, where four wax candles were to be lighted at his tomb. Fordun states that his body was exhumed and buried at Dunfermline. Sir Andrew had two sons by his first wife, viz., John and Thomas. From the circumstance that a family of Morays bore on their shield of arms three mullets in chief, with the Brus saltire in base, it is very possible that Sir Andrew had children by Lady Christian Brus.

John de Moray succeeded as Lord of Bothwell, Petty, Croy, etc. In 1348 he had a dispensation to marry Margaret L frho fourteen year old heiress of the Earldom of Menteith. no dispensation was procured at the instance of Queen Joanna, because the parties were related in the fourth degree of kindred. ln 1351, John, who is sometimes styled Earl of Menteith and Panetarius of Scotland, was a hostage in England for the ransom of David Brus, who had been taken >at Durham. He died in exile without issue.

Thomas de Moray, the brother and heir of John, took hia place as a hostage on 5th September, 1351, his safe conduct, as such, being recorded in the "Rotuli Scotia.” Sir Thomas, on the 25th of September, 1357, was a plenipotentiary for King David's ransom. He married Joanna de Moray, who became heiress of Drumsargard 28 after the death of her brother John, the only son of Maurice de Moray of Drumsargard, Earl of Stratherne. Sir Thomas had no issue by his wife Joanna, and after his death from the plague in 1361, his relict married by dispensation 23rd July, 1361, Archibald, afterwards third Earl of Douglas, to whom she brought the vast estates of the House of Both well. This fact alone seems to prove that the next heirs of family were so remote that they were ousted from their inheritance by the grasping Douglases. At any rate, as will be seen, those Morays who claim to represent the illustrious line of Both well, in our own day, cannot produce* the necessary proofs.


Return to The Scottish Nation Index Page

More Info

Click here to get a Printer Friendly Page

Popular Pages