Clan Murray History

Bothwell Castle, an early seat of the Murrays

Bothwell Castle, an early seat of the Murrays

The Murray family is descended from Freskin, who is thought to be a Flemish knight who flourished in the 12th century. Granted lands in West Lothian by David I, he and his sons intermarried with the house of Moray to consolidate their power.

The descendants of this family were designated “de Moravia”, which in Lowland Scots became “Murray”.

Bothwell Castle, one of the most powerful and visually striking strongholds in Scotland was built by the Murrays and remained the seat of the chief until 1360. In 1297 Sir Andrew Murray took up the cause of Scottish Independence and, with Sir William Wallace, rose against Edward of England. After this, the Murray family multiplied throughout Scotland and many branches of the name Murray disputed the right to the chieftainship.

In 1360 the lordship and the great house of Bothwell was lost by the Murrays and passed into the hands of the Douglas family, and it was not until the 16th century that the Murrays of Tullibardine are recorded once again.

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