Clan Murray

  • Clan Territory:

    The lands of Atholl in Perthshire.

  • Clan Chief:

    South African born John Murray, the 11th Duke of Atholl.

    Clan Murray Chief's Coat of Arms
    Arms of his Grace John Murray 11th Duke of Atholl

  • Clan Castles:

  • Blair Castle
    Blair Castle

  • Clan Tartan:

    Murray of Atholl and Murray of Tullibardine

  • Clan History:

    Clan Murray claims to be descended from a Flemish knight called Freskin de Moravia who was given lands by the reforming, feudal King David 1st. The name comes from the area the family originally settled in Scotland’s North East. In Gaelic Moireabh means sea-settlement. Over time it became Murray, the most common territorial name in Scotland. One branch of the Murrays became the Earls of Sutherland and another branch, by marriage, Lords of Bothwell in Lanarkshire. Later through marriage, the Murray family inherited lands in Abercairney and Tullibardine in eastern Perthshire where in time they became the Dukes of Atholl.

    The most famous early member of the “clan” – or noble family as they were at the time – was Sir Andrew de Moray, who was an ally of the Scottish patriot William Wallace, who led the Wars of Independence against English domination in the 13th century. The heroic Sir Andrew do Moray was mortally wounded at the battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297.

    Much later, having acquired lands in Atholl, the Murray’s petitioned King Charles the first for the Earldom of that region. In 1629, John Murray became the first Murray Earl of Atholl. The Murray’s were always loyal to the house of Stuart, the royal dynasty that reigned in both Scotland and England for 350 years. When the Stuarts were forced into continental exile after the Glorious Revolution of 1688, their supporters in Britain and abroad became known as Jacobites. The Murray’s and their clansmen became leading Jacobites in Scotland and took part in all the major rebellions for the cause of Stuart restoration.

    During the disastrous rising of 1745, Lord George Murray commanded the Jacobite army for Bonny Prince Charlie. His military brilliance enabled the Stuart prince to win victory after victory, paving the way for the invasion of England. The army got as far as Derby, where they turned back – to be finally crushed at the battle of Culloden in 1746.

    Lord George Murray
    Lord George Murray

    Filmed on location to the highest standards the Galloglas DVD, Clan Murray features unique stories that interweave romance, adventure, bravery and betrayal, set against a stunning landscape. This DVD is not yet available; if you would like to be informed of the release date please email

  • Famous Murrays:

    John Murray – Edinburgh publisher who launched the world’s very first travel guides.

    Bill Murray – American film actor.

    Andrew Murray – Scottish tennis star.

  • And finally:

    In 1842, the young Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert were guests of the Duke of Athol. In their honour, he presented them with a highland pageant, where a hundred kilted clansmen marched to the stirring sound of bagpipes. The queen was thrilled and allowed the Duke to keep his ceremonial Atholl Highlands, which today constitute the only private army in Britain.

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