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Clan Gray are a Scottish kin-group or family who do not have a chief recognised by the Lord Lyon and are therefore considered an armigerous clan. An aristocratic clan, they are currently without a chief due to strict rules on double-barreled surnames which disqualify the current Lord Gray. <ref>George Way of Plean and Romilly Squire, Scottish Clan and Family Encyclopedia, 399</ref>


This name was originally French. The first individual recorded is Fulbert, Great Chamberlain to Robert, Duke of Normandy. He was granted the castle and lands of Croy or Gray in Picardy and assumed the surname. <ref>George Way of Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 398</ref>

Middle Ages

John de Gray witnessed donations to the monastery of Coldstream during the reign of Alexander III. He was descended from Lord Grey of Chillingham in Northumberland and became steward to the Earls of March. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 398</ref>

The Grays swore fealty to Edward I of England in 1296 but became followers of Robert the Bruce. Sir Andrew Gray was the first to scale the rock of Edinburgh Castle when it was taken from the English in 1312.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 398</ref>

He was rewarded with grants of land in Perthshire.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 398</ref> A descendant, Sir Andrew, was one of the nobles who met James I at Durham on his return from captivity in England. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 398</ref> In 1444 he became Lord Gray. His son, Patrick, Master of Gray, assisted James II in murdering the Earl of Douglas.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 398</ref>

Sixteenth Century

The third Lord Gray became Lord Justice General for Scotland in 1506. Patrick, fifth Lord Gray was taken prisoner by the English at the Battle of Solway Moss in 1542 and was ransomed for £500 sterling.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 398</ref>He became an early advocate of the Reformation. His son, Patrick, Master of Gray, was a friend of James VI but became implicated in the death of the king's mother, Mary, Queen of Scots, narrowly avoiding execution.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 399</ref>

Seventeenth Century

Andrew, eighth Lord Gray, fought for the Marquess of Montrose in the 1640s and was excommunicated by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1649 for Catholicism. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 399</ref> William, Master of Gray, survived fighting for Charles I at the Battle of Worcester in 1651 but was killed in a duel by the Earl of Southesk in 1660.

Nineteenth Century

For a time the title passed to the Earls of Moray but in 1895 the title went to a niece of Lord Moray who became Baroness Gray in her own right. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 399</ref>


The present Lord Gray is barred from the chiefship due to his double-barreled name. The rule was instituted in 1950 after the case of Gray Petitioner. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 399</ref>

Gray is the twenty-eighth commonest surname in Scotland. <ref>Dorward, Surnames, 123</ref>