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Clan Murray Plaque - Vintage Old Version
A neat old Heredity Plaque for The Murray Clan .....probably around 50 years old....has a little piece missing off the Crest surround....measures 8" x 7" .....this is the original Mermaid version of The Clan Badge. The progenitor of the Clan Murray was Freskin who lived during the twelfth century.It has been claimed that he was Pictish but it is much more likely that he was a Flemish knight, one of a ruthless group of warlords who were employed by the Norman kings to pacify their new realm after the Norman conquest of England. David I of Scotland who was brought up in the English court, employed such men to keep hold of the wilder parts of his kingdom and granted to Freskin lands in West Lothian.The ancient Pictish kingdom of Moray (Moireabh in Scottish Gaelic) was also given to Freskin and this put an end to the remnants of that old royal house. In a series of astute political moves Freskin and his sons intermarried with the old house of Moray to consolidate their power. Freskin's descendants were designated by the surname de Moravia ("of Moray" in the Norman language) and this became 'Murray' in the Lowland Scottish language. The original Earls of Sutherland (chiefs of Clan Sutherland descend from Freskin's eldest grandson, Hugh de Moravia, whereas the chiefs of Clan Murray descend from Freskin's younger grandson, William de Moravia. Sir Walter Murray became Lord of Bothwell in Clydesdale thanks to a marriage to an heiress of the Clan Oliphant. He was a regent of Scotland in 1255. He also started construction of Bothwell Castle which became one of the most powerful strongholds in Scotland. It was the seat of the chiefs of Clan Murray until 1360 when it passed over to the Clan Douglas. The current Clan badge, depicts a demi-savage (the upper half of a wreathed, shirtless man) holding a sword in his right hand and a key in his left. The Clan motto reads "Furth, Fortune, and Fill the Fetters", meaning, roughly, "go forth against your enemies, have good fortune, and return with captives". The demi-savage badge was favoured by the late Duke of Atholl.......the Clan continues to use it out of respect. An older badge depicts a mermaid holding a mirror in one hand and a comb in the other, with the motto "Tout prêt", Old French for "Quite ready". This badge is found in many historical and heraldic sources, and remains a valid Murray device.
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