Scotlands History

Andrew Moray

Andrew Moray raised the flag and led a rebellion against Edward I in the north-east of Scotland. He joined with William Wallace and defeated Edward’s forces at the Battle of Stirling Bridge.

In 1296, Andrew Moray and his father were captured by Edward at the Battle of Dunbar. His father was sent to the Tower of London and died in captivity. Andrew was imprisoned in Chester Castle but escaped the following year and headed north. He crossed the border and raised his father’s standard in May 1297 at Avoch Castle on the Black Isle - heralding a rebellion.

Andrew Moray led a rising against Edward’s rule in the north while Wallace struck in Lanark and the south. Moray was soon joined by Alexander Pilchie, a burgess from Inverness, who became his lieutenant. It was said that Moray led a ‘large body of rogues’ in a guerrilla war. The English constable of Urquhart Castle wrote to Edward warning that, ‘Some evil disposed people have joined Andrew Moray at the castle of [Avoch] in Ross.’

Moray failed to take Urquhart Castle but captured Inverness, Elgin, Banff and Duffus castles as he raised support for the rising across the north. In time even Urquhart Castle fell to Moray as Edward’s men were driven out of Scotland. Within months Andrew Moray met William Wallace in Dundee and they forged an alliance. Moray was around 26-years-old.

In September 1297 Andrew Moray and Wallace joined forces and the Scots prepared for battle near Stirling. It is widely though that Moray made the battle plan - picking the ground and deciding the tactics.  On 11 September the Scots met Edward’s army under the Earl of Surrey and Hugh de Cressingham. The Battle of Stirling Bridge was a resounding victory for the Scots but it cost Andrew Moray his life.

Moray was badly wounded at the battle - possibly struck by an arrow. His seal is found on two letters dated 11 October and 7 November so it is thought that Moray survived the battle but later died of his wounds.

The famous Lübeck Letter was sent to the mayors of Lübeck and Hamburg by Moray and Wallace - ‘Andrew de Moray and William Wallace, leaders of the kingdom of Scotland and the community of the realm’ from Haddington on 11 October 1297. The second letter, to the Prior of Hexham, bore the seals of ‘Andrew de Moray and William Wallace, the leaders of the army and of the realm of Scotland.’

Andrew Moray’s widow gave birth to their son that winter. The boy was named Andrew. In time Sir Andrew Moray became Guardian of Scotland and married Robert the Bruce’s sister, Christian Bruce.

  • Painting of two friars and three soldiers with flags flying, with Stirling Castle in the background
  • Painting of soldiers on foot and horseback fighting under English and Scottish banners
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