Andrew de Moray
Also known as Andreu de Moray in Norman French, Andreas de Moravia in Latin, or Andrew de Moray, Andrew of Moray, or Andrew Murray. An esquire, he was prominent in the Scottish Wars of Independence, leading the uprising in north eastern Scotland in the summer of 1297 against the occupation by King Edward I of England.
Although the Scottish kingdom had been easily conquered by King Edward, it lay restless under his rule. The early months of 1297 saw outbreaks of violence against the English occupiers and their Scottish allies, some of which were so serious, officials on the ground sought assistance from the English king. The regions of Argyll, Ross, Galloway and Fife were in open rebellion. Royal officials were murdered and their castles and strongholds seized or destroyed by the rebels. News of this violence reached the English Court and the king responded by ordering a rapid and brutal response. Edward's loyal supporters in Scotland were ordered to suppress the rebels and armed men were dispatched from England to assist in the crushing of the rebellion.
Captured at the disastrous battle of Dunbar the previous summer, Andrew de Moray had somehow escaped English imprisonment at Chester Castle and travelled north in secrecy to raise the standard of revolt at Avoch castle early in 1297. He quickly plunged the province of Moray into chaotic rebellion. In response, King Edward's principal followers in the area held a meeting at Inverness Castle to discuss tactics on how to deal with Moray’s threat. But, returning home after the meeting with his escort of men-at-arms, the constable of Urquhart Castle, Sir William Fitz Warin, was ambushed by Andrew Moray and his followers. He was fortunate to escape with his life to the safety of his loch-side stronghold. But next day, Sir William awoke to find his castle besieged by Moray.
Over the coming months, Moray’s attacks grew in audacity and ingenuity and he became the scourge of the English occupiers in the north east. Soon, he managed to regain control of the region for the legitimate King of Scotland, John Balliol.
Subsequently, he merged his forces with those led by William Wallace. Both young men jointly led the combined Scottish army to victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge. Unfortunately, Moray was mortally wounded in the fighting, dying at an unknown date and place sometime later that year. He truly is an unsung hero in the annals of Scottish history and his story deserves recognition.