Shades of Gray. This color thing can go on forever, but for now we will trace gray. It blends into other hues, is the color of sadness, the color for nice gift wrapping in Asia and a military color as well. Family from Scotland carry the name and one was a queen for a few days.
GRAY, Baron, a title in the peerage of Scotland, possessed by a family of the same name, descended from the Greys of Chillingham in Northumberland. The surname is originally French, being first borne by Fulbert, great chamberlain of Robert, duke of Normandy, from whom he got the castle and lands of Croy or Gray in Picardy, and hence assumed the surname. He is said to have had a son, John, and a daughter, Arlotta, the mother of William the Conqueror. If so, this Fulbert must have been a banner at Falaise before being elevated to the office of great chamberlain. The first of the name who came to England with William the Conqueror, and from that monarch obtained several lordships, is stated to have been the Conqueror’s kinsman. He was progenitor of several families, who spelled the name Grey, and were raised to high rank in the peerage of England; some of them obtaining a prominent place in history, such as the dukes of Suffolk and Kent, the earls of Stamford and Tankerville, De Grey and Grey, the barons Grey of Codnor, Ruthyn, Wilton, Rolleston, Wark and Chillingham. To the Suffolk family belonged the amiable and accomplished Lady Jane Grey, who fell an innocent victim to the ambition of her father, on February 12, 1554.
Lord Grey of Chillingham is stated to have given the lands of Broxmouth in the county of Roxborough to a younger son of his family, in the reign of William the Lion. In the reign of Alexander the Third, John de Gray (the Scottish way of spelling the name), steward to the earls of March, is witness to many donations to the monastery of Coldstream. Sir Hugh de Gray, a subsequent proprietor of Broxmouth, left three sons; Sir Hugh de Gray, Henry de Gray, and John de Gray. The two elder brothers were among those who swore fealty to Edward the First in 1296; and the eldest, Sir Hugh de Gray, died about 1300.
His son, Sir Andrew Gray, faithfully adhered to Robert the Bruce; and in 1307 was joined with Sir James Douglas and Sir Alexander Fraser in command of a detachment sent against the lord of Lorn. In 1312 he was present at the taking of the castle of Edinburgh, with Randolph, nephew of Robert the Bruce, when Frank or Francis, the guide, was the first that scaled the walls, Sir Andrew Gray followed him, and Randolph himself was the third. For his services he obtained from King Robert a grant of several lands; among the rest the barony of Longforgund, now Longforgan, in Perthshire, which had belonged to Edmund de Hastings. This was the first connection of the Grays with the county of Perth, in which the family ever after had their residence. Sir Andrew Gray married Ada Gifford, daughter of Thomas Lord Yester, and had two sons, Sir David, and Thomas. The latter, in 1346, accompanied King David the Second to the battle of Durham, where he was taken prisoner, and not released till ten years afterwards.
The elder son, Sir David de Gray, fourth baron of Broxmouth, and second of Longforgan, died between 1354 and 1357. His son, Sir John Gray, was one of the twenty young men of quality proposed to be sureties for King David’s ransom in 1354, and after the king’s release in 1357, he was appointed his clerk register, in which office he was continued by Robert the Second. He died in 1376. He had two sons, John and Patrick. John, the elder, was one of the noble Scottish heirs who were sent to England for King David’s ransom in 1357. He died before his father, without issue.
Sir Patrick, the younger son, was in great favour with both King Robert the Second and his successor. He added considerably to his possessions in Perthshire, and from the former monarch he had a pension of £26 13s. 4d sterling. In 1413 he entered into a bond of manrent at Dundee, with the earl of Crawford, that he, the said Sir Patrick, “is becumyn man of special retinue till the said earl, for the term of his life, nane ontaken but amitie and allegiance till our lord the king, for which he shall have in his fee of the said earl, the town of Elithk” &c. He had four sons and three daughters. Sir Andrew, the eldest son, was one of the Scottish nobles who met King James the First at Durham in 1423, to concert measures for his liberation. He was created a peer of parliament, under the title of Lord Gray, before 9th October 1437, when he was one of the lords of the articles in parliament for the peers. He died before July 1445. He was twice married; first, to Janet, a daughter of Sir Roger de Mortimer, with whom he got the lands of Fowlis in Perthshire; and, secondly, to Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Walter Buchanan. By his first wife he had, with seven daughters, a son, Sir Andrew, first Lord Gray, and by his second wife four sons and one daughter.
The eldest son, Andrew, second Lord Gray of Fowlis, was one of the hostages for King James the First, in his father’s lifetime, March 20, 1424; when his annual revenue was estimated at six hundred merks. He obtained liberty to return to Scotland in 1427, and was one of the train of knights who accompanied the princess Margaret of Scotland to France in 1436, on her marriage to the dauphin. He was employed in most of the public transactions of his time, and in 1449 was one of the ambassadors to England who that year concluded a two years’ truce, for which, and for a renewed truce for three years on its expiration in 1451, he was one of the guarantees on the part of Scotland. He obtained the royal license, of date August 26, 1452, to build a castle upon any part of his lands, and, in consequence, he erected in Longforgan the beautiful edifice called Castle Huntly, long the principal residence of the family. The tradition of the country is that he named it after his lady, a daughter of the earl of Huntly, but like most other traditions, it is wrong in its main incident, as his lady’s name was Elizabeth Wemyss, eldest daughter of Sir John Wemyss of Rires in Fife. A subsequent Lord Gray married the daughter of the second earl of Huntly, and this may have given rise to the mistake. In 1615 Castle Huntly, with the estate attached to it, was sold to the Strathmore family, then earls of Kinghorn; and becoming a favourite residence of Earl Patrick, the name was changed to Castle Lyon, and the estate, by charter of Charles the Second in 1672, was erected into a lordship called the lordship of Lyon. This name it retained till 1777, when it was purchased by Mr. Paterson, the father of George Paterson, Esq., who marrying Anne, daughter of the twelfth Lord Gray, restored the name of Castle Huntly. In the beginning of 1455, the second Lord Gray accompanied William, earl of Douglas, and James, Lord Hamilton, on a pilgrimage to Canterbury, for which they got a safe conduct from the English monarch. The same year, he was appointed master of the household by King James the Second, and four years afterwards one of the wardens of the marches. He got charters of a great many lands, and died in 1469. With two daughters, he had two sons, Patrick, master of Gray, and Andrew. The latter had several sons, one of whom, a merchant in Aberdeen, made a considerable fortune, and was ancestor of the Grays of Schives and Pittendrum.
Patrick, master of Gray, was one of the gentlemen of the bedchamber to King James the second; and when that monarch stabbed the eighth earl of Douglas, he seconded the blow with a stroke from his battle-axe. He had a son and three daughters. Predeceasing his father, his son, Andrew, became third Lord Gray. This nobleman was one of the lords of the privy council of King James the Third, and after that monarch’s murder, the hereditary office of sheriff of the county of Forfar was conferred on him, on the forced resignation of David, duke of Montrose and earl of Crawford, 14th December, 1488. He had the office of justice-general north of the Forth, on the forfeiture of Lord Lyle in 1489, and in 1506 he was appointed lord-justice-general of Scotland. He died in February 1513-14. He married, first, Janet, only daughter of John, Lord Keith, and had a son, Patrick, and two daughters; secondly, Lady Elizabeth Stewart, third daughter of John, earl of Athol. Brother uterine of King James the Second, and by her had four sons, namely, Robert, of Litfie, killed at Flodden, without issue; Gilbert, of Buttergask, who carried on the line of the family; Andrew, of Muirtoun; and Edward, an ecclesiastic; and five daughters.
Patrick, fourth Lord Gray, died at Castle Huntly, in April 1541. It was this nobleman who married Lady Janet Gordon, the second daughter of the second earl of Huntly, chancellor of Scotland, and relict of Alexander, master of Crawford. He had three daughters, and dying without issue male, he was succeeded by his nephew, Patrick, eldest of three sons of his brother of the half-blood, Gilbert.