According to the Rag Roll of Parliament, The Gray Peerage is ranked the third oldest in Scotland...
Sir Andrew Gray of Broxmouth was created 1st Lord Gray circa 1445. His ancestor, another Andrew Gray, is noted as a supporter of Robert the Bruce from about 1306 and was with him at the Battle of the Pass of Brander in 1308. The following extract from John Barbour’s epic poem “The Brus” (dating from 1375) describes some of the action in that battle against the MacDougall Men of Lorn:
"That mountain Crechanben they call.. on it John of Lorn designed To hide among the rocks his men... In time of danger and mishap, Having discerned the cunning trap Set to destroy him in his course, (Bruce)Divided into two his force. To the lord of Douglasdale, Whose head and courage would not fail. He gave in charge the archer train; And this lord has with him ta'en Sir Alexander Fraser's might,And William Wiseman,a good knight, And with him good Sir Andrew Gray. They with their followers went their way And quickly up the mountain hied, And, ere their coming was espied. They occupied the height that rose Above the ambush of their foes. When the King and his company Were 'twixt the mountain and the sea. The ambushed men of Lorn rushed out..."
Arms of Eveleen Lady Gray 1897, 19th holder of the title
John Gray of Criechie (who was a cousin of the family )
married Marjory the daughter and only child of the 9th Lord Gray.
Shortly after the Act of Union in 1707, Queen Anne granted him
new Letters Patent, which specifically provided for a succession
through the female line if there were no male heirs.
This principle was re-established by my great-grandmother when bringing her successful case to the Committee of Privileges in the House of Lords to claim the Peerage in the 1890s.
My late father, 22nd Lord Gray, had an early career in advertising, putting his artistic talent to good use; the iconic and instantly recognisable label on HP Sauce is perhaps his best-known design. In 1999, faced with the plans by Tony Blair’s majority government to abolish the rights of hereditary peers to sit in the House of Lords, he took a case all the way to the Committee of Privileges to counter what he regarded as a breach of the terms in the Articles of Treaty of Union of 1707, as follows :
"Writ shall be immediately issued under the Great Seal of Great-Britain, directed to the Privy-Council of Scotland, for the summoning of the sixteen Peers, and for electing forty-five Members, by whom Scotland is to be represented in the Parliament of Great-Britain: And the Lords of Parliament of England, and the sixteen Peers of Scotland, such sixteen Peers being summoned and returned in the Manner agreed in this Treaty…."
The final judgement by the Law Lords was only narrowly against his case. There was indeed no guarantee about any representation from among the peerage of Scotland from 1999 onward.
Arms of Ethel Eveleen Lady Gray 1920
daughter of Eveleen; she succeeded to the title after
the death of her uncle
Patrick, Master of Gray (later 7th Lord Gray), gained a well-documented reputation as political schemer in the time of Mary Queen of Scots when he initially supported her cause ( he in fact became a Catholic like Mary ) travelling to France to entreat with her. Back In 1561 Mary wrote a letter to 5th Lord Gray informing him of her intention to return to Scotland. Patrick later avoided being directly implicated in the trap to hand Mary over to those in England who brought her as a prisoner to her cousin Elizabeth I and he managed to regain favour with Mary’s son, who was to become James 6th of Scotland and 1st of England. He sent Patrick Gray with others to London to negotiate over his succession with Queen Elizabeth.
The family had possession of lands in Perthshire, around Tayside, for several hundred years. The 3rd Lord Gray built Broughty Castle, at Broughty Ferry near Dundee and a later during the lifetime of the 10th Lord Gray, the grand Palladian House of Gray was built also near Dundee, overlooking the Firth of Tay. Though currently unoccupied, House of Gray is an impressive place with some uniquely huge, old Cedars of Lebanon in the grounds. His heir then married Margaret Blair, who inherited the Gothic Kinfauns Castle near Perth where some fine Gray Coats of Arms adorn the panelled ceiling of the main hall, library and dining room.
Copy of a letter dated 10th April 1561, written from France by Mary, Queen of Scots to Patrick, 5th Lord Gray, informing him of her intention to return to Scotland
Angus Diarmid Ian, 22nd Lord Gray in his Coronation Robes 1953
Gentleman's Victorian Dress Highland Dirk in leather with silver decoration, showing the Gray Coat of Arms and the Salmon motif at the tip of the scabbard, referencing the family's link to the Campbell Clan, following the marriage of Ethel Eveleen, Lady Gray with Henry Tuffnell Campbell in 1888