Gray, Andrew (1380?-1469) (DNB00)

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GRAY, ANDREW, first Lord Gray (1380?–1469), was the only son of Sir Andrew Gray of Fowlis, Perthshire, by his first wife, Janet, daughter of Sir Roger de Mortimer, whom he married in 1377. He is usually styled second Lord Gray, and the creation of the title is said to have taken place in 1437 in the person of his father. But this is now recognised as a mistake (Burke, Peerage, voce ‘Moray’). The title was not created until 1445. Sir Andrew Gray, who died before 17 July 1445, is referred to by his son Andrew in a charter of that date, as well as in a later deed, dated 16 Jan. 1449–50, as deceased, and under the designation merely of Sir Andrew Gray, knight, the rank he held at the time of his death (Registrum Magni Sigilli, ii. No. 767; Peerage of Scotland, Wood's edit., i. 666).

Andrew Gray the younger of Fowlis was accepted in 1424 by the English government as one of the hostages for the payment of the ransom of James I of Scotland, apparently in place of his father, whose estate is estimated at the time as being worth six hundred merks yearly. His father presented a letter to the English government, in which the hostage is said to be his only son and heir, promising fidelity on behalf of his son, and also that he would not disinherit him on account of his acting as a hostage (Fœdera, Hague ed. iv. pt. iv. 112). Young Gray was then sent to the castle of Pontefract, and was afterwards committed to the custody of the constable of the Tower of London, with whom he remained until 1427, when he was exchanged for Malcolm Fleming, son of the laird of Cumbernauld. In 1436 he accompanied Princess Margaret of Scotland to France, on the occasion of her marriage to the dauphin. On 1 July 1445 occurs the first reference to him as Lord Gray of Fowlis (Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, ii. 60; cf. Exchequer Rolls, v. 198). In June 1444 he is mentioned in the customs accounts as simply Sir Andrew Gray of Fowlis. As the title of Lord Gray occurs on the union roll of the Scottish peers immediately after that of Lord Saltoun, which was created on 28 June 1445, Sir Andrew Gray was doubtless created a peer by the title of Lord Gray of Fowlis on the same occasion.

In 1449 Lord Gray was appointed one of a parliamentary committee to examine previous acts of parliament and general councils, and report to next parliament their existing validity. On various occasions between that year and 1460 he was employed as one of the Scottish ambassadors to negotiate treaties of peace and truce with England, and of these treaties he was generally appointed a conservator. He acted too in the capacity of warden of the marches. In 1451, along with the abbot of Melrose and others, he received a safe-conduct to enable him to make a pilgrimage to Canterbury, and in the following year he became master of the household to James II. On 26 Aug. 1452 the king granted him a license to build a castle on any part of his lands, and he built Castle Huntly on his estate of Longforgan in the carse of Gowrie. This castle was long the residence of the family. On being sold to the Earl of Strathmore in 1615, its name was changed to Castle Lyon. It was, however, repurchased in 1777 by George Paterson, who married Anne, daughter of John, eleventh baron Gray, and restored the original name to the castle.

Gray in 1455 was one of the nobles who sealed the process of forfeiture against the Earl of Douglas. In the following year the abbot of Scone sued him for paying the dues of Inchmartin in bad grain. He took an active part in parliamentary work, and in 1464 was appointed one of the lords auditors for hearing and determining civil causes. He accompanied James III to Berwick, by appointment of parliament, 5 March 1464–5, where he with others had the plenary authority of parliament to ratify the truce which was being negotiated between the Scottish and English ambassadors at Newcastle. He died in 1469, probably towards the end of that year, being mentioned as deceased in the precept of clare constat granted by David, earl of Crawford, to his grandson and successor, on 20 Jan. 1469–70.

He married, by contract dated 31 Aug. 1418, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Sir John Wemyss of Wemyss and Reres, with whom it was stipulated he should receive as dowry a 20l. land in Strathardle, Perthshire. Failure in observing this condition gave rise to litigation between the two families at a later date (Memorials of the Family of Wemyss of Wemyss, by Sir William Fraser, i. 66, 67, 75). Elizabeth Wemyss survived Lord Gray. They had issue two sons and two daughters: (1) Sir Patrick Gray of Kinneff, who married Annabella, daughter of Alexander, lord Forbes, and obtained from his father certain lands in Kincardineshire; he predeceased his father, but left a son, Andrew, who succeeded his grandfather as second Lord Gray; (2) Andrew, ancestor of the families of Gray of Schives and Pittendrum; (3) Margaret, who married Robert, lord Lyle; and (4) Christian, who married James Crichton of Strathurd.

[Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, ii. 36–195, xii. 30; Acta Auditorum, pp. 3, 6; Registrum Magni Sigilli, vol. ii. passim; Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, vols. iv–viii.; Rotuli Scotiæ, ii. 245–458; Rymer's Fœdera, Hague ed., iv. pt. iv. 102–30, v. pt. ii. 11–89.]

H. P.