Randolph, John (d.1346) (DNB00)

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RANDOLPH, JOHN, third Earl of Moray (d. 1346), was the second son of Thomas Randolph, first earl of Moray [q. v.], by his wife Isabel, only daughter of Sir John Stewart of Bonkle; and succeeded to the earldom on the death of his brother Thomas at the battle of Dupplin on 12 Aug. 1332. The third earl, following in the footsteps of his father, was a staunch supporter of the young king, David II, and of Scottish independence. In December 1332, at the head of a large body of horse, and accompanied by Sir Robert Fraser and Archibald Douglas, he succeeded by a rapid night march from Moffat in surprising at Annan, and completely defeating, Edward Baliol, who some time previously had been crowned king of Scotland at Scone as representative of Edward III. He also held command of a division of the Scottish army at Halidon Hill on 20 July 1333. Moray was one of the few Scottish nobles who escaped scatheless from the battle, and succeeded in reaching France. In 1334 he returned to Scotland and took a prominent part in expelling the English from the south and west. Shortly afterwards he and Robert the Steward were chosen by the Scottish nobles joint regents of the kingdom. All that was now necessary for the liberation of Scotland was to crush the Earl of Atholl; and Moray, by a rapid march northwards, surprised him before he could collect his followers, and compelled him to surrender. In August 1335 Moray defeated a party of French mercenaries under the Count of Namur, at the Boroughmuir of Edinburgh; and, after they had retreated through the town to the castle rock, where they made a stand behind the bodies of their slain horses, compelled them to surrender. As the Count of Namur was a near kinsman of the ally of the Scots, the king of France, he was set at liberty, and courteously escorted by Moray across the border into England; but Moray on his return was attacked by a party under William de Pressen, the English warder of Jedburgh, taken prisoner, and sent to confinement in Nottingham Castle. On 31 Aug. 1335 a command was sent by King Edward to the sheriff of Nottingham to allow the constable of Nottingham Castle twenty shillings weekly for the expense of the Earl of Moray, whom he was sending thither (Cal. Documents relating to Scotland, vol. iii. No. 1171). In May 1336 Moray was brought from Windsor to Winchester Castle, where the sheriff of Southampton was instructed to receive and keep him, allowing him twenty shillings a week (ib. No. 1205); and in September following he was sent from Southampton to the Tower in irons (ib. No. 1213). Subsequently he was removed from the Tower, and in February 1337–8 was taken from Nottingham to York (ib. No. 1280). In June 1340 he was ordered to be delivered to the bishop of Durham and others treating with his friends for his ransom. On 25 Oct. the constable of Windsor Castle had orders to receive and keep him (ib. No. 1337); and on the 26th it was agreed that he should be exchanged for William de Montacute, first earl of Salisbury [q. v.], a prisoner of the French (ib. No. 1343). On 8 Feb. 1340–1 he obtained a general protection to go beyond seas on matters touching his ransom (ib. No. 1350); and on 20 May 1341 a protection from France to England and thence to Scotland (ib. No. 1359).

Immediately on his return to Scotland Randolph resumed his activity against the English. On 17 Jan. 1342 he defeated Edward Baliol at Irvine; and in the same year he invaded England, the young king, David II, serving under him as a volunteer. He accompanied David II in his disastrous expedition into England in 1346, and held command of the right wing at the battle of Neville's Cross, where he was killed at the first attack. Moray married his cousin Isabel, only daughter of Sir Alexander Stewart of Bonkle, and relict of Donald, earl of Mar; but by her he had no issue, and the earldom, on his death, was assumed by his sister Agnes, countess of Dunbar and March [see Dunbar, Agnes].

[Chronicles of Fordun and Wyntoun; Cal. of Documents relating to Scotland, vol. iii.; Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, vol. i.; Douglas's Scottish Peerage (Wood), ii. 251–2.]

T. F. H.