Bruce's beloved nephew
Regularly described as 'our dearest/beloved nephew', Moray was one of Robert Bruce’s most trusted and capable commanders.
In March 1314 he gave Bruce’s cause a welcome boost when he led a daring night attack and recaptured Edinburgh Castle after twenty years in English hands.
On 23 June, Moray commanded a group over 1,000 spearmen and was ordered to guard a ford north of the main Scottish position. But one source claims he was surprisingly slow to respond when Robert Clifford approached with some cavalry.
Making up for lost time, he speedily moved his troops to confront Clifford’s men, risking a confrontation in open field. The schiltron bristled with spears on every side. In gruelling combat, Clifford’s cavalry eventually faltered and Moray sent the English fleeing from the field.
On 24 June, Moray led one of the two large Scottish schiltrons down into the Carse to trap the English between the Bannock Burn and the Pelstream, ultimately forcing them to flee the field.
Moray remained a lifelong supporter of Bruce. His was one of the first names on the famous Declaration of Arbroath. He also played a key role in negotiating the final peace terms in 1328. After Bruce’s death, Moray was given the ultimate honour of acting as guardian for Bruce’s son, the young David II.
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