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The History of the Royal Burgh of Selkirk

The Outlaw Murray


The Outlaw Murray with supporters. (Enlarge)

The incident of the Outlaw Murray refusing homage to the King, but finally giving way on being installed as Sheriff of Ettrick Forest, has long been considered by many to be merely picturesque legend perpetuated by the well known ballad.

However, eminent Scottish authorities now accept it as an historical fact.

It is known that the John Murray, mentioned as the Queen's Herdsman in Ettrick Forest in 1460, had obtained a charter for Philiphaugh in 1461, and was the person in question. He was probably outlawed for his connection with the schemes of the Douglas's, and that he gave his submission during the King's occupation of Ettrick Forest.

The Murrays of Philiphaugh were certainly Sheriffs of the Forest before 1503.

Next: Flodden. The Departure and Return


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