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The name Rattray is taken from the barony of Rattray in Perthshire. The barony of Rattray has been in their possession since the 11th century. The first recorded Laird of Rattray was Alan who witnessed charters by William the Lion and Alexander II of Scotland.
During the Wars of Scottish Independence, Alan’s grandson Eustace Rattray, was captured at the Battle of Dunbar and taken to England as prisoner. Eustace’s son Adam swore fealty to Edward I, as seen in the Ragman Rolls of 1296.
Adam was succeeded by Alexander who was amongst the barons who sat in the Parliament at Ayr to determine the succession to the throne in 1315. His brother Eustace, who succeeded him, was accused of being involved in a plot to depose Robert the Brice, but was later acquitted.
A power struggle broke out in the 15th century between the Rattrays and the Earl of Atholl following the former’s acquisition of large estates around Fortingall in Atholl. John Stewart, Earl of Atholl married a Rattray daughter - Grizel - claiming half the barony as her right. Her brother Patrick was driven from Rattray Castle in 1516, and having built a new house at Craighall, was murdered by the Earl of Atholl in 1533.
The family fought for Charles I during the Scottish Civil War, a John Rattray being imprisoned in the Tower of London following defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651.
In 1648 another Patrick Rattray consolidated the estates into one free barony of Craighall-Rattray. James Rattray of Rannagulzion and Corb fought at the Battle of Killiecrankie in 1689. John Rattray was physician to Charles Edward Stuart throughout the Jacobite rising of 1745. He was captured after the Battle of Culloden but was reprieved. James Rattray sheltered Jacobite fugitives at Craighall.
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