Lt.-Gen. Lord George Murray

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George Murray

Birthdate: (66)
Birthplace: Huntingtower, Perth, Scotland
Death: October 11, 1760 (66)
Medemblick, Holland
Immediate Family:

Son of 1st Marquess of Atholl, Earl of Tullibardine John Murray
Husband of Amelia Murray
Father of John Murray, 3rd Duke of Atholl; Amelia Murray; Major-General James Murray, of Strowan; Vice- Admiral George Murray of Pitcaithly, of Pitcaithly RN; Katherine Murray and 2 others

Occupation: Scottish Jacobite General in the '45 Campaign
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Lt.-Gen. Lord George Murray

icn_check.gif Burkes Peerage Extract (Full document attached)

5a George; born 4 Oct 1694; Ensign Roy Scots 1712; Jacobite 1715, escaped abroad; returned with his brother Marquess of Tullibardine 1719, when allegedly wounded at Battle of Glenshiel; again escaped, again returned 1724, pardoned, Jacobite again '45 Uprising, when Lt-Gen throughout the campaign; attainted after the Jacobites' defeat at Culloden 1746 but again escaped abroad, the attainder being held by a decision 7 Feb 1764 of the Ho Lds not to have affected his s's right of succession since he predeceased his s; married 3 June 1728 Amelia, only surviving child and heiress of James Murray of Glencarse and Strowan, and died Medemblick, Holland, 11 Oct 1760, having had, with other issue:

  • 1b JOHN, 3rd Duke; see below
  • 1b Amelia; born 17 May 1732; married 1st 1750 as his 2nd wife, John Master of Sinclair (see SINCLAIR, L); married 2nd 18 April 1754, as his 1st wife, James Farquharson of Invercauld (see NORTHAMPTON, M) and died 24 April 1777



1694: “[General] Lord George Murray, General and major strategist of the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 (‘the ‘45’), born, Huntingtower, Perth." The Highlander: The Magazine of Scottish Heritage, Volume 34, No. 5, September/October 1997 issue, 30.

Lord George Murray, Ensign Royal Scots, a Jacobite, fought for the rebels at the Battle of Sheriffmuir 1715, fled to the Continent, returned to Scotland 1719 fought at the Battle of Glenshiels, eventually returning to Holland in 1719, returned to Scotland 1724 and obtained a pardon under the Great Seal 1725, joined the Jacobite army in 1745, fought at the Battle of Prestonpans and was in command at the siege of Carlisle, commanded the Jacobite right wing at the Battle of Culloden 1746 after which he returned to Holland, attainted by Act of Parliament 1746 (b. 4 Oct 1694; d. 11 Oct 1760), mar. 3 Jun 1728 Amelia Murray (d. 29 Mar 1766), only surv. child and hrss. of Dr James Murray of Glencarse and Strowan, and had issue:

  • 1a. John Murray, later 3rd Duke of Atholl
  • 2a. Maj Gen James Murray of Strowan, Member of Parliament for Perthshire 1773-77, 1774-80 and 1784-94, Governor of Upper Castle 1775 and of Fort William 1780 (b. 19 Mar 1734; d. 19 Mar 1794)
  • 3a. Vice-Admiral George Murray of Pitcaithly RN, Member of Parliament for Perth Burghs 1790-96 (b. 22 Aug 1741; dsp. 17 Oct 1797), mar. 13 May 1784 Hon Wilhelmina King (b. 4 Mar 1738; dsp. 29 Dec 1795), yst. dau. of Thomas [King], 5th Baron King
  • 1a. Amelia Murray (b. 17 May 1732; d. 24 Apr 1777), mar. (1) 24 Apr 1750 as his second wife Hon John St Clair, Master of Sinclair (d. 2 Nov 1750), 1st son and heir ap. of Henry [St Clair], 10th Lord Sinclair, and (2) 18 Apr 1754 as his first wife James Farquharson of Invercauld, and had issue by her second husband
  • 2a. Katherine Murray (b. 23 Jan 1746; dvp. 24 Sep 1747)
  • 3a. Charlotte Murray (b. 26 Sep 1751 ; d. 9 Aug 1773)

Lord George Murray; "The Jacobite General" George Murray born at Huntingtower outside Perth on the 4th of October 1694, lamented in Jacobite circles as the hero of the “45”. But was there more to Murray than meets the eye...

Brought up with the staunchly Jacobite views of his aunt Lady Nairne, Murray was “convinced that the setting aside of the royal line was an act of the highest injustice” Failing to settle in Glasgow University at the age of 17, George Murray was commissioned into the forces of Queen Anne in an anxious and desperate attempt to escape from a stern and difficult Whig father. Travelling to Flanders as an ensign in the British Royal Regiment he was to spend a winter in a sick bay in Dunkirk and the next two years of peacetime soldiering in the British army on the continent. He was on leave in Scotland when Mar raised the standard at Braemar on the 3rd September 1715 and joyfully exchanged a cornetcy in the army of George I for a colonelcy in the army of James VIII. He commanded a battalion of Athollmen though missed the Battle of Sheriffmuir being in Fife raising cess. Three years of exile in France and Italy he was to return for the rising of 1719 this time as a Major General. Losing everything they owned in that failure and refused the support of his Whig parent he was banished once more to an exiled wandering of Europe.

After 8 and half years in exile he risked his life returning to Scotland to visit his dying father. His beloved monarch James VIII had given him permission to seek a pardon. This he did in 1725 through the good auspices of his brother James who had remained loyal to the Hanoverian Government. On disadvantageous terms he was given the old Murray lands around Tullibardine Castle and thereafter set himself at making a living from this long neglected estate. Marrying Amelia the daughter of James Murray of Glencarse and his wife Lady Strowan, George Murray also inherited the lands of Strowan and Arnhall near Stirling.

For the next 20 years Murray became a loyal servant to Great Britain but doggedly refused to take the oath of allegiance to the hated “House of Hanover”. Murray was a great supporter of the union and prided himself as a citizen of the world. His letters to his wife and Whig brother reveal a wholly British outlook. He strongly disapproved of money being expended upon foreign wars, which benefited Hanover rather than Britain and he hated to hear of British reverses. As the years slipped by any spirit of Scottish Patriotism he had in his youth disappeared and he gradually developed an intense desire that the prestige of Great Britain should be upheld among the nations of the world. In 1743 on a visit to London he was confronted with the necessity of kissing George II’s hand. And so it was, the once staunch Jacobite gave up his allegiances for an image at the British court and a kiss at the podgy hand of a German princeling. Assisted by his Whig brother’s friend Duncan Forbes of Culloden his words of submission to the Hanoverian monarchy were worded in the least painful of manners.

Murray was a member of the British elite. A landowner of the new British state in a Union that was slowly consuming all the efforts of hostility to it. Murray’s eldest son was sent to the english public school of Eton and destined for a commission in the British army of the House of Hanover. To Murray though it was the character of the sovereign whom he had good reason to believe would have made one of the best monarchs to occupy the British throne. Murray had assured his King James long before “that his attachment and fidelity would never alter”. The scene was now set for the arrival of his son Charles in his attempt to regain the throne of Great Britain for his father and Murray’s loyalty was to be put into practice once again, but for Great Britain and not for Scotland?

Loyalty and fidelity to James VIII did not necessarily mean the same to his son Charles, the “Irish intriguers” would play on the dislike that manifested itself between the Prince and his General, Lord George Murray. From day one rumours of Murray’s allegiance to the cause manifested themselves at the table of the Prince and his advisers and hangers on. Yet Murray commanded the loyalty of the chiefs and ensured that he dressed in the tartans of his Highland division. The story of the “45” is well known and many have questioned the loyalty of its hero Lord George Murray.

What are the grounds for these questions of disloyalty?

His wide knowledge of contemporary affairs at home and abroad, Murray was looked upon by the Chiefs as their spokesman.

Murray therefore became the chief instrument in thwarting many of the most cherished schemes of his Prince who very early in the campaign began to regard him not only with suspicion but with intense personal dislike.

The mischief-maker and one of the Moidart seven. Sir John MacDonald accused Murray of “a very good dragoon he knew very little of the general”

On the march south Murray gave up on the siege of Carlisle claiming “he knew little of siege warfare” Shortly afterwards Murray wrote to his Prince asking to be relieved of his commission. Despising the interference of the quarter master general O’Sullivan. The Prince refused to accept it.

Shortly after a Ranald MacDonald an officer of Keppochs Regiment claimed that a widow he had lodged with informed him that “a personage in our army was corresponding closely with the Government his name was Lord George Murray.

And so to Derby. With a force of just 4,500 men the Prince’s army halted 100 miles for their goal. At the council meeting in Exeter House, Murray was for retreat back to Scotland. The Prince was distraught he wanted to continue with London open before them. The retreat was agreed and old Sir Thomas Sheridan was heard to remark “All is over. We shall never come this way again”.

Was Murray in secret talks with the Hanoverian Government?

The 240 mile lightning retreat back to the border was a success but was Murray kept informed of the movements of the Government forces?

Murray always advocated the release of any prisoners taken. This proved to be a mistake as many of those released after Prestonpans were to fight against the Jacobites at Falkirk and Culloden.

At Falkirk, Murray lost control of the Highland battalions mostly MacDonald clansmen in his right wing. This loss of control was almost fatal to the victory and had the government infantry not turned and ran from the field Falkirk may have been a disaster.

The retreat to the Highlands saw Murray lead a force to Atholl in an effort to drive out the many Campbell Militia men now stationed there. Murray was once again accused of being too lenient. He missed the opportunity of blowing up his brother’s castle at Blair. He returned a captured Hessian officer to his corps which was to lead to the Hessian Prince halting his force of 6,000 at Pitlochry declaring he was “not enough interested in the quarrel between the House of Stuart and Hanover”.

The accusations continued. The Frenchman D’Eguilles wrote to the French Minister D’Argenson that he believed that Lord George Murray meant to betray the Prince.

With a stand east of Inverness agreed Murray was strong in his disagreement that the ground chosen was unsuitable for their way of fighting and did not suit a Highland charge. With at least 1,500 men still to come in they advocated a further retrial. But Murray devised a surprise attack by night march to Nairn where Cumberland’s forces were camped. This was a disaster. Not only did Murray give up within sight of Cumberland’s pickets he about turned his advance force and marched them all the way back by road to the field at Culloden House.

The accusations of treachery continued. The Irish about the Prince were warned to watch the motions of Murray in battle and to shoot him if they found he intended to betray him.

The battlefield of Culloden placed the Jacobite line between the park walls of Culloden House on the left and the enclosure walls of Cullwiniac Farm on the right. Murray commanded the right wing with his Atholl Brigade. The MacDonald’s were placed on the left. Many have incorrectly stated that Clan Donald did not charge that fateful day. This is incorrect and recent archaeological study proves that the Jacobite right did charge forward but were hampered by the poor terrain. Much has been made of the uproar from the Clan Donald leadership that they had not been awarded their heredity right wing stance.

With the Government lines being drawn up in front of them Murray requested permission to swap his wing with the MacDonald’s moving to the right. This was refused as to cause confusion in front of the enemy. What did Murray know was to come?

With both sides drawn up cannon fire began. Murray wheeled the right wing further forward. This caused huge gaps in the Jacobite centre forcing the second line to take up positions in the front line to plug them.

On the charge, Murray’s right wing was aided by the farm track that ran to Leanach. Murray once again lost control of the charge. He allowed his flank to be turned. Despite his Athollmen fighting valiantly and at one point had they the reserve could have changed the day. But the flank was turned. This was the main cause of the defeat at Culloden.

Questions remain. Why were the British forces allowed to turn the right flank through the Cullwiniac parks so easily? Why was the right flank chosen and not the easy route around Culloden House on the left. If Murray was the general that some have made him out to be, why then did he lose control of the situation?

He lost his wig in the charge but many of the leaders lost their lives.

Murray survived and made his escape but one last twist to the tale remains. With a force of over 3,000 gathered at Ruthven some of them not even at Culloden and fresh for the fight. The order came from the Prince. “Let every man seek his safety in the best way he can.” And so they did.......Could the general, Murray have continued the fight in the mountains and rallied the clans again? No. It was everyman for himself and the butchers broom began its sweep.

There were many recriminations and writings following the failure. Many accusations of blame from the day after Culloden to the present day. Murray was forced into exile again and would see out his life in the land of is ancestor William the Silent, Prince of Orange the founder of the protestant Dutch Republic. He died aged 66 on the 11th of October 1760 in Medemblik and is buried in the grounds of the church there.

Murray's funeral hatchment below indicating his pedigree. It includes the royal arms of the Netherlands indicating his descent from William the Silent, Prince of Orange and founder of the Dutch Republic. Also included are Arms of; Murray Duke of Atholl, Stewart Earl of Atholl, Campbell of Glenorchy, Lord Sinclair, Stanley Earl of Derby, De Vere Earl of Oxford, La Tremoille Duc de Thouars, Nassau Prince of Orange, The Red Douglas Earl of Angus, Lord Oliphant, The Cock o the North, Marquis of Huntly, Stewart d'Aubigny Duke of Lennox, Hamilton Duke of Hamilton, Cunningham Earl of Glencairn, Fielding Earlo of Denbigh, Villiers later Duke of Buckingham;

Through the Stanleys, Murray was descended from King Henry VII, and thus from the vigorous english houses of Tudor and Plantagenet.

e is remembered as the “Jacobite General” A Hero or Villain? A Scottish Patriot?? Or just another member of the Scottish elite that had grasped their part in the British Empire and looked to change what king ruled over it??

Notes: 1694 A. D.: “[General] Lord George Murray, General and major strategist of the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 A. D. (‘the ‘45’), [Deb's 5x cousin, 11x removed (on the Rogers side), and 8x cousin, 8x removed (on the Boyd side)], born, Huntingtower, Perth." Source: The Highlander: The Magazine of Scottish Heritage, Volume 34, No. 5, September/October 1997 issue, 30. Notes: Lord George Murray (4 October, 1694 A. D. – 11 October, 1760) was a Scottish Jacobite general, most noted for his 1745 campaign under HRH Bonnie Prince Charlie into England. Lord George was the sixth son of John Murray, 1st Duke of Atholl, who was the chief of Clan Murray, by his first wife, Catherine, daughter of the 3rd Duke of Hamilton. Early life: Born at Huntingtower near Perth, General, Lord Murray joined the army in Flanders in 1712 A. D. at the age of eighteen. Three years later, against his father's wishes, he and his brothers, The Most Honourable Marquess William Murray, Marquess of Tullibardine, and Lord Charles Murray joined the Jacobite rebels under the Earl of Mar, with each brother commanding a regiment of the men of Atholl. Lord Charles was taken captive at Preston, but following the collapse of the rising, Lord George escaped with Tullibardine to South Uist, and thence to France. In 1719 A.D., General, Lord Murray was involved in Jacobite military affairs in the Western Highlands, where Tullibardine and the Earl, HRH Earl Marischal, had joined forces with Spaniards, which terminated at the Battle of Glenshiel on 10 June. General, Lord Murray was wounded on the final day of combat whilst commanding the Jacobite right wing. He spent the next few months hiding in the Highlands and later made his way towards Rotterdam where he arrived in May, 1720 A. D. Little is known of General, Lord Murray's life on the continent. Some scholars have theorised that he served in the Sardinian army, though the supporting evidence has drawn much criticism. He returned to Scotland in 1724 A. D. when the Duke of Atholl died, and was succeeded in his title by his second son, His Grace Duke James, owing to the attainder of Tullibardine. Following this, Lord George leased from his brother the old family property of Tullibardine in Strathearn. The government pursued a strategy of weakening the Jacobite sympathies of elite families by acts of clemency and following solicitation by General, Lord Murray's father he was pardoned in 1725 A. D. In 1728 A. D., he married Amelia, daughter and heiress of James Murray, of Strowan and Glencarse. They had three sons and two daughters. His Grace Duke John Murray, 3rd Duke of Atholl (6 May, 1729 A. D. – 5 November, 1774 A. D.) Amelia Murray (17 May, 1732 A. D. – 24 April, 1777 A. D.), married first Master John St. Clair, Master of Sinclair, and second, James Farquharson James Murray (1734 A. D. – 19 March, 1794 A. D.) Charlotte Murray (d. 1773 A. D.) George Murray (22 August, 1741 A. D. – 17 October, 1797 A. D.) Decision to join the rising: Lord George Murray had been a vehement opponent of the Acts of Union 1707 A. D. but in 1739 A. D., he took the oath of allegiance. The Duke of Perth made overtures to General, Lord Murray on behalf of HRH Prince Charles Edward Stuart, but General Lord Murray, who had been living quietly since 1725 A. D., remained skeptical even after HRH Prince Charles' arrival in Scotland in July, 1745A. D., with the accompaniment of Tullibardine. On 21 August, General, Lord Murray accompanied his brother, the Duke, to pay his respects to Sir John Cope, the commander of the government troops. During this visit, Cope appointed General, Lord Murray Deputy-Sheriff of Perthshire. Given his later affiliations, it has been suggested both that General, Lord Murray acted with duplicity towards Cope and that his hesitation regarding HRH Prince Charles was genuine. In September, when HRH Prince Charles was at Blair Castle (vacated by the Duke upon his advance), General Lord Murray publicly espoused the Jacobite cause. He wrote to his brother explaining that he did so for reasons of conscience, realising the risk of ruin his actions carried with them. The Jacobite cause: Upon joining the army, he was made Lieutenant-General, but HRH Prince Charles' secretary, John Murray, of Broughton, intrigued against General, Lord Murray and insinuated he was a traitor. Despite this, General Lord Murray exerted himself successfully at Perth, bringing discipline and order to his new army, winning the confidence of the Highland levies, with whose ways he was familiar, resolving a dispute over who was to have the place of honour in the right of the line, and used his influence to prevent the exactions and arbitrary interference with civil rights which others had counseled HRH Prince Charles to implement. By 21 September, 1745 A. D., General, Lord Murray was leading the Jacobite left wing in person and was practically commander-in-chief of the force, having ordered the successful attack at the Battle of Prestonpans on his own initiative. General, Lord Murray disagreed with HRH Prince Charles' plans to invade England and counseled against them. Nevertheless, when the decision was made, he prevailed upon the Prince to march for Cumberland, where the hilly ground would be more favourable to highlander tactics, rather than an open assault against General Wade, whose army was posted at Newcastle. General, Lord Murray conducted the Siege of Carlisle but when the town was surrendered on 14 November, he resigned his command on the grounds that his authority had been undermined by the Prince, and obtained permission to serve as a volunteer in the Atholl levies. The army, however, were unhappy with his replacement, the Duke of Perth, and so Charles quickly reinstated Murray, who commanded the army on its march towards Derby. Whilst occupying the city on 5 December, General, Lord Murray urged the Prince to retreat, citing the lack of support from France and English Jacobites as factors against the success of the invasion. General, Lord Murray now commanded the support of the council and so the retreat was agreed upon, but HRH Prince Charles was furious at the decision and never forgave General, Lord Murray. Despite this apparent lack of confidence, General, Lord Murray's aide-de-camp, James Chevalier de Johnstone, has been quoted as saying that, "had Prince Charles slept during the whole of the expedition, and allowed Lord George Murray to act for him according to his own judgment, he would have found the crown of Great Britain on his head when he awoke." His "Memoire of the Rebellion 1745 - 1746" lays the blame for the failure on HRH Prince Charles' refusal to follow the advice of General, Lord Murray. During the retreat, General, Lord Murray commanded the rear-guard, a difficult task considering the proximity of government forces both to his rear and flank commanded in part by the Duke of Cumberland, as well as the negative attitude of HRH Prince Charles. At the Clifton Moor Skirmish, General, Lord Murray turned and fought, enabling the army to reach Carlisle without loss of stores or war material, allowing them to advance to Stirling by the third of January, 1746 A. D., where HRH Prince Charles laid siege to Stirling Castle with the aid of reinforcements from Perth. General, Lord Murray (who had counseled against this move), however, was kept busy with battle near Falkirk where he defeated General Hawley. Sickness and desertion were beginning to take their toll on his force, however, and with the advance of Cumberland, retreat to the Highlands was a necessity. HRH Prince Charles was forced to acquiesce, angering him yet further, and causing him to accuse General, Lord Murray of being a traitor. General, Lord Murray's failure to capture the Atholl stronghold, Blair Castle, did nothing to refute this, though there seems to be little other than rumour and circumstance to back this claim up. In April, the Jacobite army was near Inverness and HRH Prince Charles decided to give battle to Cumberland, despite the exhaustion prevalent throughout his army. He took up a position on the left bank of the Nairn river at Culloden Moor, despite General, Lord Murray's counsel to set up position on the opposite bank. The Battle of Culloden was the death blow to the Stuart cause, with the clansmen being routed by the British Army. Cumberland told his troops on the following day that Murray had given orders that they were to be shown no quarter; however, seemingly original copies of Murray's orders were found in Cumberland's papers and contain no such injunction. Following the defeat, General, Lord Murray conducted a remnant of the Jacobite army to Ruthven Barracks with a mind to organise further resistance. HRH Prince Charles, however, had decided to abandon the cause and General, Lord Murray was issued a letter dismissing him from the Prince's service. The general replied by upbraiding HRH Prince Charles for his distrust and mismanagement. Later life: General, Lord Murray escaped to the continent in December, 1746 A. D., and was well received in Rome by the Prince's father, HRH King James Stuart, who granted him a pension. Despite the father's hospitality, when General, Lord Murray journeyed to Paris the following year, the Prince refused to meet with him. General, Lord Murray lived in numerous places on the continent over the next few years, and eventually died in Medemblik, Holland, on 11 October, 1760 A. D. at the age of 66. Originally, he was buried inside the Bonifacius-church in Medemblik, but the church was shortened in 1860 A. D. and as a consequence his grave was outside the church henceforth, although his grave-stone was removed and placed inside the smaller church. In 1880 A. D., a new stone was placed on his grave by his descendant, His Grace Duke John Stewart-Murray, 7th Duke of Atholl. People still visit his grave, some of them bringing heather from Culloden. Announcement of burial of Lord George Murray. Heather from Culloden to honour the memory of Lord George Murray.,_token_of_respect.jpg Description at gravestone inside Bonifacius-church . References: Szechi, Daniel,(2006) 1715: the great Jacobite Rebellion "Scotsman of Holland" by Wijke Ruiter "Bonifacius Kerk". Brief overview of Murray. Article on Stuart. Small section on Murray. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Murray, Lord George". Encyclopædia Britannica. 19 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 39 – 40. Text included has been adapted for Wikipedia - there are no direct transfers outside of quotage. Source:

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Lt.-Gen. Lord George Murray's Timeline

October 4, 1694
Huntingtower, Perth, Scotland
Age 15
Henrico, Virginia, United States
May 6, 1729
Age 34
May 17, 1732
Age 37
March 19, 1734
Age 39
August 22, 1741
Age 46
January 23, 1746
Age 51
September 26, 1751
Age 56
October 11, 1760
Age 66
Medemblick, Holland