Gen Lord John Murray of Pitnacree

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About Gen Lord John Murray of Pitnacree

Lord John Murray 1711 - 1787 Hanoverian general. Born at Huntingtower , the eldest son of John Murray , the 1st Duke of Atholl (1660 - 1724), by his second wife. He was appointed Aide-de-Camp to King George II in 1743 and a successful military career followed. His half-brother was Lord George Murray (1694 - 1760), the Jacobite commander. Despite this apparent anomaly, it was not unusual for the landed gentry to encourage their sons to support opposite sides at this time, thus ensuring the security of the family and their estates regardless of the outcome. Having said this, Murray served in Europe for the period of the Jacobite Rebellion, despite also being a Member of Parliament for the Whig Party, representing Perthshire from 1734 to 1761. In 1779, he raised a regiment at his own expense and, by the time of his death, Murray was the most senior officer in the British army.

The bravery displayed by Lord John Murray's Highlanders at Fontenoy opened the eyes of Government to the importance of securing the military services of the clans. It was therefore determined to repair, in part, by raising a second regiment in the Highlands, and authority to that effect was granted to the Earl of Loudon. By the influence of the noblemen, chiefs, and gentlemen of the country, whose sons and connexions were to be appointed officers, a body of 1250 men was raised, of whom 750 assembled at Inverness, and the remainder at Perth. The whole were formed into a battalion of twelve companies, their commissions being dated June 8th 1745.

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b. 14 Apr. 1711, 4th surv. s. of John, 1st Duke of Atholl [S], by his 2nd w. Mary, da. of William Ross, 12th Lord Ross of Halkhead [S]; half-bro. of Lord James Murray. educ. private sch. Chelsea 1720; ?St. Andrews Univ.; Leyden 1728. m. 13 Sept. 1758, Mary, da. of Richard Dalton Sheffield merchant, 1da.

Offices Held

Ensign 3 Ft. Gds. 1727, lt. 1733, capt.-lt. and capt. 1737, capt. and lt.-col. 1738; col. army 1743; col. 42 Ft. 1745-d.; maj.-gen. 1755; lt.-gen. 1758; gen. 1770; raised 2nd bn. 42 Ft. 1780.

Returned on the Atholl interest for Perthshire on coming of age, Murray, Queen Anne’s godson, voted with the Government in every recorded division. After serving in Germany as a.-d.-c. to the King in 1743, he obtained in 1745 the colonelcy of the Black Watch, to which the Rev. (later Professor) Adam Ferguson was appointed Gaelic speaking chaplain, ‘to be a kind of tutor or guardian to Lord John ... to gain his confidence and keep him in peace with his officers, which it was difficult to do’.1 Recalled from Flanders at the outbreak of the ’45, during which his half-brothers, the attainted ‘Duke William’ and Lord George, held high command in the rebel army, he served in 1746 with his regiment under General St. Clair at L’Orient, and thereafter in Ireland. After the peace he resumed his assiduous attendance in Parliament, unsuccessfully applying to Newcastle for preferment either to a regiment of dragoons or the government of Kinsale in 1753.

He died 26 May 1787.

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His Grace [John, 2nd Marquess of Atholl,] married, second, contract dated 26th June 1710, Mary, daughter of William, Lord Ross of Halkhead, who died 17th January 1767, leaving:

102(h) John Murray of Pitnacree, bom 14th April 1711; died 26th May 1787. His Will recorded 9th March 1791 (Edinburgh). He was M. P., Perthshire, 1734-61. He married, 13th September 1758, Mary, daughter and heiress of Richard Dalton, of Sheffield, who died 21st May 1765, leaving a daughter.

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Gen Lord John Murray of Pitnacree's Timeline

April 14, 1711
May 26, 1787
Age 76