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JAMES MURRAY (c. 1719-1794)

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Originally appearing in Volume V19, Page 40 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JAMES MURRAY (c. 1719-1794), British governor of Canada, was a younger son of Alexander Murray, 4th Lord Elibank (d. 1736). Having entered the British army, he served with the 15th Foot in the West Indies, the'Netherlands and Brittany, and became lieutenant-colonel of this regiment by purchase in 1751. In 1757 he led his men to North America to take part in the war against France. He commanded a brigade at the siege of Louisburg, was one of Wolfe's three brigadiers in the expedition against Quebec, and commanded the left wing of the army in the famous battle in September 1759. After the British victory and the capture of the city, Murray was left in command of Quebec; having strengthened its fortifications and taken measures to improve the morale of his men, he defended it in April and May 1760 against the attacks of the French, who were soon compelled to raise the siege. The British troops had beendecimated by disease, and it was only a remnant that Murray now led to join General Amherst at Montreal, and to be present when the last batch of French troops in Canada surrendered. In October I 76o he was appointed governor of Quebec, and he became governor of Canada after this country had been formally ceded to Great Britain in 1763. In this year he quelled a dangerous mutiny, and soon afterwards his alleged partiality for the interests of the French Canadians gave offence to the British settlers; they asked for his recall, and in 1766 he retired from his post. After an inquiry in the House of Lords, he was exonerated from the charges which had been brought against him. In 1774 Murray was sent to Minorca as governor, and in 1781, while he was in charge of this island, he was besieged in Fort St Philip by a large force of French and Spaniards. After a stubborn resistance, which lasted nearly seven months, he was obliged to surrender the place; and on his return to England he was tried by a court-martial, at the instance of Sir William Draper,. who had served under him in Minorca as lieutenant-governor. He was acquitted and he became a general in 1783. He died on the 18th of June 1794. Murray's only son was James Patrick Murray (1782–1834), a major-general and member of parliament.
End of Article: JAMES MURRAY (c. 1719-1794)

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