Lord George Murray

Lord George Murray / Military

  • Name  : Murray
  • Born  : 1694
  • Died  : 1760
  • Category  : Military
  • Finest Moment : Battle of Prestonpans, 1745

Murray was born on 4 October 1694, at Huntingtower, Perth, the son of John Murray, 1st Duke of Atholl. He joined the first Jacobite Rebellion in 1715 and the 1719 landing which ended at Glenshiel, went into exile in Sardinia to return when pardoned in the late 1720s.

Like many Scots of the day, he had to make a major and difficult decision in 1745; whether or not to support Prince Charles Edward Stewart. He eventually joined the Young Pretender at Perth, and was appointed Lieutenant-General of the Jacobite forces. He is reckoned to have been easily the best Jacobite general, but a proud, hot-tempered and outspoken character, he was frequently at loggerheads with the Prince and his Irish advisers. The Irish advisers had the ear of Stewart, and also had their own agenda. Their influence would prove to be a significant factor in the ultimate defeat of the Jacobite rising.

Victory for the Jacobites at Prestonpans in September was mainly due to the superb tactics of Murray, as was the masterful retreat from Derby back to Scotland in December. The Irish advisors had pushed Stewart into the invasion of England, against Murray's advice. Stewart had dismissed Murray. The Scots troops would not follow any other general however, and Murray was reinstated. In January 1746, Murray defeated the English at Falkirk.

He was unhappy with the Prince's decision to make a stand at Culloden, not liking the terrain, and following the disastrous outcome of the battle, the last to be fought on British soil, his wing of the Jacobite army came out in the best order. He reached Ruthven Barracks, was ordered to disband, and retired to France. He eventually settled in Holland, where he died at Medemblik on 1 October 1760, never having been able to return to Scotland.

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