George Murray

George Murray was born August 22, 1741 at Tullibardine, Perthshire to Lord George Murray (born 1694 and died 1760 in Blick, Holland) and Amelia Murray (Heiress of Strowan, born 1710 and died 1766 in Invercault, Scotland). His father had fled to Holland after the Jacobite uprising in 1746.

1755

Murray attended the school of Dr. William Rose at Kew.

1756

He entered the Royal Naval Academy at Portsmouth.

1758

He became a midshipman on the Newark of 80 guns, flagship of Vice-Admiral Holburne.

1759

He sailed to India on the Falmouth of 50 guns.

1762

He returned to England from India on the Terpsichore, a 30-gun frigate.

He passed his lieutenant’s exams and shipped out on the sloop Swift.

1763

He transferred to the frigate Tartar of 28 guns.

1764

He remained on the Tartar in Jamaica at the Port Royal station.

1765

Murray was promoted to commander of the sloop Ferret of 10 guns in Jamaica. He surveyed Mobile harbor in British West Florida and collected Native American artifacts and fauna for his elder brother.

1766

January 19:
He continued as captain of the Ferret, a sloop at the Port Royal station in Jamaica and sailed to the Gulf of Mexico, South America’s northern coast and the North American East Coast.

1767

November 25:
He remained the captain on the Ferret in Port Royal.

1768

March 3:
He was appointed captain of the Renown of 30 guns in Port Royal.

The Renown patrolled the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico stations.

1769

September 1:
Murray became captain of the frigate Adventure of 32 guns in Jamaica.

December:
He returned to England on the Adventure at Spithead.

1770

January: He and his crew were paid off of the Adventure.

1770-1773

He was on half-pay.

1774

Murray took command of the Levant of 28 guns in the Mediterranean for the defense of Gibraltar under the command of Admiral Robert Mann. He trained his crews on battle techniques.

1776

March:
The Levant was in Algiers taking on provisions.

October:
He captured the Dolphin, and American merchant vessel loaded with rice. He suspected it was an American rebel vessel and sent it to Gibraltar.

October 27:
His ship was part of a convoy along with the Neptune of 90 guns; Hope, a brig; and the Charles.

November 22:
He captured the South Carolina merchant ship, Argo out of Charlestown going to Bordeaux with a load of rice and indigo and worth £37,200 (around $6,300,000 currently) that was intended as an exchange for clothing and medicine to be taken to the American rebels.

1777

March 9:
He captured the American privateer General Montgomery of 18 guns off Madeira coming from Philadelphia after a long chase into the night. The privateer surrendered without a fight when threatened with being sunk. Nine crew members opted to enlist onto the Levant, the rest went to the prison hulks for the duration of the war.

1778

March 24:
His Levant pursued and recaptured two ships that the USS Revenge of 22 guns had taken earlier.

July:
He captured the American merchant ship Robert bound for Boston with a cargo of salt.

August:
He took his first French prize of the war, a merchant ship with a load of tobacco.

He recaptured the Lively, a British merchant ship.

September:
He also captured two other French merchant ships; the Victorieux going to Marseilles, and the Duchess of Grumont that surrendered off Toulon. Both were sent back to Gibraltar.

December:
The Levant was careened at Gibraltar.

1779

March 14:
He captured the French le Thesée assisted by the frigate Enterprise of 28 guns.

April 1:
The Levant and Enterprise took the French l’Eclair xebec carrying wine and brandy from Marseilles.

June:
He sank a Spanish privateer that was attempting to capture a British merchant ship.

He sighted a 32 ship Spanish fleet heading south.

July 17:
He captured a French privateer la Revanche off Land’s End.

July:
He reached Portsmouth and reported the Spanish fleet that by then had reached Gibraltar and began a siege.

July 27:
He was ordered back to sea to convoy merchant ships out of Yorkshire to the port of Kingston-upon-Hull. Murray patrolled off Brighton and then sailed to the Spanish coast.

October:
He recaptured a British merchant ship, Nine Colliers and later captured the Velenza de Alcantara, a 20-gun Spanish privateer off Cadiz. He returned to Portsmouth and the ship was decommissioned and the crew paid off.

1780

Murray was appointed to the Cleopatra of 30 guns as captain for patrol in the Downs, Channel, and North Sea.

1781

August 5:
He remained captain on the Cleopatra under Vice Admiral Hyde Parker and saw action with the Dutch off the Dogger Bank.

1782

He then commanded his first ship-of-the-line, Irresistible of 74 guns.

1783

He was paid off at the end of the American War of Independence and he was on half-pay.

1784

May 13:
He married Wilhelmina King, born Mar. 4, 1738, daughter of Thomas King, 5th Baron King of Ockham. They moved to Stanley House in Stratford.

1790

He was elected to parliament for the Perth burghs. He resumed his naval career during the Nootka crisis in Spain and was appointed to the Defence of 74 guns.

November:
He was paid off of the Defence.

1792

September:
Murray became captain of the Vengeance of 74 guns and made commander in chief on the Medway at Chatham with the rank of temporary commodore.

1793

February:
He was in command of the Duke of 98 guns and made colonel of the Royal Marines.

March:
He sailed for the West Indies in a fleet under Admiral Alan Gardner. His ship was damaged by lightning.

October:
He returned to England with a convoy and was transferred at Plymouth to the Glory of 98.

1794

March:
He made commander in chief of North American squadron based in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

April:
He was promoted to rear-admiral.

1795

He was promoted to vice-admiral on his flagship Resolution of 74 guns.

May:
He sailed from England for Halifax.

August:
He arrived at Sandy Hook, the Delaware, and then Halifax.

He patrolled Atlantic near North America for French ships.

December 29:
His wife Wilhelmina died.

1796

May:
Murray suffered a stroke.

October:
He suffered a 2nd stroke and departed his command for England.

He vacated his parliament seat for his friend Dundas.

1797

October 17:
Murray died at Hunton in Kent and buried at Ockham in Surrey near his wife. They had no offspring.

Notes

George Murray and his wife had an extensive collection of artifacts from various cultures at Blair Castle, Perthshire, Scotland that he had acquired on his voyages.