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John Murray


(1st Duke of Atholl)

1660 - 1724

Noble. Born in Lancashire (England), the son of another John Murray, Marquess of Atholl (or Athole; 1631 - 1703). The young Murray was granted the courtesy title of Earl of Tullibardine in 1676 and awarded the same title for life in his own right in 1696.

Murray welcomed William of Orange and the Glorious Revolution of 1689, and went on to become an enthusiastic supporter of the Hanoverian government, along with his son James, who would eventually become the 2nd Duke. However, three of his other sons were Jacobites, indeed Lord George Murray (1694 - 1760) laid siege to the family seat at Blair Atholl in 1746. Such divided loyalty was not unusual at the time, and an effective means of securing the family estates regardless of the winning side.

Married twice in 1683 and 1710, he succeeded his father, also John, as Marquess of Atholl in 1703 and the title was almost immediately elevated to that of a Duke. He also served High Commissioner to the Scottish Parliament (1696-98) and Lord Privy Seal, an office he resigned in 1705, but was later re-appointed. Murray initially opposed the Act of Union with England until better terms were obtained. He was a Scottish Representative Peer in 1710 and 1713 and Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland (1712-14). He as appointed an Extraordinary Lord of Session (1712) and Lord-Lieutenant of Perthshire (1715), serving in both offices until his death.

He died at Huntingtower and was buried at Dunkeld.


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