MURRAY, Hon. James (c.1690-1770).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



22 Feb. 1711 - 1713
1713 - 7 Apr. 1715

Family and Education

b. c.1690, 2nd s. of David Murray, 5th Visct. Stormont [S], by Margery, da. and h. of David Scott of Scotstarvet, Fife.; bro. of Hon. William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield. educ. adv. 1710. unm.

Offices Held

Commr. for settling trade with France 1713.


Re-elected for Elgin Burghs in 1715 but unseated on petition, Murray was active as a Jacobite agent in England and Scotland during the Fifteen, when he was sent by the Pretender in September with a commission of commander-in-chief for Lord Mar. Arrested and put in Newgate in April 1716 on suspicion of high treason, but discharged the following month,1 he concerted measures between the Jacobite leaders in England and Scotland during the Swedish plot of 17172 (see Caesar, Charles). In 1718-19 he negotiated the marriage of the Pretender with Princess Clementina Sobieska, acting as proxy at the wedding. In 1720, during Mar’s imprisonment in Switzerland, he performed the functions of secretary of state to the Pretender without the title.3 Leaving Rome at the end of the year, he lived in France with a pension from the Pretender until 1725, when he was appointed governor to Charles Edward Stuart. Created Earl of Dunbar in the Jacobite peerage, he became secretary of state to the Pretender in 1727, resigning in 1747. He spent the rest of his life at Avignon, where he died in August 1770.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. HMC Stuart, i. 415-16, 430, 439; ii. 69; Secret Hist. of Rebels in Newgate (1717), p. 69.
  • 2. HMC Stuart, iv. 453-4 et passim.
  • 3. A. H. Tayler, Jacobite Court at Rome in 1719 (Sc. Hist. Soc. ser. 3, xxxi), 202.