MURRAY, John (d.1753), of Philiphaugh, Selkirk.

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



16 Apr. 1725 - 1734
1734 - 2 July 1753

Family and Education

1st s. of Sir James Murray, M.P. [S], of Philiphaugh, Lord Philiphaugh, S.C.J., and ld. clerk register [S], by his 2nd w. Margaret, da. of Sir Alexander Don, 1st Bt., of Newton, Berwick. m. 31 Dec. 1711, Eleanor, 1st da. of Lord Basil Hamilton (6th s. of William, 3rd Duke of Hamilton [S]), 4s. 2da.; bro.-in-law of John Pringle. suc. fa. 1708.

Offices Held

Hereditary sheriff, Selkirk 1708-c.34.


Unable as hereditary sheriff to stand for the county, John Murray, whose family acquired their Philiphaugh estates in the fifteenth century, entered Parliament for Linlithgow Burghs, which included the burgh of Selkirk, at a contested by-election in 1725. Re-elected unopposed in 1727, he voted with the Administration till 1734, when he went into opposition, voting against Walpole on the repeal of the Septennial Act. Resigning the sheriffdom in favour of one of his sons, he was returned in 1734 for the county, where he was unopposed till his death. Continuing to vote with the Opposition, he received a circular letter in September 1737 from Lord Marchmont, urging the attendance of opposition Members at the opening of the new session.1 He remained in opposition till Walpole’s fall, after which he obtained a place for his eldest son as chamberlain of Ettrick forest.2 In the list of Members to be invited to the meeting of ministerial supporters at the Cockpit before the opening of the next session, he was put down to Lord Tweeddale, the secretary of state for Scotland, thereafter voting with the Government in all recorded divisions. He returned to opposition in 1747 when he was said to have ‘carried his election by one vote gained by Lord Marchmont’.3 (under Hume Campbell, Hugh, Lord Polwarth.) He died 2 July 1753.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: R. S. Lea


  • 1. HMC Polwarth, v. 142.
  • 2. Cal. Treas. Bks. and Pprs. 1742-5, p. 218.
  • 3. Argyll to Pelham, 1 Aug. 1747, Newcastle (Clumber) mss.