MURRAY, Charles, Lord Charles (1661-1710).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer




Family and Education

b. 28 Feb. 1661, 2nd s. of John, 1st Mq. of Atholl (d.1703) by Lady Amelia Sophia Stanley, da. of James, 7th Earl of Derby. m. 8 Dec. 1682, Catherine, da. of Richard Watts of Great Munden, Herts., 7s. (1 d.v.p.) 5da. cr. Earl of Dunmore [S] 16 Aug. 1686.1

Offices Held

Capt. of ft. regt. of Lord James Douglas 1678-9; lt.- col. R. Dgns.[S] 1681-5, col. 1685-9; gov. Blackness Castle 1707-d.

Gent. of the horse to Princess Anne 1683-5; master of the horse to the Duchess of York 1685, (as Queen) 1685-Dec. 1688; PC [S] 1703-d.2

J.p. Lancs. 1687-Apr. 1688.


The son of a Scottish Royalist who had suffered during the Protectorate for his allegiance to Charles II, Murray was a professional soldier, and in 1683 entered the service of the royal family. Two years later he bought for £2,000 the mastership of the horse to the Duchess of York, in whose service he remained after she became Queen.3

Murray’s connexion with Lancashire was through his mother, the aunt of the 8th Earl of Derby. It was Derby’s influence, exercised through (Sir) Roger Bradshaigh II, which secured Murray a seat in Parliament for Wigan in 1685, when he was presented to the electors as ‘an honest gentleman and firm for the Protestant religion’, and one favoured by the King. He left no trace on the records of James II’s Parliament, but doubtless voted with the Court, for he was given a Scottish peerage as Lord Dunmore in 1686. Approved as court candidate for Wigan in 1688, he tried to rally support for the King in the autumn, writing to Lord Derby: ‘I am again bid to assure you of all kindness imaginable from the Court. Things begin to change mightily, for the Church of England is wholly trusted.’4

After the Revolution Dunmore was suspected of Jacobite sympathies and lost his commission. He suffered three terms of imprisonment during William’s reign, the first being in Edinburgh in 1689. In May 1692, together with the Earl of Middleton (Charles Middleton) and Sir Andrew Forrester, he was arrested ‘at a Quaker’s house in Goodman’s Fields’ and sent to the Tower. There he remained until August when he was released upon a recognizance of, £5,000 and four sureties of £2,000 each. He was never brought to trial and the charge of treason against him seems to have lapsed, but in 1696 he was again arrested and imprisoned at Liverpool. Under Queen Anne he regained royal favour and was appointed a Scottish privy councillor, becoming a strong supporter of the Union. He died on 19 Apr. 1710 and was buried in the chapel of Holyroodhouse. His son Robert was elected for Wootton Bassett in 1722 and Great Bedwyn in 1734.5

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Irene Cassidy


  • 1. Scots Peerage, iii. 385-6.
  • 2. CSP Dom. 1678, p. 241; 1680-1, p. 588; July-Sept. 1683, p. 215; 1684-5, p. 293; 1685, p. 305; HMC Le Fleming, 202; CSP Dom. 1702-3, 571.
  • 3. HMC Buccleuch, ii. 209.
  • 4. CSP Dom. 1685, pp. 119-20; HMC Kenyon, 178, 179; HMC Le Fleming, 202.
  • 5. Proc. Estates (Scottish Hist. Soc. ser. 3, xlvi.), 111; CSP Dom. 1691-2, pp. 285, 408, 542-3.