Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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MURRAY, James, governor of Canada, born in Scotland about 1712; died in Beauport House, near Battell, Sussex, 8 June, 1794. He was the fourth son of Alexander, Lord Elibank, entered the army at an early age, and became a lieutenant-colonel of the 15th foot, 5 January, 1751. He served with Wolfe in the expedition against Rochefort, was made a colonel, 5 January, 1758, and led the 2d brigade in the expedition against Louisburg. He was junior brigadier under Wolfe at Quebec in 1759, and commanded the 3d brigade at the Plains of Abraham. After the death of Wolfe, Murray took command of the forces, and was appointed governor of Quebec, 23 October, 1759. During the winter of 1759-'60 General Murray established twelve redoubts and outposts around the city, and took every precaution to place it in a thorough state of defence against the threatened attack of the French. The Duke de Levis, the French commander, landed with his troops at Pointe-aux-Trembles, 26 April, 1760, marched to Lorette, and thence to Sainte Fore church, threatening Murray's advance posts. The latter, in consequence of this movement, was compelled to post some of his forces between Sainte Foye and Sillery, so as to prevent the advance of the French, and on 28 April marched out of Quebec with the rest of his troops, and attacked the advance guard of De Levis's army. The battle soon became general, and the British, being outnumbered three to one, were finally forced to retire within the city walls, after losing about 300 killed. The French loss was about 600. De Levis then besieged the city, but on 17 May the siege was raised, and, though he was pursued by the British, De Levis succeeded in effecting a junction with Vaudreuil at Montreal, where a final stand was to be made for French supremacy in Canada. Quebec being now secure, General Murray, with the remnant of Wolfe's division, 2,450 men, marched to Montreal on 14 June to aid General Amherst in the investment of that city. On 7 September, Governor Vaudreuil, becoming convinced of the hopelessness of defending Montreal against the British, sent out De Bougainville with a draft of articles comprising the conditions upon which he was willing to surrender Canada. These conditions having been modified to suit the British, the articles of capitulation were signed by both parties on 8 Sept, ., 1760. On 21 November, 1763, General Murray was appointed governor of Canada, and commander-in-chief of the British forces there, which offices he retained till 1766. During his administration the form of government and the laws to be observed in the new colony were promulgated. Everything was done by the governor to alleviate the discontent, of the conquered population, but with only partial success. Representatives of the people were summoned to Quebec by the governor in 1765, but his attempt to constitute a representative assembly failed, according to Francois X. Garneau, the historian, owing to the unwillingness of the French Roman Catholics to take the test oath that was imposed by the imperial statute. In his desire to conciliate the Canadians, Governor Murray provoked the wrath of the British residents, who petitioned for his recall, at the same time charging him with pandering to French prejudices to the detriment of the English-speaking population, an imputation of which he was honorably acquitted on his return to England. During his administration in 1763 the Indian uprising under Pontiac (q. v.) took place in the west. He returned to England in 1766 became a lieutenant-general in 1772, lieu-tenant-governor of Minorca in 1774, and governor in 1778. He was made general in 1783, governor of Hull in 1785, and colonel of the 21st fusileers on 5 June, 1789. General Murray made a gallant but unsuccessful defence of Minorca in 1781 against the Due de Crillon, with a large French and Spanish force, and rejected the French general's offer of a bribe of £1,000,000 for the surrender of the fortress.
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