Murray, Adam (DNB00)

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MURRAY, ADAM (d. 1700), defender of Londonderry, was descended from the Murrays of Philiphaugh in Selkirkshire. His father, Gideon Murray, came to Ireland in 1648, settled at Ling on the Faughan Water, nine miles from Londonderry, and held some of the lands planted by the London Skinners' Company. When the protestants of Ulster armed against Tyrconnel at the end of 1688, Adam Murray raised a troop of horse among his neighbours. Robert Lundy [q. v.] sent him on 15 April 1689 with thirty men, as part of the force destined to hold the ford over the Finn at Clady, near Strabane, but neglected to provide the necessary supplies. Having only three rounds of ammunition apiece, the defenders were dispersed, and Rosen passed the river. On the 18th James himself appeared under the walls of Londonderry, but was driven away by the fire of the enraged citizens. Murray at the same time approached with his horse, and was admitted by James Morrison, captain of the city guard, who acted in defiance of Lundy, and by so doing saved the town. Walker had offered to take in Murray without his men, but he indignantly refused (Mackenzie). Murray was followed about by the anxious people, and he promised to stand by them. Afterwards, at a meeting of officers, he taxed Lundy with cowardice or treason at Clady and elsewhere. Murray was thenceforth the soul of the no-surrender party, and was chosen to command the horse. On 19 April the people wished to make him governor, but he refused, and Major Baker was chosen. Next day Claude Hamilton, lord Strabane, came into the town with a flag of truce, and offered Murray a colonel's commission and 1,000l. on King James's part. He declined both, and saw his lordship through the lines. As the siege went on, says the author of the 'Londerias,'

The name of Murray grew so terrible
That he alone was thought invincible :
Where'er he came, the Irish fled away.

In the sally to Pennyburn Mill on 21 April he had a horse shot under him, and, according to two local authorities, slew the French general, Maumont, with his own hand (Mackenzie, chap. v. ; Londerias). The identical sword is still shown, but Avaux reported to his government that Maumont was killed by a musket-shot in the head ({sc|Macaulay}}). About the middle of May General Richard Hamilton [q. v.] sent Murray's father, who was living near, to persuade his son that the town must be yielded. According to the author of the 'Londerias,' who likens him to Hamilcar and Regulus, the old man counselled unflinching resistance, and then returned to the besiegers' camp. To his credit, Hamilton allowed him to live unmolested. On 18 June Murray was badly hurt in the head. In the fight at the Windmill on 16 July he was shot through both thighs, and did not fully recover until the end of October.

When Kirke entered the relieved city at the beginning of August, he proposed to amalgamate the disabled hero's regiment with another, but nearly all the men 'refused, and went off into the country with their carbines and pistols, and the major-general seized the saddles, as he also did Colonel Murray's horse, which he had preserved with great care during all the siege ' (Mackenzie, chap, vi.)

Murray died probably in 1700, and, it is believed, at Ling. He was buried in Glendermot churchyard, near the spot where Governor Mitchelburn [q. v.] was laid more than twenty years later. He married Isabella Shaw, by whom he had a son, whose descendants exist in the female line, and a daughter, who enjoyed a pension from the crown for life. Murray did not himself seek any reward, but William III presented him with a watch. He has been claimed both by the presbyterians and episcopalians, but there is no conclusive evidence either way (Witherow, p. 325 ; Hempton, pp. vi-xii). His name has been locally perpetuated by the Murray Club.

Besides his sword and watch, Murray's snuffbox is in possession of his descendant, Mr. Alexander of Caw House, Londonderry.

[There are three contemporary accounts of the siege of Londonderry, besides subsidiary pamphlets on controverted points, viz. George Walker's True Account, and the narratives of the Rev. John Mackenzie and Captain Thomas Ash. The curious Londerias, in halting heroic verse, by Joseph Aickin, was published in 1698. See also Hempton's Siege and Hist, of Londonderry; the Rev. John Graham's Ireland Preserved ; Walter Harris's Life of William III ; Witherow's Derry and Enniskillen, 3rd ed. 1885; Reid's Presbyterian Church of Ireland, ed.Killen, vol. ii.; Macaulay's Hist. chap. xii. ; Cat. of Industrial and Loan Exhibition, Londonderry, 1890.]

R. B-l.