Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 39.djvu/408

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Murray
Murray
402

1661, but never sat on the bench. He was also a lord of exchequer for Scotland, and became deputy-secretary on 5 June 1663. Thenceforward, down to 1670, the government of that country was mainly carried on by Lauderdale, the king, and himself [see Maitland, John, second Earl and first Duke of Lauderdale]. Charles had great confidence in him, and his counsels were uniformly for prudence and moderation. Despatched to Scotland by Lauderdale in May 1667, he executed with firmness and skill his difficult task of breaking up the cabal between the church and the military party. His tour of inspection through the western counties included a visit to James Hamilton, third marquis and first duke [q. v.] Until Lauderdale finally broke with him in 1670, Moray was his zealous coadjutor, sparing no pains to maintain him in the royal favour. Yet the disinterestedness and elevation of his aims were universally admitted. He was devoid of ambition; indeed, as he said, he 'had no stomach for public employments.'

Moray took an active share in the foundation of the Royal Society, and presided almost continuously over its meetings from March 1661 to July 1662. He watched assiduously over its interests, and was described by Huygens as its 'soul.' He imparted to it his observations of the comet of December 1664 (Birch, Hist. of the Royal Society, i. 508, 510), and his communications on points connected with geology and natural history were numerous.

Moray mixed largely in London society. Burnet regarded him as 'another father,' and extols him as 'the wisest and worthiest man of the age' (Hist. of Ms own Time, ii. 20). His genius he considered to be much like that of Peiresc, and his knowledge of nature unsurpassed. 'He had a most diffused love of mankind, and he delighted in every occasion of doing good, which he managed with great discretion and zeal' (ib. i. 101-2). His temper and principles were stoical, but religion was the mainspring of his life, and amidst courts and camps he spent many hours a day in devotion. Wood calls him 'a renowned chymist, a great patron of the Rosicrucians, and an excellent mathematician,' and asserts that 'though presbyterianly inclined, he had the king's ear as much as any other person, and was indefatigable in his undertakings' (Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, ii. 725). Charles II, indeed, thoroughly esteemed him, and often visited him privately in his laboratory at Whitehall. The king used to say, in illustration of Moray's independence of character, that he 'was head of his own church,' Evelyn styled him his 'dear and excellent friend' (Diary, ii. 84, 1850 edit.) Pepys speaks of him as 'a most excellent man of reason and learning, and understands the doctrine of musique and everything else I could discourse of, very finely' (Diary, 16 Feb. 1667). Yet his brilliant gifts left no lasting impress on his time. Many of his letters to Huygens, whom he kept informed of the progress of science in London, have been recently published at the Hague (Œuvres Completes de C. Huygens, iii. iv. 1890-1).

He died suddenly on 4 July 1673, in his pavilion in the gardens of Whitehall, and was buried at the king's expense in Westminster Abbey, near the monument to Sir William D'Avenant [q. v.] About 1647 Moray married Sophia, daughter of David Lindsay, first lord Balcarres. She died at Edinburgh on 2 Jan. 1653, and was buried at Balcarres. They had no children.

[Correspondence of Sir Robert Moray with Alexander Bruce, 1657-1660, by Osmund Airy, Scottish Review, v. 22 (the materials for which were furnished by a manuscript copy of the letters in question lent by Mr. David Douglas of Edinburgh, the originals being in the possession of the Earl of Elgin); notes from the archives of the French foreign office (despatches of De Montereul to Mazarin 1645-8) kindly supplied by Mr. J. G. Fotheringham of Paris; the Lauderdale Papers, vols. i. ii., published by the Camden Soc., 1884-5, ed. 0. Airy; Phil. Trans. Abridged, ii. 106 (Button); Birch's Hist, of the Royal Society, iii. 113, and passim; Chambers's Biog. Dict. of Eminent Scotsmen (Thomson); Burke's Hist, of the Landed Gentry, i. 540, 7th edit.; Douglas's Peerage of Scotland, i. 168; Lord Lindsay's Memoir of Lady Anna Mackenzie, p. 32, 1868 edit.; Chester's Registers of Westminster, 1876; Stanley's Hist. Memorials of Westminster Abbey, p. 297; Biog. Brit. (Kippis), art. 'Brouncker;' Thomson's Hist, of the Royal Soc.; Poggendorff's Biog.-lit. Handworterbuch.]

A. M. C.

MURRAY, ROBERT (1635–1725?), writer on trade, born in 1635 in the Strand, London, was son of Robert Murray, 'civis et scissor Londini.' In 1649 he was entered as an apprentice on the books of the Clothworkers' Company, and took up his freedom in 1660. He is subsequently spoken of as 'milliner,' and again as 'uphosterer,' but describes himself in his publications as 'gent.,' possibly having retired from the trade.

For several years from 1676 he wrote on matters of banking and national revenue. He was the inventor of ruled copybooks for children, and in 1681 or, according to Wood, in 1679, he is said to have originated the idea of the penny post in London, 'but to Dockwra belongs the credit of giving it prac-