Murray, Charles Adolphus (DNB12)

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MURRAY, CHARLES ADOLPHUS, seventh Earl of Dunmore (1841–1907), born in Grafton Street. London, on 34 March 1841, was only son of Alexander Edward Murray, sixth earl of Donmore by his wife Catherine, fourth daughter of George Augustus Herbert, eleventh earl of Pembroke [q. v.]. He succeeded his father as seventh earl on 16 July 1845.

Educated at Eton, he entered the Scots fusilier guards on 18 May 1800, and remained with the regiment till 1804. A conservative in politics, he was lord-in-waiting to Queen Victoria throughout Disraeli's second government from 1874 till 1880. He was also lord-lieutenant of Stirlingshire from 1874 till 1885, and hon. colonel of the 1st volunteer battalion of the Cameron Highlanders from 1896 till 1907.

A man of powerful physique, Dunmore travelled in many parts of the world, including Africa and the Arctic regions; but his chief fame as an explorer rests on a year's journey made in 1892 in company with Major Roche of the third dragoon guards through Kashmir, Western Thibet, Chinese Tartary and Russian Central Asia. They started from Rawal Pindi on 9 April 1892, and remained together till 12 Dec, when they parted at Kashgar in Chinese Turkestan. Major Roche, having no passport for the Central Asian frontier, then returned to India, while Dunmore continued his route westward through Ferghana and Transcaspia, reaching Samarcand towards the end of January 1893. He had ridden and walked 2500 miles, traversing forty-one mountain passes and sixty-nine rivers. On 3 July 1893 he read a paper on his experiences before the Royal Geographical Society (Geog. Journ. ii. 385), and in the same year published an account of his exploration in 'The Pamirs.' Though interesting and written in a simple and manly style, the book had small geographical value. Dunmore's scientific outfit was meagre. Indications for altitude were based on the readings of ordinary aneroids, and were not trustworthy. The ground had been covered by previous explorers and, according to experts, Dunmore lacked the necessary training for making fresh observations of value (Geog. Journal, iii. 115). Dunmore was also the author of 'Ormisdale,' a novel, published in 1893.

A few years before his death he, together with other members of his family, joined the Christian Scientists' Association. He attended the dedication of the mother church of the community at Boston, U.S.A., in June 1906. In 1907, at a Christian science meeting at Aldershot, he declared that his daughter had cured him of rupture by methods of Christian science. He died suddenly on 27 Aug. 1907 at Manor House, Frimley, near Camberley, and was buried at Dunmore, near Larbert, Stirlingshire. At an inquest, on 28 Aug. 1907, death was pronounced to be due to syncope caused by heart failure.

Lord Dunmore married on 5 April 1866 Lady Gertrude, third daughter of Thomas William Coke, second earl of Leicester, K.G. An only son, Alexander Edward, succeeded as eighth earl of Dunmore.

[The Times, 28 Aug. 1907; Who's Who; Burke's Peerage; Geog. Journ., Oct. 1907.]

S. E. F.