James Patrick Murray (1782 – 1834), my first cousin eight times removed, was born at Leghorn (Livorno), Italy to James Murray, a Scottish army officer, then Governor of Menorca.

James Patrick Murray joined the British Army in 1797 as an ensign with the 44th Regiment of Foot and subsequently served as an aide-de-camp with his first cousin Sir James Pulteney. He took part in the 1799 Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland and in the 1800 Ferrol Expedition, an unsuccessful British attempt to capture the Spanish naval base and shipyard there. In 1802 Murray was placed on half-pay. After a period training at the Royal Military College, in 1804 he was appointed a major in the 66th Regiment of Foot.  From 1804 to 1809 the second battalion of the regiment was stationed in Ireland. 

DURING the early spring of 1804, the 2nd Battalion of the 66th Regiment, under command of Lieutenant- Colonel Peter, embarked for Ireland, and landing at Cork in the month of March, went into quarters at the Geneva Barracks. 

During the years 1805-6-7, the battalion was stationed in the South of Ireland. In June 1808, it was encamped on the Curragh of Kildare; and when the Camp at the Curragh broke up, it marched to Dublin, and there remained until the spring of the following year.  [Groves, John Percy. ”The 66th Berkshire Regiment”. Reading : J.J. Beecroft ; London, England : Hamilton, Adams and Co., 1887. page 28 retrieved from archive.org ]

In 1809 the 2nd Battalion with a strength of 720 bayonets under the command of Major Murray was deployed to Portugal. Major Murray was wounded at the Battle of the Douro; he lost the use of his right arm. He was subsequently employed in Ireland. 

MURRAY, Colonel James Patrick, C.B. — Obtained an Ensigncy in the  44th regiment, 1796, and a Lieutenancy in 1797. He was employed on regimental duty until May, 1798, when he was appointed Aide-de-camp to General Don, with whom he continued until June, 1799, when he joined Lieutenant-General Sir James Pulteney, and  served as Aide-de-camp to that officer during the campaign in  North Holland. He was present in the actions of the 27th August, 10th and 19th September, 2nd and 6th of October. On the 26th December, 1799, he obtained a company in the 9th Foot. He next served in the expedition to Ferrol. At the peace of 1802, he was placed on half-pay, and after studying for some time at the Royal Military College, was appointed to a company in the 66th Foot. The 9th February, 1804, he obtained a Majority in the latter corps : the 25th May, 1809, he received the Brevet of Lieutenant-Colonel, and was appointed Assistant-Quarter- Master-General in Ireland; and in November, 1809, Lieutenant-Colonel, 6th Garrison Battalion. He also served in Portugal, and received a severe wound at the passage of the Douro (see page 33) ; in 1813, 14 he was Assistant Adjutant-General in Ireland. The 12th August, 1812, he received the Brevet of Colonel. [Groves. pages 151-2 retrieved from archive.org ]

In 1803 James Patrick Murray married Elizabeth Rushworth (1783 – 1865), daughter of the Reverend Edward Rushworth of Yarmouth, Isle of Wight. James and Elizabeth had 6 sons and 6 daughters all born in Ireland:

  • Catherine Ann Murray 1804–1895
  • James Edward Ferguson Murray 1806–1834
  • Pulteney Murray 1807–1874
  • Harriet Elizabeth Murray 1809–1872
  • Mary Johanna Murray 1810–1875
  • Jane Susan Murray 1810–1841
  • Charles Murray 1814–1848
  • Elizabeth Murray 1817–1904
  • Henry Patrick Murray 1819–1855
  • Cordelia Maria Murray 1822–1909
  • Douglas Alexander Murray 1824–1866
  • George Don Murray 1826–1857

On 6 April 1809 their fourth child, Harriet Elizabeth Murray, was born in Youghal, County Cork. Harriet’s father was away fighting in Portugal where he was wounded on 12 May and lost the use of his right arm. 

On 25 May 1809 James Patrick Murray was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and employed in the Quarter-Master-General’s Department in Ireland. On 2 November 1809 he was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of the 5th Garrison Battalion. 

From 1811 to 1819 he was Assistant Adjutant-General in Ireland, stationed at Athlone, on the border of County Roscommon and County Westmeath. In 1819 he received brevet promotion to colonel.

In 1830 he was promoted to Major-General. He was then on half-pay serving with the 5th garrison battalion.

On 5 December 1834 Major-General James Patrick Murray, 52, died at his house Killeneure, near Athlone, after a few days illness. He had fallen victim to a cold caught on a morning when two Officers of the Royals were drowned in the River Shannon. They had been returning from his house to Athlone.

Naval & Military Gazette and Weekly Chronicle of the United Service 13 December 1834 page 889 retrieved through FindMyPast

Obituary in the Gentleman’s Magazine June 1835 page 660
Dec. 5. At Killeneure, near Athlone,
In his 53d year, Major-General James
Patrick Murray, C.B.

This gallant officer was the only son of General time Hon. James Murray, (fifth Son of Alexander fourth Lord Elibank,) distinguished by his persevering defence of Minorca in the years 1781.82. It was at that period that the subject of this notice was born, on the 21st Jan. 1782, at Leghorn, to which city his mother had retired from the siege. She was Anne daughter of Abraham Whitham, esq. the British Consul-general at Majorca. He was educated at Westminster School; and, having determined to follow his father’s profession, obtained an Ensigncy in the 44th regiment in 1796, and in the following year was promoted to a Lieutenancy in the same corps. In May 1798 he was appointed Aid-de-camp to General Don, with whom he continued in the Isle of Wight until June 1799; when he joined his relation and guardian Lt.Gen. Sir James Pulteney, and served as Aid-de-camp to that officer during the campaign in North Holland. He was present in the actions of 27 August, 10 and 18th Sept. 2nd and 6th Oct. and was in one of them slightly wounded. On Dec. 26, 1799, he was gazetted to a company, by purchase, In the 9th foot. He next accompanied Sir James Pulteney to the Ferrol, and was intrusted, by both the General and the Admiral in that expedition, with some important and confidential transactions. At the general election of 1802 he was returned to Parliament as one of the Members for Yarmouth in the Isle of Wight; but vacated his seat in the following March. At the peace of Amiens he was placed on half pay; and after studying for some time at the Royal Military Academy, was re-appointed to half pay in the 66th foot. In 1803 he espoused the amiable object of a long attachment, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Edward Rushworth, esq. of Freshwater House, Isle of Wight, and granddaughter of the late Lord Holmes, by whom he has left twelve children. In Feb. 1804, he obtained by purchase, a Majority in the 66th, with which he was stationed in several parts of Ireland; and subsequently was appointed to the staff of that country as Assistant Quartermaster-genera1 at Limerick, which situation he relinquished in order to accompany his regiment on foreign service. With the same regiment he also served in Portugal; where, at the passage of the Douro, he received a severe musket wound, which not only completely shattered and deprived him of the use of his right arm, but ever after impaired his general health. His gallant conduct, on this occasion, is honourably recorded in the public despatch of Sir Arthur Wellesley, who, shortly after he had received the shot, came up to him on the field, and, taking him by the hand, said, -” Murray, you and your men have behaved like lions; I shall never forget you”. On the 25th May 1809, Major Murray was promoted to the rank of Lieut. – Colonel; and on his return home, he was employed in the Quartermaster-general’s department in Ireland. From 1811 to 1819 he was Assistant Adjutant-general, stationed at Athlone. In 1819 he received the brevet of Colonel, and in 1830 that of Major General.

His death was occasioned by a cold caught in his humane exertions to save the lives of two young officers, who were drowned in the lake in front of his residence (see p. 220). He possessed an accomplished and a benevolent heart; and was characterized by the highest honour, integrity, and worth.

Page 220 Nov. 29. Drowned by the upsetting of a boat on the Upper Shannon, near Athlone, Ensigns James R. Byers and Wm. J. Kerr, (see p. 110), both of 1st regt.

Killinure House in Westmeath is now part of the Glasson Country House Hotel & Golf Club.

On 14 July 1834 Harriet Murray, who was born at Youghal, married Reverend Henry Hodges at Benown Church, Glasson, County Westmeath. Henry Hodges was her first cousin. They lived at Alphamstone, Essex, and had at least five children. She died in 1872.

Wikitree: James Patrick Murray (1782 – 1834)