Generation: B

William Murray

Born: 1823 Died: 1902
Father: John Murray, II
Mother: Ann Matheson

Margaret Buchanan


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Died London or Blackburn.

Went to Vale of Leven, then to Accrington, Lancs.

Margaret was no relation to Helen Buchanan.


The Lancashire Mackays

This is the sub-division of our tribe who left the Highlands, settled a while in the Glasgow area, and then moved as a unit to Lancashire, where they are firmly established, Lancashire accent and all.

Now that I am trying here for the first time to summarise a family, it seems to be a bit presumptuous to try. For there are 55 individuals here, not counting their mates in life. And about these mates one knows parctically nothing, except that they were chosen for breeding purposes.

And I have only met three, each well over 80 years, and a son age 50 years or so.

Emphatically they were not a colonising lot, unless we regard England as a Colony, which is fair enough! But of the 55, only one went to U.S.A. and one to Canada. The majority have roots in Accrington, Blackpool and Fleetwood today.

William Murray's children had an interest in religion, which meant Sunday Bible reading and attending the local Non-Conformist Church. This, with an interest in politics, filtered into the next generation. The craftsman dyer had daughters who worked in the mills as weavers or winders, but their children in turn have abandoned the mills for a diversity of occupations, teaching and catering being noteworthy. The four whom I met wrote good letters, to the point, and two at least while not teachers appeared to be fluent public speakers. Not until the 4th generation from Old William do the major professions of medicine and dentistry appear. The arts of music and song are not mentioned. Nor do we know of anyone making a fortune.

With my genealogical stimulus the three 80 year olds showed a great interest in the family history, and William Campbell Murray was very proud that his line could be traced so far back. Of the 55 none ever returned to Scotland to live, and few for a holiday. England has absorbed them, as she did the Romans, Saxons and Normans.

William Murray. 1823-1902

These dates mean that William was born when his father, Great John Murray, was 46, and his mother, Ann Matheson was 35. William's oldest brother was Donald Murray (1805) who became a banker and Provost of Rutherglen, and also a great help and stimulus to the family. His youngest sister was Janet, (born 1826), my grandmother.

I do not know where William was born. I should think it was at Aisdale, and after his parents had returned from their fruitless visit to Glasgow. If so, he would receive his schooling at Creich, near Bonar.

Anyway, William Campbell Murray (born 1887) of Accrington has the actual indenture of William to William Stirling and Sons. It is signed by William Stirling, William Murray and Donald Murray of Dalquharn, at Dumbarton, dated 26th Nov. 1838, when he was aged 15. The witness was J.W.Patterson J.P. This was an apprenticeship in the rapidly growing Turkey Red Industry in the the Dumbarton-Glasgow area. It is conceivable that the Donald Murray of the document was his uncle, and in loco parentis. He would finish his training by 1843, or at latest by 1845. Thereafter he took a job in Bridgton, Glasgow, in the same industry and married. There, he and his wife, Margaret Buchanan, produced 4 children, and then, "to better himself" he moved to Accrington, Lancs. to join F. Steiner Ltd. in the same industry, and his wife produced two more children. As his daughter Janet, born 1858, was singing hymns on Glasgow Green it would appear he must have gone to Accrington sometime after 1870, when in his late forties.

A faded photo in his grandson's possession shows a competent good looking chap. William attended the Accrington Congregational Church, being the next best one to that in which, presumably, he had been brought up.

William seems to have been on good terms with his father, Iain Mor, (John Murray), although far away, for he recieved a letter in 1863 from Old John, now aged 86, inviting him and his wife to come North to Aisdale, as it would assist his wife's recovery from some illness. So Old John was still able to "get in and out".

William died in 1902, at the age of 79, being looked after in his last years by his youngest daughter, Isabella Simpson Murray, i.e. Mrs. Wittaker.

Alice Palmer, grand-daughter wrote: My grandfather was tall, gentlemanly and much revered and loved. He loved God's Word. He was a Block Cutter at a print works near Accrington.

William Palmer, a grandson wrote: They were a devoted couple. He was tall and slim and his white hair, head and beard gave him a patriarchal appearance. His wife was of small build. He was a God-fearing man, and highly respected. I well remember being dangled on his knee in order "to ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross". On one occasion he cried "You'll be a rich man one day, Wully". But his prediction never came true.

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