Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Where does David Murray Esquire fit in???

FACT: The Murrays and Hughans were in some way related-in various wills this was mentioned, and in a newspaper report of the marriage of Jane Hughan to James Dalzell in Melling in 1811, David Murray was mentioned as being her “uncle”.
For David to be Jane’s uncle, he would have had to either
• Been a brother of either of her parents INCORRECT
• Been married to a sister of either of her parents INCORRECT

In other wills the term ‘relative’ was used to describe David Murray’s relationship with the Hughans...
Will of David Murray:- “One thousand pounds to my Godson Thomas Hughan the infant son of my dear departed relative Thomas Hughan formerly of the Island of Jamaica but late of Devonshire place London”
AND “ One hundred pounds to my dear relative Jane Dalzell formerly Jane Hughan of Hill near Creetown Co. Galloway, spinster, but now residing at Dumfries in Scotland for mourning and as a testimony of my affectionate regard.”

• Alexander Hughan( c. 1770-1810), the brother of Thomas of Airds and Jane Dalzell, made David Murray of the Island of Jamaica one of his executors in 1809
• Margaret Hughan Spence, natural daughter of Thomas of Airds, also made David Murray Esq ‘residing at Hornby House near Lancaster’ one of her executors in 1818.
• Thomas Hughan of Airds made David Murray one of his executors in 1811, and also left a bequest of £1000 to ‘John Murray the son of David Murray.”

David Murray was not related to the Hughans by marriage because his wife was Agnes Smith of Wray near Melling, Lancaster. They were married at St. Clement Danes, Westminster, on December 16, 1794, when David was aged about 44 years and Agnes was 34.
Agnes was baptised on March 9, 1760, at Melling near Hornby, Lancashire, the daughter of Stephen Smith and Margaret Wildman. Stephen Smith, aged 27, a Yeoman of Wray, had married 21 year old Margaret Wildman of Melling on November 16, 1754.
Stephen and Margaret had eight children, but since only three were named in Stephen’s will of 1808 the other five may have died young:
Thomas Smith: baptised October 5, 1755, Hornby. Married Jane Addison. Member of House of House of Commons. Died 1831. Named in David Murray’s will as an executor.
Agnes Smith: baptised March 9, 1760, Melling. Married David Murray. One son, John, born c. 1798, Jamaica.
William Smith: born April 6, 1762, Hornby.
Elizabeth Smith: baptised September 6, 1764, Hornby.
Jane Smith: baptised March 29, 1767, Hornby.
Francis Smith: baptised January 15, 1769, Hornby.
Henry Wildman Smith: baptised September 8, 1771, Hornby.
Margaret Smith. Baptised October 17, 1773, Hornby. Married Alexander Hoskins, 21 June, 1798, Heysham, Lancashire. Issue: William Edward, Alexander and Henry.
In the 1808 will of Stephen Smith of Wray in the parish of Melling Lancaster, he gave to his daughters Agnes, the wife of David Murray, and Margaret the wife of Alexander Hoskins each the sum of £200. He also left bequests to ‘my eldest and only son Thomas Smith of Lincolns Inn, London.’

That is, in a nutshell, the family of Agnes Smith, wife of David Hughan or Scottish tie-ins there.
That leaves David’s heritage to trace, which is proving easier said than done. At present I can’t even locate a birth or baptism, or parents or siblings.
David Murray was born in c. 1750...this date was acquired from a death notice that announced the death of David Murray Esq at the age of 72 years in 1822. We know that he lived for many years in Jamaica on his estate called Bath in Westmoreland Parish, but also spent time in England, particularly after purchasing Hornby Hall in Melling parish, Lancaster, in c.1809-1810.
In 1817 records showed that David Murray Esq owned a total of 103 male slaves and 91 female slaves on his plantation, Bath Estate, parish of Westmoreland, Jamaica. The date of the return of slaves was 28 June, 1817, and in charge of Bath estate at that time were Edward Smith and James Lawson, attorneys employed by David Murray to manage his estate while he resided back in England.
It appears that David and Agnes Murray had only one child, a son named John who was born at Bath Estate, Westmoreland, Jamaica, in c. 1798.
The Gentleman’s magazine of 1822 published the following after David Murray’s death:
“ DAVID MURRAY ESQUIRE. November 3. At Hornby, aged 72, David Murray Esq,. His death was occasioned by an apoplectic attack. Few men have descended to the grave more universally regretted than Mr. Murray. He was a kind and indulgent parent, a considerate landlord, and a sincere friend to the poor. An enemy to oppression, he shielded his indigent neighbours , and when his protection was powerless, he softened the rigorous effects by his consolation and advice.
Though raised by family and riches to a distinguished rank in society, his affability rendered him open to all; his ear was attentive to the distressed; his hand was prepared to relieve. He was rich without avarice; charitable without affectation; and possessed spirit without a wish to oppress. The villagers of Hornby will long remember with gratitude the active sojourn of Mr Murray amongst them.”
I have consulted sources in Scotlandspeople, and the IGI, and still cannot find one possible baptism for David Murray.

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