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The Life of General The Hon. James Murray
With a Biographical Sketch of the Family of Murray of Elibank by Major-Gen R. H. Mahon


Ancestry as a basis for biography is legitimised by custom, but it is often uninteresting. Yet the founders of the House of Elibank belong to a period that still lives in song and story, and so I have ventured a chapter on James Murray's progenitors—partly in the hope that my estimate of his character may receive a certain confirmation therefrom.

His connection with Canada, however, forms my chief reason for writing. There has been no small controversy regarding the campaigns of 1759-60—"the struggle for Canada"—and I have endeavoured to bring out the truth, and to indicate the leading part which fell to him. His government of Quebec for seven years, and his efforts to secure justice for the French inhabitants, has been obscured by the effects of the convulsion that was even then brewing in America, yet as a founder of the Canadian constitution as we know it now, Murray's work was remarkable and enduring.

The story of Minorca and its heroic defence, which forms the concluding episode of his active career, is perhaps of minor interest to us in these days, shadowed by memories of the Great War; but even in this case it is of interest to recall the gallantly of soldiers of other times under conditions not less trying than those we have experience of.

My thanks are especially due to Viscount Elibank, who generously placed at my disposal a large number of family papers; to the Hon. Dudley Murray, who gave me much time and labour at the Public Record Office; to my aunt, Mrs. James Murray, and my cousin, the Rev. James Arthur Murray, for the loan of the collection of the General's papers, often referred to as the "Bath Papers"; to Dr. Doughty and Mr. H. P. Biggar, of the Archives Department in Ottawa and London, for much kind assistance; to Mr. Charles Lane-Sayer, for the extensive information contained in the "Collier Letters"; to Sir Archibald Lamb, now of Beauport, the Mayor of Hastings, and Mr. Meadows, for their assistance in reading the town's records; and to many others who have kindly procured information on my subject.

Commenced before the outbreak of the Great War, this story would in all probability have remained unpublished but for the generosity and enthusiasm of Colonel Thomas Cantley, of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. His admiration of the character of "Old Lion Heart," as he so aptly dubbed my hero, and his desire to preserve for Canada a memoir of one who loved her so well, is the mainspring of what now appears in print—for his sake I hope it may be successful.


Chapter I. The Murrays of Elibank
Chapter II. The War with Spain, 1739
Chapter III. Peace and War, 1744-57
Chapter IV. The Capture op Louisburg, 1758
Chapter V. New France
Chapter VI. Quebec, 1759
Chapter VII. Quebec, continued
Chapter VIII. The Mystery of the Anse au Foulon
Chapter IX. The First Winter in Quebec, 1759-60
Chapter X. The Second Battle of the Plains, 1760
Chapter XI. The Conquest op Canada, Montreal, 1760
Chapter XII. Public Opinion and Home Letters
Chapter XIII. The Military Government of Quebec, 1761-62
Chapter XIV. The First British Governor of Canada
Chapter XV. The Government of Quebec, 1764-66
Chapter XVI. The Government of Quebec, concluded
Chapter XVII. Minorca, 1774-81
Chapter XVIII. The Defence of Fort St. Phillips, 1781-82
Chapter XIX. The Reward of Constancy
Chapter XX. Conclusion

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