Murray, John (d.1640) (DNB00)


MURRAY, JOHN, first Earl of Annandale (d. 1640), was the seventh and youngest son of Sir Charles Murray of Cockpool, Dumfriesshire, and Margaret, eldest daughter of Hugh, fifth Lord Somerville. In early life he was introduced to the Scottish court by the Earl of Morton, and was appointed groom of the bedchamber to James VI, whom he accompanied to London in 1603 (Register of the Privy Council, vi. 773, viii. 594). He became one of James's most confidential servants, was made keeper of the privy purse, and after the king was disabled by a sore hand from signing documents, he had the custody of the 'cachet' or signature stamp used by the king. Among many other marks of the royal favour he received in 1605 a lease of the estate of Plumpton Park in the debateable lands. In the following year, and again in 1612, the abbacy of Dundrennan and other lands, with the castle of Lochmaben, were erected in his favour into the lordship of Lochmaben. On 28 June 1622 he was created Lord Murray of Lochmaben and Viscount Annand, and on 13 March 1624 Earl of Annandale, Viscount Annand, Lord Murray of Lochmaben and Tynninghame, while on 13 July 1625 his lands in Scotland were erected into the earldom of Annandale. In the patents King James makes grateful mention of the faithful services which John Murray of Renpatrick rendered him, even from his childhood, including 'arduous, almost incredible labours' (Annandale Peerage Minutes of Evidence, 1877, pp. 293, 294). Gifts of English estates were also conferred upon him. He was, on 17 Sept. 1605, appointed keeper of Guildford Park for life, and it was at his residence there that Prince Charles (afterwards Charles I) slept on the might of his return from Spain in 1623 (State Papers, Dom. 1623-5 p. 93, 1625 p. 58). Annandale also received the escheats of Sir John Musgrave of Catterlen, Cumberland, in 1608, and of Sir Robert Dudley in 1610, and was lord of the barony of Langley, bearing the style of Baron of Langley (ib. 1622 p. 365, 1623-5 p. 22).

After the death of James VI in 1625, Annandale was continued in his office as groom of the bedchamber to Charles I, but complained of neglect. He was sent to Scotland in 1626 to explain Charles's delay in going thither to be crowned (Hist. MSS. Comm. 11th Rep. pt. i. p. 82). When Charles went to Scotland in 1633 he accompanied him, and at the meeting of the Scottish parliament was appointed constable of the palace, hill, and Lomonds of Falkland, with the moor adjacent called the Newpark. In 1636 he succeeded to the paternal estates of Cockpool, all his brothers having died before him without leaving lawful issue. Owing to his prominent position as a Scottish border peer, he was frequently engaged on commissions and judicial service in connection with the borders (Fraser, Douglas Book, iv. 376; Book of Carlaverok, ii. 3-129, passim). In 1638 he was sent to Scotland to assist Charles's party against the covenanters, and was one of the noblemen who swore the 'king's covenant' (Gordon, Scots Affairs, i. 108); but returning to London, he died there in September 1640. His body was embalmed, and was buried at Hoddam in Dumfriesshire.

Annandale married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Shaw, who was in the service of Queen Anne (Hist. MSS. Comm. 4th Rep., Appendix, p. 299), and by her he had a son, James, whose baptism in the chapel royal at Holyrood, on 19 Aug. 1617, is described by Calderwood (History, Wodrow Society edit, vii. 277). He succeeded his father as second Earl of Annandale in 1640, and two years later succeeded his cousin as third Viscount of Stormont. He died in 1658 without issue.

[Douglas's Peerage of Scotland, ed. Wood, i. 69; Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vols. iv. and v. passim; Works of Sir James Balfour, ii. 101-408; State Papers, Dom. 1603-40, passim.]

H. P.