Alexander Murray - Lord Henderland

Personal data
Born May 11, 1736
in Edinburgh

Died March 16, 1795
in Edinburgh
from cholera
Alias
Lord Henderland
Biography

Alexander Murray was a Scottish judge and politician. He was the son of advocate Archibald Murray of Cringletie and his wife Jean Hay, daughter of Lord William Hay of Newhall. In 1773 he married Katherine, daughter of Sir Alexander Lindsay, 3rd Baronet of Evelick. 

Murray served as Sheriff-Depute of Peebles 1761-65, and from 1775 until 1783 as Solicitor-General for Scotland. On March 6, 1783, he was raised to the bench as Lord Henderland. In 1780, he was elected Member of Parliament for Peeblesshire, but according to official records, he only spoke once, when on May 8, 1781, he "strongly opposed the petition of the delegated counties for redress of grievances, urged the repression of associations as dangerous and unconstitutional and, as a parallel, unwisely suggested that had the Scottish Government in the 17th century repressed the Solemn League and Covenant delegated meetings, there might have been no civil war."1 He retired from parliament upon becoming a judge in February 1783 and was succeeded by his namesake, Alexander Murray of Blackbarony (1747-1820).

  • 1. Cf. Namier and Brooke's The House of Commons 1754-1790, entry: MURRAY, Alexander.
Life with Boswell

Boswell, in his Tour to the Hebrides, recounted that on August 17, 1773, in Edinburgh, before Boswell and Johnson set out on their grand tour of Scotland, Murray "sat with us a part of the evening, but did not venture to say anything that I remember, though he is certainly possessed of talents which would have enabled him to have shown himself to advantage if too great anxiety had not prevented him."