On his return to England, he
rewarded by a higher command. "General Murray, says his
biographer, was subsequently distinguished for his gallant, though
unsuccessful defence of Minorca, in 1781, against the Due de Crillon, at
the head of a large Spanish and French force. De Crillon, despairing of
success, endeavored to corrupt the trusty and gallant Scot, offering him
the sum of one million sterling for the surrender of the fortress.
Indignant at this attempt, General Murray immediately ad dressed the
following letter to the Duke:
"Fort St. Phillip, 16th October, 1781.
When your brave ancestor was desired
by his sovereign to assassinate the Duke de Guise, he returned the answer
which you should have thought of, when you attempted to assassinate the
character of a man whose birth is as illustrious as your own, or that of
the Duke de Guise. I can have no further communication with you but in
arms. If you have any humanity, pray send clothing for your unfortunate
prisoners in my possession; leave it at a dis-
tance to be taken up for them, because I will admit of no contact for the
future, but such as is hostile in the most inveterate degree."
There is a true ring here! One feels
better after reading such sentiments. You cannot mistake that proud sense
of duty, which had actuated the Scot on French soil,
three centuries previous,—death preferable to dishonor— a sentiment which
had won for him the well known epithet, "Pier comme un Ecossais."
The Duke de Crillon’s reply was
"Your letter, said he, restores each
of us to our places; it confirms me in the high opinion I have always had
of you. I accept your last proposal with pleasure."
General James Murray, closed his
career in 1791 and was buried in Westminster Abbey. Haydn adds that alter
his death, on his corpse being opened for the pur-