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The Scottish Nation

DUNMORE, Earl of, a title in the peerage of Scotland, conferred in 1686, on Lord Charles Murray, second son of John, first marquis of Athol, by Lady Amelia Stanley, daughter of the seventh earl of Derby. Being lieutenant-colonel of General Dalziel’s regiment of horse (now the Scots Greys) on the death of Dalziel, he succeeded him in the command. Subsequently he was master of the horse to the princess (afterwards queen) Anne. On the accession of her father, James the Seventh, he was appointed to the same office under his queen, Mary, and by that infatuated monarch he was created, August 6, 1686, earl of Dunmore, Viscount Fincastle, and Lord Murray of Blair, Moulin, and Tillemot. At the Revolution he was deprived of all his offices, and in 1692 was committed to prison, with the earl of Middleton, for a supposed plot in favour of the abdicated monarch. During the remainder of King William’s reign he lived in retirement in the country, but soon after the accession of Queen Anne, he was, on February 4, 1703, sworn a member of the privy council of Scotland. He was a steady supporter of the Union, and in 1707 was appointed captain of the castle of Blackness. He died in 1710. He had four sons and three daughters.

      As the eldest son, James, Viscount Fincastle, had predeceased his father in 1706, the second son, John, became second earl. He entered the army as an ensign in March 1704, and fought at the battle of Blenheim, on 13th August following. He was appointed colonel of the 3d foot guards, 10th October 1713, when only twenty-eight years old. At the capture of Vigo in 1719, he served as brigadier-general under Lord Cobham, and in July 1731, he became one of the lords of the bedchamber to King George the Second. In 1739 he attained the rank of lieutenant-general, and in 1743 he served under the earl of Stair at the battle of Dettingen. On 22d June, 1745, he was appointed governor of Plymouth, and the same year was promoted to be full general. He was elected a representative peer of Scotland in four successive parliaments. He died, unmarried, 18th April, 1752.

      His youngest brother, William, succeeded as third earl. When the Hon. William Murray of Taymount, he engaged in the rebellion of 1745, but in the end of April 1746, he surrendered himself to a justice of peace of Forfarshire, and being sent to London, he was arraigned for high treason at the court held at St. Margaret’s, Southwark, when he pleaded guilty, and received his majesty’s pardon. He married his cousin, Catherine, the daughter of his uncle Lord William Murray, (who became Lord Nairn by marrying the heiress of that family,) and had three sons and four daughters. He died 1st December 1756.

      His eldest son, John, fourth earl, for some time an officer in the army, was appointed governor of New York in December 1769, and in the following year, of Virginia. He remained there till the commencement of the Revolutionary war in 1775, when he was obliged first to retire on board a ship of war in James’ river, and finally to quit the coast in August 1776. He was a representative peer of Scotland from 1761 to 1784. In 1787 he was appointed captain-general and governor-in-chief of the Bahama islands, where he resided for several years. He married Lady Charlotte Stewart, daughter of Alexander earl of Galloway, and had three sons and four daughters.

      The fate of the Lady Augusta Murray, the second daughter, was very remarkable. She married at Rome, on April 4, 1793, (the nuptials being solemnized by a protestant clergyman,) the prince Augustus Frederick, afterwards duke of Sussex, then under age, the sixth son and ninth child of George the Third, and on their arrival in England they were remarried, at the parish church of St. George’s, Hanover Square, London, December 5th of the same year. As this marriage took place in defiance of the Royal Marriage act, passed in 1772, which prohibits the descendants of George the Second from marrying without permission from the sovereign, the king directed a suit to be instituted in Doctors commons, to dissolve it, and by a decree of the prerogative court it was declared null and void in August 1794. A son and a daughter were the fruits of this union, to whom was given the name of D’Este, as descended, through their father, from the ancient princes of the house of Este. The son, Colonel Sir Augustus Frederick d’Este, K.C.H., born 13th January 1794, died, unmarried, in December 1848. The daughter, Ellen Augusta, Mademoiselle D’Este, born August 11, 1801, became in 1845 the second wife of the first Lord Truro (then Sir Thomas Wilde), lord chancellor of England from January 1850 to February 1852. On 15th October 1806, her mother, Lady Augusta, on her separation from the duke of Sussex, received the royal license to assume the surname of De Ameland, by which she was ever afterwards known. In a letter written in 1811, her ladyship thus expressed herself to a friend: “Had I believed the sentence of the ecclesiastical court to be any thing but a stretch of power, my girl would not have been born. Lord Thurlow told me my marriage was good abroad – religion taught me it was good at home, and not one decree of any powerful enemy could make me believe otherwise, nor ever will. By refusing me a subsistence they have forced me to take a name – not the duke of Sussex’s – but they have not made me believe that I had no right to his. My children and myself were to starve, or I was to obey, and I obeyed; but I am not convinced. Therefore, pray don’t call this ‘an act of mutual consent,’ or say, ‘the question is at rest.’ The moment my son wishes it, I am ready to declare that it was debt, imprisonment, arrestation (force like this in short) which obliged me to seem to give up my claims, and not my conviction of their fallacy.” It appears that one of the results of the duke’s marriage with Lady Augusta was a reduction of his own income of eighteen thousand a-year to thirteen thousand, in order to make a provision for his wife, in which object he received no assistance from parliament. Her children, by a decree of the lord chancellor, were placed under the sole guardianship of Earl Moira. Lady Augusta died 5th March 1830.

      Lady Virginia Murray, the youngest daughter of the fourth earl, was born in Virginia (now one of the united states of North America), when her father was governor of that colony, and at the request of the council and assembly, was named after it. The fourth earl died in March 1809.

      His eldest son, George, fifth earl, born at Edinburgh 30th April 1762, married in August 1803, his cousin, Lady Susan Hamilton, third daughter of the ninth duke of Hamilton, by whom he had three sons; Alexander Edward, sixth earl; the Hon. Charles Augustus Murray, C.B., minister plenipotentiary to the Swiss Confederation; and Henry Anthony, commander R.N., unmarried. His lordship was created a peer of the United Kingdom in 1831, as Baron Dunmore of Dunmore in the forest of Athol, Perthshire, and died 12th November 1836.

      His eldest son, Alexander Edward, sixth earl, born 1st June 1804, married 27th September 1836, Lady Catherine, daughter of the eleventh earl of Pembroke, and had, with two daughters, a son, Charles Adolphus, his heir. His lordship, who was a captain in the army, died 15th July 1845, and was succeeded by his son, Charles Adolphus, seventh earl of Dunmore, who was born 24th March, 1841.

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