David Murray, 2nd Earl of Mansfield

David Murray, 2nd Earl of Mansfield, 7th Viscount of Stormont, KT, PC (9 October 1727 – 1 September 1796), known as The (7th) Viscount of Stormont from 1748 to 1793, was a British politician. He succeeded to both the Mansfield and Stormont lines of the Murray family, inheriting two titles and two fortunes.

The Earl of Mansfield

Portrait of David Murray 2nd Earl of Mansfield by Sylvester Harding.jpg
Lord President of the Council
In office
17 December 1794 – 1 September 1796
MonarchGeorge III
Prime MinisterWilliam Pitt
Preceded byThe Earl FitzWilliam
Succeeded byThe Earl of Chatham
In office
2 April 1783 – 19 December 1783
MonarchGeorge III
Prime MinisterThe Duke of Portland
Preceded byThe Lord Camden
Succeeded byThe Earl Gower
Secretary of State for the Northern Department
In office
27 October 1779 – 27 March 1782
MonarchGeorge III
Prime MinisterLord North
Preceded byThe Viscount Weymouth
Succeeded byOffice Abolished
The Earl of Shelburne as Home Secretary
Charles James Fox as Foreign Secretary
Personal details
David Murray

9 October 1727
Died1 September 1796(1796-09-01) (aged 68)
Resting placeWestminster Abbey (body)
Comlongon Castle (heart)
Henrietta Frederica von Bünau
(m. 1759; died 1766)
(m. 1776)
RelationsWilliam Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield (paternal uncle)
Alma materWestminster School
Christ Church, Oxford


Mansfield was the son of David Murray, 6th Viscount of Stormont, and his wife, Anne Stewart. Lord Chief Justice William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield, was his paternal uncle.

Public lifeEdit

Mansfield was ambassador to Vienna and Warsaw and then to France in the early years of the American War of Independence, and played a role in sending news of American actions back to England. He had been elected a Scottish Representative Peer in 1754. He was appointed as the last Secretary of State for the Northern Department, serving from 1779 to 1782.

In 1783 he was appointed as Lord President of the Council, and again from 1794 to 1796. He served as Lord Justice General between 1778 and 1795. He was appointed a Privy Counsellor in 1763 and made a Knight of the Thistle in 1768.


Kenwood House, London

Lord Stormont, as he was know at the time, married his wife on 16 August 1759, whilst he was British ambassador to Saxony. She was Henrietta Frederica von Bünau, daughter of Henry Graf von Bünau. They had two daughters:

Henrietta died on 10 March 1766. A decade later, on 5 May 1776, Mansfield married secondly The Hon. Louisa Cathcart, daughter of Charles Cathcart, 9th Lord Cathcart. Louisa was his junior by more than 30 years, and they had five children:

  • David William Murray, 3rd Earl of Mansfield (1777–1840)
  • Lieutenant-general The Hon. George Murray (1780–1848)
  • Major The Hon. Charles Murray (1781–1859), who married Elizabeth Law and had children
  • General Sir Henry Murray (1784–1860), who married Emily, daughter of Gerard de Vismé, and had children.[1]
  • Lady Caroline Murray (died 1867)

In 1793 he succeeded his uncle, Lord Mansfield, as the 2nd Earl of Mansfield of the 1792 creation, while his wife succeeded as second Countess of Mansfield of the 1776 creation, according to special remainders in the letters patent. From the 1st Earl he inherited Kenwood House in the London Borough of Camden.

Lord Mansfield died in September 1796 and his body laid to rest with his uncle, the 1st Earl, in Westminster Abbey.[2] His heart was interred in Comlongon Castle. He was succeeded in his titles and to Kenwood House by his eldest son David. His second son, the Honourable George Murray, became a Lieutenant-General in the Army. His fourth son, the Honourable Sir Henry Murray, rose to the rank of General.

The Countess of Mansfield survived her husband by 47 years. She went on to marry her first cousin the Honourable Robert Fulke Greville in 1797. Lady Mansfield died in July 1843, aged 85.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Dalton, Charles (1904), The Waterloo roll call. With biographical notes and anecdotes, London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, p. 91
  2. ^ "William Murray, Lord Mansfield". Westminster Abbey. Retrieved 24 January 2018.

Further readingEdit

  • Stacy Schiff (2005). A Great Improvisation. New York: Henry Holt and Company. ISBN 9780805066333.

External linksEdit

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Charles Hanbury Williams
British Minister to Saxony
Succeeded by
Philip Stanhope
Preceded by
The Earl Harcourt
British Ambassador to France
Title next held by
Thomas Grenville in 1782
Legal offices
Preceded by
The Duke of Queensberry
Lord Justice General
Succeeded by
The Duke of Montrose
Political offices
Preceded by
The Viscount Weymouth
Secretary of State for the Northern Department
Office abolished
Preceded by
The Viscount Weymouth
Leader of the House of Lords
Succeeded by
The Earl of Shelburne
Preceded by
The Lord Camden
Lord President of the Council
Succeeded by
The Earl Gower
Preceded by
The Earl Fitzwilliam
Lord President of the Council
Succeeded by
The Earl of Chatham
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
William Murray
Earl of Mansfield
2nd creation
Succeeded by
David William Murray
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
David Murray
Viscount Stormont
Succeeded by
David William Murray