John Murray, 1st Earl of Annandale

John Murray, 1st Earl of Annandale (died 1640) was a Scottish courtier and Member of Parliament.

Known as John Murray of Lochmaben or Lincluden, and John Murray of the Bedchamber, he was the 6th surviving son of Sir Charles Murray (d.1605) of Cockpool, Dumfries.

He served as a page to Queen Anne of Denmark before becoming a Groom of the Bedchamber to James VI of Scotland. He moved to London with James in 1603 when the latter became King James I of England, becoming conduit for Scottish royal business at Whitehall.

On 22 May 1605 he was granted Plumpton Park in Hesket in the Forest of Inglewood, then regarded as part of Debatable Lands between Scotland and England. Thomas Musgrave of Bewcastle, the owner of Plumpton, resisted this grant. In October 1605 he was awarded a yearly pension of 200 marks, as a servant of the queen.[1]

In July 1609 the king gave him £100 to repair an old priory, Guildford Black Friary, near the royal park at Guildford.[2]

He was naturalised as English in 1610 and became Keeper of the Privy Purse in 1611 in the place of Robert Jousie, textile merchant and partner of the jeweller Thomas Foulis.

Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia wrote to him from Heideberg in June 1613. Abraham Harderet brought the letter, which explained that she had been obliged to buy jewels from him to give as gifts at her wedding, many more than she could pay for, and he could show Murray the bills she had signed. She wanted to Murray to arrange it so the Chancellor of the Exchequer would pay Harderet. She would not trouble Murray or the king again, except only for her servants, and she sent a list of her household. Abraham Harderet was Anne of Denmark's jeweller, and had travelled with Elizabeth to Germany.[3]

In 1621 he became Member of Parliament for Guildford [4]

In 1622 he was promoted to Gentleman of the Bedchamber.[5] He continued as Groom of the Bedchamber to Charles I. James made him Lord Lochmaben and Viscount Annand in the peerage of Scotland then Charles I made him Earl of Annandale, also in the peerage of Scotland.

He was also Constable and Keeper of Falkland Palace and the Lomond Hills.[6] Andrew Murray of Balvaird advised him that the back galleries of the Palace were decayed in 1615.[7] In 1639 Balvaird helped him repair the keeper's house at Falkland, called the Castlestead or Nether Palace of Falkland.[8]

Many letters to Murray from Scottish correspondents survive, mostly on political and church business. He delivered letters from Francis Bacon to the king.[9] William Couper, Bishop of Galloway asked him to buy saddles for his wife and daughter, because they were much cheaper in London.[10] The lawyer Thomas Hamilton advised him about the ownership of a hoard of gold coins found by a tenant on his lands near Lincluden.[11]

He married Elizabeth Schaw, niece of William Schaw, and lady-in-waiting to Anne of Denmark, and had with her a son and a daughter.[12] His son James (d. 1658), later Earl of Annandale and Viscount Stormont, was baptised in the Chapel Royal at Holyrood Palace on 19 August 1617, William Couper preached and Anne Livingstone, Countess of Eglinton, presented the child.[13]


  1. ^ Mary Anne Everett Green, Calendar State Papers Domestic, Addenda 1580-1625 (London, 1872), pp. 462, 466, 469 citing TNA SP15/37.
  2. ^ Frederick Madden, Issues of the Exchequer: James I (London, 1836), p. 95.
  3. ^ HMC Laing Manuscripts at Edinburgh University, vol. 1 (London, 1914), pp. 130-1.
  4. ^ "MURRAY, John (-d.1640), of Lochmaben, Dumfries; St. Martin's Lane, Westminster and Guildford Park, Surr". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  5. ^ Neil Cuddy, 'The Revival of the Entourage' in David Starkey, The English Court (London, 1987), pp. 173-225, 187, 219.
  6. ^ The Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland 1625-1641, vol. 5 (Edinburgh, 1817), p. 70: HMC 9th Report, part 2 (London, 1884), p. 247.
  7. ^ Original Letters Relating to the Ecclesiastical Affairs of Scotland: 1614-1625, vol. 2 (Edinburgh, 1841), p. 419.
  8. ^ HMC Laing Manuscripts, vol. 1 (London, 1914), p. 184.
  9. ^ James Spedding, The Letters and the Life of Francis Bacon, vol. 5 (London, 1869), pp. 97-8.
  10. ^ Original Letters Relating to Ecclesiastical Affairs (Edinburgh, 1851), p. 459.
  11. ^ Melros Papers, vol. 1 (Edinburgh, 1837), p. 138.
  12. ^ HMC 4th Report, vol. 4, p. 299.
  13. ^ David Calderwood, History of the Kirk of Scotland, vol. 7 (Edinburgh, 1845), p. 277.