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Atholl, James Murray, 2nd duke of

Atholl, James Murray, 2nd duke of [S] (c.1690–1764). Though not chief of a major clan, Atholl was one of the greatest men in the Highlands because of his vast estates and because of his possession of the extensive regality of Atholl, two-thirds of the county of Perthshire, in which he exercised powers just short of full sovereignty.

His elder brother William, marquis of Tullibardine, was attainted after the '15. His father had not countenanced the rising, so it proved possible to obtain an Act of Parliament in 1715 transferring the succession to James. He succeeded in 1724. His rights were confirmed by an Act in 1733, when he also succeeded Islay (Argyll) as lord privy seal. In 1738, through Stanley ancestry, he inherited the sovereignty of the Isle of Man.

In 1745 James fled safely south, leaving Tullibardine, the Jacobite duke, to take control of the Perthshire complex. By joining Cumberland's army on its march north, Duke James secured his return. Among the beneficiaries was John, son of Lord George Murray, who despite his father's attainder was allowed to succeed as 3rd duke, after selling to the crown the lordship of Man.

Bruce Philip Lenman

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