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Atholl, John Murray, 1st marquis of

Atholl, John Murray, 1st marquis of [S] (1631–1703). Murray's grandfather was earl of Tullibardine but resigned the title in 1626 on promise of the earldom of Atholl, given to his son in 1629. Murray succeeded in 1642 at the age of 11 and in 1653 joined Lord Middleton in the Highland rising on behalf of Charles II. At the Restoration he was in favour. From 1663 to 1676 he served as justice-general [S] and in 1670 succeeded a cousin as earl of Tullibardine. From 1672 to 1689 he was keeper of the privy seal and in 1676 was raised to the rank of marquis. In 1679 he fought with Monmouth against the covenanters at Bothwell Bridge, and took an active part against Argyll's invasion of 1685, earning a reputation for brutality. In 1687 James II gave him the Thistle. His vacillation at the Glorious Revolution earned him widespread mistrust and, in the end, he took refuge in visiting Bath to take the waters, while Dundee was raising the clans for James II. He played little part subsequently but his son, a staunch Williamite, was secretary of state [S] 1696–8. Macaulay declared that ‘his abilities were mean, his temper false, pusillanimous and cruel’.

J. A. Cannon

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