1838 – 1862 – Sir John Archibald Murray, Lord Murray

In 1838, after the death of Helen Campbell, widow of General John Campbell, the family of the Campbells of Strachur continued to live mostly at Ardgartan, and Strachur House was let.

The first tenant was Sir John Archibald Murray. He was born 1779 in Midlothian and went to the University of Edinburgh to study Law. he moved in progresive and liberal circles, became one of the five editors of the newly established “Edinburgh Review” and took a prominent part in the agitation which led to the passing of the Reform Bill in 1832. He became MP for Leith Burghs in 1832, and in 1835 became Lord Advocate and introduced a good many bills into the House of Commons. He left parliament in 1839 for the Court of Session, was knighted that year and adopting the name of Lord Murray.

He was a generous patron of art and letters and his hospitality was famous. With his wife, Mary Rigby, he lavishly entertained his friends not only in Edinburgh but also in Strachur. It was on invitation of Lady Murray, who had been taught by Chopin in London, that the world famous pianist came and spent a week in Strachur House in August 1848. Chopin came in the company of Jane Stirling, a society beauty, she was Chopin’s pupil and would later become something close to what we would now call his manager.

Lord Murray died in 1859 in Edinburgh, Mary died at Strachur in 1861 at the age of 93. They had one child, a son, who died at the age of 10.

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