John Murray, 11th Duke of Atholl
11th Duke of Atholl
John Murray, 11th Duke of Atholl.
Photographer: Allan Warren
19 January 1929
Johannesburg, South Africa
|Died||15 May 2012
|Title||11th Duke of Atholl|
|Predecessor||Iain Murray, 10th Duke of Atholl|
|Successor||Bruce Murray, 12th Duke of Atholl|
|Spouse(s)||Margaret Yvonne nee Leach|
|Issue||Lady Jennifer Murray
Bruce Murray, 12th Duke of Atholl
Lord Craig John Murray
John Murray, 11th Duke of Atholl (19 January 1929 – 15 May 2012) was a South African-born hereditary peer of the Peerage of Scotland, hereditary Clan Chief of Clan Murray, and Colonel-in-Chief of the Atholl Highlanders. As Duke of Atholl, he commanded the only legal private army in Europe.
The Duke was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, as the only child of Major George Murray (1884–1940) and Joan (d.2000), the daughter of William Edward Eastwood, of South Africa. They were married on 17 January 1928. His father was killed on active service in the Second World War.
He was the grandson of Reverend Douglas Stuart Murray, Rector of Blithfield, Staffordshire, who was the grandson of the Right Reverend George Murray, who was the son of the Right Reverend Lord George Murray, the second son of John Murray, 3rd Duke of Atholl.
After taking his degree, Murray worked as a land surveyor.
On 15 December 1956 in Pretoria, he married Margaret "Peggy" Yvonne Leach (born Louis Trichardt, 8 July 1935), the only daughter of Ronald Leonard Leach of Louis Trichardt, Transvaal, South Africa (Pretoria, 31 August 1910 - Louis Trichardt, 18 December 1964) and wife (Lovedale Park, Louis Trichardt) Faith Kleinenberg (Louis Trichardt, 20 July 1913 - Louis Trichardt, 11 June 1968) and paternal granddaughter of Charles Ronald Leach (Whittlesea, 26 March 1887 - Eshowe, 7 December 1953) and first wife Louise Adelaide Zeederberg (? - Whittlesea, 5 June 1922). They had three children:
- Lady Jennifer Murray (born 8 February 1958), who married firstly Iain Purdon in 1979 (divorced 1985) and secondly Martin Glodek. By her first husband she has two children:
- Grant Clive Purdon (born 1981) and
- Charlene Purdon (born 1983).
- Bruce Murray, now 12th Duke of Atholl (born 6 April 1960), who was educated at Saasveld Forestry College and in 1984 married Lynne Elizabeth Andrew, the first daughter of Nicholas Andrew, of Bedfordview, South Africa. They have three children:
- Michael Bruce John Murray, Marquess of Tullibardine (born 5 March 1985), who is a sports science student at the University of Pretoria. The 12th Duke lives in South Africa and is a volunteer member of the South African Defence Force (Transvaal Scottish Regiment) as well as an officer of the Atholl Highlanders.;
- Lord David Nicholas George Murray (born 31 January 1986); and
- Lady Nicole Murray (born 11 July 1987), who is married to Peter Piek.
- Lord Craig John Murray (born 1963), who in 1988 married Inge Bakker, the second daughter of Auke Bakker, of Bedfordview, South Africa. They have two children:
- Carl Murray (born 1993) and
- Shona Murray (born 1995).
On the death of his kinsman George Murray, 10th Duke of Atholl, Murray succeeded as 11th Duke. However, the day before the death of the 10th Duke, it was announced that he had given his ancestral seat of Blair Castle and most of his estates to a charitable trust, thus effectively disinheriting his heir. He had been unimpressed when his heir had indicated he had no desire to leave South Africa for Scotland. The new Duke thus inherited little but the titles and the right to raise a private army.
Atholl continued to live in South Africa, while making annual visits to Scotland. He died on 15 May 2012 in a South African hospital at the age of 83. He was succeeded in his titles by his elder son, Bruce Murray, Marquess of Tullibardine.
Titles and styles
11th Duke of Atholl
|Reference style||His Grace|
|Spoken style||Your Grace|
- 19 January 1929 – 27 February 1996: John Murray
- 27 February 1996 – 15 May 2012: 11th Duke of Atholl
- 27 February 1996 – 15 May 2012: 12th Marquess of Atholl (S. 1676)
- 27 February 1996 – 15 May 2012: 11th Marquess of Tullibardine (S. 1703)
- 27 February 1996 – 15 May 2012: 14th Earl of Tullibardine (S. 1628)
- 27 February 1996 – 15 May 2012: 13th Earl of Atholl (S. 1629)
- 27 February 1996 – 15 May 2012: 12th Earl of Tullibardine (S. 1676)
- 27 February 1996 – 15 May 2012: 11th Earl of Strathtay and Strathardle (S. 1703)
- 27 February 1996 – 15 May 2012: 12th Viscount of Balquhidder (S. 1676)
- 27 February 1996 – 15 May 2012: 11th Viscount of Balquhidder, Glenalmond and Glenlyon (S. 1703)
- 27 February 1996 – 15 May 2012: 16th Lord Murray of Tullibardine (S. 1604)
- 27 February 1996 – 15 May 2012: 14th Lord Murray, Gask and Balquhidder (S. 1628)
- 27 February 1996 – 15 May 2012: 12th Lord Murray, Balvany and Gask (S. 1676)
- 27 February 1996 – 15 May 2012: 11th Lord Murray, Balvenie and Gask (S. 1703)
As Duke of Atholl, he commanded the only legal private army in Europe, the Atholl Highlanders. The army is based at Blair Castle, the ancestral home of the Dukes of Atholl. The Duke did not inherit Blair Castle, which passed to a charitable trust. However, every year the Duke visited from South Africa to stay at Blair for the traditional display put on by his Army.
- "The Duke of Atholl". The Daily Telegraph. May 17, 2012. Retrieved May 20, 2012.
- thepeerage.com: John Murray, 11th Duke of Atholl
- New York Times dated 28 February 1996 Duke of Atholl, 64, Rich Scot With Castle and Private Army
- Dukes of Atholl - website of Cracroft's Peerage
- Burke's Peerage and Baronetage
- VisitScotland Perthshire: Three Generations of the Atholl family to be on parade at Blair Castle
- Independent 28 February 1996 Duke of Atholl Died Aged 64
- Blair Atholl: Events
- Clan Murray Society NA: Clans and Septs
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Duke of Atholl
|Peerage of Scotland|
|Duke of Atholl