Andrew Murray (naturalist)

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Andrew D. Murray
Andrew Dickson Murray (1812-1878).png
The Pines and Firs of Japan, work edited in 1863
Born (1812-02-19)19 February 1812
Died 10 January 1878(1878-01-10) (aged 65)
Kensington, London
Awards Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh;
Fellow of the Linnean Society,
President of the Royal Physical Society of Edinburgh

Andrew Dickson Murray FRSE FRPSE FLS (19 February 1812, Edinburgh – 10 January 1878, Kensington) was a Scottish lawyer, botanist, zoologist and entomologist. Murray studied insects which caused crop damage, specialising in the Coleoptera. In botany, he specialised in the Coniferae, in particular the Pacific rim conifer species.

He served as president of the Royal Physical Society of Edinburgh during 1858-59.


He was born in Edinburgh, on 19 February 1812, and was son of William Murray of Conland, Perthshire. Murray was educated for the law, became a Writer to the Signet, joined the firm of Murray & Rhind, and for some time practised in Edinburgh.[1]

His earliest scientific papers were entomological, and did not appear until he was forty. On the death of the Rev. John Fleming, professor of natural science in New College, Edinburgh, in 1857, Murray took up his work for one session, and in the same year he became a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.[1]

On the foundation of the Oregon Exploration Society, he became its secretary, and this apparently first aroused his interest in Western North America and in the Coniferae. In 1858-9, Murray acted as president of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh, and in 1860, abandoning the legal profession, he came to London and became assistant secretary to the Royal Horticultural Society (1860–5). In 1861, he was elected fellow of the Linnean Society. In 1868, he joined the scientific committee of the Royal Horticultural Society, and in 1877 was appointed its scientific director. In 1868, he began the collection of economic entomology for the Science and Art Department, now at the Bethnal Green Museum.[1]

In 1869, he went to St. Petersburg as one of the delegates to the botanical congress, and in 1873 to Utah and California to report on some mining concessions. This latter journey seems to have permanently injured his health. He died at Bedford Gardens, Campden Hill, Kensington, on 10 January 1878.

His chief contributions to entomology deal with Coleoptera, the unfinished monograph of the Nitidulariae, in the Linnean Transactions (vol. xxiv. 1863-4), undertaken at the suggestion of Dr. J. E. Gray, being perhaps the most important. His chief work on the Coniferae was to have been published by the Ray Society, but was never completed.[1]

Murray was a prominent opponent of the Darwin-Wallace model of natural selection.


  • 1853 Catalogue of the Coleoptera of Scotland Edinburgh, London, W. Blackwood and sons.
  • 1861 On the pediculi infesting the different races of man Trans. Roy. Soc. Edinb. 22: 567
  • 1866 The Geographical Distribution of Mammals
  • 1867 List of Coleoptera received from Old Calabar, 1867 Annals and Magazine of Natural History (3rd series) 19: 167-179.
  • 1870 On the geographical relations of the chief coleopterous faunae. J. Linn. Soc. 11: 1-89.
  • 1877 Economic entomology Chapman and Hall,London.



 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainBoulger, George Simonds (1894). "Murray, Andrew (1812-1878)". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography. 39. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 


  • Anonym 1878 [Murray, A.] Entomologist's Monthly Magazine (3) 14 1877-78 215-216
  • Anonym 1879 [Murray, A.] Petites Nouv. Ent. 2 (Nr. 190) 207.
  • Kraatz, G. 1878 [Murray, A.] Dtsch. ent. Ztschr. 22 229.
  • Marseul, S. A. de 1883 Les Entomologistes et leurs Écrits (Entomologists and their writings) L'Abeille (4) 21(=3) 61-120 106-107.,
  • Musgrave, A. 1932 Bibliography of Australian Entomology 1775-1930. Sydney 233.
  • Westwood, J. O. 1877 [Murray, A.] Trans. Ent. Soc. London, London [1877] XXXIX.

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