Anne Murray, Duchess of Atholl

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Anne Murray, Duchess of Atholl (17 June 1814 – 22 May 1897), born Anne Home-Drummond and known as The Lady Glenlyon between 1839 and 1846, as The Duchess of Atholl between 1846 and 1864 and as The Dowager Duchess of Atholl between 1864 and 1897, was a Scottish courtier and close friend of Queen Victoria.

Murray was born at Edinburgh, Scotland, the daughter of Henry Home-Drummond, of Blair Drummond, by Christian, daughter of Charles Moray. On 29 October 1839 she married George Murray, 2nd Baron Glenlyon, at Blair Drummond, thereby becoming Lady Glenlyon. In 1846 he succeeded his uncle as sixth Duke of Atholl, and Anne became Duchess of Atholl.[1]

She served as Mistress of the Robes to Queen Victoria in Lord Derby's short-lived government of 1852. She subsequently served the queen as a Lady of the Bedchamber for almost forty years and was one of Victoria's closest friends. When The Prince Consort died, the Queen came out of the room where he had died and proclaimed, "Oh, Duchess, he is dead!" The Duke of Atholl died in 1864, and Anne became the Dowager Duchess of Atholl. In 1892, when Gladstone again came to power, his policy of Home Rule for Ireland had alienated many of the upper classes, and no lady of ducal rank could be found who was willing to serve as Mistress of the Robes. The post therefore remained vacant, while the Dowager Duchess of Atholl and the Duchess of Roxburghe performed the duties of the office. The duchess and her husband preferred the spelling Athole for their title and residence.[2]

The Duke and Duchess had one child, John Stewart-Murray, 7th Duke of Atholl. The Duchess of Atholl died at Dunkeld, Perthshire, in May 1897, aged 82, and was buried at Blair Atholl.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b thepeerage.com Anne Home-Drummond
  2. ^ K D Reynolds, Aristocratic Women and Political Society in Victorian Britain, OUP (1998)
Court offices
Preceded by
The Duchess of Sutherland
Mistress of the Robes
1852
Succeeded by
The Duchess of Sutherland
Preceded by
The Duchess of Buccleuch
Mistress of the Robes
1892–1895
(pro tempore)
jointly with The Duchess of Roxburghe
Succeeded by
The Duchess of Buccleuch