David King Murray, Lord Birnam

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The Right Honourable
Lord Birnam
KC FRSE
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (Scotland).svg
Senator of the College of Justice
In office
3 July 1945 – ???
Monarch George VI
Elizabeth II
Member of Parliament for Midlothian & Peebles Northern
In office
11 February 1943 – 15 June 1945
Preceded by John Colville
Succeeded by Lord John Hope
Solicitor General for Scotland
In office
10 June 1941 – 3 July 1945
Preceded by James Reid
Succeeded by Daniel Blades
Chairman of the Scottish Land Court
In office
10 May 1938 – 10 June 1941
Preceded by Lord MacGregor Mitchell
Succeeded by Lord Gibson
Personal details
Born Thomas David King Murray
(1884-03-29)29 March 1884
Bothwell, Lanarkshire[1]
Died 5 June 1955(1955-06-05) (aged 71)
Nationality Scottish
Spouse(s) Edith Lilian Archer
Relations James Murray (father)
Alma mater University of Glasgow
Profession Advocate

Sir Thomas David King Murray KC FRSE (29 March 1884 – 5 June 1955) was a Scottish advocate and judge who served for two years as Unionist Member of Parliament (MP).

Early life[edit]

King Murray was born on 29 March 1884,[2] the son of James Murray, Greenknowe, Bothwell, Lanrkshire[1] who was a merchant in Glasgow.[3] He was educated at Hamilton Academy and the Glasgow High School.[4]

He graduated from the University of Glasgow with an MA in 1904, a BSc in 1905 and an LLB in 1908.[2][5]

Career[edit]

King Murray was trained as a solicitor in Glasgow with the company of Russell & Duncan, WS.[3] He was admitted as an advocate on 18 March 1910, the same day as the future Lord President Wilfrid Normand.[6]

In World War I, King Murray served as a Lieutenant in the RNVR.[1] After the war, he resumed his legal practice and was Junior Counsel to the Treasury in Scotland from 1927 to 1928.[3] He was then Sheriff-Substitute of Lanarkshire at Airdrie from 1928[7] until he became a King's Counsel in August 1933.[8][9][10] He then resigned as sheriff[11][12] to return to practice in the Court of Session.[3]

Having taken silk, King Murray was a Senior Advocate Depute (prosecutor) from 1936 to 1938.[4] He was regarded as one the leading King's Counsels of his day.[1]

In May 1938, he appointed as Chairman of the Scottish Land Court, succeeding the late Lord MacGregor Mitchell.[13][14] On his appointment, The Scotsman newspaper noted that the new judge had "taken a prominent part in political work for the Unionist Party".[15] He took the judicial title Lord Murray, and chaired the court until June 1941, when he joined the wartime coalition government as Solicitor General for Scotland.[16] He dropped the judicial title "lord Murray",[17] and was knighted in the King's Birthday Honours.[18][4] Murray was succeeded at the Land Court by Robert Gibson,[19] another former pupil of the Hamilton Academy.


and was Chairman of the Scottish Coalfields Committee from 1942 to 1944.

He was Solicitor General for Scotland from 1941 to 1945, and was elected at a closely fought by-election in 1943 as the Unionist Member of Parliament (MP) for Midlothian and Peebles North. He was knighted in 1941. Murray retired from the House of Commons at the 1945 general election and was appointed a Senator of the College of Justice in Scotland and Lord of Session in 1945, with the judicial title Lord Birnam.

Sources[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Points About People In The News - Speech covered two reigns". Dundee Courier. 25 October 1938. p. 6. Retrieved 8 June 2016 – via British Newspaper Archive. (subscription required (help)). 
  2. ^ a b "Thomas David King Murray". University of Glasgow Story. University of Glasgow. Retrieved 10 June 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d "New Chairman Of Land Court - Mr Thomas D.K. Murray Appointed". Aberdeen Journal. 11 May 1938. p. 6. Retrieved 11 June 2016 – via British Newspaper Archive. (subscription required (help)). 
  4. ^ a b c "Lord Birnam". The Times (53240). London, England. 7 June 1955. p. 8. Retrieved 10 June 2016 – via The Times Digital Archive. (subscription required (help)). 
  5. ^ "Glasgow University Celebrations. The Spring Graduation". The Scotsman. 22 April 1908. p. 7. Retrieved 11 June 2016 – via British Newspaper Archive. (subscription required (help)). 
  6. ^ "Faculty of Advocates". The Scotsman. 19 March 1910. p. 8. Retrieved 11 June 2016 – via British Newspaper Archive. (subscription required (help)). 
  7. ^ "no. 14440". The Edinburgh Gazette. 4 May 1928. p. 523. Retrieved 11 June 2016. 
  8. ^ "New Scottish K.C. Appointments". Aberdeen Journal. 1 August 1933. p. 6. Retrieved 11 June 2016 – via British Newspaper Archive. (subscription required (help)). 
  9. ^ "no. 14992". The Edinburgh Gazette. 18 August 1933. p. 681. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  10. ^ "News in Brief: New King's Counsel". The Times (46511). London, England. 1 August 1933. p. 12. Retrieved 10 June 2016 – via The Times Digital Archive. (subscription required (help)). 
  11. ^ "Two New Scottish Sheriffs". Aberdeen Journal. 29 September 1933. p. 6. Retrieved 11 June 2016 – via British Newspaper Archive. (subscription required (help)). 
  12. ^ "no. 15004". The Edinburgh Gazette. 29 September 1933. p. 801. Retrieved 11 June 2016. 
  13. ^ "Scottish Land Court Chairman". The Times (Issue 47991). London, England. 11 May 1938. p. 18. Retrieved 18 January 2016 – via The Times Digital Archive. (subscription required (help)). 
  14. ^ "no. 15491". The Edinburgh Gazette. 13 May 1938. p. 391. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  15. ^ "Mr Murray - Land Court Appointment Confirmed". The Scotsman. 11 May 1938. p. 12. Retrieved 11 June 2016 – via British Newspaper Archive. (subscription required (help)). 
  16. ^ "no. 15820". The Edinburgh Gazette. 13 June 1941. p. 305. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  17. ^ "Scottish Legal Changes". Dundee Courier. 6 June 1941. p. 3. Retrieved 11 June 2016 – via British Newspaper Archive. (subscription required (help)). 
  18. ^ "(Supplement) no. 35184". The London Gazette. 6 June 1941. pp. 3281–3282. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  19. ^ "Lord Justice Clerk Appointed". The Times (Issue 48945). London, England. 6 June 1941. p. 4. Retrieved 18 January 2016 – via The Times Digital Archive. (subscription required (help)). 
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Colville
Member of Parliament for Midlothian and Peebles North
19431945
Succeeded by
Lord John Hope
Legal offices
Preceded by
James Scott Cumberland Reid
Solicitor General for Scotland
1941–1945
Succeeded by
Daniel Patterson Blades