David Murray, 2nd Earl of Mansfield

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The Right Honourable
The Earl of Mansfield
Portrait of David Murray 2nd Earl of Mansfield by Sylvester Harding.jpg
Lord President of the Council
In office
17 December 1794 – 1 September 1796
Monarch George III
Prime Minister William Pitt
Preceded by The Earl FitzWilliam
Succeeded by The Earl of Chatham
In office
2 April 1783 – 19 December 1783
Monarch George III
Prime Minister The Duke of Portland
Preceded by The Lord Camden
Succeeded by The Earl Gower
Secretary of State for the Northern Department
In office
27 October 1779 – 27 March 1782
Monarch George III
Prime Minister Lord North
Preceded by The Viscount Weymouth
Succeeded by Office Abolished
The Earl of Shelburne as Home Secretary
Charles James Fox as Foreign Secretary
Personal details
Born David Murray
9 October 1727
Died 1 September 1796(1796-09-01) (aged 68)

David Murray, 2nd Earl of Mansfield KT PC (9 October 1727 – 1 September 1796), known as The Viscount Stormont from 1748 to 1793, was a British politician. He succeeded to both the Mansfield and Stormont lines of the Murray family, inheriting two titles and two fortunes.


Mansfield was the son of David Murray, 6th Viscount of Stormont, and his wife Anne Stewart. Lord Chief Justice William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield was his paternal uncle.

Public life[edit]

Mansfield was ambassador to Vienna and then to France in the early years of the American War of Independence, and played a role in sending news of American actions back to England. He had been elected a Scottish Representative Peer in 1754. He was appointed as the last Secretary of State for the Northern Department, serving from 1779 to 1782.

In 1783 he was appointed as Lord President of the Council, and again from 1794 to 1796. He served as Lord Justice General between 1778 and 1795. He was appointed a Privy Counsellor in 1763 and made a Knight of the Thistle in 1768.


Lord Mansfield married firstly Henrietta Frederica, daughter of Henry Graf Bunau, in 1759, whilst he was British ambassador to Saxony. They had one child, Lady Elizabeth Murray. Henrietta died in 1766.

A decade later, Mansfield married secondly the Honourable Louisa Cathcart, daughter of Charles Cathcart, 9th Lord Cathcart, in 1776. Louisa was his junior by more than 30 years, and they had five children—Caroline, David, George, Charles, and Henry.

In 1793 he succeeded his uncle Lord Mansfield as second Earl of Mansfield of the 1792 creation, while his wife succeeded as second Countess of Mansfield of the 1776 creation, according to special remainders in the letters patent. Lord Mansfield died in September 1796, aged 68. He was succeeded in his titles by his eldest son David. His second son, the Honourable George Murray, became a Lieutenant-General in the Army. His fourth son, the Honourable Sir Henry Murray, rose to the rank of General.

The Countess of Mansfield survived her husband by 47 years. She married the Honourable Robert Fulke Greville in 1797. She died in July 1843, aged 85.



External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Charles Hanbury Williams
British Minister to Saxony
Succeeded by
Philip Stanhope
Preceded by
The Earl Harcourt
British Ambassador to France
Title next held by
Thomas Grenville in 1782
Legal offices
Preceded by
The Duke of Queensberry
Lord Justice General
Succeeded by
The Duke of Montrose
Political offices
Preceded by
The Viscount Weymouth
Secretary of State for the Northern Department
Office abolished
Preceded by
The Lord Camden
Lord President of the Council
Succeeded by
The Earl Gower
Preceded by
The Earl Fitzwilliam
Lord President of the Council
Succeeded by
The Earl of Chatham
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
William Murray
Earl of Mansfield
2nd creation
Succeeded by
David William Murray
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
David Murray
Viscount Stormont
Succeeded by
David William Murray