T. C. Murray

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T. C. Murray

Thomas Cornelius Murray (17 January 1873 – 7 March 1959) was an Irish dramatist who was closely associated with the Abbey Theatre. He was born in Macroom, County Cork, and educated at St Patrick's Teacher Training College in Drumcondra, Dublin. He worked as a schoolteacher and in 1900 was appointed headmaster of the national school in Rathduff, Co. Cork. His first play, The Wheel of Fortune, was produced by the Little Theatre in Cork in 1909. It was revised and renamed Sovereign Love in 1913. Murray had co-founded the theatre with Daniel Corkery, Con O'Leary and Terence McSwiney. In 1915, he moved to Dublin as headmaster of the Model Schools at Inchicore, where he remained until his retirement from teaching in 1932.

His play Birthright was performed in the Abbey Theatre in 1910 and established him as a writer of force. In all, he wrote 15 plays, all of which were produced by the Abbey. His two most highly regarded works are Maurice Harte (1912) and Autumn Fire (1924). Both of these and Birthright were performed in New York on Broadway, with Autumn Fire having a run of 71 performances.[1] Murray also wrote an autobiographical novel Spring Horizon (1937).

It has been stated both by A. DeGiacomo and by R. Allen Cave that, in the Art competitions at the 1924 Olympics in Paris, France, Murray was awarded a bronze medal for his play Birthright. However, according to the official record for the games, although Murray was a participant in the literature category with this play and also with Maurice Harte he did not win a medal.[2]


  • The Wheel of Fortune 1909.
  • Birthright (two acts) 1910.
  • Maurice Harte (two acts) 1912.
  • Sovereign Love (one act) 1913.
  • The Briery Gap (one act) 1917.
  • Spring (one act) 1918.
  • The Serf 1920.
  • Aftermath (three acts) 1922.
  • Autumn Fire (three acts) 1924.
  • The Pipe in the Fields (one act) 1927.
  • The Blind Wolf 1928.
  • A Flutter of Wings 1930.
  • Michaelmas Eve (three acts) 1932.
  • A Spot in the Sun 1938.
  • Illumination (two acts) 1939.


  1. ^ T.C. Murray, Internet Broadway database. Retrieved on 23 March 2011.
  2. ^ (ed.) M. Avé, Comité Olympique Français. Les Jeux de la VIIIe Olympiade Paris 1924 - Rapport Officiel (PDF) (in French). Paris: Librairie de France. p. 607.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)


  • R. Allen Cave (Ed.) - Selected Plays of T.C. Murray (Colin Smythe, 1998) ISBN 0-86140-143-3
  • DeGiacomo, Albert J. - T.C. Murray, Dramatist, Voice of Rural Ireland (Syracuse University Press, 2003) ISBN 0-8156-2945-1
  • Igoe, Vivien - A Literary Guide to Dublin (Methuen, 1994) ISBN 0-413-69120-9
  • Murray, Thomas C. - Spring Horizon, A Novel (T. Nelson & Sons, 1937) ASIN: B00177YTFM