William Mure (scholar)

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William Mure
William Mure b1799.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Renfrewshire
Personal details
Born (1799-07-10)10 July 1799
Caldwell, Ayrshire
Died 1 April 1860(1860-04-01) (aged 60)
Resting place Neilston
Citizenship British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Laura Markham

William Mure (10 July 1799 – 1 April 1860) was a Scottish scholar and politician. He sat in the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1846–55 as the Conservative MP for Renfrewshire and was Laird of Caldwell in Ayrshire.[1]


He was born at Caldwell, Ayrshire, on 9 July 1799, was the eldest son of William Mure of Caldwell, colonel of the Renfrew militia, and lord rector of Glasgow University 1793-1794, by his wife Anne, eldest daughter of Sir James Hunter Blair, bart., of Dunskey, Wigtownshire, and was thus grandson of William Mure, baron of exchequer, and a descendant of the Mures of Rowallan.[2]

He was educated at Westminster School, at the university of Edinburgh, and afterwards in Germany at the university of Bonn. When he was about twenty-two he contributed to the Edinburgh Review an article on Spanish literature. His first independent publication was Brief Remarks on the Chronology of the Egyptian Dynasties (against Champollion), issued in 1829 ; (London, 8vo). It was followed in 1832 by A Dissertation on the Calendar and Zodiac of Ancient Egypt (Edinburgh, 8vo).[2]

In 1838, Mure began a tour in Greece, leaving Ancona for Corfu on 17 February. He studied the 'topography of Ithaca, and visited Acarnania, Delphi, Boeotia, Attica, and the Peloponnese. He published an interesting Journal of a Tour in Greece and the Ionian Islands in 1842 (Edinburgh, 8vo). His principal work, A Critical History of the Language and Literature of Ancient Greece, was issued 1850-7, London, 8vo ; 2nd edit. 1859, 8vo ; it consists of five volumes, but deals only with a part of the subject, viz. the early history of writing, Homer, Hesiod, the early lyric poets and historians Herodotus, Thucydides, and Xenophon. It contains no account of the dramatists, orators, or any literature subsequent to 380 B.C. Mure also published The Commercial Policy of Pitt and Peel, 1847, 8vo ; Selections from the Family Papers [of the Mures] preserved at Caldwell, Maitland Club, 1854, 8vo ; Remarks on the Appendices to the second vol. 3rd edit, of Mr. Grote's History of Greece, London, 1851, 8vo; and National Criticism in 1858 (on a criticism of Mure's 'History of the Literature of Greece'), London, 1858, 8vo.[2]

Mure had succeeded to the Caldwell estates on his father's death, 9 February 1831. He was, like his father, for many years colonel of the Renfrewshire militia, and was lord Rector of the University of Glasgow in 1847-8.[2]

He was M.P. for Renfrewshire from 1846 to 1855 in the conservative interest, but seldom spoke in the house. He was created D.C.L. by Oxford University on 9 June 1833. He was a man of commanding presence, winning manners, and kindly disposition.[2]

He died at Kensington Park Gardens, London, on 1 April 1860, aged 60.[2] Mure is buried in the parish church of Neilston.


Mure married, on 7 February 1825, Laura, second daughter of William Markham of Becca Hall, Yorkshire, and granddaughter of William Markham the Archbishop of York, and had issue three sons and three daughters. The second son, Charles Reginald, became an officer in the 43rd light infantry. The eldest son, William, was lieutenant-colonel in the Scots fusilier guards, M.P. for Renfrewshire 1874-80, and died in 1880, leaving an only son William.


  1. ^ William Mure. Glasgow University (multi-tab page)
  2. ^ a b c d e f Wroth 1894.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Patrick Maxwell Stewart
Member of Parliament for Renfrewshire
Succeeded by
Sir Michael Shaw-Stewart, Bt.
Academic offices
Preceded by
Lord John Russell
Rector of the University of Glasgow
Succeeded by
Thomas Babington Macaulay