William Murray, 8th Earl of Mansfield and Mansfield

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The Right Honourable
The Earl of Mansfield & Mansfield
Born 7 July 1930
Died 21 October 2015
Education Eton College
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford
Occupation Barrister, politician
Title 8th Earl of Mansfield and 7th Earl of Mansfield
Spouse(s) Pamela
Children 2 sons, 1 daughter
Parent(s) Mungo Murray, 7th Earl of Mansfield and Mansfield
Dorothea Helena Carnegie
Relatives Lancelot Carnegie (maternal grandfather)

William David Mungo James Murray, 8th Earl of Mansfield, 7th Earl of Mansfield DL, JP (7 July 1930 – 21 October 2015), 13th Viscount Stormont, and Lord Scone, 11th Lord Balvaird and Hereditary Keeper of Bruce's Castle of Lochmaben, was a Scottish nobleman and Conservative politician.[1] Lord Murray was a supporter of Bonnie Prince Charlie when conferred with the titles Earl of Dunbar, Viscount of Drumcairn and Lord Halldykes in the Jacobite peerage. after the '45 they fell into abeyance.


William Murray was born on 7 July 1930. He was the only son of Mungo Murray, 7th Earl of Mansfield and Mansfield, and his wife Dorothea Helena, younger daughter of Sir Lancelot Carnegie. Educated at Eton College Murray read Law at Christ Church, Oxford. Lieutenant Murray did National Service with the Scots Guards in Malaya from 1949 to 1950. He was called to the bar by the Inner Temple in 1958.

Murray was a common law barrister in London chambers from 1958 until 1971, when he succeeded his father as Earl of Mansfield, and then returned to Scone.

He was a member of the British Delegation to the European Parliament from 1973 to 1975 (prior to the direct election of Members of the European Parliament), and was an opposition spokesman in the House of Lords from 1975 to 1979. He was a Minister of State in the Scottish Office from 1979 to 1983 and in the Northern Ireland Office from 1983 to 1984.

He was appointed an Honorary Sheriff for Perthshire in 1974, a Justice of the Peace in 1975 and a Deputy Lieutenant for Perth and Kinross in 1980.

Murray has also held a number of business and charitable appointments, such as serving as first president of the Federation of Hunting Associations of the European Communities (FACE)[2] from 1977 to 1979.

He was the first President of the Scottish Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders and from 1985 to 1996 served as First Crown Estate Commissioner.[3]

Lord Mansfield suffered all his life from poor health. In retirement he decided to open Scone Palace to the public making the gardens a venue for country fairs, horse trials and pop concerts. He was appointed Chairman of the Historic Houses Association in 1976 serving for three years. Lord Mansfield nurtured Scotland's finest collection of orchids, which from 1991 were housed in a purpose-built shed. Knowledgeable about both agriculture and horticulture he was made honorary Life President of the Scottish Orchid Society. The Phalaenopsis variety was named "Earl of Mansfield" in his honour. In 1996 he began an eponymous princely campaign to bring the Stone of Scone home to Scotland, yet at last it was decided to safeguard the stone at Edinburgh Castle.

Marriage & Children[edit]

Murray married Pamela Joan Foster on 19 December 1955. They had three children:[4]

  • Alexander David Mungo Murray, 9th Earl of Mansfield and Mansfield (born 17 October 1956)
  • Lady Georgina Dorothea Mary Murray (born 10 March 1967) married in 1998 to John Bullough.
  • Hon James William Murray (born 7 June 1969)

The Countess is a Patroness of the Royal Caledonian Ball.[5]


Murray died on 21 October 2015[6] and his funeral and memorial service were held at St John's Kirk of Perth on 30 October 2015, with a reception at Scone Palace.[7] He was succeeded by his son Alexander David Mungo Murray.



External links[edit]

Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
Mungo Murray
Earl of Mansfield and Mansfield
Succeeded by
Alexander Murray