UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Thomas Douglas Murray, 1841-1921

Nationality: British
Date of Birth: 1841
Place of Birth:
Date of Death: 1911.11.20
Place of Death:

Identity:

Murray married Anne Hodgson in 1868.

Life:

Thomas Douglas Murray was educated at Rugby and Exeter College, Oxford. A sportsman and traveller, he travelled round the world and spent twelve winters in Egypt from 1866 on. He had wide and diverse interests. He became Honorary Seretary to the Frank Buckland Memorial Fund (an archaeology fund) in 1879. He bred horses and dogs, and introduced Pekinese spaniels to Britain.

Murray attended JW's 'Ten O'Clock' Lecture in 1885 and wrote to tell Whistler how much he admired it (see #04229). Murray's house was at 34 Portland Place. The Chinese Embassy was at No. 49, and Murray was on good terms with the Ambassador. JW's interest in Chinese art may have provided a common interest (see #04236).

Murray became an FRGS in 1894. He was author of Sir Samuel Baker. A Memoir, 1895, and editor of Jeanne d'Arc. Maid of Orleans, as attested on oath and set forth in the original documents, published by William Heinemann, London, 1902, which was used by G. B. Shaw as the basis for his play.

Whistler and Murray had mutual friends in an artistic and cultural milieu that included, for instance, Louise Jopling (1843-1933), née Goode, later Mrs Jopling-Rowe, artist [more]. She held a 'Salon', where the Murrays and Whistler were regular guests. Jopling commended the Murray's entertainments: 'There one met everybody who was somebody - artists, actors and actresses, and all those of the beau-monde who affected artistic and Bohemian society' (Jopling, Louise, Twenty Years of My Life, 1867 to 1887, London, 1925, p. 205).

Murray's later addresses included Clewer Lodge, Windsor, and Iver Place, Iver, Buckinghamshire.

Bibliography:

Foster, Joseph, Men at the Bar: a biographical hand-list of the members of the various inns of court, including Her Majesty's judges, London, 1885; Who was who: a companion to Who's who, Vol. 1, 1897/1915, London, 1920-21.