The Athol Lords of Man

Arms of Murrays

The Great Stanley, James, 7th Earl of Derby, Lord of Man was beheaded at Bolton 1651. He was married to Charlotte de Trémoille (whose ancestors included most of the royal families of Europe)
One of his daughters was Lady Amelia Stanley (d 1703) who married John Murray, Marquess of Atholl (d.1703). They had a son John Murray 1st Duke of Atholl (d.1724) who married Lady Katherine Hamiliton (daughter of Duchess & Duke of Hamilton). Their offspring were:


John, Marquiss of Tuillibarene killed Malplaquet 1709 ;


William, Jacobite Duke of Atholl died prisoner in Tower of London 1746;

James, Whig (i.e. on the English side!) 2nd duke of Atholl and 7th Lord Strange, Lord of Mann d.1764;


George Murray, Jacobite General, died in Exile 1760;


Lady Susan Murray, Countess of Aberdeen, an ancestress of Diana Princess of Wales.

Earl James Stanley's only son died from smallpox, and the Barony of Strange and the sovereignty of the Isle of Man passed to the heir general, James Murray, second Duke of Athol. The title and honours of the earldom, however, devolved upon the next male heir, Sir Edward Stanley, Bart., of Bickerstaffe which line had little future contact with the Island, however with the 14th Earl it produced one of the leading politicians of the Victorian age.

However the attaintment of his brother William which allowed James to acquire the title was used later by the English government as a threat to re-open the succession of title which helped force the 3rd Duke to sell his regalities.

James Duke of Atholl had daughter Charlotte Murray (d.1805) who married her cousin John Murray(d.1774) son of Lord George Murray - they were the last Lord and Lady of Mann 1764-5 before selling the regalities to the English crown at the revestment of 1765.

Their offspring were John, 4th Duke of Atholl(b.1755 d.1830), Lord George Murray, Archdeacon of Man and later Bishop of St Davids (d.1803) and Lord Henry Murray, Lt Colonel of Manx Fencibles d.1805 (memorial in Kirk Braddan). It was John who after much agitation that the British Government had paid too little for the regalities, forced the British government to establish a commission of enquiry into the sale and managed to obtain a much improved deal for the Murrays. Possibly as a way of keeping him satisfied the British Government appointed him as Governor in Chief in 1793 which act started a quarter century of open hostility between him and the Keys.


A brief introduction to the House of Murray is given by J. Train Historical and Statistical Account of the Isle of Man chapter IX

A more detailed description (on which Train drew) is given in Seacombe's genealogy of the Barons of Strange.

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Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
© F.Coakley , 2001