(1721–94). Born in Scotland, Murray was an army officer and governor who introduced British military and civilian rule in post-conquest Quebec. He represents the growing influence of Scottish interests in the administrative as well as commercial life of the empire. He served as an officer in the Seven Years' War at the siege of Louisbourg (1758) and upon Wolfe's death commanded the defence of Quebec. He became a military governor of the District of Quebec (1760) and was made civilian governor in 1763. Despite initial misgivings about the loyalty of the Canadiens, he realized the British policy of anglicization as laid out in the Royal Proclamation of 1763 was counterproductive; he tried to mediate between the realities of governing a Catholic French-speaking colony with often contradictory and confused instructions from metropolitan policy-makers. His attempts to reconcile the demands of the local Anglo-merchants for full British constitutional institutions with the need for a system of governance and law supporting Canadien property rights and the Catholic Church largely failed. Undermined by London's insistence on separating civil and military command and by complaints from the British merchant community, Murray was recalled in 1766.
From The Oxford Companion to Canadian History in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: History of the Americas.