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                      MURRAYS IN LANCASHIRE AND BEYOND      by Tessa Szczepanik This article continues the description of the Lancashire descendants of James Murray and Agnes McDonald, who were mentioned in my cousin Noel Harrower’s article “From Lanark to Manchester - A Murray Migration” that was published in The Manchester Genealogist Vol. 47 No. 3 2011, and my article concentrates on the descendants of their eldest son John Murray (my 3x great-grandfather). James and Agnes were married on 13Dec1833 at the lovely church of St Andrew’s In The Square in Glasgow and moved with their young family to Manchester in the late 1840s.  Their oldest child, John Murray (b.7Jul1837- d.19Sep1902), was born in Glasgow but lived in Manchester for most of his life.  John Murray married Ann Wrigley (b.30Mar1838-d.12Mar1908) on 13Jul1860 at Manchester Cathedral, and their descendants are now scattered far beyond the city of the couple’s childhood. At the time of the 1861 census, John worked as a warehouseman and lived with his new bride at 79 Edward Street in Chorlton-on-Medlock and their first five children were born in Chorlton-on-Medlock.  Their eldest child, Anne (b.18November1861), married George Knox in Flixton in 1903, and later married James Ninian Hill in Gourock in Scotland in 1916, which explains why she was living in Scotland in later life with her niece Jessie Wrigley Murray (b.30Oct1895).  Jessie was the daughter of Anne’s brother John (b.9Feb1863) and his wife Jessie Ann McDonald (b.12Apr1865-d.7Nov1895).  The next child of John and Ann was James (b.9Jun1864-d.5Aug1868), who sadly died at the age of 4.  By the time of the 1871 census, John was a ‘Yarn Warehouseman’ living with his wife Ann, son John, and younger children Mary (b.20Dec1865-d.25Sep1890), Thomas (b.17Jan1867-d.22Jun1902), Lizzie (b.2Oct1868) and Joseph (b.18Aug1870-d.16May1929) at 14 Dudley Street in Stretford.  The whole family (including oldest daughter Anne) lived at 73 Ellesmere Street in Moss Side on the night of the 1881 census, now joined by new sons Arthur (b.19Apr1876 in Stretford) and Harold (b.1Jul1878 in Moss Side).  1891 was the last census when the Murry [sic] children all lived with their parents John and Ann at 215 Moss Lane East in Moss Side, one year after Mary’s death. My great-great-grandfather Joseph Murray, like his father John, also worked in Lancashire’s textile industry.  Joseph was born in Stretford and started work as a clerk (as shown in the 1891 census).  For most of his career he worked as an accountant for Horrockses, a very successful cotton manufacturer in Lancashire.  Last year we visited the former Horrockses offices and the warehouse/shop where they sold their cloth and dresses – 55 and 107 Piccadilly, now the Gardens Hotel and ABode Hotel.  It was lovely to sit and have lunch where they used to sell the beautiful dresses.  Horrockses’ reputation has not faded since the company was closed in the 1960s.  There was a fabulous exhibition of Horrockses Fashions: Off The Peg Style In The ‘40s and ‘50s  at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London in 2010.  My grandmother Daphne (married to Joseph’s grandson Peter) and many of my cousins used to wear their dresses and according to the exhibition HM The Queen and Princess Margaret wore outfits by Horrockses too.  Horrockses material and dresses were exported all over the world.  In fact, a new website for Horrockses Fashions was created in August 2011 for advertising the new range: http://www.horrocksesfashions.co.uk/home.asp . Joseph was a kind man and every month he sent a proportion of his wages from Horrockses to his youngest brother Harold Murray in Canada.  Harold was one of the Assistant Keepers and a botanist at the Manchester Museum in Lancashire but moved to Crawford Bay on Kootenay Lake in British Columbia, Canada in 1910.  Harold became a fruit farmer there but setting up his farm was precarious and Joseph helped him for many years.  We visited Kootenay Lake in 2010, 100 years after Harold’s emigration, during our summer holiday to see where Harold lived because we have several of his letters from Canada.  Initially, we couldn’t find any record of his house but then we went to Gray Creek, the very next village along the beautiful lake, and stopped at the hardware store there.  The owner of the shop, local historian Tom Lymbery, remembered Harold Murray who had been a friend of Tom’s father.  Harold used to bring mushrooms and local food to the Lymbery’s, they’d talk into the night and then Tom drove Harold home afterwards.  Harold’s first home had been burnt down in the 1940s but Tom gave us directions to Harold’s next home, still called “The Murray Cabin”, on Hawkins Road in the village of Crawford Bay.  Harold’s land and former fruit farm are now part of Kokanee Springs Golf Resort.  During the First World War, Harold joined the Canadian Expeditionary Forces and his next-of-kin on the attestation papers was his brother Arthur who worked as a Captain and Commander of a naval vessel (Arthur later married Alice Constance Farrant on 23Apr1921 in Swansea).  Harold sent plants and seeds to horticultural centres all over the world, including the University of British Columbia.  We also visited the lovely old hotel in Nelson in British Columbia where Harold spent the winters.  Harold’s sister Lizzie lived in Nelson with her husband Joseph Dee (a mill furnisher and later oil merchant from London) and children (Donald Murray Dee, Hilda Florence Dee and Harold Leslie Dee were all born around the turn of the century in Buxton, Derbyshire) after they had emigrated to Canada a couple of years before Harold went there.  Therefore it is possible that some of Joseph’s money assisted the Dee family in Canada as well as Harold.  Harold probably died on 7Jun1966 in the Vancouver area, and Lizzie’s children seem to have returned to England.  Canada was not the only foreign destination where the Murrays travelled - Thomas Murray married Annie Elizabeth Powell (b.1870 Moss Side) on 15Dec1894 and their children were Madge Murray (b.1896) and Thomas Powell Murray (b.1900 in Manchester), but Thomas Powell Murray was killed accidentally aboard ship at Montevideo). Joseph Murray married Helen Hall (b.7May1870-d.9Jan1944) on 18Aug1900 at Holy Trinity Church in Rusholme.  The couple lived at 99 Crosscliffe Street in Moss Side on the night of the 1901 census, when Joseph worked as a ‘Commercial Clerk to Cotton Spinners’.  Helen was born in Blackpool and her parents were Sarah Harriet Fowler and William Henry Hall.  Helen’s father worked for the family firm of silversmiths and jewellers and goldsmiths called John Hall & Co. that was started by his uncle John Hall.  Joseph and Helen's children were Leonard Murray (b.17Jun1901 in Moss Side) and Mabel Murray (b.18Mar1907 in Longsight) and the family lived at 91 Cheadle Hulme Road in Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire at the time of the 1911 census.  Mabel later married Noel Gordon Treloar and they adopted two children.  Joseph died on 18 July 1929 at 24 Alexandra Road in Heaton Norris near Stockport (then part of Cheshire) when my grandfather, Peter Foster Murray, was only 3 years old but he remembered his grandfather giving him a rocking horse.  Helen wrote down a long list of everyone who came to the funeral and who she had to write thank you letters to afterwards.  This has proved to be a marvellous genealogical document since she wrote down all their addresses too - Joseph and Helen both came from large families. Len Murray, my great-grandfather, became the second generation of the family to work for Horrockses and worked on the sales side.  He was always immaculately dressed and very presentable and worked hard so Horrockses gave him a marvellous opportunity in 1924.  They asked him to move to London and work on the Horrockses stand in the Palace of Industry at the British Empire Exhibition in Wembley.  This exhibition lasted from 1924 until 1925 and many buildings were built in Wembley especially for it.  We have some very impressive postcards showing the buildings from this time.  The original Wembley Stadium, with its two towers, was built for the exhibition.  Len brought his young wife, Muriel Foster (b.15Jan1902 in Burnage) south to join him in London after their marriage on 4Oct1924 at St Margaret’s Church in Burnage in Lancashire. Muriel and Len had been “childhood sweethearts” – Muriel had gone to Manchester High School for Girls (the local Grammar school) and Len had gone to the William Hulme Grammar School.  Muriel became a Sunday school teacher and Len led a scout troop.   Muriel then got a job as a secretary to a professor at Manchester University.  Muriel’s mother, Eliza Ann Sefton, came from a family where the women all worked in the cotton mills (she was a cotton reeler at the time of the 1891 census) and Muriel’s father, Thomas Foster, started his career by following his own father Ephraim’s line of work as a mechanic.  Tom went to London for a while and he wrote that he remembered being teased by people in London because he wore clogs – which were so customary in the industries in Lancashire.  For most of his career he worked in Manchester and worked his way up to become a manager for Vaughan and Co. in the steam industry, as well as being a Mason and a member of the Royal Academy of Arts.  He loved steam engines so much that he built a miniature railway, complete with a ticket office, in his garden in Burnage where the local children used to come for rides at the weekends.  We have some postcards of Muriel and her brothers and sisters manning the fun railway.  Tom was a traditional Victorian man regarding the place of women – when Muriel told him of her intentions of working, he insisted that she gave him all the money she earned and he would continue to give her the same amount of pocket-money as her sisters.  So Muriel worked very happily for the Professor for no monetary gain at all.  In other ways, Tom was progressive – he drove down to London to buy a De Dion car in 1903 and it took him two days to drive it back up to Manchester but he did let his daughters drive it.  This was so unusual that there are photos of them in the local papers stating that “Miss Gertrude Foster [was] one of the first female drivers in Manchester”. Soon after Muriel and Len married, they moved to Wembley.  They obviously missed Manchester since they called their home, “Burnage”, after the area of Manchester where Muriel had formerly lived with her family.   Len and Muriel had two children, my grandfather Peter Foster Murray (b.5Dec1924) and Sylvia Hall Murray (b.29Apr1928).  Sylvia served in the WRNS and married a naval air traffic controller called Peter Graham Wilson.  Sylvia had four children and she died on 31May1998 in Maidenhead, Berkshire.  Len continued to work for Horrockses until the Second World War and then he was in the army and fought his way from Africa and up through Italy including the famous Battle of Monte Cassino.  He was mentioned in Despatches for his work in REME (the   Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers).  When they reached Rome, they were given the treat of going to a few operas and he loved music and kept the programmes!  He used to play the piano and used to entertain the troops too.  He had been offered to become an officer but he had refused because he wanted to stay with his men and so he remained in his position as a Lance Corporal and a non-commissioned officer.   After the war, he found it difficult to settle down.  He started his own shirt company, “Murray and Co.”, but in the harsh economic climate his company didn’t last for many years and then he went back to being a salesman.   He split up from Muriel and lived in a flat in Holland Park in London, while Muriel stayed in a tiny cottage in the pretty village of Cookham in Berkshire and then moved to a lakeside property in Winkfield, Berkshire.  Muriel had worked for the General Electric Company during the war and then after the war she worked for War Graves Commission for many years, which ensures that all the war graves are beautifully maintained.   Eventually, Len became ill with a heart condition and returned to Muriel for the last few years of his life.  Len died on 18Jul1969 and then Muriel later moved into a sheltered flat overlooking ponies and stables nearby.   During her retirement, Muriel used to crochet and knit children’s clothes for the Red Cross.  Muriel died on 11Feb1989 in Ascot, Berkshire. My grandfather, Peter Foster Murray, was born on 5Dec1925 at the family home of ‘Burnage’, 3 Rosslyn Crescent in Wembley and attended Mercers School in London.  He always loved airplanes and his model planes and he won a competition for an essay about aircraft - the prize was a flight in a Gipsy Moth biplane, which he loved!  At the beginning of the Second World War he was an evacuee, and he stayed with a couple of other boys at the home of Mr and Mrs Nightingale who were very hostile.  Peter used to make tiny explosions that went off as they turned the door handles in the house!  Later, the couple were arrested for being spies!  His school was relocated to the premises of Collyer’s college in Horsham in Sussex.  Relations between the two schools were not easy – in the end, they had to have separate break- times in the playground!  Then he wrote a small book about identifying aircraft from the ground which was published and he used to talk to local groups about the differences between identifying Allied and Nazi aircraft.  The success of his lectures and publications meant that his call-up papers were deferred and he became the coordinator for plane identification all over the south-east of England.  He was also in the Home Guard, for example protecting Wembley Stadium and Arena by looking out for aeroplanes from the roof, and wrote for several aircraft magazines and was in a plane above the D-Day landings and he wrote up this special day too.  He was technically too young to have his name published in the magazines so they left a gap in the list of contributors where his name would have been! After finishing his studies at school, he started a degree in Aeronautical Engineering at Northampton Polytechnic in London and he knew so much about aircraft that they waived the first year for him.  However, his call-up papers arrived and he couldn’t finish the degree.  He trained in Richmond in Yorkshire and also on the Isle of Man.  He was trained to fight in the jungle campaign but in the end was sent to Germany.  He was on the Isle of Man and had been on training manoeuvres when he broke his ankle and had to crawl back from the mountainous part of the Isle of Man on his own for two days before he was found, so he was given a motorcycle afterwards in order to get around the island.  He used this motorcycle on VE Day to drive round Douglas bay setting off thunderflashes, which looked spectacular in the sky.  This summer we went to the Isle of Man and read about all the VE day celebrations in the local Manx newspapers.  During his time in the army, he served in the Durham Light Infantry and Green Howards regiments with the rank of Captain (GSOIII) but he was promoted beyond the rank of Major (GSOII) to be one of the Acting Lieutenant Colonels (GSOI).  Peter was sent to Germany for “mopping up operations”, which was still very hazardous.  He was in Intelligence and tracking down small German resistance groups, usually named under the umbrella term Werwolf, and at least twice nearly lost his life.  One fun story he told was when he flew with a pilot and they flew between the spires of Cologne Cathedral – quite a feat!  Some years later, in 1948, when he was still in the army in Germany, he met my grandmother Daphne Patricia Stuart Anderson (b.12Jul1922 in Ahmadabad, India) because he then became an adviser on war documentaries for the Crown Film Unit.  My grandmother was an Assistant Director for the unit’s war documentaries.  After Peter was demobbed, they married on 16Oct1948 at St Michael’s Church in Bray, Berkshire. Daphne’s family had also lived in Lancashire: her paternal grandfather, Hugh Anderson, had lived in Bury and Lytham St. Annes and had worked for many years in the paper industry in Lancashire – having worked in the industry as a young man at Sutton-at-Hone in Kent and later, with his wife and children, for a few years in Ballyclare in Co. Antrim in Ireland.  He worked his way up and became a manager in Bury.  Daphne’s father, Stuart Barnett Anderson (1899- 1963), was born in Rishton and also worked as a paper manufacturer after serving in the South Lancashire Regiment and the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry as a Private, and then rising to the rank of 2 nd  Lieutenant and then Lieutenant in the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders during the First World War.  Daphne’s mother, Althea Kathleen Barker (1892-1971), was born in India and her ancestry was partially Scottish too.  Althea’s grandfather, John MacMillan (1829-1898), had joined the EIC Infantry in 1849 and then travelled to India within the Sappers and Miners regiment in 1852.  He worked as an engineer, creating dams and flood defences that saved the town of Cuttack in Orissa from flooding many times.  He married Aurora Clementina Eliza Atkinson (1847-1906) in Cuttack and her British family had been in India since at least 1788 when her great-great-grandfather Samuel Middleditch married a “native” Indian girl called Elizabeth Topher, so I am going to India next year to trace this side of my family! Peter worked for many years as the Editor of the magazine for the Society of Licensed Aircraft Engineers in Maidenhead, Berkshire and also became a County Councillor and a member of the Civic Society.  Peter and Daphne had three children, including my mother, Lynette.   For a while Peter worked for a Management Consultancy firm called Noel Brown, then between 1972 and 1992 he became the first Member Information Officer for Kent County Council and gave advice to the County Councillors.  Peter had a happy retirement with Daphne in Tonbridge in Kent until Daphne died on 13Feb2007 in Maidstone and Peter died on 7Jun2007 in Oxfordshire. Peter and Daphne were my wonderful grandparents and they were both proud of their Anglo-Scottish heritage in Lancashire, which was part of the reason why I studied for postgraduate qualifications in Genealogical Studies through the University of Strathclyde. Tessa C.  P. Szczepanik (18746) info@genealogy-researcher.co.uk
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