Box icon John Murray I (1737-1793)

Portrait of John Murray I

In 1768, Edinburgh-born John McMurray took over the bookselling business of William Sandby at 32 Fleet Street, London. In deference to the anti-Scottish feeling in London at the time, one of his first actions as a bookseller was to drop what one of his friends called 'the wild highland Mac' from his name.

An ex-marine and a hard drinker, Murray I was well suited to the often boisterous and risky late 18th century professions of publishing and bookselling.

Murray I published about 1,000 titles, and was the sole publisher more of more than than a third of them. These included many important medical and scientific titles including a quarterly periodical 'Medical Commentaries' and Johann Kaspar Lavater's 'Essays on Physiognomy'.




NRA Name: N/A but Murray, John (1737-1793) formerly McMurray, publisher and bookseller.

The National Register of Archives (NRA) contains information on the nature and location of manuscripts and historical records that relate to British history in archival holdings in the UK and overseas. You can find more information on the National Register of Archives name authority catalogue.


Top of page


Topics in the archive



Other figures in Murray publishing:



'Many blockheads in the trade are making fortunes, and did we not succeed as well as these, I think it must be imputed only to ourselves.'
– Murray letterbook, 16 October 1768.



Location map of John Murray I's premises in Fleet Street, London:
Map of Britain showing notable locations
View other notable JMA locations in Google Maps