Sir George Murray Collection


Sir George Murray Collection


Manuscript and printed military maps and plans collected by General Sir George Murray (1772-1846), a Scottish soldier who served as Quartermaster General under the Duke of Wellington during the Peninsular War. Almost half of the maps are concerned with this conflict and are a mixture of manuscript and printed maps. These include battle plans captured from the enemy, as well as some of the earliest examples of lithography used in map production (a lithographic press was established in in the Quartermaster General's Office at the Horse Guards from 1807-08). Nine maps relate to his brief period as Governor of Canada in 1814, cut short when news broke of Napoleon's escape. These maps concentrate on communications around the St Lawrence and into New England, with early roads and portages as a principal feature.

After Napoleon's defeat in 1815, Murray moved into politics and followed a dual career in the military and as a statesman under Lord Wellington. He acquired and used maps for training exercises as Governor of Sandhurst, the Royal Military College (1819-24), and maps were an essential requirement in his later roles as Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance (from 1824), as Secretary of State for the Colonies (1828-30), and Master-General of the Ordnance (from 1834). The earliest map in the collection dates from 1665 (Zuyp in the Netherlands) and perhaps belonged to another member of the family, whilst the latest map (of India) in the collection is dated 1846, the year of Murray’s death. Their primary geographic focus is of France, Spain and Portugal, but there is also coverage of other European countries, including Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and Italy, as well as Canada, India and Algeria.


The Murray Collection includes private and official papers, correspondence, as well as various other military and political documents relating to Sir George Murray held in the Library's archive and manuscript collections (Adv.MSS.46.1.1-46.10.2). Larger maps and plans are held in the Map Library, in a broadly geographic arrangement as presented to the Library, (Adv.MSS.46.1.1-46.1.2).


The collection was presented to the Advocates Library in 1910, by Miss Murray Gartshore of Ravelston, with the permission of the Murray family.

Related collections

The Murray papers in the manuscript collections include private and official papers, correspondence, as well as various other military and political documents relating to Sir George Murray.


'The Papers of General The Rt. Hon. Sir George Murray, GCB, GCH,' M Dobie, Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research, 10(39), (1931). 34-39.

'Peninsular War Cartography: A New Look at the Military Mapping of General Sir George Murray and the Quartermaster General's Department', RHP Smith, Imago Mundi, 65:2 (2013), 234-252.




Maps, atlases and mapmaking

Military history