Box icon John Murray II (1778-1843)

Portrait of John Murray II

John Murray II was only 15 when his father died. As a result, the family business was first managed solely by Samuel Highley. It was then managed in partnership with John Murray II until 1804 when the partnership was dissolved.

The business expanded and Murray moved to bigger and more dignified premises at 50 Albemarle Street in the fashionable west end of London.

Soon afterward, Murray was hosting regular meetings of authors and friends in the drawing room, forming what Sir Walter Scott called 'Murray's 4 o'clock friends'. The Athenaeum Club, which was established in 1824, partly grew out of these meetings, with Murray II and his many literary friends being founding members.

Murray II married Anne, the daughter of Charles Elliot, an important Edinburgh bookseller and publisher. As Charles died without a son to continue his business, his archives went to his daughter and therefore into the John Murray Archive.

Murray II founded the political and literary journal the 'Quarterly Review'. He was noted for his large and generous payments and terms given to his authors who included novelist Jane Austen, cookery writer Maria Rundell and poet Lord Byron.

NRA Name: Murray, John Samuel (1778-1843), publisher.

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.

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'A rogue of course, but a civil one.'
– Letter from Jane Austen to Cassandra Austen referring to John Murray II.

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