Box icon Sir John Murray IV (1851-1928)

Portrait of John Murray IV

On Sir John Murray III's death in 1892, his two sons, Sir John Murray IV and Hallam Murray, took over the running of the business.

Murray IV had been working with the firm since 1873 and became a junior partner in 1878. Hallam had joined the firm in 1884. However, the brothers quarrelled, and Hallam left the business in 1908. They were never to be fully reconciled.

The publication for which John Murray IV was most proud was the 'Letters of Queen Victoria', which he began in 1907. For his contribution to getting these published and his extensive charitable work he received a knighthood (KCVO) in 1926. Murray won a legal dispute with the Times Book Club's following their attempt to sell the 'Letters of Queen Victoria' at a discount.

A significant figure in the publishing world, Murray was a founding member of the Publishers' Association and served as treasurer, vice-president and president.

Another milestone for John Murray IV was the acquisition of the publishing house of Smith, Elder and Company in 1916. This was an important addition to the firm as it included the influential literary monthly the 'Cornhill Magazine'. A host of important authors came too, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

NRA Name: Murray, Sir John (1851-1928), knight, publisher and editor.

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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