John Murray, the Chief of the Murray clans and 11th Duke of Atholl has died in a South African hospital on Tuesday, 15th May after suffering a stroke. He was 83.
The Johannesburg born Murray became Clan Chief and inherited the Dukedom after his cousin George Murray, 10th Duke of Atholl passed away unmarried in 1996.
Murray, the 4x great-grandson of John Murray, 3rd Duke of Atholl, was born in South Africa in 1929, the only child of Major George Murray and his wife Joan Eastwood. His father was killed in 1940 in active service during the Second World War.
A land surveyor by profession, John married Margaret ‘Peggy’ Leach in 1956 and had three children together: Lady Jennifer Murray; Bruce Murray, Marquess of Tullibardine; and Lord Craig Murray. The eldest son, Bruce, will now become the 12th Duke of Atholl.
A spokesperson at the Atholl Estates in Perthshire announced the death of the Duke and said that his standard would be flown at half-mast out of respect. He added,
“The Duke was Colonel-in-Chief of the Atholl Highlanders and over the years had become a well known figure on Atholl Estates. He visited Scotland every year for the Atholl Highlander’s parade and gathering held at the end of May.
“As he would have wished, the parade will be held this year as usual, at Blair Castle on Saturday May 26 and the Gathering on Sunday 27.
“A service of remembrance will be held at Blair Castle when the Atholl Highlanders and local friends will have a chance to remember the Duke.”
Andrew Bruce Wooton, the general manager at Blair Castle said,
”He was in his 80s and had a full and fantastic life. His family are feeling the sorrow but are thankful he had such an interesting and varied life. He was such a happy and joyful man.”
Apparently, it has been confirmed that Bruce Murray, the new Duke, will visit Blair Atholl to inspect the Highlanders at the next coming parade and gathering.
The 11th Duke was well liked around the estate, and made many friends. Edna Mackay, a former employee at Blair Castle, and good friend, who spent much time with Duke and Duchess, both in Scotland and South Africa, was very saddened by the news of Murray’s death. She went on to say,
“He was proud to be the Duke of Atholl and he carried out his duties very well. We are a small community and he will be greatly missed by the many friends he made here.”