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The Life of General The Hon. James Murray
Chapter XIV. The First British Governor of Canada


On February 10, 1763, was signed the peace of Paris, terminating as between England on the one hand, and France and Spain on the other, the state of war which had now endured officially for seven years—actually for about nine. Their Britannic, Most Christian, and Catholic Majesties declared a " Christian, universal, and perpetual peace " ; because they were too exhausted to fight any longer, and had every intention of doing so when opportunity arose. Pitt, who thoroughly disapproved of the peace as premature, and one which relinquished much of the advantage gained by victorious campaigns, besides a dishonourable desertion of the Prussian ally, declared that it could result only in an armed truce ; and Pitt's foresight was justified.

Of the twenty-seven Articles of the treaty the fourth only need be quoted; it included the following:

"His most Christian Majesty renounces all pretensions which he has heretofore formed or might have formed to Nova Scotia or Acadia. . . . Moreover, His Most Christian Majesty cedes and guarantees to his said Britannic Majesty, in full right, Canada, with all its dependencies, as well as the Island of Cape Breton and all the other islands and coasts in the gulph and river of St. Lawrence, and in general everything that depends on the said countries, lands, islands, and coasts. . . . His Britannic Majesty on his side agrees to grant the liberty of the Catholic religion to the inhabitants of Canada ... as for us the laws of Great Britain admit."

On this foundation, the Ministry in London, now nominally in charge of George Grenville, Bute retaining the position of chief wire-puller from behind the scenes, set to work to create a form of government for the new American territories, and, incidentally, to define the governments of the old colonies, as well as to solve the knotty problem of the "mode of revenue least burthensome and most palatable" to them, to cover the additional expense of the civil and military establishments.

Lords Egremont and Shelburne, the first as Secretary of State, the latter as representing the "Lords of Trade," were in the first place confronted with the necessity of determining a geographical boundary which should include the government of Canada, and the important decision was taken that a civil rather than a military government should be established, the confines of which should be those of the original colony of New France, excluding on the west and north the territories lying about the Great Lakes. This curtailment of area was no doubt due to Shelburne, for we are told that Lord Egremont favoured the inclusion of the Great Lakes and all the Ohio Valley. But, on the ground that:

"If this country should be annexed to the Government, of Canada we are apprehensive that the powers of such Government would not be properly carried into execution . . . unless by means of the garrisons at the different posts and forts in that country, which must contain the greatest part of your Majesty's American forces, and the Governor of Canada would become, virtually, Commander-in-Chief, or constant and inextricable disputes would arise between him and the commanding officers of your British troops."

Lord Shelburne's views prevailed. It would seem apparent, however, that his very argument carried its own condemnation, for " constant and inextricable disputes " were likely to arise, in any case, in a partly-settled country, should attempt be made to divorce the civil governor from all military control; the more so that the * Shelburne to Egremont, August 5, 1763. (My italics.) system of government for the previous century had been military in the strictest sense, and the people were unaccustomed to think in any other terms. This initial mistake was reversed within four years, as we shall see. The form of government which was recommended by the Lords of Trade was "the appointment of a governor and council under Your Majesty's immediate commission and instructions." In his letter of July 14, 1763, Lord Egremont signified to the Lords of Trade His Majesty's pleasure that " The Hon. James Murray be Governor of Canada," f and at the same time instructed them to draw up for the King's approval a "draught" of the commission and instructions for the governor-elect. Lord Egremont also stated: "With regard to the commander-in-chief of His Majesty's forces, the king thinks that his correspondence should remain, as it hitherto has done, with the Secretary of State."  On October 8,1763, the draught proclamation extending the Royal authority over the conquered territories was approved by the King. The new Canada was styled "The Province of Quebec."

The King's Proclamation (abridged) ran as follows:

"Whereas we have taken into our Royal consideration the extensive and valuable acquisitions in America secured to our Crown by the late Definitive Treaty of Peace concluded at Paris, the 10th day of February last, and being desirous that all our loving subjects, as well of our Kingdom as of our Colonies in America,  may avail themselves with:

It is interesting to note that the Governorship of Canada had been in the first place offered to Pitt, though he was to be a nonresident governor (Life of William Pitt, Basil Williams).

There was frequent evidence of the overlapping of the business of the public departments, and we find the Secretary of State addressing the Commander-in-Chief on the subject of taxes and quit rents without reference to the Governors, who heard on similar subjects from the Board of Trade, while the Chancellor of the Exchequer framed proposals for imports and customs duties apart from either the Secretary or the President.

A Report of the Lords of Trade, dated November 5, 1761, indicates their opposition to granting free access to the colonies of foreigners: "Our own reduced sailors and soldiers would be more proper objects of national bounty and better colonists than foreigners, whose ignorance of the English language, laws, and constitution cannot fail to increase those disorders and that confusion all convenient speed of the great benefits and advantages which must accrue therefrom to their commerce, manufactures, and navigation. . . . And whereas it will greatly contribute to the speedy settling our said new governments, we have thought fit to publish and declare that we have given express power and direction to our governors that so soon as the state and circumstances of the said colonies will admit thereof, they shall, with the advice and consent of the members of our council, summon and call General Assemblies within the said governments ; and we have also given power to the said governors with the consent of our said councils and the representatives of the people, to make, constitute, and ordain laws, statutes, and ordinances for the public peace, welfare, and good government of the people and inhabitants thereof as near as may be agreeable to the laws of England, and in the meantime and until such assemblies can be called as aforesaid, all persons inhabiting in or resorting to our said colonies may confide in our Royal protections for the enjoyment of the benefit of the laws of our realm of England, for which purpose we have given power under our Great Seal to the governors of our said colonies to erect and constitute, with the advice of our said councils, courts of judicature and public justice, as well criminal as civil with liberty, in all civil cases, to appeal to us in our Privy Council.

"We have also thought fit to give unto the governors and councils full power to settle and agree with the inhabitants or with any other person who shall resort thereto for such lands, tenements, and hereditaments as are now or hereafter shall be in our power to dispose of, and then to grant upon such terms as have been appointed and settled in our other colonies, and under such other conditions as shall appear to us to be necessary and expedient for the advantage of the grantees. ..."

Perhaps the most remarkable point in this remarkable document is the almost complete absence of any consideration of the settled inhabitants of the colony, who had grown up during the previous century and a half as a body in our Government, which the too great migration of people from Germany has already fatally introduced in some of our most valuable possessions. A remark which indicated that Kultur was not more admired in 1761 than at present organised with laws and customs, which even the most ruthless conqueror would hardly set aside without at least. some consideration. As was aptly said at a later period, the .dea which seemed to dominate the minds of the ministers responsible for framing the proclamation was to consider only " the profit and advantage that might accrue to the King's British subjects."

On August 13 (1703) Lord Egremont had conveyed in advance the gist of the above decisions to Murray. lie wrote:

"I take great satisfaction in acquainting you that His Majesty has been graciously pleased to confer on you the Government of Canada, over which country you have already presided so long with such applause, that the King is persuaded this appointment will be received by his new subjects as a singular mark of his Majesty's Royal attention to their welfare and happiness."

These were highly complimentary terms, and in the special circumstances of the agitation carried on by Wilkes, to which reference will presently be made, indicate the appreciation of his services held by the King. In the same letter Lord Egremont gives a word of warning regarding the activity of the religious orders:

"It becomes of the utmost consequence to watch the priests very narrowly, and to remove as soon as possible any of them who shall attempt to go out of their sphere, and who shall busy themselves in any civil matters; for though the King has in the fourth article of the Definitive Treaty agreed to grant the liberty of the Catholic religion to the inhabitants, yet the condition expressed in the same articles must always be remembered, viz. as far as the laws of Great Britain permit. But at the same time that I point out to you the necessity of adhering to them and of attending with the utmost vigilance to the behaviour of the priests, the King relies on your acting with all proper caution and prudence in regard to a matter of so delicate a nature as this of religion."

The commission of the newly appointed first British Governor of "the Province of Quebec"—that is to say, of Canada—is a lengthy document, dated November 21, 1763, and addressed " to our trusty and well beloved James Murray, Esquire," constituting and appointing him to be " Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief in and over our Province of Quebec in America." The various oaths as to the Crown and the Protestant Succession are detailed, and the same ordered to be administered to the Lieut.-Governors of Montreal and Trois Rivieres and Members of Council, and to the persons "duly elected by the major part of the freeholders of the respective parishes, or precincts," who were to form the General Assembly of the " freeholders and planters within the Government."

The powers of the Governor to make laws are contained in the following important paragraph:

"And we do hereby declare that the persons so elected and qualified shall be called the Assembly of that our Province of Quebec, and that you, the said James Murray, by and with the advice and consent of our said Council and Assembly or the major part of them, shall have full power and authority to make, constitute, or ordain laws, statutes, and ordinances for the publick peace, welfare, and good government of our said Government of our said Province and of the people and inhabitants thereof, and such other as shall resort thereunto, and for the benefit of us our heirs and successors, which said laws, statutes, and ordinances are not to be repugnant, but as near as may be agreeable to the laws and statutes of this our Kingdom of Great Britain."

Laws thus made were subject to the King's confirmation, without which, received in due course, they became void. The Governor was to "enjoy a negative voice in the making and passing of all laws and statutes," and was likewise entitled to "adjourn, prorogue, or dissolve all general assemblies as aforesaid." Power to appoint courts, judges, and justices, and all other necessary officers, was granted, as was the privilege of pardon, except in cases of treason and wilful murder, which could be reprieved until the King's pleasure was known.

The military authority granted was, so far as the form of word goes, apparently full, viz.: "To levy, arm, muster, command, and employ all persons whatsoever residing within our said province," and furthermore, all officers and ministers, as well civil as military, were " to be obedient, aiding and assisting unto you, the said James Murray"; yet, as will be seen, this military structure had, in fact, no substantial reality.

To the commission itself was attached a document entitled "Instructions to Governor Murray," consisting of eighty-two clauses. In this the composition of the Council was decreed to consist for the present of the Lieut.-Governors of Montreal and Trois Rivieres, the Surveyor-General of the Customs, and eight other persons to be chosen from among the most considerable of the inhabitants.

It is scarcely possible, in reviewing this creation of a new government in a colony which had grown and even prospered, at all events for a period, under a totally different system, to avoid the reflection that the ministers who evolved it lacked imagination and the instinct of statesmen. A governor, a council, an assembly, were the sealed pattern implements by which the colonies of British-born peoples, whose forefathers had been bred to parliamentary institutions, had been ruled, therefore this new possession, of which all but a fraction of the inhabitants were foreigners of different language, religion and mode of thought to the conquerors must necessarily fall into the same groove ! In Freneh Canada the doctrine of Colbert, which involved the suppression of the individual, had held sway for a hundred years. The people were voiceless, and were trained to accept the despotic powers of the rulers. To such a community the change was too sudden. To bring life and movement into a body long paralysed by disuse was a miracle likely to react dangerously, and to bring about ills not less serious than those which it remedied, and Murray, as we have seen, clearly foresaw the unwisdom of too drastic a change, and that the people were not yet ripe for such a system.*

It is made very clear in the reports of the Board of Trade that the calling together of an assembly was intended to be a matter of early completion.

"It will be expedient for His Majesty's service, and give confidence and encouragement to such persons as are inclined to become settlers in the new colonies, that an immediate and public declaration should be made of the intended permanent constitution, and that the power of calling assemblies should be inserted in the first commissions . . . and any temporary power of making ordinances and regulations, which must of necessity be allowed to the governors and councils before assemblies can be called, will be better inserted in the instructions we are now preparing."

Thus the very points which were afterwards found to be of doubtful legality, viz. temporary power to make ordinances had engaged the attention of the framers of the proclamation, and the unwisdom of the whole intention is demonstrated by the result which showed the undesirability of creating a general assembly, and even the impossibility of doing so while the religious disabilities were maintained.

But not less important than the innovations which were defined were others to which sufficient definition was not given, and in which the authority and powers of the governor and his council were left in a nebulous and unsatisfactory state, which was certain to produce unrest among sections of the community whose interests were at variance. Of these perhaps the most important was the question of religion. The fourth article of the Treaty of Paris had ordained:

"Liberty of the Catholick religion to the inhabitant of Canada . . . the new Roman Catholic subjects may profess the worship of their religion according to the rites of the Romish Church as far as the latvs of Great Britain permit."

Loid Egremont had particularly drawn the Governor's attention to this limitation, and warned him that "these laws must be your guide in any disputes that may arise on this subject."

The laws in Great Britain, especially as applied to Ireland, which in many cases provided the analogy, did not recognise the possibility of any Papist holding civil office nor of taking part in any capacity in the administration of justice, and here at once arose difficulties, which brought the several factions into sharp antagonism. The number of Protestant settlers amounted to a few hundreds only, and the most of them were not persons of capacity or importance. It was subsequently held, as we shall see, that it was not intended that the literal reading of the words should be maintained, and in certain cases Murray adopted such a view, for in his ordinance establishing civil courts, he decided that "in all tryals in this court, all His Majesty's subjects in this colony to be admitted on juries without distinction"; and in submitting this order for confirmation to the Lords of Trade, he explained:

"As there are but two hundred Protestant subjects in the province ... it is thought unjust to exclude the new Roman Catholic subjects to sit upon juries, as such exclusion would constitute the said two hundred Protestants perpetual judges of the lives and property of not only eighty thousand of the new subjects, but likewise of all the military in the province. . . . This establishment is therefore no more than a temporary expedient to keep things as they are until His Majesty's pleasure is known on this critical and difficult point."

It should be noted that to this tentative proposal no objection was raised, nor, indeed, was any reply received.

In the Superior Court, or Court of King's Bench, Canadian advocates or proctors were not admitted, and the governor and council considered it essential to establish an inferior Court of Common Pleas, wherein minor cases could be tried according to French laws and customs, and Canadian advocates employed, whereby "the pooi Canadians were enabled to shun the attempts of designing men, and the voracity of hungry practitioners in the law." Justices of the peace were appointed, but it appears that Protestants only were considered eligible, for we are told that a sufficient number of suitable persons of this religion not being available in the district of Trois Rivieres the whole province should be divided into two districts only, viz. Quebec and Montreal; the holding of quarter sessions by the justices was regulated.

In all this, though the governor and his council clearly leaned towards a fair and sympathetic dealing with the Canadians and seemed determined to render their disabilities as little irksome as possible, it is abundantly evident that they were hampered by the narrow views imposed from home. The French Canadians recognised with gratitude that Murray's personal desire was to aid them, but this very fact induced outcry from that miscellaneous collection of adventurers who came on the heels of the conquest to make what they could out of a people whom they hoped to find at their mercy. It is to Murray's enduring credit that he stood between these vultures and their prey, and this though he knew it would raise against him the potent voice of the British traders, who then, as now, could bring pressure to bear in the councils of the Sovereign.

Apart from these sources of civil commotion, the military situation was not more satisfactory. The command of the regular troops within the new province was not clearly defined in the King's commission, but from other documents it was inferable that the commander-in-chief of the King's forces in America was supreme in all that concerned the King's regiments. So long as Sir Jeffrey Amherst exercised the function friction was not likely to arise, but in August, 1703, Amherst was recalled to England, and Major-General Gage, whose post was that of Li cut. He did not actually leave until the end of the year.

Governor of Montreal, was appointed to succeed him. I have hinted already that the relations between Gage and Murray were strained, and the tension was increased when the latter received the appointment of governor, and thus assumed the superior civil position over Gage, who was the senior in military rank. Although Gage's appointment to succeed Amherst soon removed him from the anomaly of this position, yet it is certain that the soreness remained, and Gage, when he assumed the chief command of the troops was not inclined to make things smooth for an officer whose opinion of him he had probably heard.

Gage was succeeded by Haldimand as Lieut.-Governor of Montreal, and both Haldimand and Burton, who had returned to exercise the functions of Lieut.-Governor of Tn>is Rivieres, adopted the attitude of independence of the Governor in military matters. To Murray the situation was galling, but he viewed it less from the personal than from the public standpoint. A little later (October 15, 1761) he wrote to Lord Halifax:

"When the commission His Majesty had been graciously pleased to honour me with as governor of this province arrived in Quebec, the gentlemen who had till then acted as Lieut.-Governors of Montreal and Trois Rivieres chose still to continue so in their military capacitys, and declared I could have no command over the troops in their respective districts.

"The regard I have for my Royal Master's service, which must ever make me studious to obviate any real or possible motive of disagreement amongst his officers, induced me to waive a right which appeared to myself plain, incontestable, and, indeed, necessary for the governor of this province. . . . And as I plainly foresee, Mr. Gage means to divest me of all military authority, I should be deficient in my duty was I not to represent to your lordship the inconviencys to His Majesty's service which in my opinion must necessarily happen from such a step.

"It must be allowed that without a military force this lately conquered province cannot be govern'd ; there dotb not exist in it above one hundred Protestant subjects, exclusive of the troops, and by my instructions, of these hundred Protestants must be composed the magistracy : But what force, what weight can such a magistracy have unless the supreme magistrate has the disposition of the military force. . . . The Canadians are to a man soldiers, and will naturally conceive that he who commands the troops should govern them. I am convinced, at least, it will be easyer for a soldier to introduce and make palateable to them our laws and customs, than it can be for a man degraded from the profession of arms. . . .

"I by 110 means think it right that the Governor of Quebec should be upon the American staff. . . . All I plead for is the necessity of having the disposition of the troops destined for the security of the province intrusted to my care. . . ."

These representations were, unfortunately, of no avail, and Lord Halifax, as Secretary of State in Grenville's administration, maintained the position, formulated by Lord Shelburne, that the civil and military affairs of the colony should remain distinct, and that the military government should be directed by the commander-in-chief in America.

I have said that Murray viewed the matter as of public importance. The mutterings of the coming storm in the American colonies were already to be heard, and, not one opinion, but many, pointed to the change in the situation which the removal of the French garrison in Canada brought about. The deeply ingrained spirit of freedom which ruled all hearts in the colonies was doubtless in no Wise affected by the presence or absence of a foreign enemy on their borders. They had for years maintained themselves with varying success but with indomitable spirit against all encroachment, real or fancied, but it was not in human nature to suppose that the replacement of the foreigner on their borders by a government akin to their own, and conducted on a system which, outwardly at all events, eon-formed m every particular with that which custom and the lapse of time had made theirs, should not produce a disturbance in the equilibrium of the public mind.

*Governor .Tohnston (James Murray's nephew), speaking in the House, May, 1770, said: "If we look into the ancient historians, Tacitus particularly, we shall find that the disputes which arose between the Roman proconsuls in Africa and the military lieutenants sprung from the heterogeneous mode of giving the provinces government which was eternally at war with itself, and which, to be faithfully executed, could not but plunge the miserable inhabitants either in revolt or destruction. If the proconsul, for instance, behaved like a good magistrate, he had frequent occasions, occasions, too, as unavoidable as they were frequent, of checking the power of military lieutenants, and if the lieutenant acted like a brave soldier there was no possibility of his living on any reasonable terms with the proconsul." I quote this opinion given at a later date, to show that Murray's views as to the necessity of combining the civil and military administration in young colonies was one held by others besides himself.

It was no new thing for the colonial assemblies to oppose any attempts of the go\ ernors to impose measures which suggested coercion, though the gradual limitation of the political freedom, and the curtailment of privileges in later charters, which had come about since the English revolution, had been accepted. But it was one thing to accept interference from the central authority of Parliament when guardianship was extended by the same hand, and quite another to brook any dictation when the necessity for protection no longer existed. And, besides, there was an increasing leaven of men among the colonists, victims of religious persecution in Ireland, who felt no allegiance to the English Crown, though the majority was still loyal at the core.

Yet the very circumstances which freed the colonists from apprehension placed the Mother Country in the dilemma of requiring assistance from them. The expenses of the war had been heavy, and it was felt that, in justice, further contribution on the part of the colonies was due towards the cost of a conflict which had materially benefited them. It would probably have passed the wit of man to have devised a workable system which would have bound the colonies to the Mother Country in the stages of vast development which ultimately occurred, but this development lay in the womb of the future, and it certainly should not have surpassed the talents of the Home Government, at the time of which we are writing, to have treated the susceptibilities of a people who had suffered much in the cause and paid largely towards it, with a sympathy which would have attained the desired results without the appearance of too great an exercise of prerogative.

Unfortunately neither the King, in the exercise of his powerful influence, nor the chaotic character of the impotent Ministries, headed by Bute, or Grenville, or Rockingham, had perspicacity sufficient to take the broad view, or to initiate measures in such a way as to obtain the ready acquiescence of communities ready to follow, but refusing to be driven. It was even denied to the King and his ministers that they could argue themselves without warning of the results which followed. Barre had put the case powerfully : " Believe me, remember I told you so, the same spirit of freedom which actuated this people will accompany them still." Lord Shelburne had taken the same line, and Pitt had supported him in his refusal to implicate himself in the attempt to apply the right of the Imperial Parliament to dictate the financial contributions of the colonists.

It remains for us to marvel that the unparalleled obliquity of vision which distorted the views of the English statesmen, and resulted in a series of measures which slowly transformed the loyal colonies of America into open insurrection, even obscured the necessity for military measures winch would at least give coercion some probability of success. In Canada a weapon ready fashioned lay at hand—maintained as a military colony, following the tradition sanctioned by the system 01 its late masters, and guided by the sure hand of so experienced a commander as Murray, there is scarcely room to doubt that a powerful lever would have been available to force the colonies, if in the last resort, as a result of unwise measures, force should be necessary.

It may well be doubted if the Stamp Act was other -han the immediate instrument which fired a train already laid, the dangerous condition of which would sooner or later have caused an explosion, and it should have been evident from the first that the prevailing spirit of a large number of the colonists was to obtain a degree of independence which could by no means be granted if the Crown was to maintain even a semblance of prerogative. In these conditions it is amazing that, side by side with such measures of conciliation as might have led the colonists into a better way of thinking, the obvious precaution of preparing for enforcement of submission should have been neglected.

In 1708, writing to the Due de Choiseul, Francis, the Freneh charge d'affaires in London, gives Murray's views:

'1 Le General Murray ci devant Governeur du Canada, m'a dit hier, qu'il aurait repondu dans I'origine, d'empecher le progres des troubles, qu'il y avait encore des moyens certains de les arreter, mais qu'il fallait profiler des seuls instans qui restoient, par les mesures les plus vigoureuses, ... II avail donne le projet de faire du Canada une eolonie militaire, pour tenir les autres dans la crainte et dans la soumis-sion."

That he would have succeeded in forming a military colony there is no doubt, the Canadians loved him, and would have followed his lead.

No more convincing confirmation of his views can be given than the letter of General Gage to Governor Carleton, dated at Boston, September 4, 1774:

"The present situation of affairs in this province obliges mc to collect all the force in my power. ... As I must look forward to the worst from the apparent disposition of the people here, I am to ask your opinion whether a body of Canadians and Indians might be collected and confided in for the service of this country should matters come to extremities."

But the demand came too late, and within a year Carleton was himself ii extremities and unable to assemble Canadians in sufficient numbers to defend their own province.3 The British Government was ignobly seeking to employ a corps of Russian troops, and actually despatched a body of German mercenaries. Had Murray's strong representations of the urgent necessity of continuing the government of Canada on a military basis, and postponing at least, the foolish London-made scheme of colonial government on the cut-and-dried methods of the Board of Trade, for which he had declared " the people do not seem ripe," what a different course the history of the American Revolution might have taken!

Even as an economic measure the maintenance of a garrison in Canada on a large scale was pressed on the Ministry in a petition from the British traders in 1765. They pointed out that the excess of imports over exports and the necessity for an adjustment of the adverse balance, which they said could be met by maintaining a larger army. At the expense of the Mother Country, it is true, but probably for a few years only while the colony was developing.

If proof were wanting that the unwieldy military system, which attempted to govern the defence of a continent from a centre at New York, must fail, the course of events provided even this ; and the insurrection of the Indians, headed by Pontiac, chief of the Ottawa tribes, brought home in an ugly fashion that the success with which the French had ruled the original owners of the soil was, so far, denied to their successors. With the Indian war this story is slightly concerned, but in a land of vast distances, with means of communication of the most primitive nature, the "inconveniencys" of the system became at once apparent, and it seems astonishing that Murray's views of self-contained military authority on the part of the provincial governors met with so little consideration.

But, besides the Indian war, another sign was forthcoming that the military system was too unwieldy. Un September 18 (1703) an order was issued that the free rations hitherto granted to the troops as being cm active service should cease, and that thenceforward a deduction of fourpence for each ration should be made. This order emanated from home, and was conveyed via New York to Quebec. The result was immediate and serious The troops mutinied. There had been previous sporadic mutinies at Louisburg, and evidently the men were in a state of tension, no doubt due to the long and trying campaigns they had come through; but one point which indicates the evil of divided authority comes out in Murray's report to Lord Egremont—the men declared they would march to New York and lay their arms at Sir Jeffrey Amherst's feet. It is clear that they looked upon the Governor as responsible for the order, which was by no means the case, and hoped for redress by appealing to his military superior. For a time things wore a very serious appearance, but Murray, ably seconded by his officers, treated the situation with great firmness, and finally induced the mutinous regiments to fall in on parade, and, going personally to the head of each company, ordered the men to obey, " determined to put to death the first man who refused." This strong action overawed the men, and I cannot help dwelling upon the vigour of Murray's personality which could bring about so satisfactory a result. In a despatch of November 12 (1763) Lord Halifax (who had succeeded Lord Egremont) wrote:

"His Majesty saw with concern the account given in your letter of October 3 of the mutiny that had happened in the garrison of Quebec, and the very alarming heights to which it had risen, but observed with satisfaction the zeal and spirit which you exerted in reducing the troops to obedience, and I am commissioned by His Majesty to express to you in the strongest terms his royal approval of your distinguished conduct on that occasion."

Enough has been said to indicate that the peace of Paris was far from bringing tranquillity to the Governor of the province of Quebec, and the effects of the blunders made must develop gradually with the course of this narrative. In the meantime, I will turn for a moment to Murray's personal concerns during the period subsequent to the Montreal campaign.

His appointment as governor was in itself a tribute to his successes and the high character he had won for himself, but it was not accomplished without a considerable opposition. In the early days of discussion on the terms of the peace of Paris the idea of governing Canada had greatly attracted John Wilkes, and, through his intimacy with Lord Temple, who became Pitt's brother-in-law, he had obtained flattering assurances from the minister.* The King, however, who liked to govern for himself, and had little affection at the time for Pitt, and none at all for Wilkes, it is said vetoed this proposal out of hand, and declared that the man who had defended Quebec was the one he wished to govern it. Wilkes' disappointment found utterance in the North Briton a couple of years later, and Murray did not escape his venomous pen. To be a Scot was in itself sufficient to incur the wrath of many of the political pamphleteers of the period, and Bute's rise to power as the King's confidential adviser made their bitterness fairly run over. The colonies were described as:

"I Prey to the rapacity of four hungry Scottish governors f ... as to the merits of three of these gentlemen I am a perfect stranger ; the demerit of the Governor of Quebec the world has seen, for he nearly lost the most important conquest made during the whole war—a conquest purchased with the blood of one of our first heroes, the immortal Wolfe. Among a variety of new measures which this nation must ever deplore the appointment of military men to civil governments is not the least to be lamented.

The "hand hostile to England," referred to Bute, and the gazette was that which contained Murray's appointment to Quebec. The Governor, however, does not seem to have been seriously disturbed by Wilkes' vituperation; indeed, the only reference I can find to him in the correspondence relates to the quality of the Highlanders who were anathema to men of Wilkes' kidney:

"Wilkes may say what he will, but every one must allow that Sandy is a good soldier, and always to be depended on. The debauched English soldier says Sandy has no more virtue than himself, for if his vice is drunkenness, Sandy's is avarice, which I am sorry to tell you, is not true, for they have spent all their money in ribbons for the Canadian girls!"

On the political situation in England Murray had views:

"For my part I believe our young King is very capable of governing himself, and I am such a friend to our incomparable constitution that I shall be sorry ever to see him reduced to the necessity of governing by faction. All the actions of his life have hitherto shown how averse his nature is to everything contradictory to the laws of Great Britain. Happy for his people could those who oppose his Government be converted from these selfish, corrupted principle which influence their conduct, and which cannot be too soon nor too much discouraged by every well-wisher to the British Empire. These are the sentiments of an honest Briton, who blushes for the man who makes distinctions between the north and south of the Tweed, and who in place or out of place, elevated or depressed, will ever think the same and act accordingly."

Doctor Gideon Murray, by now elevated to a valuable canonry of Durham Cathedral, was assiduous after the fashion of the day in keeping his brother's interest before the "great folks," and he writes to him of Lord Mansfield's high approval of the first acts of the Governor:

"He approves greatly of your conduct and management as a governor, and says you have acquitted that duty with much more honour, credit, and judgment than any one we have. Your lenity and kindness to the Canadians is highly commended by him, and he advises you to let them, as much as you can, see the benefits of a free British Government. It will redound to your honour and make no small eclat when we have a peace. These are the words of this great man—mark them well."

With Lord Bute, too, Murray stood well, though Bute's unpopularity in the country was a factor to his disadvantage. The uncertainties imposed by the want of stability in the Government is illustrated in a letter to Lord Elibank:

"It would appear from your Lordship's letter that 't might have been lucky for me had Lord Bute's administration been more permanent. I wait with impatience to know what is to become of me; but with a resolution cheerfully to receive the worst news and to persist :n gratitude to those who would have served me, had it been in their power."

In his private family concerns a good deal of importance had happened. His father-in-law, Mr. John Collier, died in December, 1760, and by a codicil to his will, dated the previous April, he assigned the life interest in Mrs. Murray's share of the estate to her husband. This change in the terms of the original will was a somewhat remarkable tribute of respect to my hero, for Mr. John Collier was never very fully reconciled to the idea of trusting too much to the financial abilities of a soldier, and. indeed, he probably shared to some extent Mrs. Collier's views, that all soldiers were, by nature, extravagant. The original will had very expressly excluded James Murray from any control of his wife's fortune, and left to him, in the event of her death, no more than £500. The codicil, however, seems to indicate that Murray's gallant conduct at Quebec had turned the old man's suspicions into admiration, and it seems probable, too, from the wording of the will, that he considered it very desirable that his daughter should not be too independent of her husband. However this may be, the property, equally divided amongst the five surviving daughters, amounted to a very goodly heritage, principally in real estate in Hastings and the surrounding districts, and Murray thus became, in right of his wife, a considerable Sussex proprietor.

It would appear that when he was still in uncertainty as to the fate of Canada, he had visions of retiring to a home life in Sussex, and it was no doubt with this idea uppermost that he purchased the estate of Denham, or Den ham's Folly. This purchase is alluded to in a letter from Gideon Murray, dated April. 1702, so that the date is approximately fixed. Denham was apparently immediately re-christened Beauport, after the French village, near Quebec, which Murray had cause to know so well. In a letter dated September, 1703, Gideon Murray hints at a change in his brother's views. Referring to the transfer of certain moneys he says :

"For your American purchases, I heartily wish you joy and good success. As you are now Governor of Canada, your money will be best laid out there. Your Excellency must be a seignior; but I hope in time you'll transfer all and purchase in Britain, where it is more secure and less precarious in all respects. You must not therefore part with Beauport, but make it as you have designed it in due time, and if you do not chose an absolute retirement, you may easily be ehose Member for the Cinque Port."

In the early part of the year Murray had written to Mr John Cranston, who was acting as his agent in Sussex:

"As there is now no doubt of a peace, and very little probability of my government being taken from me, I have no thought of visiting England. Indeed, I had some time ago determined to settle in America, whatever might be the consequences of a peace. I like the climate, and shall certainly never leave it unless the King's service obliges me. With this view my affairs are to be managed. ... I wrote to your father to put a stop to all improvements proposed for Denham's Folly, and to lay no more of my money out in Sussex."

In July of same year (1763) he wrote again concerning some money affairs: "You will see I am unalterably fix'd in this American world, and that I shall as soon as possible convert into it every shilling of property I have in the earth."

This was a somewhat sudden and a very complete change of mind. It was formed before the troubles of the quasi-civil government began to mount up, and perhaps Murray-was enamoured of the idea of becoming a great landed proprietor in the New World ; in this intention, I gather from another letter to Lord Elibank, his brother was apparently a partner, and some part of the money which was laid out in purchase of land in Canada was provided, or perhaps advanced, by his lordship. That he intended to go to work systematically to improve the land and farm on scientific principles is made clear from correspondence with his brother George, who was sending him two ploughmen, two milkmaids, and a grieve (farm bailiff), together with seeds and a good deal of advice as to the best methods of agriculture, in which George appears to have possessed quite a store of knowledge.

It was not, however, the prospect of farming on a large scale which alone attracted him to forego the dream of a retirement to country pursuits in Sussex ; it is evident that he was thoroughly disgusted with the state of things in England, and the scant generosity with which he had been treated. The key to his feelings is given in a letter to George Murray, written in September, 1764:

''I have of late met with so much ingratitude and harsh treatment from those whose friendship, or at least goodwill, I thought I had a right to expect, that I am determined to settle for the remainder of my days in this New-World. ... 1 have no natural claims to the affection and gratitude of my neighbours. If they are defective in making returns for the benevolence which I make a duty of showing to all mankind, the disappointment will not be so shocking and irksome as if it proceeded from those in whom I have a nearer concern. Resides, I really find the aborigines of the country—or savages, as you style them—less corrupt in general than the inhabitants of the most civilised nations. They lend without interest; if a friend is lucky and kills more game, they envy him not, they rejoice at his success; if in war fortune has favoured him, they constantly ascribe his success to his military talents, and vie with one another in singing his praises. Envy and detraction are vices they arc strangers to, nor do I think them near so cruel as their more refined neighbours, now settled among them. If they dislike a man they declare their hatred, and will not fail openly to attack their adversary when an opportunity offers, but the only weapons they make use of are martial arms; detraction and abuse they never practice, consequently they cannot be accused of cruel, cowardly assassinations of character. 1 tell you all this in vindication of the choice I have made; without an explanation it no doubt must have appeared more strange than at present I flatter myself it does."

It is easy to read between the lines of this letter what was in his mind. Townshend was back in England after holding military command in Portugal, and his influence on the military situation in Canada might have been of great importance to Murray. Amherst was in England, too, but it is to be feared that he was scarcely a strong supporter of Murray's views, though, in fact, he owed a great deal of his success to him. Barre had much power, and though possibly the two men had a kind of admiration for each other, I doubt if Barre could stretch it so far as to help his former antagonist over the thorny places of his impossible military position. Burton, for whom Murray had done much, and for whom the correspondence shows he had a real affection, was running jealous." He had been appointed a brigadier on General Gage's staff, and with the latter's active connivance, was inflicting a series of pinpricks on his former commander, which to a man of Murray's loyal and open nature were very hard to bear with equanimity.

In his family affairs things were not going very well. Mrs. Murray showed an invincible dislike to crossing the Atlantic, and Murray was evidently most anxious for her to make the attempt. He had written pretty strongly to his brother Gideon on the subject, and Gideon, who was rather between two fires, did not much appreciate the task of trying to persuade the lady: "Allow me to tell you," he writes, "that you were much in the wrong about your wife. Be assured that she loves you as much as ever woman did a man, and is determined to join you for life next spring." But when it came to the spring of 1761 Mrs. Murray was still too delicate to face the voyage, and Gideon writes: "It is evidently her misfortune and not her fault, and I assure her and myself that you will not blame her, but lament her. However, she cannot be comforted nor easy till she receives it from yourself, so write to her soon." There certainly seems to be a good deal of reason for supposing that the Governor was not without good cause for complaint, for the letters, preserved in the Collier Correspondence, show that Mrs. Murray was well enough to undergo considerable fatigue of a social kind, and very probably the sea voyage would have been beneficial for the "dizziness" in the head from which she suffered ! However, London was evidently more to her fancy than Quebec, notwithstanding that Murray suggested "a large stock of magnificent clothes," so that the people should see "their Governor's lady dressed as she ought to be"; there was also to be a "handsome showy coach* for parade, and a strong post-chaise for common use. In short, Murray's efforts were tinted with the most attractive colours he could employ—all, however, to no purpose. The lady remained obdurate, very much to his natural annoyance, and poor Gideon had a difficult task as between the tearful wife, who viewed his embassy with suspicion, and the masterful brother, who thought little of anything short of prompt obedience.


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