DEATH OF MR. A. B. MURRAY
A FAMOUS PIONEER PASTORALIST.
Mr. Alexander Borthwick Murray, one of the pioneers of South Australia, a famous pastoralist and sheepbreeder, a gentleman who did much for South Australia, died at 5.30 o'clock on Tuesday morning, at the very ripe age of 87 vears.
Mr. Murray was born at Langshall Burn, in the parish of Eskdale Moor, Dumfries- shire, Scotland, on February 14, 1816. He left his nativo home at 17 years of age, and spent six years in the highlands of Scot land, principally in acclimatizing the Che viot sheep of the south of Scotland in the mountainous countries of Inverness and Ross-shire. He thus obtained considerable knowledge of woolgrowiug, which stood him in good stead when he began his career as pastoralist in this state. He left for South Australia in May, 1839, by the ship Lady Lillford, arriving at Holdfast Bay on September 27. He paid his passage to South Australia, and stood perfectly free on arrival to carve out Ida fortunes in Ins own way, with the slight exception of hav ing promised Sir James Malcolm, a distant relative, that he would look after his pro perty for 12 months after reaching the colo- ny. In accordance with this promise Mr. Murray took the full management of Sir James's property, cleaned the sheep of scab, got them into fine condition, and took a prize with them at the first show in the state. This was held at the Horseshoe, under the auspices of the South Australian Company. Mr. Murray himself took the sheep down from Barossa, and won the honours against all the stock imported by the company. Having been about 15 months with Sir James Malcolm's son, Mr. Murray retired from the position which he had filled so successfully, and allowed another to take charge. —A Sea Trip -and a Wedding.— In 1842 Mr. Murray made a trip in the Lady Emma to Sydney, where he was mar- ried by the Rev. J. Dunmore Lang to Miss Charlotte Murthwaite Scott. On his return to South Australia he began farming on his 'special survey' at Mount Crawford, in, the Barossa district. The price of wheat, however, was low— 1/6 and 2/ a bushel. In referring to the wheatfarming he some time ago said:— 'We were troubled with 'smut,' and had not got into the way of pickling the seed wheat, and if there was the least thing wrong with the sample we could not get more than 1/6 a bushel, and 2/ for the very best. Dr. Kent had a mill on the side of the creek in what is now called Kent Town, and the miller was El- liott, an old shipmate of mine. I came down with the bullock teams and got those prices, and never made another trip to Adelaide with wheat.' Accompanying Mr. and Mrs. Murray from Sydney was Miss Scott, Mrs. Murray's sister, who after wards married Mr. P. M. Murray, and, in partnership with her, Mr. Murray purchas ed some ewes from the late Duncan Mc- Farlane, of Mount Barker. These sheep were brought by Lachlan McFarlane, of Mount Barker, from Victoria, and were the joint property of James and Duncan McFarlane, of New South Wales. They were the first of the Murray merino flocks, and were worked on shares by Mr. Murray and his brother John, who each took a fourth, and Miss Scott a half of the pro- geny. Previous to this Mr. Murray sold one-half of his private property at Barossa to his brother. —The Origin of a Great Enterprise. The special survey was stocked by the late Robert Cock, the late John Warren, and himself, and took the place of the original Finniss survey taken out by Ro- bert Cock. From year to year the quality of the flocks was improved by the enter- prising young pastoralists, and they soon began to gain notice, as prize takers. Mr. Murray subsequently formed a cattle sta- tion, which he held for over 20 years, near Warrina, and had a large station, Book- purnong, on the Murray. He gave the late Mr. Richard Holland, of Turretfield, £25,000 for' this property. He made a lit- tie money off it, which he spent in fencing and other improvements, and then the rabbits came. 'I came out with nothing, and I was glad to get away' remarked the octogenarian to a representative of The Re gister some time ago, when they were dis cussing the principal events in his career. At one time he was a partner with Mr. J. H. Angas in part of the Reedy Creek survey. —An Expensive Experiment.— Mr. Murray had sheep on Myrtle Springs, which was subsequently held in connection with Leigh's Creek by Mr. Leonard Browne, and he spent a lot of money there in sink ing for water. He paid dearly for his ex perience, and his opinion as stated in later years was:— 'Our Northern Territory is most dangerous to touch. If you take up new country a man must spend a fortune before he can get water and form a station fit to go on to, and my opinion is he had better do something else with his money.' Mr. Murray has won numerous medals and certificates with his sheep. At the Duke of Edinburgh's show his stock secured four gold medals and several money prizes. He was one of the oldest members of the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society, and was a regular attendant at the meetings of that body. He was President in 1866. and his photograph is included, in the picture gallery of the society. —Public, Life.— , Mr. A. B. Murray's first public appoint ment was made in 1844 when he became a member of tlie Parra Wirra District Road Commission. Subsequently he was one of the first district councillors of Tungkillo. Indeed, he had to fight to procure the dis- trict council against strong, opposition. He was Chairman during' the whole of the time he was in the district. In April, 1862, he was returned lo the House of Assembly for the District of Gumeracha. This was a bye-election consequent on the retirement of the Hon. Alexander Hay, who was mak- ing a trip to the old country. Mr. Murray was re-elected for the same, district at the general election later in the same year, and also in 1865. In 1869 he was returned to the Legislative Council, and again in 1880. He continued to represent the electors in tbe Upper House until April. 14, 1888. He was always opposed to any division of the coun- try; for representation by the Legislative Council and to payment of members of Parl liament. When he finished his second term in the Upper House Mr. Murray retired from public life. At the special request of the late Sir R. D. Hanson, Mr. Murray con sented to allow his name to be added to the roll of justices of the peace. He was twice married, his second wife being a sis- ter of the late Mr. George Tinline, a former manager of the Bank of South Australia. For many years Mr. Murray has lived in retirement at his borne at Magill. His health had latterly declined, and for about
12 monthe he had scarcely gone beyond his own gates. During the last three or four days and he was entirely confined to his bed and on Sunday pneumonia supervened on the bronchitis with which he was troubled, and his medical attendant. Dr. Verco pronounced the case hopeless. Of the eight children ot the first family Mrs. Peter Galt is the sole survivor, and there is by the second wife a son, Mr. G. J. R. Murray, the well-known solicitor, and two daughters, Miss Murray and Mrs. Frank Downer. The late Mr. Malcolm Murray, of Wirrabara, was a son of the deceased. There are in all 12 grandchildren living. Mr. Murray had three brothers, Messrs. John, P. M., and William Murray, who all predeceased him. The funeral will take place at the Magill Cemetery this after noon.
:the~ late hr.' a. b; horray.
:the~ late hr.' a. b; horray.