ANDREW MURRAY PRIOR:
Andrew Murray-Prior married Frances Morres in Ireland.
They had a son, Thomas Murray- Prior, in 1773.
THOMAS MURRAY PRIOR (1773-1854):
Thomas Murray Prior was born in 1773.
He became the Squire of Rathdowney, and from 1799, became the High
Sheriff of Queen's County in Ireland.
He also served as a Member of Parliament for Bannow and Lesburne.
Thomas Murray-Prior married Catherine Palmer, daughter of Colonel Joseph
Palmer. He was said to have been a callow youth at the time and the marriage was
by elopement to Gretna Green in Dumfrieshire, Scotland.
Thomas and Catherine Murray-Prior, nee` Palmer, had five children:
Lodge Morres Murray-Prior,
Hervey Morress Murray-Prior,
Ellen Murray--Prior, and
Of these offspring, Thomas Murray-Prior and Lodge Morres Murray-Prior had
descendants traceable to Australia.
Catherine Murray-Prior, nee` Palmer, died whilst still young, in 1802, in
Her widowed husband, Thomas Murray-Prior remarried.
Thomas Murray-Prior married, secondly, Mary Ann Thompson.
Mary Ann Murray-Prior, nee` Thompson, outlived her husband, who died in
1854 aged 81, and became Mrs. Lynch by remarriage.
THOMAS MURRAY-PRIOR (1790-1864:
The eldest son by the first marriage of Thomas Murray-Prior and Catherine
Palmer, namely Thomas Murray Prior, was born in 1790, in which year his father
was only 17 years of age.
His career encompassed service as a Member of Parliament and as a Colonel
in the 11th and 18th Hussars. He served with his regiment against the French Imperial
Forces in Spain, and, in 1815, at the Battle of Waterloo in what became
later the Dutch speaking part of the Kingdom of Belgium.
He was in Queensland briefly, but returned to the British Isle.
He married twice.
His first marriage was on 27 November 1812 at Millbrook in Hampshire,
There he married Jemima Dickson.
Jemima's father was Captain Thomas Dickson of Southampton, Hampshire.
Thomas and Jemima Murray-Prior, nee` Dickson, had three children:
Jemima Francees Sophia Murray-Prior,
William Amherrst Murray_ Prior, and
Louisa Elizabbeth Catherine Murray-Prior.
Jemima died young, on 5 November 1817. She was buried at Dover, in Kent,
Thomas Murray-Prior remarried.
On 31 December 1818, at Cookham in County Berkshire, Thomas Murray-Prior
married Elizabeth Catherine Skynner, often known as Eliza Catherine Skynner.
Elizabeth Catherine Skynner was the daughter of William Augustus Skynner
of Moor Hall, Cookham, by his wife Mary Orlebar, daughter of Richard Orlebar, of
Henwick House, Bedfordshire, England.
Thomas Murray-Prior and his second wife Elizabeth Catherine, nee` Skynner,
had two sons:
Thomas Lodge Murray-Prior, born on 13 November
1819 at Wells, Somerset, England and
William Augusstus Murray-Prior.
The eldest son Thomas Lodge Murray-Prior continued the lineage.
The youngest son William Augustus Murray-Prior became an Officer in the
Army and died young in England.
Elizabeth Catherine Murray-Prior, nee` Skynner, died on 18 November 1863.
She was buried at Southsea, in Hampshire.
Her husband, Thomas Murray-Prior, died on 19 July 1864 at Southsea,
Son Thomas Lodge Murray-Prior emigrated to Sydney, New South Wales in
THOMAS LODGE MURRAY-PRIOR
Thomas Lodge Murray Prior was born on 13 November 1819 at Wells,
He was educated at Brussels under Rev. William Drury and in England by
He served in H.M.S. Donegal in 1837-38, but resigned.
On 24 May 1839 he left for Sydney.
While acquiring colonial experience at Dalwood near Maitland he met
Ludwig Leichhardt, and in June 1843 travelled with him to Moreton Bay.
From August 1844 to 1850 he held Broomelton in the Logan District in
partnership with Hugh Henry Robertson Aikman.
On 3 September 1846 at Cecil Hills near Liverpool he married Matilda
He sold Broommelton in September 1853 and in 1854
bought Hawkwood in the Burnett District. He lost 8000 sheep from scab and in
1858, worried by the massacre of the Fraser family at Hornet Bank station, he
sold out and took up a banana plantation at Ormiston near Cleveland.
In November 1864 he bought Maroon station in the Fassifern district where
He failed to win election for East Moreton in 1860 and joined the public
service as postal inspector in 1861 and as postmaster-general in 1862.
When that office was transferred to the political arena he was nominated
to the Legislative Council on 10 April 1866. He served as postmaster-general in
the Herbert ministry from July to August 1866, under Mackenzie from August 1867
to November 1868, and Palmer from 1870 to 1874.
He later went on to live at Montpelier at Kangaroo Point, Brisbane.
Thomas Lodge Murray-Prior had numerous children: by his first wife,
de Montmoressi Murray-Prior (1848),
William Augusstus Murray-Prior (1849-50),
Rose Carolinee Murray-Prior (1851)(who married
Campbell Praed and became a novelist),
Morres Murrayy-Prior (1853-1897),
Elizabeth Cattherine Murray-Prior (1854),
Hervey Morress Murray-Prior (1856-1887),
Redmond Murraay-Prior (1858),
Westa Sophia Murray-Prior (1860-1860),
Hugh Murray-PPrior (1861-1897),
Lodge Murray--Prior (1863, died young),
Matilda Murraay Prior (1865-1865),
Egerton Murraay-Prior (1866)
By his second wife, Norah Clarina Barton, whom Thomas Lodge Murray-Prior
married in 1872 after the death of his first wife in 1868, he had children:
Matilda Aimeee Murray-Prior (1873),
Emmeline May Murray-Prior (1875-1876),
Dorothea Cathherine Murray-Prior (1876),
Alienora May Murray-Prior (1878),
Frederic Maurrice Murray-Prior (1880),
Robert Sterliing Murray-Prior (1881),
Julius Orlebaar Murray-Prior (1884, and
Ruth Angela MMurray-Prior (1885)
By Emma Gale, he had a daughter, Jane Anne Quinn (1848)
By Annie Smith, he had a daughter Catherine Smith (1861)
By Clara Van Zuethem, he had a son, Henry Thomas van Zuethem (1864)
By Mary Ingoldsby, he had a daughter Annie Ingolsby (1867).
Reginald Spencer-Browne said of Thomas Lodge Murray-Prior:
Thomas Lodge Murray-Prior was of the purest Merinos, and a handsome and
cultured man, with a beautiful home at Maroon, out from Boonah. Murray-Prior on
an occasion showed his resource by driving his own bullock team to Brisbane, and
more than holding his own with a "bullocky" who derided his polite
words of encouragement to Strawberry and Bluey and others at a nasty crossing on
the way to Ipswich. He was the father of Mrs. Campbell Praed, the novelist, of
Hervey Murray-Prior, a barrister, and of other good Queenslanders. When he came
down to Parliament he always wore a frock coat, light trousers and a top hat...
The Murray Priors were a brainy family...all were of charming
temperament, but the head of the house, I remember best- Thomas Lodge
Murray-Prior- and don't you forget it. It was he who, when driving his own
bullock team into Ipswich, was coarsely chaffed by a "common bullocky"
whom he fought, and really fair "go", and badly walloped him "for
your obscenity, dam' you"....
Dick Barker, son of William Barker of the Logan, owned Eungella
Station...my contemporaries of the Barker family in Brisbane were Harry and
Fred...Harry Barker married one of the beautiful Macdonald sisters, the other
becoming Mrs. Hervey Murray-Prior, and later Mrs. Charley Smythe.
The Australian Dictionary of Biography dedicates a passage to
Thomas Lodge Murray-Prior:
Murray-Prior, Thomas Lodge (1819-1892), pastoralist and politician, was
born on 13 November 1819 at Wells, Somerset, England, son of Thomas
Murray-Prior, officers of Hussars at Waterloo, and his wife Elizabeth Catherine,
nee` Skynner. Educated at Brussels under Rev. William Drury and in England by
private tutors, he served in H.M.S. Donegal in 1837-38, but resigned and
on 24 May 1839 left for Sydney. While acquiring colonial experience at Dalwood
near Maitland he met Ludwig Leichhardt, and in June 1843 travelled with him to
Moreton Bay. From August 1844 to 1850 he held Broomelton in the Logan District
in partnership with Hugh Henry Robertson Aikman. On 3 September 1846 at Cecil
Hills near Liverpool he married Matilda Harpur.
Murray-Prior sold Broomelton in September 1853 and in 1854 bought
Hawkwood in the Burnett District. He lost 8000 sheep from scab and in 1858,
worried by the massacre of the Fraser family at Hornet Bank station, he sold out
and took up a banana plantation at Ormiston near Cleveland. In November 1864 he
bought Maroon station in the Fassifern district where he settled. He failed to
win election for East Moreton in 1860 and joined the public service as postal
inspector in 1861 and as postmaster-general in 1862. When that office was
transferred to the political arena he was nominated to the Legislative Council
on 10 April 1866. He served as postmaster-general in the Herbert ministry from
July to August 1866, under Mackenzie from August 1867 to November 1868, and
Palmer from 1870 to 1874.
In 1863 Rachel Henning (see The Letters of Rachel Henning, D.
Adams Ed. Sydney 1963), had written, "I suppose it does not require any
great talent to be Postmaster-General. I hope not, for such a goose I have
seldom seen. He talked incessantly and all his conversation consisted of
pointless stories of which he himself was the hero".
In November 1868 Murray-Prior's wife died and on 18 December 1872 in
Sydney he married Nora Clarissa Barton, aunt of the poet A. B. Paterson.
Murray-Prior died at Whytecliffe in the Nundah district on 31 December 1892,
survived by seven of the eleven children of his first marriage, and by seven of
the eight children of his second. His eldest daughter Roas Caroline (1851-1935)
married Arthur Campbell Mackworth Praed in 1872 and won literary fame.
Described as suave, courtly and cultured, Murray-Prior collected
pictures, some of which are in the Brisbane Art gallery. He was noted for his
strong loyalty to the throne
probably because of his claim to be descended from the Emperor Charlemagne.
The other notable in the Murray-Prior family was Rosa Caroline
Murray-Prior, known as Mrs. Praed. Of her, Spencer-Browne had quite a bit to
I was in Brisbane when Mrs. Campbell Praed's book "Policy and
Passion" came out, and wrote a review for the "Observer". It was
considered then rather a hot 'un...it was a fine work, and it had a local
habitation, if not a name. Leichhardt's Land did not attempt to disguise the
fact that it was Queensland, and the local colour was very strong, but not as
strong as some of the yarn. Mrs. Campbell Praed was a daughter of Thomas Lodge
Murray-Prior of Maroon, between Boonah and Beaudesert, who was a member of a
Palmer Government...as Postmaster-General. He was a very fine man of the good
old "pure merino" type. Mrs. Praed, after her marriage, lived mostly
in England, a charming woman with a beautiful mind. That was how a mutual friend
described her. Another of her books was "Nadine", which was a very
vivid thing with a lot of sex in it and which girls were not supposed to permit
their dear mammas to read. Still another book was "Christina Chard"...
Mrs Campbell Praed puts lots of Australian and Queensland colour into her work.
The other fascinating bit of Queensland history that Thomas Lodge Murray-
Prior had some connection with was the ownership of Hornet Bank station during
the time of the massacre. There were two big massacres of white folk by blacks
in Queensland's history, Hornet Bank and Cullen-la-Ringo.
In 1854, Hornet Bank run was leased to John Fraser, who shortly
thereafter, died on pneumonia, leaving his widow Martha, aged 43, and family of
five sons and four daughters.
On the night of 26 October 1857, while the Fraser's eldest son, William,
was away bringing in bullock drays up from Ipswich, including a dress in which
his eldest sister planned shortly to be married to a squatter from the Wide Bay
District, the blacks attacked.
The elder Fraser boy, John, 23, and the tutor, Henry Neagle, 27, were
brained with nulla nullas before they could jump from their beds.
Next to be attacked were West Fraser, 14, and his brothers David, 16, and
James 7. The latter two were battered beyond recognition. West was stunned and
rolled under a bed and kept quiet.
The blacks then ravaged and killed the women, Mrs. Fraser, who was
induced to open the barricaded door by a ruse from a former station black turned
killer by the name of Boney, then the girls, Elizabeth 19 and engaged to be
married, Mary, 11, Jane, 9, and Charlotte, 3. All were ruthlessly slaughtered
News of the massacre spread like wildfire. All the squatters on the
Dawson turned out. All the Native Police were called from neighbouring
districts. Not a Jiman in the Upper Dawson was left alive.
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