James Erskine Murray
James Erskine Murray
James Erskine Murray (1810–1844), lawyer, author, and adventurer in Borneo.
Born as James Murray, seventh son of Alexander Murray, 7th Lord Elibank, by his second wife,  Erskine was inserted into his name on marrying Isabella Erskine, a granddaughter of Lord Alva, in 1832 . He became a lawyer at the Scottish bar and and wrote of a book  on travel in the Iberian_Peninsula. He took his family, including two sons and two daughters and a younger brother, Robert Dundas Murray, to Port Philip, Australia, in 1841.
Early in 1843 he left Port Philip, ostensibly to trade, and headed for Hong Kong. There, he sold one ship, Warlock, and bought a 90 ton schooner, Young (or Yonge) Queen, and a 200 ton brig, Anna, and set off to establish a settlement in Eastern Borneo. The two ships entered the Mahakam River (then called Kutai) early in 1844 and sailed up to Tenggarong where he consulted the local Sultan. The situation turned ugly and the ships sailed under fire, in the course of which Murray was killed, but the ships escaped . A survivor, Captain Hart, and others provided the details for an account by the younger brother of George Gliddon, William A. Gliddon, describing how the James Brooke had rebuffed a proposal by Murray to join his enterprise; how Murray had arrived at Coti with his ships; how the Sultan had agreed to trade, but declined to allow Murray to settle; and how he had been compelled to retreat under fire.
The story was later written up from the account of another survivor by W Cave Thomas and has been studied in the context of the development of the Dutch East Indies , provoking the Dutch to oblige the Sultan to sign a treaty acknowledging their overall sovereignty over Kutei in 1845, and of the British involvement in Borneo.
- "Alexander "7th Lord Elibank" Murray". Retrieved 7 September 2020.
- "Family History of Philip Wilson". Retrieved 7 September 2020.
- A Summer in the Pyreees. 1837.
- "A Fatal Adventure".
- Joseph Abrahams (September 24, 1844). "Borneo in The South Australian".
- Borneo and the Indian Archipelago, pp.44-45,229 (1848).
- Cave Thomas (1893). Murray's Expedition to Borneo: An Episode in the Early Life of Edwin Robins Thomas.
- Black,Ian. The "Lastposten": Eastern Kalimantan and the Dutch in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries in Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Vol.16, pp.281-291.
- Iem Brown. The Territories of Indonesia (2004).
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