Murray’s Sword


‘…the purple gore out-burst…’

This is Colonel Adam Murray’s sword. Murray, from Ling just outside Londonderry, was one of the Siege’s truly remarkable figures. An inspiring, charismatic leader and a brave soldier he commanded the cavalry regiment that was to the fore in most of the Siege conflicts.

Murray is credited with having killed General Maumont at the battle of Pennyburn Mill on April 21st; but was it this sword that cut the General down?

Captain Thomas Ash’s Diary states: – “This day there was a hot skirmish between our men and the enemy; several were killed and wounded on both sides…there was much gold found in their pockets…”

Walker’s Diary: “This day our men sallied out…they killed above 200 of the enemy’s Souldiers , besides Mamow [ Maumont]  the French General, and several other officers…”

Mackenzie’s Diary  is more specific: “Colonel Murray charged through that brigade, and had that day three personal encounters with their commander, in the last of which he killed him on the spot, whom the enemy themselves confessed to be Lieutenant-General Maumont”.

The Londerias, written in verse ten years after the Siege by Dr Joseph Aicken, describes the encounter:

“But noble Murray made a quick return,
for under his heav’d arm, his sword he thrust,
Till at his neck the purple gore out burst”

But Lord Macauley in “The History of England –from the Accession of James II” asserts: “ Maumont, at the head of a body of cavalry, flew to the place where the fight was raging. He was struck in the head by a musket-ball and fell a corpse.

St Columb’s Cathedral