A younger son of the 4th Lord Elibank, Murray pursued a career as a professional soldier. This portrait was painted shortly after he had entered the army. After service in Flanders, Brittany, the West Indies and Canada, Murray became governor of Quebec. His efforts to conciliate French Canadians and British settlers failed and he was recalled in 1766. In 1774 he was appointed lieutenant-governor of Minorca and governor in 1779. In 1781 Minorca was besieged by Spanish and French troops; Murray rejected a bribe of £1,000,000 to surrender but was forced to capitulate the following February. On his return to Britain he was acquitted of the charges brought by his deputy. He was made a full general in 1783 and died in retirement in Sussex.