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Leslie Nicholson MURDOCH


“Murrayfield” Glenorchy

A Glenorchy Pioneer of the 19th Century

Author: Max G. Linton #826, 2001.

Leslie Nicholson Murdoch was born in Hobart on July 27, 1865, the fourth son of William Murdoch (1830-1898) and Mary Ann Salmon (1832-1871). He had four brothers, James Thomas (1859-63), William Murray (1860-1934), Thomas Henry (1862-1862) and Douglas Stewart (1867-1933), and one sister Mary Grace (1864-1927).

His father, William, was the fifth son of Dr James Murdoch who arrived in Van Diemen's Land from Scotland in 1822 and settled at Craigow in the Richmond area.

After the death of his mother, Mary in 1871, at the age of 39, Leslie was raised by his aunt Annabella, daughter of Dr James Murdoch. She had married William Murray (1813-1893) in 1846, who had arrived in Van Diemen's Land as a free settler in the 1820's. They had no family and Annabella was known as "Aunt Murray".

William Murray founded a grocery business in 1836 at Wellington House, 123 Liverpool St and admitted his brother-in-law, William Murdoch (Leslie's father) in 1850 when the business became known as Murray and Murdoch. Murray retired in 1871 from the Company and the business was carried on by William.

In the meantime, Murray had been granted approximately 50 acres of land in Glenorchy in 1844 and established a soap, candle and starch factory. It was situated 3/4 mile up Tolosa Street, then known as Dusty Miller Lane, and it became known as "Murrayfield" He also developed the production of wine and vinegar and established a felmongery and flour mill and later a hop field and planted an orchard of mixed fruits.

Murray purchased Windsor Park in the 1860's as his residence, after which Windsor Street was named. Most of the residence still exists today.

William Murray was a driving force in Glenorchy in its early days of development. He was an original petitioner and member of the Glenorchy Council at its inauguration in July 1864 and retained his seat up to his death in 1893, aged 80 - he was Warden for two terms. He developed the property known as "Murrayfield" which would have been one of the biggest commercial developments in the area.

Murray appointed his nephew, Leslie Nicholson Murdoch, as his overseer and book¬keeper on March 16, 1881 when he was 16 years old, and he remained on the property until his death in 1948. Mr. Murdoch was educated at the City School.

In 1891 Leslie married Annie Emmeline Munro Hull, the daughter of Henry Jocelyn Hull (1829-1893) and Mary Jane Wilkinson. She was the grand daughter of George Hull who was the commissariat to the Duke of Wellington and came to Van Diemen's Land in 1819. He received a large grant of land in Glenorchy and there are several landmarks named after him.

On his marriage in 1891, Leslie moved into the house in Tolosa Street, still known as "Murrayfield". It had previously been occupied by Mr. Kellaway, an employee on the estate and he lived there until his death in 1948.

Leslie's wife Annie died in 1930.

On the death of William Murray in 1893 the property "Murrayfield" passed to Leslie.

There is no doubt that the Murrayfield property was a major development in the later part of the 19th century in Glenorchy, and it is interesting to read several press reports of the time.

Read these published articles about "Murrayfield":


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