Wrong, Edward Murray

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Wrong, Edward Murray

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1889-1928

History

Murray Wrong, the eldest son of George and Sophia Wrong, was born on 4 April 1889. In 1904 he contacted rheumatic fever which affected his heart, leaving him with “an aortic regurgitation sufficiently gross to cause a ‘water-hammer’ pulse which moved his chair with each heart-beat,” and brought on periodic health crises throughout his life. He attended Ridley College, St. Andrew’s College, and University College at the University of Toronto, from which he received his BA in 1911 in English and modern history. He was vice-president of the Historical Club (1910-1911), an associate editor of the Varsity and editor of the Evening Blast (1910-1911), and a member of the Letters Club (1909-1911). He also played tennis.

In 1911 Murray went to Balliol College, Oxford from which he graduated with a first class honours in modern history 1913. In December 1914, he was elected to a fellowship at Magdalen College, the first Canadian to be so honoured. A month later he was awarded the Beit Prize for his thesis on colonial history, being the first Canadian to receive the whole prize. Rejected for military service, he was appointed vice-principal of the School of Technology in Manchester in 1916, where he remained until 1919 when he returned to Magdalen as tutor in history. He continued as Beit lecturer until 1924 when he became senior tutor. He was also vice-president of his college (1925, 1926) and in 1927 was elected junior proctor of Oxford University.

Murray wrote several books, including a history of the British Empire in Australia (1917?), The constitutional development of Canada (1918), Charles Buller and responsible government (1926), Crime and detection (1926), which he edited and for which he wrote an introduction, and History of England, 1688-1815 (1927). He also wrote frequently for the British press. At the time of his death he was working on a life of Lord Dorchester, the first governor-general of Canada.

At the end of 1915 he married Rosalind Grace Smith, the sixth daughter of A. L. Smith, fellow and tutor of Balliol, and herself a brilliant student. They had two sons and four daughters.
During the autumn of 1927 Murray overtaxed his heart and never recovered. He died at Oxford on 15 February 1928 and was buried in Holywell Cemetery.

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