Murray, Harriet

BORN 16 Apr 1783, Norwich, Norfolk - DIED 24 Oct 1844, Edinburgh: Abercromby Place
GRAVE LOCATION Edinburgh: Greyfriars Kirkyard, 26A Candlemaker Row (south-west corner, left of entrance to Covenanters Prison)

Harriet Murray was the daughter of the actor Charles Murray (1754-1821) and his second wife Ann Murray. As a child she appeared on the stage in Bath as Prince Arthur on 1 July 1793. Her first performance in London was on 12 May 1798 as Perdita in "The Winter's Tale" at Covent Garden. Her first husband was Joseph Leathley Cowell (1792-1863). In 1802 she married Henry Siddons. She remained with Covent Garden until 1805, when she and Siddons joined the Drury Lane theatre. On 24 September 1805 she played Juliet at Drury Lane with Robert William Elliston as Romeo.

In 1809 they left Drury Lane. They moved to Edinburgh where she assisted her husband with his work as theatre manager at the Theatre Royal. In 1814 she declined an offer by Drury Lane to play female parts to the famous actor Edmund Kean. Her husband died in 1815 and at that time the Edinburgh Theatre was in a bad state. With the help of her brother William Henry Murray she was able to solve the problems. In 1819 "Rob Roy" with Charles Mackay was a great success. It was played before George V when he visited Scotland and on that occasion she played the part of Diana Vernon herself.

When her lease of 21 years ended she was able to retire. A farewell benefit performance took place on 29 March 1830. She continued to live in Edinburgh where she was popular in society. She died in 1844 at her home on Abercromby Place.

• Husband: Siddons, Henry (1802-1815)


The grave of Henry Siddons and Harriet Murray at Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh.
Picture by Androom (06 Nov 2019)


Harriet Siddons - Wikipedia

Murray, James

Published: 05 Jan 2020
Last update: 05 Jan 2020