Vice-Admiral George Murray and the Origins of the Bermuda Naval Base, 1794-96

By Malcolm Lester, published August 2008


Murray’s anchorage north of St George’s Island in eastern Bermuda honours the name of Vice-Admiral George Murray, RN (1741-97). This article shows the significance and impact that Murray had in the creation of the naval base here, as well as his career prior to 1794. Vice-Admiral Murray was in charge of a small squadron based in North America, who chartered and created safe anchorage in Bermuda. Murray also planned to create a naval base claiming that it was a prime location, but his plan was never implemented in his life time. The paper sets out the career of Gorge Murray before his appointment  in 1794 to the North America station.  It became more and more difficult to use American ports to load stores or make repairs in view of the lukewarm relations between Great Britain and the United States. Murray was anxious to establish a dockyard on Bermuda where a new anchorage had recently been surveyed but the Admiralty felt this was too costly.    By 1807 the situation had deteriorated making it  more necessary to build a dockyard on Bermuda and this was begun in 1809 in much the same way as Murray had earlier proposed.

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Filed under: Atlantic | Other (Eighteenth C)
Subjects include: Harbours & Dockyards | Logistics | Navies | Strategy & Diplomacy

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