William Foxlow



Nationality: English
Baptized: Staveley, Yorkshire, 29 October 1756
Regimental commission dates:
Ensign, 29 March 1776
Location during the Northern Campaign of 1777: Ireland or Great Britain
Promoted into another regiment:
Lieutenant, 18th or Royal Irish Regiment, 21 July 1779
Died: Banner-Cross, Yorkshire, 29 August 1818; buried at Staveley, Yorkshire, 4 September 1818


William Foxlow was the second son of Samuel Foxlowe (1715-1795) of Tideswell, later Staveley, and his second wife Mary (née Ridgeway, died 1765).

William was appointed to the ensigncy of the 62nd Regiment's colonel's company on 29 March 1776. While this appointment was made shortly before the regiment left Ireland in April, slowness of communication and the time needed to prepare for service disallowed Foxlow to join his new regiment. But even by late February 1777, Foxlow was still returned as “not joined since appointed,” and by spring he was listed as a “Supernumerary” officer in the regiment (a fellow ensign, Neptune Blood, was facing the same situation, by which too many ensigns were commissioned simultaneously). Foxlow's position in the colonel's company was taken by another newly-commissioned ensign, Levinge Cosby Phillips, who lost his life in the northern campaign of 1777. Foxlow appears never to have joined the 62nd Regiment and by 1779 he received a promotion to a lieutenancy in the 18th or Royal Irish Regiment. Despite having no combat or service experience, on 6 May 1782, Foxlow was able to secure a captaincy of an independent company of foot, which was soon after subsumed in George, Lord Strathaven's Corps.

William Foxlow married Mary Murray (1759-1803) at Sheffield, Yorkshire, on 7 February 1782. Mary was the only legitimate child and heiress to the lands, fortune, and name of her father, John, Lord Murray (died 1787), the British army's senior general officer and longtime colonel of the 42nd or Royal Highland Regiment. Following their union, Foxlow applied for and received a royal license on 30 April 1782 to change his surname and arms to that of Murray, thereby legally continuing the name of his new family. This attempt to maintain the Murray family lineage was short lived, though, as he and Mary had no children.

When William Murray died in 1818, he ranked as a lieutenant-general in the British army.

The family surname was also spelled as "Foxlowe"; British army returns spelled William's surname as "Foxlow."