Audrey and The Murray Family


At St. Mary’s, Cadogan Street, on June 25, Miss Audrey O’Brien, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edmond O’Brien, of Lakefield, Fethard, co. Tipperary, was married to Mr. Thomas Henderson Murray, M.C., late 7th (Princess Royal’s) Dragoon Guards, of Kalomo, Northern Rhodesia, younger son of the late Sir John Murray, of Edinburgh, and Lady Murray. Father S. Reddy officiated, and Mr. A. C. R. Bolckow was best man. The bride, who was given away by her father, was dressed in ivory charmeuse lined with pink and trimmed with Irish lace. Her veil, of tulle, was held in position by pearls and orange flowers. Following the ceremony a reception was held by Mrs. O’Brien of the Curzon Hotel. Among the large company present were Lady Murray, Sir Timothy and Lady O’Brien, Sir Henry and Lady Jerningham, Mrs. Chichester-Constable, and Lady Connolly.



Audrey’s Paternal Grandfather – Timothy O’Brien

M, #311829, d. 25 April 1869
Last Edited – 20 Oct 2012
Timothy O’Brien was the son of Sir Timothy O’Brien, 1st Bt. and Catherine Murphy.
He married Mary O’Dwyer, daughter of Andrew Carew O’Dwyer, on 3 September 1860.
He died on 25 April 1869.

Children of Timothy O’Brien and Mary O’Dwyer:

Sir Timothy Carew O’Brien, 3rd Bt.  b. 5 Nov 1861, d. 9 Dec 1948
John George O’Brien  b. 10 Jan 1866, d. 15 Aug 1920
Edmond Lyons O’Brien  b. 27 Nov 1868, d. Aug 1948

Timothy O’Brien was created a baronet in 1849. He was the son of Timothy O’Brien of county Tipperary and his wife a daughter of Timothy Madden of county Galway. He was Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1844 and 1849. In 1821 he married Catherine Murphy and they had three sons Patrick, Timothy and John. Patrick succeeded his father in 1862 and Sir Patrick O’Brien Baronet of Borris in Ossory, Queen’s County (Laois) owned 146 acres in Queen’s County and 824 acres in King’s County (Offaly) in the 1870s.


Audrey’s mother: Audrey Townsend Crawford

F, #311828, d. January 1957
Last Edited – 30 Sep 2008
Audrey Townsend Crawford married Edmond Lyons O’Brien, son of Timothy O’Brien and Mary O’Dwyer, on 26 April 1897.
She died in January 1957.
From 26 April 1897, her married name became O’Brien.

Children of Audrey Townsend Crawford and Edmond Lyons O’Brien:

Audrey Mary Elizabeth O’Brien d. 25 Sep 1925
Sir John Edward Noel O’Brien, 5th Bt.b. 23 Dec 1899
Sir David Edmond O’Brien, 6th Bt. b. 19 Feb 1902, d. 1982
Edmond Robert Richard O’Brien b. 23 Jul 1904, d. Jul 1940

Audrey’s Uncle: Sir Timothy Carew O’Brien, 3rd Bt

Timothy Carew O’Brien, who was born in 1861 on Upper Baggot Street in a building now occupied by a pizza restaurant, was a fiery, passionate character.

Captaining England – and Ireland – at cricket was almost the least extraordinary episode of a colourful life.

The O’Brien family was wealthy – Tim’s grandfather was the Lord Mayor of Dublin who organised Queen Victoria’s visit to the city in 1849 and was given a baronetcy in return.

He was Liberal MP for Cashel and, as a notorious short-measuring publican in the Liberties of Dublin, immortalised in ‘Ulysses’ as ‘Sir Timothy of the Battered Naggin’.

Tim’s father died young and the boy was shipped off to Downside, a leading Catholic public school in England. He impressed at cricket, and later went up to Oxford with the sole intention of winning a Blue.

He joined his local county club, Middlesex, and had several glorious innings, notably 92 against Australia which won him a test cap in 1884.

O’Brien was not good enough for the top level and never made more than 20 runs in his five appearances. Perhaps his belligerent, hard-hitting style would have been more suited to the 21st century, as he was rated the second best batsman in England by the great WG Grace.

His temper was legendary. In one match at Lord’s he was becoming frustrated at being tied down by the bowlers. He played a previously unknown shot – the reverse sweep – which almost decapitated Grace’s brother EM.

“Eh Tim,” shrieked Grace, “You nearly killed my brother!”

“Bloody good job too,” replied O’Brien.

Grace threatened the Irishman with the police and further words were exchanged in the pavilion afterwards.

O’Brien later presented EM Grace – a coroner – with a silver snuff box in the shape of a coffin as a memento.

Another incident at the Oval became so inflamed that O’Brien was banned by Surrey from playing at, or even visiting, its ground. The Dubliner promptly paid a membership subscription for his butler and turned up as his guest!

O’Brien toured twice with England, to Australia in 1887-88, and South Africa in 1895-96. By the time of the second tour he had inherited the Baronetcy and was now Sir Timothy Carew O’Brien, 3rd Bart, of Borris-in-Ossory.

That turned out to be a most perilous trip, as not only was his boat involved in a collision before he reached the Cape, but he was caught up in the simmering Boer wars.

One of the test matches was interrupted by a bomb explosion nearby, with the injured carried to the ground for treatment. And then at New Year the botched Jameson Raid took place which the organisers, Cecil Rhodes and Alfred Beit, hoped would provoke war with the Boers. O’Brien and his captain, Lord Hawke, visited Starr Jameson in prison where they drank whiskey and played cards.

If all that wasn’t enough, O’Brien took part in ostrich races and scored a brave century against Pietermaritzburg, the seat of the Boer enemy.

O’Brien’s sole game in charge of England was in Port Elizabeth in February 1896. He made 17 and 16, but his only important decision was to allow George Lohmann to keep bowling. The Surrey star took 15 wickets and England won at a canter in two days.


After almost twenty years of cricket with Middlesex, O’Brien retired to flit between his homes in Dublin, Cork and London. He had married Gundrede, daughter of Sir Humphrey de Trafford, and she bore him ten children – the more incredible that he never wore that vital piece of a cricketer’s protection, the “box”.

He got involved in Irish cricket, and captained the team on its inaugural first-class tour in 1902, scoring 167 against Oxford University which was the Ireland record until 1973. He continued to play well into his 50s, and in 1914 was selected for a final big fixture in England. Aged 53, he scored 90 and 111 in his final first-class match.

Enjoying the life of the country squire in Lohort Castle, near Fermoy, O’Brien became involved in equestrian affairs. But after he bought a lame horse from a neighbour, Alexis Burke-Roche, he was embroiled in a ruinous litigation.

He met Burke-Roche out hunting and accused him of fraud – ‘You are a liar and a cheat and a swindler; you have lived by swindling for the past 20 years’ – which provoked a writ for slander. O’Brien tried to nobble the jury, which led to the collapse of the case and a retrial.

O’Brien lost that, and had to pay £5 in damages, a fine for the jury-tampering, and all the costs, which almost ruined him.

He then got involved in politics and was an ardent Home Ruler, helping John Redmond to drill recruits to the Irish Volunteers. On the outbreak of the First World War he helped in recruiting for the British Army, and at the age of 54 joined the Derbyshire Remounts.

His son, Timothy junior, joined the Royal Field Artillery and was killed in Delville Wood on the Somme in 1916, and there were more tragedies, as several of his offspring died in childhood. His daughter Sicile was an early aviator and the second woman in Britain to hold a commercial licence. She lost a leg in a plane crash in 1928, and her life in another three years later.

O’Brien lived quietly thereafter, but lost his beloved Lohort Castle to IRA arsonists during the War of Independence. He lived in Rochford Manor in Dublin for a time, and later lodged in an apartment in the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire.

He became embroiled in another minor scandal in 1938, when ten patients at Mullingar Mental Hospital were refused permission to travel to watch the Ireland v Australia cricket game at College Park, Dublin.

One politician on the management committee said: “We are long enough aping the foreigner; let us encourage our own native pastimes.” Another objector suggested that patients be sent to watch Gaelic matches in Longford, or to a 1798 celebration at Ballinamuck. His proposal was passed unanimously.

An Irish Times reporter sought the views of Sir Timothy, then aged 76.
“I never considered it as a foreign game”, he said. “I played it and there is no doubt that it is the best game. Of course, I don’t mean that cricket they play at The Oval; that is a dreadful game. It just bores you stiff.” O’Brien was probably referring to a one-sided test match a week earlier when England made 903-7 to beat Australia by an innings and 579 runs.

“As to the game not being encouraged in Ireland – well, the climate is against … and cricket grounds are expensive things and they are not too well off in Ireland.

“But not to encourage cricket because it is a foreign game? Ah well, there are a lot of fools going about in Ireland as in England.”

O’Brien lived on in the Isle of Man until 1948, and was the oldest test cricketer at the time of his death, aged 85.

Captain Murray’s father: Sir John Murray KCB FRS FRSE FRSGS

Sir John Murray (3 March 1841 – 16 March 1914) was a pioneering Scottish oceanographer, marine biologist and limnologist.

Early life

Murray was born at Cobourg, Ontario, Canada, to Scottish parents – Robert Murray, accountant, and Elizabeth Macfarlane – who had emigrated 7 years earlier. He returned to Scotland as a child, and was educated at Stirling High School and the University of Edinburgh (1864-5), but soon left to join a whaling expedition to Spitsbergen as ships’ surgeon in 1868.

He returned to Edinburgh to complete his studies (1868–72) in geology under Sir Archibald Geikie and natural philosophy under Peter Guthrie Tait.

Challenger Expedition

Tait introduced Murray to Charles Wyville Thomson who had been appointed to lead the Challenger Expedition. In 1872, Murray joined Wyville Thomson as his assistant on this four-year expedition to explore the deep oceans of the globe. After Wyville Thompson succumbed to the stress of publishing the reports of the Challenger Expedition, Murray took over, and edited and published over 50 volumes of reports, which were completed in 1896. Murray was killed when his car overturned near his home on 16 March 1914 at Kirkliston, Edinburgh; he is buried at the nearby Dean Kirkyard.

In 1884, Murray set up the Marine Laboratory at Granton, Edinburgh, the first of its kind in the United Kingdom. In 1894, this laboratory was moved to Millport, Isle of Cumbrae, on the Firth of Clyde, and became the University Marine Biological Station, Millport, the forerunner of today’s Scottish Association for Marine Science at Dunstaffnage, near Oban, Argyll and Bute. 


In 1909, Murray wrote to the Norwegian government that if they would lend the Michael Sars vessel to him for a four-month research cruise, under Johan Hjort’s scientific command, then Murray would pay all expenses. After a winter of preparation, this resulted in by that time the most ambitious oceanographic research cruise ever. The 1912 Murray and Hjort book The Depths of the Ocean quickly became a classic for marine naturalists and oceanographers.

He was the first to note the existence of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and of oceanic trenches. He also noted the presence of deposits derived from the Saharan desert in deep ocean sediments and published a vast number of papers on his findings. His last major contribution to science was coordinating a bathymetric survey of 562 of Scotland’s freshwater lochs in 1897, involving over 60,000 individual depth soundings, which were published in 6 volumes in 1910. He was president of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society from 1898 to 1904. He was elected a Fellow of the
Royal Society in June 1896,having been awarded their Royal Medal the previous year. He was invested as a KCB in 1898.

He was awarded the Clarke Medal by the Royal Society of New South Wales in 1900. His name is remembered in the John Murray Laboratories at the University of Edinburgh, the John Murray Society at the University of Newcastle, and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency research vessel, the S.V. Sir John Murray. In addition, the Cirrothauma murrayi octopus, which lives on depths from 1500 m to 4500 m and lacks object recognition abilities, is named after Murray, as are the Murrayonida sea sponges.In 1911, he founded the Alexander Agassiz Medal, awarded by the National Academy of Sciences, in memory of his friend Alexander Agassiz (1835–1910).