MURRAY, Dr, a British physician attached to 4th Native Infantry, who was in 1836 sent from Ludhiana to Lahore by the British for Maharaja Ranjit Singh`s treatment after he had suffered a stroke of paralysis. During his 8 months` stay in Lahore, Murray found it difficult to persuade the Maharaja to accept his treatment. Nevertheless, his despatches from Lahore to the Ludhiana Political Agency provide interesting information about the Maharaja, his government and his nobles.
Murray comments especially upon the splendour of Ranjit Singh`s court, his fondness for his French officers, his regular inspection of troops, and the entertainment provided by his Zenana Corps. He is full of praise for the Sikh army. During their conversations, Ranjit Singh made numerous enquiries from Dr Murray about the Barrackpur mutiny, the composition of a British European regiment, and the siege of Bharatpur. In spite of his fondness for long discourses, the Maharaja, notices Murray, did not so much as mention an incident of insubordination which had occurred in a Sikh army camp near Lahore during his visit.
He learnt about it from his servants, and felt surprised at his royal host`s reserve in matters of State. Even when ill, the Maharaja, observes Murray, invariably took an airing or went out for a ride. He held court wherever he happened to be. Everything, however trivial, was brought to his notice, and he issued orders promptly on all matters.
1. Jacquemont, Victor, Journal of Travels in Northern India and Kashmir. Lahore, 1934
2. Harbans Singh, The Heritage of the Sikhs. Delhi, 1983
3. Hasrat, Bikramajit, Life and Times of Ranjit Singh. Nabha,1977