David Murray, Viscount Stormont attended Christ Church Oxford (B.A. 1748, created D.C.L. 1793); he contributed to the University anthology on the death of Prince Frederic while serving in the British embassy in Paris (1751). Murray was envoy to Saxony (1756-59), Warsaw (1761), Vienna (1763-72) and Paris (1772-78); he was a privy councilor and secretary of state (1779-82), and lord president of the council (1783, 1794-96). Murray was chancellor of Marischal College Aberdeen, in which capacity he presumably met James Beattie.