Great Scots: Oliver McMurphy: Part 1

Oliver 'Gordon Pope Pilates III Orange Lodge' McMurphy (1682-1755) was born into a wealthy and established English based Quaker family in the town of Althorpe in the Country of Lincolnshire, England who went on to become widely regarded as one of the continuing fathers of Scottish Incompetence and who is famous for the stirring rallying cry "I want to debate with anybody".

Early Life
Born to Alisdair MacDonald MacKenzie Murray-Grieg and to Annie O'Anyoldtooll (Oliver later changing his name to reflect those who had done anything whatsoever to further his career) and in keeping with the family's religious beliefs young Oliver was raised on a solitary Quaker oat by his Scottish father, a highly skilled tradesman and carver of small wooden mandarins and nectarines (referred to locally by other woodworkers as 'the Orangemen').

Earliest Influences
Oliver's early years were spent learning the music and poetry of his forefathers and reading the early Scottish philosophy of Bruce Milan, Michael Forsyth and Ian Lang. Oliver also enjoyed the boy's adventure stories of the Duke of Cumberland.

As early as the age of 27 Oliver was regarded as being something of a prodigy on both the Great Highland Bagpipe and the Clarsach even though Oliver's real passion lay in memorising the works of the Gaelic childrens poet Uncle Tam Bamsmell such as the comedic 'West Lothian Sonnets' (a work that was to provide much comfort to Oliver in his most intellectually challenging days).

Early Scottish Impressions:
During the long winter evenings of Oliver's first 29 years of wainhood his father would often sit and reminisce (over a meagre supper of chips and cheese) about the old country and the political heroes of the romantic past that had shaped the country such as Helen Liddell and Brian Wilson.

Oliver soon began to gain an understanding of the renowned intellectual powerhouse that lay at the heart of Scottish society while at the same time developing a profound understanding of the people who supported them.

Later Oliver was to write of this period: "me heart wiz burnin fae the youngest age fir tae take thon gravy coach tae Scotia, tae play hoodiewinkie o' the numpties o whit ma faither hud telt me dwellit ther. Fae thon moment when ma faither teld us that ther was mony an eejit wi a lang tonguie and mealy mouth that wiz yit highly rewardit; weil it wiz my burnin, burnin a'rantin and a 'rovin desire fae that very nicht and i kent whur ma destiny wiz".

School Years:
From an early age the traits that were to mark the life of the man were yet present in the boy and it was while still at school that McMurphy was described as a man with an 'unbendin will and strongit mindit'.

To contextualise this quote it should be pointed out that it refers to Oliver's determination to remain at school until the age of 34 despite his teachers petitioning the Borough council that he 'be removit forthwith and putteth to work where he may learneth the world for uponeth such an apath education be wasteth'.

The Infamous Lost Three Hours:
McMurphy was forcibly removed from the school on 4th June 1716 and later the same day was brutally beaten by his father for overeating. Distraught, friendless and directionless the middle-aged McMurphy packed his satchel and in the famous quote by Professor Catherine Jamieson:

'wanderit roonit the midden for muckle a oor upon oor wi'oot sae much as braidit stockin nair cow skin upon his bare, bony an reekit stinkies..a mannie wha had sae swarn blind tae takit neither breed nor ee'n sae much as a jelly piece nor strongbuw cyder fae freend nair stranger until he reachit someen tae debateth with".

(The Life of Oliver McMurphy: Professor Catherine Jamieson, Bellshill Constituency Press, 1845, pp 1567)

In Part II, Oliver' first meeting with Gwadwayn Brawyn, soothsayer and mystic, travels to Scotland where he falls in with Geordie McFooles the Tavern Owner and how after the First Assault on Holyrood Committee Room 3 the epic story of McMurphy's escape!


Nevsky: said...

Not The Messiah:

Enjoy the biography!

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