Publisher John Murray II was born on November 27, 1775. Murray's father John Murray I (1745-1793) founded an eponymously named publishing house in 1768. The house gained fame for its high stature list of authors. Edinburgh-born Murray (I), who had been a Royal Marines officer, published for Isaac D'Israeli.
But it was John Murray II who pulled in eminent authors such as Lord Byron, Jane Austen, Washington Irving, George Crabbe, and Sir Walter Scott. Murray (II) built the family business to its pinnacle, successfully publishing several unknown authors (such as Lord Byron), recognizing talent that others had missed. On June 27, 1843 Murray turned the business over to John Murray III.