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Murray, John, Chemist

MURRAY, JOHN, CHEMIST (1778-1820). Scottish chemist, was born at Edinburgh in 1778 and died there on the 22nd of July 1820. He graduated M.D. at St Andrews in 1814, and attained some reputation as a lecturer on chemistry and materia medica. He was an opponent of Sir Humphry Davy's theory of chlorine, supporting the view that the substance contained oxygen, and it was in the course of experiments made to disprove his arguments that Dr John Davy discovered phosgene or carbonyl chloride. He was a diligent writer of textbooks, including Elements of Chemistry (1801); Elements of Materia Medica and Pharmacy (1804), A System of Chemistry (1806), and ( anonymously) A Comparative View of the Huttonian and Neptunian Systems of Geology. He is sometimes confused with another John Murray (1786-1851), a popular lecturer at mechanics' institutes. The two men carried on a dispute about the invention of a miners' safety lamp in the Phil. Mag. for 1817.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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