The years went by. I returned to family history in earnest in the early
1970s. I remembered Aunt Kates story about the Murrays being shipwrecked.
Strangely enough, I never thought to ask her cousin, Alexander Murray McPhee
(1881-1975), about the shipwreck on a visit to his home in Grenville, Quebec,
when he was over 90 years of age. While we were chatting in his living room, he
pointed out three ceramic objects that had belonged to the Murrays. Two were
ordinary late 19th
century transferware pieces, but the third one was clearly
much earlier and obviously made in Great Britain, judging from the entwined
rose, thistle and shamrock decorative motifs (see photographs below). The
significance of the Masonic insignia on the bottom remains unclear in this
Side 1 Side 2 Bottom
Height of jug: 5.25 inches Diameter of base: 3.5 inches
As I examined what could be described as a large cream jug, it gradually
dawned on me that this might be one of the mugs that Mary (1817-1868) and
Catherine Murray (1818-1906) had saved from the shipwreck. I remember
seeing a similar jug in a ceramics museum somewhere along the Royal Mile in
Edinburgh in the mid 1980s but I didnt have time to pursue the matter then.
Some day I hope to have a Scottish ceramics expert authenticate the jug, which
is now in my possession, as being from that period.