Sir John Murray Scott, adviser and secretary to Lady Wallace: papers

Scope and Content

Includes copy of John Murray Scott's will; inventory of 5 Connaught Place; bound transcript of the courtcase disputing John Murray Scott's will; and information on items formerly in the collection of Sir Richard Wallace which were inherited by John Murray Scott.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Edward Arthur Murray Scott was the eldest son of Dr. John Scott, a physician at Boulogne-sur-Seine. Following Sir Richard Wallace's inheritance he became his secretary due to his knowledge of French, he assited Richard Wallace with his charity works and with his move to England. After Wallace's death Murray Scott was the principal advisor to Lady Wallace and continued to live at Hertford House.

When Lady Wallace died in 1897 she left to the nation the works of art on the ground and first floors of Hertford House to the nation, nearly everything else she left to John Murray Scott. This included the rue Laffitte apartment and the chateau of Bagatelle in Paris (both full of works of art) and the Lisburn estate in Ulster. He assisted greatly with the establishment of the Wallace Collection and was created a Baronet in 1899 for his services. After selling the lease of Hertford House to the government Murray Scott moved to 5 Connaught Place. In 1904 he sold Bagatelle to the city of Paris. He was Trustee for the National Gallery and the Wallace Collection Chairman of Trustees'. He died of a heart attack on a visit to Hertford House whilst 'coversing on the history of the collection.'

Following his death his family sold his works of art at 5 Connaught Place, many of these had been from Richard Wallace's collection, at Christie's on 24 - 27 June 1913. In his will he bequeathed the rue Laffitte apartment and its collections, with a bequest of £150,000, to Lady Victoria Sackville. The bequest was contested by Murray Scott's siblings but was upheld in the courts. Lady Sackville sold the entire rue Laffitte collection to the Paris art dealer Jacques Seligmann.

Access Information

Available for consultation by appointment, contact for further information.

Other Finding Aids

A basic box list exists for part of the collection, this is available here.

Conditions Governing Use

Readers are permitted to use cameras on the purchase of a reprographics permit. The charges are £2 for a daily or £5 for a weekly permit.


Not expected.

Related Material

Papers relating to John Murray Scott as Trustee of the Wallace Collection can be found in the Wallace Collection archive, Trustee's papers.