Arthur Murphy

[Charles Ranger]

Biography of Arthur Murphy

Arthur Murphy (27 December 1727 – 18 June 1805), also known by the pseudonym Charles Ranger, was an Irish writer.

He was born at Cloonyquin, County Roscommon, Ireland, the son of Richard Murphy and Jane French.
A barrister, journalist, actor, and playwright, he edited Gray Inn Journal between 1752 and 1754. As Henry Thrale's oldest and dearest friend, he introduced Samuel Johnson to the Thrales in January 1765. He was appointed Commissioner of Bankruptcy in 1803. Murphy is best known for three biographies: his 1792 An Essay on the Life and Genius of Samuel Johnson, his 1762 Fielding's Works and his 1801 Life of David Garrick.

Murphy is thought to have coined the legal term "wilful misconstruction" whilst representing the Donaldson v. Becket appeal to the House of Lords in 1774 against the perpetual possession of copyright. He died at Knightsbridge, London, and was buried at Hammersmith, London.

A biography was written in 1811 by Dr. Jesse Foote. Nathaniel Dance painted his portrait which is thought to now be in the Irish National Portrait Collection.

His elder brother used his mother's surname and was known as James Murphy French (1725 - 59). He lived in London with his brother.

Arthur Murphy's Works:

The Apprentice (1756)
The Upholsterer (1758)
The Orphan of China (1759), tragedy (an adaption of L'Orphelin de la Chine (1755) by Voltaire and its source, a translation of The Orphan of Zhao)
The Way to Keep Him (1760), comedy
The Desert Island (1760), dramatic poem
The Citizen (1761)
All in the Wrong (1761), comedy
The Old Maid (1761)
No One's Enemy But His Own (1764)
Three Weeks After Marriage (1764)
The Choice (1764)
The School for Guardians (1767)
Zenobia (1768), tragedy
The Grecian Daughter (1772), tragedy
Alzuma (1773), tragedy
News from Parnassus, A Prelude (1776)
Know Your Own Mind (1777), comedy
The Rival Sisters (written 1783), tragedy
Fielding's Works (1762)
An Essay on the Life and Genius of Samuel Johnson (1792)
Life of David Garrick (1801)

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