Wolverhampton BTW

Sarah Murray

Murray, Sarah née Maze, later Aust, 1744—1811

by Benjamin Colbert

Sarah Murray, née Maze, was born at Batheaston, her parentage currently unknown. She was probably the Sarah Maese who published The School: Being a Series of Letters, between a Young Lady and Her Mother (3 vols, 1766-72) ‘which states that the author ran a girl’s school in Bath during the 1760s, firstly in Beaufort Square and subsequently in Miles’s Court’ (Hagglund, Tourists 56).

Sarah Maze married the Hon. William Murray (1734-1786), a captain in the navy, on 11 August 1783. At the time she lived at 23 Kensington Square, moving to number 19 sometime after her husband’s death in December 1786––hence her title page designation as ‘Mrs Murray, of Kensington’ in A Companion and Useful Guide to the Beauties of Scotland (1799). The book was based on a five-month tour of Scotland in 1796, in which she travelled with two servants. Volume 2, published in 1803, was written after further journeys in those regions.

On 1 November 1803, Murray married an early friend from her Batheaston days, the recent widower, George Aust (c.1740-1829), former Under-Secretary of State in the foreign department (1790-96). The Austs purchased four acres of land opposite Hyde Park Gate, and built Noel House, whose grounds Sarah Aust laid out. There she died on 11 November 1811 and was buried with her first husband, William Murray, at St. Mary Abbots Church, Kensington.


Hagglund, Elizabeth. 'Murray [née Maese; other married name Aust], Sarah (1744–1811), travel writer'. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 23 Sept. 2004. Oxford University Press. Web. 7 Nov. 2017. https://doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/902

–––. Tourists and Travellers: Women’s Non-Fictional Writing about Scotland, 1770-1830. Bristol: Channel View Publications, 2010. Print.

Nichols, John Bowyer. Illustrations of the Literary History of the Eighteenth Century. Consisting of Authentic Memoirs and Original Letters of Eminent Persons. Vol. 8. London: J. B. Nichols and Sons, 1858. Print.


Title Published
A Companion and Useful Guide to the Beauties of Scotland 1799

[see updates]