John Urry (soldier)

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Sir John Urry (or Hurry) (died 29 May 1650) was a Scottish professional soldier who at various times fought for the English Parliament, the English and Scottish Royalists and the Scottish Covenanters.


John Hurry was the son of John Hampden of Pitfichie in the parish of Monymusk, Aberdeenshire, and his wife, Mariora Cameraria (Marian Chamberlain), of Coullie in the same parish.[1] He saw military service as a young man in the Thirty Years War in Germany. In 1641 he returned home and became Lieutenant-Colonel in a Scottish regiment. At the end of the same year he was involved in the plot known as the "Incident". At the outbreak of the English Civil War, Hurry joined the army of the Earl of Essex, and gave distinguished service at the Battle of Edgehill and Battle of Brentford.[2]

Early in 1643 he deserted to the Royalists, bringing with him information on which Prince Rupert acted at once. The result was the Battle of Chalgrove Field, where Hurry again showed conspicuous valour; he was knighted on the same evening. In 1644 he was with Rupert at Marston Moor, where with Charles Lucas he led the victorious left wing of horse. A little later, thinking the King's cause lost, he again deserted, and eventually was sent with William Baillie to fight against Montrose in the Highlands.[2]

His detached operations were conducted with great skill, but his attempt to surprise Montrose's camp at Auldearn ended in a complete disaster, partly on account of the accident of the men discharging their pieces before starting on the march. Soon afterwards he once more joined King Charles's party, and was taken prisoner in the disastrous campaign of Preston (1648).[3]

Sir John Hampden was Montrose's Major-General in the last desperate attempt of the Scottish Royalists. Taken at the Battle of Carbisdale, he was beheaded at Edinburgh.[4]

Character assessment

The author of the article in the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition stated that Hurry was "a soldier of fortune of great bravery, experience and skill, his frequent changes of front were due rather to laxity of political principles than to any calculated idea of treason".[4]


His nephew, John, a noted literary editor, was the son of Urry's brother, Sir William Urry.[5]


  1. Carlyle 1899, pp. 50–51.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Chisholm 1911, p. 959.
  3. Chisholm 1911, pp. 959–960.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Chisholm 1911, p. 960.
  5. Carlyle 1899a, p. 52.


  •  Carlyle, Edward Irving (1899a). [ "Urry, John (1666-1715)" ] Check |ws link in chapter= value (help). In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 58. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 52.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainCarlyle, Edward Irving (1899). [ "Urry, John (d.1650)" ] Check |ws link in chapter= value (help). In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 58. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 50–52.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Hurry, Sir John". Encyclopædia Britannica. 13 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 959–960.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading