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Muriel

Muriel (f) Sir John Campbell of Inverliver carried off
and married Muriel, heiress of the Thane of Calder, in
1510. The affair cost the lives of six of Inverliver’s seven
sons, who were killed by Muriel’s relations, but it led to
the founding of the Campbells of Calder (or Cawdor).
As for the name’s meaning Woulfe, in his Irish Names For
Children, has no doubt that it is the anglicised form of
Muirgheal, ‘sea bright,’ or ‘fair one of the sea.’

Mrs Craik focused attention on the name in her novel, John Halifax, Gentleman (1856), using itto name the hero’s eldest child who is subsequently discovered to be blind. Perhaps for this reason, and because Mrs Craik herself describes the name in the book as ‘rather peculiar,’ it did not become very popular. It was used rather more in the 1920’s, but it has since faded away. Another literary reference is to be found in Jane Duncan’s novel My Friend Muriel(1959): ‘Muriel came floating owards me in the grey cloud of the unattractiveness of her name.’

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