5. William Murphy

The Birmingham General Cemetery (Key Hill)

Section I 306

Rev E. H. Manning writes:-

Anti-Papal Lecturer. The riots bearing his name commenced Sunday June 16th 1867.

The memorial reads:-

Sacred to the memory of William MURPHY Protestant lecturer whose life was sacrificed in the faithful fulfillment of his mission as a dauntless witness for Protestant truth. He was brutally assaulted when about to deliver a lecture in the town of Whitehaven on April 20th 1871 and after nearly eleven months of intense suffering born with great patience and Christian fortitude he fell asleep in Jesus March 12th 1872 aged 48 years. “Whosoever will save his life shall lose it and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” MATT XXV 26 Also of Margaret MURPHY wife of the above named who departed this life June 20th 1907 aged 86 years. “Till the day breaks.” Also Eliza PAGE who died December 8th 1918 aged 78? years. “Rest in peace.”


William Murphy was born to a Catholic family who converted to protestants when he was small. He became an Anti-Papal lecturer but his language was so offensive it caused riots. He published inflammatory pamphlets which were so controversial that, even though they were partly in Latin they were seized by police. The Park Street riots saw men climbing on roofs, throwing tiles, window frames as weapons. After a lecture in Whitehaven he received injuries from which he never recovered; he died at his home in Sparkhill.