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Robert Murray, a prominent merchant, was born in County Armagh, Ireland, arriving with his father in Pennsylvania in 1732. Originally a Presbyterian, he became a Quaker after marrying Mary Lindley, daughter of a Quaker politician, in Pennsylvania in 1744. The couple arrived in New York City in 1753 after a short residence in North Carolina. The Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan derives its name from the Murray family, whose business interests were mainly concerned with shipping and overseas trade. Robert quickly established himself and about 1762 rented land from the city for a great house and farm, which Robert called Inclenberg, Dutch for beautiful hill. The total area was just over 29 acres. In today's terms, the farm began a few feet south of 33rd Street and extended north to the middle of the block between 38th and 39th Street. At the southern end, the plot was rather narrow but at the northern end it went from approximately Lexington Avenue to a spot between Madison and Fifth Avenues. The great house was built on a since-leveled hill at what is today Park Avenue and 36th Street. His eldest child, Lindley Murray was perhaps the most illustrious member of the family.

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