For once the British spotlight has not been focused quite so squarely on the 35-year-old Murray courtesy of U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu's meteoric rise.
Raducanu earlier marked her Centre Court debut in style by beating dangerous Belgian Alison van Uytvanck and for a while against Duckworth, Murray looked in danger of letting the side down.
But after dropping the first set, the former world number one showed his pedigree to win 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-4 and set up a second-round clash with big-serving American John Isner.
Encouragingly for Murray, who preserved his record of never losing in the Wimbledon first round, he appeared to be moving smoothly after being troubled by an abdominal injury that limited his grasscourt preparation.
Duckworth, who like Murray has battled back from hip surgery, had suffered eight successive Tour-level defeats stretching back to November, but came out firing.
He broke serve at 4-4 with a ferocious forehand return winner and then served out the set with another big forehand.
The mood on court was subdued but unseeded Murray, who has coach Ivan Lendl back in his corner, was unruffled and pounced for a 4-2 lead in the second and went on to level the match.
Murray began to exert his authority in the third set as world number 74 Duckworth complained about the light.
The fourth set was played with the roof closed and lights switched on and Duckworth was re-energised as he pushed Murray hard. But the Scot seized on a poor Duckworth service game at 4-4, breaking when his opponent dumped a second serve into the net.
Murray, champion in 2013 and 2016, needed no second invitation to rack up his 60th Wimbledon victory, sealing it when Duckworth opted to challenge a second serve rather than play the rally and Hawkeye showed it had hit the line.
Britain's teenage U.S. Open champion Raducanu lived up to her star billing on her first appearance on Wimbledon's Centre Court by beating in-form Belgian Alison van Uytvanck 6-4 6-4 in the first round on Monday.
A year ago Raducanu reached the fourth round as an unknown wildcard before going on to win the U.S. Open against impossible odds, but this time the 10th seed carried the hopes of a nation who have not seen a home women's champion since Virginia Wade in 1977.
Despite an injury-ravaged build-up that left her participation in doubt until a few days ago, Raducanu took the first set against the dangerous Belgian who had warmed up with two second-tier tournament victories on grass.
In a match low on consistent quality but with moments of drama, it was Raducanu who tightened the screw, finding her confidence and range to break for a 5-4 lead before serving out strongly to give the home fans the victory they so desperately craved.
Left-hander Norrie, the highest-ranked home player in the men's draw, dominated the opening set against the 36-year-old who looked uncomfortable on the grass.
Anjujar, who had suffered six first-round defeats in his eight previous Wimbledon appearances, broke serve early in the second set but Norrie recovered and moved two sets ahead when he comfortably took a tiebreak.
Norrie was gifted a break to love in the third game of the third set and moved to the brink of victory at 3-5 on the Anjujar serve but failed to convert three match points before heavy rain forced the players off court.
On the resumption, Norrie completed the job with a backhand pass to move into round two.
"That was not easy. I saw the dark clouds coming and someone shouted out 'get it done before the rain' - I was like 'come on, I'm trying to get it done," Norrie said.
"A lot of waiting around and it wasn't the prettiest performance but I got it done in straight sets and I'll take that and move on."
Seventeen British players started out in the singles main draw, the most since 2001.