JAMES GRANT, SEVENTH LA1RD--J0INED THE COVENANTERS—
LUDOVICK GRANT OF FREUCHIE—HIS MARRIAGE—A MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT
— SUMMONED FOR NONCONFORMITY
—ACTIVE MEMBER OF THE REVOLUTION—CONVENTION, RAISED A
REGIMENT—BATTLE OF CROMDALE—REGALITY OF FREUCHIE —CASTLE
GRANT—DEATH OF LUDOVICK—COLONEL ALEXANDER GRANT OF GRANT—ONE OF THE UNION
COMMISSIONERS—A MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT.
SIR JOHN GRANT was succeeded by his eldest son, James
Grant of Freuchie. He was born on the 24th of June, 1616. He joined the
Covenanters, which caused him much loss. Owing to the district in which
his estates lay, they were often traversed by the contending armies. When
Montrose raised the Royal Standard, and mustered an army, Grant, with the
aim of saving his lands from pillage, promised to support him. But after
the Restoration in 1660, he was excluded from the Act of Indemnity, and
the Government imposed on him the enormous fine of £18,000 Scots.
On the 24th of April, 1640, he married Lady Mary
Stewart, only daughter of James, Earl of Moray, by whom
he had two Sons and three daughters. He died at
Edinburgh in the end of September,
and was interred in the Chapel of Holyrood.
He was succeeded by his eldest son, Ludovick, eighth
laird of Freuchie. He was a minor at the time of his father’s death; but
in virtue of a dispensation from the King, on the 23rd of May, 1665, he
was retoured heir to his father in all the lands of Freuchie, Mulben,
Urquhart, and others in accordance with the Royal precept. For some time
after, he was engaged in settling matters connected with his estate.
On the 16th of December, 1671, he
married Janet, only daughter and heiress of Alexander Brodie of Lethen, by
whom he had five sons and four daughters. One of his daughters, Margaret,
married the famous Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat, and had issue.
The Laird of Freuchie was elected
one of the members of Parliament for the county of Elgin, and was present
in the Parliament which was opened by the Duke of York at Edinburgh on the
28th of July, 1681. Grant ventured to vote against a clause in the Test
Act. Four years later, in 1685, the laird and his wife were summoned to
appear before the Commission appointed to prosecute all persons guilty of
non-conformity and other crimes, between the bounds of the Spey and the
Ness. They appeared before the Commissioners and were examined at length.
They were both found guilty of having withdrawn from the Parish Church,
and of hearing and countenancing unlicensed ministers. Therefore the
Commissioners fined the laird for his own and his wife’s irregularities in
the sum of £40,000 Scots, and ordered him to render payment to His
Majesty’s cash keeper before the 1st of May next. A few days after the
sentence was pronounced he was charged to make payment of the fine within
15 days, under the penalty of being put to the horn. Grant, however,
resolved to make an effort to have the fine remitted. Reasons for the
reconsideration and reversal of the sentence were framed and presented to
the Privy Council, with a petition for review of the decree. Afterwards he
sent a petition to James VII., who took a favourable view of the case,
and, on the 9th of January, 1686, he addressed a letter to the Privy
Council discharging the laird of the whole amount of the fine.
In the autumn of 1688 the Revolution
was drawing nigh. In October the chief of the Grants was summoned to
Edinburgh to receive the orders of the Privy Council; and on the 2nd of
November he received a letter from the Duke of Gordon, governor of
Edinburgh Castle, desiring him to raise a company of men for the service
of King James. It seems probable that Grant did not respond to these
He was elected a member of the
Convention of Estates, which assembled at Edinburgh on the
of March, 1689. He signed the minute, which declared the convention to be
"a free and lawful meeting of the estates of the realm." He was appointed
a member of the committee to consider means for securing the peace of the
On the 23rd of March he signed the
address to King William. On the 26th he was elected a member of the
Committee for settling the Government. This Committee consisted of eight
peers, eight representatives of the counties, and eight representatives of
the burghs; and they immediately proceeded to discuss and frame the
decisive resolution. This resolution of the estates declared—" That James
VII. had assumed the Royal power, and acted as king without ever taking
the oath required by law; and by the advice of evil counsellors he had
invaded the fundamental constitution of the kingdom, and altered it from a
limited monarchy to an arbitary and despotic power; and did exercise the
same to the subversion of the Protestant religion and the violation of the
laws and liberties of the kingdom, whereby he forfeited his right to the
crown, and the throne has become vacant"
He took an active part in raising
men to assist General Mackay to overcome Viscount Dundee, and to restore
peace and order in the Highlands. On the 24th of April, 1689, he was
appointed, for the time, sheriff of Inverness-shire, and along with the
other northern sheriffs, was commissioned to call a meeting of the
heritors and fencible men within his jurisdiction, and to disperse any
He raised a regiment mainly
consisting of the men of his own clan; but it appears that at first they
were not well equipped. They were engaged at the Battle of Cromdale. The
royal troops, under the command of General Livingstone, numbering about
1000 men, and 300 of the Grants were posted in Strathspey. The insurgents,
under the command of General Buchan, and numbering about 800 men, marched
through Badenoch and down Strathspey, and encamped on the Haughs of
Cromdale. When tidings of Buchan’s advance reached Livingstone, he
immediately resolved to march his force up the valley of the Spey, and on
the 1st of May, 1690, at the break of day, attacked the enemy by surprise.
The Highlanders were completely defeated, and a considerable number of
them slain and taken prisoners, but, in the pursuit, the mist on the hills
favoured their escape. This engagement brought the civil war, arising from
the Revolution, to a close. The event was celebrated in a ballad which was
long popular in the north, "The Haughs of Cromdale," beginning thus:-
As I came in by Auchindoun,
A little wee bit frae the town,
When to the Highlands I was bound,
To view the Haughs of Cromdale.
met a man in tartan trews;
I speer’d at him what was the news;
Quo’ he "The Highland army rues
That ere we came to Cromdale.
"We were in bed, sir, every man,
When the English host upon us came,
A bloody battle then began
Upon the Haughs of Cromdale.
"The English horse they were so rude,
They bathed their hoofs in Highland blood,
But our brave clans, they boldly stood,
Upon the Haughs of Cromdale.
"But, alas! we could no longer stay,
For o’er the hills we came away,
And sore we do lament the day
That ere we came to Cromdale."
Before the date of the battle, the
laird of Grant himself had returned to Edinburgh, and resumed his duties
in Parliament. He took the oath of allegiance to the Government on the
15th of April, 1690. On the 14th of July, he was appointed one of the
commissioners for visiting the universities and schools. In 1696 he signed
the document which declared that William III. was truly and lawfully king,
and bound the subscribers to defend His Majesty. In 1705 he joined in the
protest against the union of the two kingdoms, unless the English Alien
Bill was repealed.
On the 28th of February, 1694, he
received from William III. a charter incorporating all the lands of
Freuchie and other lands into a regality, to be called the Regality of
Grant, and the castle and manor place of Freuchie to be henceforth called
the Castle of Grant. At this time the Laird of Freuchie changed his
designation to that of Laird of Grant—"Grant of Grant"
Castle Grant stands on an elevated
site, one of the finest in Strathspey, and commands a wide and varied view
of the surrounding country. The castle is a large structure, and was
erected at different periods. A part of it was built by John Grant of
Freuchie about 1525, and Sir Ludovick Grant, in the middle of the last
century, made alterations and extensive additions to the castle. The
dining hall is 47 feet in length and 27 in breadth. The park and the
pleasure grounds are very extensive and varied.
The laird died at Edinburgh in
November, 1716, and was interred in the Abbey Chapel of Holyrood. He was
succeeded by his eldest surviving son, Colonel Alexander Grant of Grant.
He was one of the Scottish Commissioners appointed to treat with England
in 1706. He was a member of Parliament for Inverness-shire from 1703 till
the last session of the Scottish Parliament in 1707. He usually voted with
He entered the army and attained the
rank of brigadier-general. In 1708, at the first election in Scotland of
members of the British Parliament, he was elected member for the county of
Inverness. On the 24th of September, 1713, he was elected member of
Parliament for the counties of Elgin and Nairn. He retired from the army
In the spring of 1719 he was seized
with a severe illness when in England. Although he recovered somewhat, and
left London for Scotland in the beginning of August, and arrived at Leith
on the 18th, the following day he died, and was interred in the Chapel of
General Grant was twice married, but
he left no surviving issue, and he was succeeded by his brother, Sir James
Grant, third son of Ludovick Grant of Grant.