Earls and Earldoms of Scotland
Chapter VI - Earldom and Earls of
Findlater, and Seafield
SIR JAMES GRANT OF GRANT, BART.—HIS MARRIAGE—SUCCESSION
TO THE GRANT ESTATES—A MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT—HIS DEATH—SIR LUDOVICK GRANT
OF GRANT—HIS MARRIAGE— A MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT—RISING OF 1745—SIR JAMES
GRANT OF GRANT—HE FOUNDED GRANTOWN—HE RAISED TWO REGIMENTS—HIS
DEATH—TRIBUTES TO HIS MEMORY.
SIR JAMES GRANT was born on the 28th
of July, 1679. On the 29th of January, 1702, he married Anne, only child
and heiress of Sir Humphrey Colquhoun, fifth baronet of Luss, by whom he
had six sons and eight daughters. His second daughter, Jean, was born on
the 28th of September, 1705. She married William Duff of Braco in 1722,
who was elevated to the peerage of Ireland in 1735, and to him she had
seven sons and seven daughters. Anne Drummond was born on the 2nd of May,
1711. She married Sir Henry Innes of Innes in 1727.
Sir James Grant assumed the surname
of Colquhoun. His father-in-law desired that, failing heirs-male, the
title of Baronet should be inherited by his son-in-law and the heirs-male
of his marriage. Accordingly, he resigned the baronetcy into the hands of
the Crown for a new patent. On the 29th of April, 1704, Queen Anne, by a
new patent; granted, renewed, and conferred on Sir Humphrey and his sons
to be born; whom failing, on James Grant and his heirs-male of his
marriage with Anne Colquhoun, only daughter of Sir Humphrey; whom failing,
on the other heirs named, with the hereditary title and rank of
knight-baronet. So on the death of Sir Humphrey in 1718, his title
descended to his son-in-law, who then became Sir James Colquhoun of Luss,
But on the death of his brother,
General Alexander Grant, in 1719, without surviving issue, Sir James
succeeded to the lands of Grant He then dropped the name of Colquhoun, and
resumed his name of Grant. Sir James’s second son, Ludovick, then became
laird of the barony of Luss, the eldest son being the heir-apparent to the
On the 12th of April, 1722,
Sir James was elected member of Parliament for the county of Inverness;
and he was twice re-elected, in 1727and 1734, and he continued to
represent the county till 1741, when he resigned. The same year he was
elected member for the Elgin burghs,. which he represented till his death
During the rising of 1745, he was
opposed to the scheme of the Government of forming the loyal clans into
independent companies. He thought that the best way for securing the
effective assistance of his own clan or any clan,. was to follow the
Highland custom and summons each clan to muster under their respective
chiefs, and thus engage them in active service. In this wayan
effective force could have been raised for active service on the side of
Sir James died in London on the 16th
of January, 1747. "He was a gentleman of very amiable character, justly
esteemed and honoured by all ranks of men."
He was succeeded by his second son,
Sir Ludovick Grant of Grant, Baronet He was born on the 13th of January,
1707. On the 6th of July, 1727, he married Marion Dalrymple, a daughter of
the Hon. Sir Hew Dalrymple, Bart, and President of the Court of Session,
by whom he had a daughter, who died unmarried in 1748, and her mother died
in January, 1734. Secondly, on the 31st of October the same year, he
married Lady Margaret Ogilvie, eldest daughter of James, fifth Earl of
Findlater and second Earl of Seafield (as stated in a preceding section),
and by her he had a son and seven daughters.
He studied law, and was called to
the Scottish bar in 1728. But, in 1738, when he became heir-apparent to
the estates of Grant of Grant, he retired from the practice of the
profession of law, and mainly directed his attention to the management of
the Grant estates, which his father had entrusted to him.
In 1741 he was elected member of
Parliament for the counties of Elgin and Nairn, which he represented till
1761, when his son, Sir James, was elected member.
During the rising of 1745, Sir
Ludovick did his utmost in support of the Government. It appears that the
Government of George II. had no confidence in the loyalty of the Highland
clans who had openly declared themselves on the side of the House of
Hanover. This suspicious policy hampered the action of the chief of the
Grants and others. This was extremely unfortunate for the loyal cause, for
the Clan Grant, if called upon, would have mustered a considerable force.
Grant still resolved to assist the
Government, but to remain in his own territories and defend them against
the insurgents, unless the Government openly ordered him and his clan to
join the Royal army in the field. In the winter and spring of 1746,
however, he rendered important service to the Government.
A party of insurgents, under the
command of Lord George Murray and Lord Nairne, with two pieces of cannon
marched into Strathspey; and on the 14th of March they proceeded to Castle
Grant, and threatened to batter the castle down if any resistance was
offered. The garrison surrendered, and opened the gates, and Lord Nairne
took possession of the castle. But, on receiving tidings of the retreat of
the insurgents from Strathbogie, Lord Nairne immediately withdrew from
Sir Ludovick continued to attend to
his duties in Parliament till 1761, when failing health caused him to
resign his seat. His son James was elected member of Parliament, and
succeeded his father in the representation of the constituency.
He died at Castle Grant on the 18th
of March, 1773, and was interred in the family aisle at Duthil Parish
Church. His death was much regretted, and touching tributes to his memory
were rendered in verse and prose.
He was succeeded by his only son,
Sir James Grant of Grant, baronet. He was born on the 19th of May, 1738.
His father being a member of Parliament, often resided in London, and
James was educated at Westminster School; thence he went to Cambridge, and
studied under Dr Beilby Porteus, afterwards Bishop of Chester. In January,
1758, he left Cambridge and went to travel abroad. On the 20th of December
he was at Geneva. Subsequently he travelled in Italy and Naples, and
sojourned for some time in Rome. He left Rome in May, 1760, and proceeded
homeward by Verona, Munich, and northwards to Scotland.
On the 4th of January, 1763, he
married Jane Duff, only daughter and heiress of Alexander Duff of Hatton,
by Lady Anne, eldest daughter of William Duff, first Earl of Fife, by whom
he had seven sons and seven daughters.
After his marriage he usually lived
at Castle Grant, and mainly directed his attention to his extensive
estates and numerous tenantry. He was exceedingly anxious to improve
agriculture on his lands, and endeavoured to introduce the best method of
In 1766 he founded the town of
Grantown, usually called the capital of Strathspey. The original site of
the village was a barren moor; and before 1792, he had expended £5000
sterling in promoting the extension and welfare of Grantown. Efforts had
been made to introduce trade and manufactures into the place. A linen
manufactory had been started, and wool-combing and stocking-making. He
erected a Town House, made roads, built a stone bridge, and introduced a
supply of water into the town. He also drew up a series of regulations for
the inhabitants of Grantown, touching proper cleansing, fencing of the
different holdings, repair of broken windows, and likewise rules against
immorality, which was to be punished by fines. In 1792 the population of
the village was upwards of 300.
In 1793 Sir James made an offer to
George III. to raise a regiment of fencibles, which was immediately
accepted. Within three months the regiment was raised, mainly in
Strathspey, and consisted of 500men, exclusive of commissioned
officers. On the 5th of June, the regiment was inspected and embodied by
Lieutenant-General Leslie. In August they were marched to Aberdeen; and
afterwards they were quartered in most of the chief towns in the south of
Scotland—Glasgow, Paisley, Linlithgow, Dumfries, and other places. The
appearance of the Grant fencibles was represented in an etching by John
Kay, a well-known miniature painter and caricaturist, who lived in
Edinburgh in the latter part of the last century. The regiment was
disembodied in 1799.
Sir James raised another regiment
for general service, which was embodied at Elgin, and numbered the 97th.
They served for some time as marines on board Lord Howe’s fleet in the
English Channel; and, in 1795, the two flank companies, consisting of the
best men, were incorporated with the 42nd—the famous Black Watch—and the
rest of the men and officers were drafted into other regiments.
He was appointed Lord Lieutenant of
Inverness-shire in 1794. The following year he was appointed to the office
of general cashier of the Excise of Scotland. He was member of Parliament
for Banffshire from 1790 to 1795.
Sir James died at Castle Grant on
the 18th of February, 1811, and was interred at the Parish Church of
Duthil. He was a man of high character and sterling worth. The "Edinburgh
Evening Courant," in a notice of his death, made the following among other
remarks:—"The virtues of Sir James, as an individual, will be long
cherished in the recollections of his friends; the excellence of his
public character will be not the less remembered in the district over
which he presided . . . He had all the affections, without any of the
pride or any of the harshness of feudal superiority, and never forgot, in
attention to his own interests, or in the improvements of his extensive
estates, the interests or the comforts of the people. Amidst the varied
situations, and some of the severe trials of life, he was uniformly guided
by rectitude of principle, benevolence of disposition, and the most
fervent, though rational piety."
Mrs. Grant of Laggan issued a volume
of poems in 1803, in which there is one on Sir James Grant, a few verses
of which may be quoted:—
"The patriot chief, who dwells
Among the race his fathers sway’d;
Who, long his country’s friend approv’d,
Retires in peace to bless the shade.
"Who when the dreadful blast of war
With horror fill’d the regions round,
His willing people call’d from far
With wakening pipe of martial sound.
"The valiant clan, on every side,
With sudden warlike ardour bums,
And views those long-lov’d homes with pride,
Who’s loss no exil’d native mourns.
"From every mountain, strath, and
The rustic warriors crowded round;
The chief who rules the hearts of men,
In safety dwells, with honour crown’d.
"For thee (they cried), dear native
We gladly dare the battle’s roar;
Our kindred ties, our sacred hearth,
Returning peace will soon restore.
"And when each tender pledge we
Our parent chief, with guardian care,
Shall soothe their woes, their wants relieve,
And save the mourners from despair."
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