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The current Chief of Clan Grant is
The Rt. Hon. Sir James Patrick Trevor Grant of Grant, Bt.,
Lord Strathspey, 33rd Chief of Grant
The following information on previous chiefs of the Clan Grant has been provided courtesy of our Clan Historian, James H. Grant. You can view a larger image by clicking on an individual image.
James Grant, 7th of Freuchie (1616-1663), succeeded his father as Laird of Freuchie in 1637. He supported the Covenant in 1640, but afterward joined the Marquis of Montrose and raised a regiment for the Crown. He married Lady Margaret Stewart, daughter of the 2nd Earl of Murray, and died in 1663.
Ludovick Grant, 8th Laird of Freuchie & 1st of Grant (1641-1716), succeeded his father as Laird of Freuchie in 1665. He was a Member of Parliament, and apparently took an active part in its proceedings. On one occasion he insisted that his dissatisfaction with an act of Parliament be noted for the record. The Duke of York, the Crown’s representative in Parliament, reportedly remarked sarcastically: “Let his Highland Majesty’s protest be marked.” From that time forward, Laird Ludovick was frequently referred to as “the Highland King.” In 1689, he served as Colonel of a regiment of government troops, and the following year, he raised a regiment of 600 men of his own clan. He also served as Sheriff of Inverness. Laird Ludovick held vast estates, and in 1694, his lands were erected by the Crown into the Regality of Grant. Thereafter, he was known as Ludovick Grant of Grant and his principal residence in Straathspey was called Castle Grant. He married firstly, Janet, daughter of Alexander Brodie of Lethen, and secondly, Jean, daughter of Sir John Houston. Ludovick Grant of Grant died in 1716 and was succeeded by his eldest son, Alexander.
Brigadier Alexander Grant of Grant (1672-1719), was a military officer and also served a Lord Lieutenant of Inverness and Banff. He succeeded his father in 1716, although he had essentially led the Clan Grant for a number of years prior to that time during the infirmity of his aging father. He married Anne, daughter of John Smith, Speaker of the House of Commons. Regrettably, his tenure as Chief of Grant lasted only three years and he died at Leith, Edinburgh, in 1719. He was succeeded by his brother, James.
Sir James Grant of Grant, Baronet (1679-1747), married Anne, daughter of Sir Humphrey Colquhoun of Luss, Baronet, in 1702. He succeeded his father-in-law as Chief of the Clan Colquhoun as Sir James Colquhoun of Luss, Baronet. In an unusual chain of events, upon the premature death of his brother Alexander in 1719, Sir James changed his name back to Grant and became Sir James Grant of Grant, Baronet, chief of the Clan Grant. His younger son, James, then became the Chief of the Clan Colquhoun and was recreated Baronet of Nova Scotia. Sir James Grant of Grant was a Member of Parliament for many years and died in London in 1747.
Sir Ludovick Grant of Grant, Baronet (1707-1773), succeeded as Chief of the Clan Colquhoun in 1719. He studied law and was admitted to the Scots bar as an advocate in 1728. Upon the death of his older brother Humphrey in 1732, he once again assumed the surname Grant and became Sir Ludovick Grant of Grant, Baronet, chief of the Clan Grant. His younger brother, James subsequently changed his name to Colquhoun and became chief of that Clan. Sir Ludovick Grant married Marian, daughter of Sir Hew Dalrymple of North Berwick, and secondly, Lady Margaret Ogilvie, daughter of James, 5th Earl of Findlater and Seafield. This second marriage would eventually have a significant impact on future generations of the family. Sir Ludovick Grant of Grant, Baronet, died at Castle Grant in 1773.
Sir James Grant of Grant, Baronet (1738-1811), affectionately known as “the Good Sir James,” was well-educated, well-traveled and certainly the most capable chief of his long line. He was a dedicated public servant and an ardent improver of his vast estates. He was the founder of Grantown and at various times served as a Member of Parliament, Cashier of Excise for Scotland, Lord Lieutenant, and Sheriff of Inverness-shire. In the last decade of the 18th century, Sir James raised and served as Colonel of two regiments – the 1st Strathspey Fencibles and the 97th Inverness-shire Highlanders.
During much of his tenure as Chief of Grant, the highlands were devastated by periods of famine and epidemic. The country was continuously pummeled with all manner of inclement weather – drought, floods and unrelenting snowstorms. Crops were laid waste and starvation was rampant. Sir James repeatedly dipped into his own coffers to purchase grain for his starving tenants and clansmen. In most cases, he overlooked unpaid rents and searched for ways to provide employment for his clan. It was also during this time that Sir James’ personal debts continued to mount. His massive financial burdens were brought about by his own tenants’ inability to pay their rents. He also had to deal with the tragic personal loss of children, the mental illness of his eldest son and heir, Lewis Alexander, the eventual loss of his wife, and finally his own declining health. Sir James Grant of Grant, Baronet, “the good Sir James,” died at Castle Grant in 1811.
Lewis Alexander Grant of Grant (1767-1840) was the eldest son of Sir James Grant of Grant, Baronet. In 1811, he succeeded his cousin, James Ogilvie, 4th Earl of Seafield, who died without a male heir. Later that same year, Sir James Grant of Grant, Baronet, also died. From that time forward, Lewis was known as Sir Lewis Alexander Grant-Ogilvie, Baronet, 5th Earl of Seafield, Viscount Reidhaven, Lord Ogilvie of Deskford and Cullen, Chief of the Clan Grant. After a promising start to his career in Parliament, Lord Seafield’s health declined and he returned to Scotland, where he lived in retirement at Cullen House, and later at Grant Lodge, Elgin. He died in 1840 and was succeeded by his younger brother, Francis William, who had been overseeing the vast Grant and Seafield estates for many years.
Sir Francis William Ogilvie-Grant, Baronet, 6th Earl of Seafield (1778-1853), succeeded his brother as Chief of the Clan Grant in 1840. At a very early age, he served as Lieutenant in the 1st Strathspey Fencible Regiment and Captain of the 97th Inverness-shire Highlanders – both regiments raised by his father, Sir James Grant of Grant, Baronet. He later served as Major and Lieutenant Colonel in the fencible regiment raised by Simon, Lord Lovat. Colonel Grant was actively involved in the running of the Grant and Seafield estates during his time as curator for his elder brother, Lewis Alexander, 5th Earl of Seafield. Francis William was a Member of Parliament for Elgin and Nairn and also served as Lord Lieutenant of Inverness-shire. He married Mary Anne, daughter of John Charles Dunn of Higham House, Sussex, and secondly, Louisa Emma, daughter of Robert George Maunsell of Limerick, Ireland. The 6th Earl of Seafield was an able guardian of his estates and an active promoter of the welfare of his tenants and clansmen. During his tenure as curator for his brother and as Earl of Seafield, it is said that he planted over thirty-one million trees, which eventually became an enormous source of income for succeeding generations of his family. The 6th Lord Seafield died in 1853 and was entombed in the Seafield mausoleum at Duthil. He was succeeded by his son, John Charles.
Sir John Charles Ogilvie-Grant, Baronet, 7th Earl of Seafield, 1st Baron Strathspey, Knight of the Thistle, Chief of the Clan Grant (1815-1881), succeeded his father in 1853. In 1850, he married the Hon. Caroline Stuart, youngest daughter of Robert Walter, 11th Lord Blantyre. In 1858, he was created Baron Strathspey of Strathspey in the peerage of the United Kingdom of Great Britain. Lord Seafield was dedicated to the improvement of his estates and building roads. He was an avid breeder of highland cattle, and like his father, an enthusiastic planter of trees. Lord Seafield was a staunch Conservative and took his seat in the House of Lords. He was also an active office holder in the Church of Scotland. Lord Seafield died at Cullen House in 1881 and was entombed in the Seafield mausoleum at Duthil. He was succeeded by his son, Ian Charles.
Sir Ian Charles Ogilvie-Grant, Baronet, 8th Earl of Seafield, 2nd Baron Strathspey, Chief of the Clan Grant (1851-1884), succeeded his father in 1881. He was educated at Eton and served in the 1st Regiment of the Life Guards until resigning his commission in 1877. During his abbreviated tenure as Earl of Seafield, he rescinded the long-standing entailment of the Grant and Seafield estates by making his mother, Caroline Dowager Countess of Seafield, his heiress. When he died prematurely in 1884 at the age of 33, his titles devolved upon his uncle, the Hon. James Ogilvie-Grant, but the estates were retained by his mother and administered by a group of Writers to the Signet (solicitors or attorneys) in Edinburgh.
Sir James Ogilvie-Grant, 9th Earl of Seafield (1817-1888), the fourth son of Sir Francis William Ogilvie-Grant, 6th Earl of Seafield, was educated at Harrow. He was known for most of his life as the Hon. James Ogilvie-Grant and lived at Mayne, near Elgin. He was a Captain in the 42nd Regiment, the Black Watch, and later served as Lieutenant Colonel of the Morayshire Battalion of Volunteers. He was elected as a Conservative Member of Parliament for Elgin and Nairn in 1868, a seat he held until 1874. In 1884, he succeeded his nephew as the 9th Earl of Seafield, chief of the Clan Grant, and a few months later, he was recreated Baron Strathspey of Strathspey in the counties of Inverness and Moray. He married Caroline Louisa, daughter of Eyre Evans of Ash Hill Towers, Limerick; secondly, Constance Helena, daughter of Sir Robert Abercromby, Baronet; and thirdly, Georgina Adelaide, daughter of Frederick Nathaniel Walker. Lord Seafield died in 1888 and was succeeded by his eldest son, the Hon. Francis William Ogilvie-Grant, who had previously immigrated to New Zealand.
Sir Francis William Ogilvie-Grant, Baronet, 10th Earl of Seafield (1847-1888), was born in Ireland in 1847. He served as a midshipman in the Royal Navy before entering the merchant service as a junior officer. Francis William, known as “Frank,” immigrated to New Zealand in 1870. In 1874, he married Nina, daughter of Major George T. Evans, and tried several business ventures without success. Finally, he used the remainder of his savings to purchase a sheep grazing farm, but unfortunately this also failed. Unable to secure other employment, Frank Ogilvie-Grant had to accept any odd jobs he could get, including working as a day laborer and painter. In 1884, upon the death of his cousin, the 8th Earl of Seafield, he became Viscount Reidhaven. According to a family story, when he received the telegram informing him that his cousin had died he was painting a house. From that time forward, the Dowager Countess of Seafield provided a stipend of about £600 per year, which alleviated much of his financial distress. In 1888, Lord Reidhaven’s father died and he became Sir Francis William Ogilvie-Grant, Baronet, 10th Earl of Seafield, chief of the Clan Grant. Unfortunately, within a matter of months, in December 1888, he died of heart failure and was succeeded by his eldest son, the Hon. James Ogilvie-Grant, Lord Reidhaven, who was still a boy aged twelve years.
Captain Sir James Ogilvie-Grant, Baronet, 11th Earl of Seafield, 3rd Lord Strathspey, Chief of the Clan Grant, DL (1876-1915), was the eldest son of the 10th Earl of Seafield. He succeeded his father in 1888 and married Mary Elizabeth Nina, daughter of Joseph Henry Townend of Christchurch, New Zealand. After immigrating from New Zealand to England, he and his family eventurally went to Scotland, where he was well received by the members of the Clan Grant. With the outbreak of World War I, he was commissioned Captain in the 3rd Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders. Lord Seafield was mortally wounded in Flanders in 1915 and his young daughter, Nina Caroline, became Countess of Seafield. The vast Grant and Seafield estates were held in trust by a group of solicitors in Edinburgh for the young countess until she reached the age of majority in 1946. Lord Seafield’s younger brother, Trevor Ogilvie-Grant, succeeded as 4th Lord Strathspey, Baronet of Nova Scotia, and Chief of the Clan Grant.
Sir Trevor Ogilvie-Grant, Baronet, 4th Lord Strathspey (1879-1948), succeeded his brother as Lord Strathspey, Baronet, and chief of the Clan Grant in 1915. He was born in Oamaru, New Zealand, the son of Sir Francis William Ogilvie-Grant, 10th Earl of Seafield. Lord Strathspey was educated at Waitaki Boys High School and St. John’s College in Auckland, New Zealand. In 1905, he married Alice Louisa, daughter of Thomas Masterman Hardy-Johnston. He worked for a firm of solicitors in Christchurch and for the post office in Wellington until 1913 when the family immigrated to England. During World War I he was commissioned in the Army and later took his seat in the House of Lords. He was proud of his colonial heritage and his primary interest in the House of Lords was colonial affairs. Even though he was a descendant and chief of an important highland clan, he did not know much about Scotland and had only visited there on several occasions. Trevor Lord Strathspey died in 1949 and was succeeded by his son, Patrick.
Sir Donald Patrick Trevor Grant of Grant, Baronet, 5th Lord Strathspey (1912-1992), was born in Wellington, New Zealand, in 1912. He succeeded his father in 1949. When he matriculated his arms in the Court of the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh, he changed his surname from Ogilvie-Grant to Grant of Grant; consequently, his heraldic arms have no Ogilvie quarterings. Lord Strathspey attended the Stowe School in Buckinghamshire and then studied with land agents in London and Lewes, Sussex, to learn how to become a land agent and surveyor. In 1938, he joined the War Department Lands Branch and worked there until he retired in 1972. During World War II, the administrators of the Lands Branch were given emergency commissions in the Army. Lord Strathspey eventually achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before the end of the war. In 1938, he married Alice Bowe, daughter of Dr. Bowe of Timaru, New Zealand. That marriage was dissolved, and he married secondly, Olive Amy, daughter of Henry Wallace Grant of Norwich, England, in 1951. Upon retirement Lord Strathspey assumed his seat in the House of Lords and commuted between London and his home in West Wittering, Sussex. In 1976, Lord Strathspey responded to an inquiry from the United States, and subsequently authorized the founding of the Clan Grant Society of North America by George Grant of Hixson, Tennessee, and John Grant of Los Angeles. Lord and Lady Strathspey visited America on a number of occasions as honored guests at various highland games and to promote the Clan Grant Society. Patrick Lord Strathspey had a wonderful sense of humor and enthusiastically embraced his role as Chief of the Clan Grant. He died in 1992 and was succeeded by his eldest son, the Hon. James Grant of Grant.
Sir James Patrick Trevor Grant of Grant, Baronet, 6th Lord Strathspey (1943- ), was born in 1943, and unlike most of his immediate forebears, has lived in Scotland most of his adult life. He attended school in Greenwich, Connecticut, before returning to the United Kingdom, where he worked on several farms and spent two years at the Royal Agricultural College at Cirencester, Gloucestershire. Lord Strathspey had farms near Inverness. In 1973, he obtained a posting at the Scottish Horticultural Research Institute at Invergowrie, Perthshire, where he worked for eighteen years. In 1991, he moved to the isle of Mull to provide assistance to his aging mother. Upon the death of his father in 1992, he became chief of the Clan Grant, 6th Lord Strathspey and Baronet of Nova Scotia. In recent years, Lord Strathspey has also taken an active intererst in the Clan Grant societies worldwide and has visited the United States and Canada. In his retirement, he purchased the Old Manse at Duthil, which is only a few meters from the traditional burial site of the Chiefs of Grant. Lord Strathspey spends his spare time on the restoration of the Old Manse and tending to his garden. Like his father, he has a wonderful sense of humor and relishes with enthusiasm the promotion of the Clan Grant societies worldwide.