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Clan Grant of Glenmoriston

Clan Grant

Grant territory lies chiefly on Speyside, between the two Craigellachies - one above Aviemore and the other where the river enters the coastal plain of Moray. It includes the district of Rothiemurchus on the slopes of the Cairngorms, and the straths of Glenurquhart and Glenmoriston on the other side of Loch Ness. There have been Grants in the north since at least the 13th century, when Laurence (also on record as sheriff of Inverness) and Robert 'called Grant' witnessed a transaction in the bishop of Moray's court. But the real history of the clan begins from the time when they became landholders in Strathspey in 1434. The first chief on record, Sir Duncan, acquired Freuchie near the modern Grantown by marriage, and it was erected into a barony in 1494. A castle built there in 1536, known first as Bellachastle and later as Castle Grant. From the outset the laird was supported by his kinsfolk in consolidating his property; the barony of Strathspey, for example, was feued by himself, his three sons, and his kinsmen Grant of Culcabock, Grant of Ballindalloch and his brother, and another Grant. By the end of the 16th century he was being styled Laird of Grant or Grant of that Ilk, and the surname was being widely adopted; two lists of the inhabitants of Duthil in the Grant country, separated by only about thirty years, show a change from Gaelic patronymics to the name of Grant. The barony of Urquhart was given to the chief by James IV in 1509, two of his sons receiving the neighbouring lands of Glenmoriston and Corriemony. By the time of the civil war the Laird of Grand had built up 'ane great huge estait', and in 1694 all his lands and their outlying portions were formed into the regality of Grant. The Grant chiefs' relations with their clan and its leaders were sometimes unusual. In 1584 the ailing chief, who had lost his son and heir and found himself 'mishandlet' by his neighbours, sent his surviving son and grandson to ask 'his maist specill freindis and kynnis men' if they had ny faulty to find with him so that it might be amended (the gentlemen of the clan met in the church of Cromdale and sent a reassuring answer). Although clan tartans as such were still unknown, a baron court in 1704 enacted by order of the young laird that all able-bodied tenants and cottars should provide themselves with 'Highland coats, trews and short hose of tartan of red and green sett '. In 1710 the chief resigned all his estates to his son, and handed over the chiefship to him before the whole clan assembled in full dress at the gathering place of Ballintome. In the next generation the councilors of clan Grant caused the young laird to be imprisoned on account of misbehaviour and prodigality, which would have imperiled the estate. After 1745 the Grant estates were reorganised by Sir James, and the interests of the lesser tenants safeguarded. Grantown was established in 1766 as a small agricultural and industrial centre, the village of Lewiston founded in Glenurquhart, timber from the Rothiemurchus forests was floated down the Spey, and planting pushed forward. After some family adjustments to ensure that the chief's marriage with a Colquhoun of Luss would not result in the two estates being united, the chiefship was held along with the earldom of Seafield from 1811 to 1915, after which (while remaining in the same family) it became separated from the wide estates which the Grants had done so much to improve.

Septs of Clan Grant:
Allan, Allen, Bisset, Bissett, Bowie, Buie, Gilroy, MacAllan, Macgilroy, MacIlroy, MacKerran, MacKiaran, MacKessock, Pratt and Suttie

A mountain inflamed

Stand fast

Stand fast



French grand (great)

Stand fast Craigellachie

Stand fast Craigellachie

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