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James Augustus Grant (1827 — 1892) - Explorer

He was born on 11th April 1827 at Nairn, the son of a minister of the Church of Scotland. He studied natural history at Marischal College, Aberdeen, and in 1846 he was commissioned into the 8th Battalion of the Bengal Infantry, taking part in the actions of the Indian Mutiny. Wounded during the relief of Lucknow in 1857, he returned to England in the following year, but by then his friendship with John Hanning Speke had attracted him to African exploration and he took part in Speke's expedition to East Africa in 1860—62. Illness prevented him from accompanying Speke on his journey to discover the source of the Nile, but Grant's botanical notes and his meteorological registers provided the basis of the scientific findings published after the expedition's return to Britain. A more human, anecdotal account was published in his Walk Across Africa (1864), the title of which was suggested by Gladstone's remark You have had a long walk, Captain Grant. Grant took no further part in African exploration and after serving with Lord Napier's staff in the Abyssinian War of 1868 he retired from the army to live in Nairn where he died on 11 February 1892.

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