Clan Grant

Clan Grant
Clan Grant
Crest badge
Clan member crest badge - Clan Grant.svg
Crest: An image of a burning hill. (The burning hill represents "Craig Elachie", the rallying point for the Grants. When signal fires were lit upon the summit of Craig Elachie, or "The Rock of Alarm", members of the clan would gather there in order to organize for an attack or defense.)
Motto: Stand Fast (It is said to come from the Norse King Haakon who was ambushed by his enemies and, having no weapon to hand, tore a tree from the earth in order to defeat his attackers. "Stand Fast" then became the motto of Haakon's family. Haakon Magnus is the "Name Father" of Clan Grant)
Slogan: "Stand Fast Craig Elachie!"
District Badenoch and Strathspey
Plant badge Scots fir
Pipe music "Craigelachie"
Gaelic name Grannd (Surname), Granndach (Singular), Na Granndaich (Collective).

The Rt. Hon. Sir James Grant of Grant
The 6th Lord Strathspey
Historic seat Castle Grant

Clan Grant is a Highland Scottish clan.




The Clan Grant connection to King Alpin of Dál Riata

The Grants are one of the clans of Siol Alpin, and descend from the 9th century Kenneth MacAlpin, King of Scots; and also of Norse origin, from settlers who are the descents of Haakon inn Riki Sigurdarsson , Jarl of Hladr, Protector of Norway ( Hakon Sigurdsson ),(c. 937 – 995), sometimes known as "the Great ", who was the defacto ruler of Norway from about 975 to 995.

The first recorded Grant was Sir Laurence le Grant who was Sherriff of Inverness in 1260. His son, John Grant was captured by the English during the Wars of Scottish Independence.[1][dead link] Members of Clan Grant have owned land in Strathspey at least since 1316, prior to that , most likely in Stratherrick, to the east of Loch Ness. In 1316, John Grant of Inverallan sold his land to John le Grant, who was father of Patrick le Grant, Lord of Stratherrick. The clan's lands in Stratherrick would later come to be controlled by Clan Fraser.

Wars of Scottish Independence

During the Wars of Scottish Independence Clan Grant were supporters of William Wallace and fought at the Battle of Dunbar (1296) where both Randolph and John de Grant were captured and imprisoned for a time. The Clan Grant later supported King Robert the Bruce and it was this support that secured their landholdings in Strathspey upon Bruce's ascent to the throne.

The taking of Castle Grant, 14th century; Originally a Comyn Clan stronghold, Clan traditions tell us that the castle was taken from the Comyns by a combined force of the Grants and MacGregors.

15th and 16th centuries

The next available reference is of Duncan le Grant in 1434, and later, Sir Duncan Grant of Freuchie (Castle Grant), who inherited land in Dulnain valley in upper Speyside from his mother, Matilda of Glencarnie. Her family had partially owned it since 1180, when Richard I of England gave Kinveachy (approximately ten miles southwest of Castle Grant) to Gilbert, 3rd Earl of Strathearn.

By the 16th century the clan and its chief had become powerful enough to play a part in national politics. Their main allies being the Clan Gordon, whose chief was the powerful Earl of Huntly.[2]

In 1535 James Grant, 3rd Laird of Freuchie was made responsible for the policing of Strathspey.[3]

In 1580 a Robert Grant defeated an English champion at a jousting tournament while on an embassy in the south.[3] Towards the end of the 16th century the Grants began to quarrel with their old allies the Gordons, over religion. The Grants being Protestant and the Gordons being Catholic.[4]

In 1586 the Earl of Huntly allied with the Clan MacDonald and Clan Cameron who both had a history of raiding the Grants lands. The Grants responded by bringing in the Clan Gregor but they came off worse in a clash at Ballindalloch.[4] By the late 16th century, Clan Grant became an important clan in the Scottish Highlands. During this period, the clan's actions resulted in the murder of the Earl of Moray and the defeat of the Earl of Argyll at the Battle of Glenlivet in 1594. The Chief of Clan Grant ordered his men to retreat as soon as the action began. This treacherous move led to the defeat of Clan Campbell of Argyll.

17th century and Civil War

In 1613 King James VII of Scotland wrote to the chief of Clan Grant complaining that he was shelteing outlaws from the Clan MacGregor. The chief responded by sending the notorious Alistair MacAllister MacGregor to Edinburgh. However, the King was not satisfied and in 1615 fined Grant 16,000 merks for protecting the MacGregors.[5]

During the Civil War Captain David Grant led his forces in support of the Covenanter forces against the Royalist forces at the Battle of Tippermuir in 1644.

In October 1645 the Clan Cameron raided the lands of the Clan Grant. The Grants gave chase catching the Camerons in the Braes of Strathdearn, where the Cameron men were defeated and many clansmen were slain.[6]

By 1651 the Scottish Covenantor Government was no longer in agreement with the English Parliament of Oliver Cromwell. Sir James Grant of Grant, 16th Chief, led the clan to fight for Charles I and the Royalists at the Battle of Worcester in 1651. Also, an alliance between Sir James Grant and the Earl of Huntly led to the annihilation of the Clan Farquharson.

After the Civil War the Clan Grant supported the British government. A force of over 600 Grants joined Colonel Livingstone who fought in support of William of Orange and defeated the Jacobites at the Battle of Cromdale in 1690. These same Grants fought against the Jacobite Grants of Glenmoriston who had fought at the Battle of Killiecrankie in 1689.[7]

18th century and Jacobite uprisings

At the Battle of Sheriffmuir in 1715, Grants fought on both sides. The British government forces won the battle with many of the Jacobites surrendering to General Grant. The Grants also helped retake Inverness from the Jacobites.(See Siege of Inverness (1715))[8] In 1715 the fighting force of the Clan Grant was given as 850 men by General George Wade.[9]

n 1725 six Independent Black Watch companies were formed to support the Government. One from Clan Grant, one from Clan Fraser, one from Clan Munro and three from Clan Campbell. The Regiment was then officially known as the Regiment of Foot.

One branch of the Clan Grant, the Grants of Glenmoriston sided with the Jacobites and fought at the Battle of Prestonpans in 1745 and are credited with winning the day due to their timely reinforcement. The Grants of Glenmoriston branch also fought as Jacobites at the Battle of Culloden in 1746. Eighty four Grants of Glenmoriston were captured at Culloden and were transported to Barbadoes, in violation of their terms of surrender and sold as slaves. .[9]

Highland clearances

Clan Grant was one of the few clans not to be affected by the Highland Clearances. The "Good Sir James" Grant (Clan Chief from 1773–1811) built the town of Grantown-on-Spey for the purpose of establishing a textile industry in the north, and for the expressed purpose of providing for his clansmen to keep them from emigrating. While other Highlanders were emigrating in the face of the changes that were sweeping away the old Highland way of life, Sir James Grant was busy building an entire new Highland town to provide for his Clan. Grantown-on-Spey is a monument to Sir James's loyalty to his clansmen.

Castle Grant, former seat of the clan

British Army Regiments

During the later part of the 18th century two regiments were raised from the Clan Grant. Firstly the "Grant or Strathspey Fencibles" in 1793 and the "97th" or "Strathspey Regiment" in 1794. The first was disbanded in 1799 and the second, was used as marines on bord Lord Howe's fleet and later drafted into other regiments in 1795.[9]



The current Chief of Clan Grant is the Rt. Hon The Lord Strathspey, Sir James Patrick Trevor Grant of Grant, Bt, 6th Baron Strathspey, 33rd hereditary Clan chief of Clan Grant.

The arms of Baron Strathspey as matriculated by the 32nd Chief in 1950 are shown above : Gules three antique crowns Or in the dexter canton Argent a saltire Azure surmounted of an inescutcheon Or charged with a lion rampant within a double tressure flory counter flory being the addition of a Nova Scotia as a baronet.


The official tartan for the Grant clan is the "1860 sett", and taken directly from the sett of Grant of Dalvey, which was declared official by Lord Strathspey, chief of the clan. The 1860 sett is used to define both the Ancient and the Modern colours, the Ancient colours being lighter and less sharp (for example, the red of the modern colours is more orange for the ancient colours). The Chief's sett is a smaller stitch count of the same sett.

Modifications of the official tartan are recognized for Grants of specific regions: the Grants of Ballindalloch and the Grants of Rothiemurchus. There is also a hunting tartan for the Grant clan, which was adapted by the Black Watch. The original tartan, with a green and blue sett was used in the military (and still is today by the Black Watch). Due to the green and black colours of the hunting tartan, one wearing a kilt with such a design would be able to blend in with his surroundings. The green and black sett was adopted by some clans as their official tartan.

Sir James Grant of Grant does not recognise the white so called 'dress' Grant tartan, and therefore it should not be counted amongst the many acknowledged Grant tartans.

  • Grant (Modern)
  • Grant (Ancient)
  • Grant (Hunting)

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ The Grants by Calum Grant. Published by Lang Syne Publishers Ltd. 1997. ISBN 185217048-4. Page 15.
  3. ^ a b The Grants by Calum Grant. Published by Lang Syne Publishers Ltd. 1997. ISBN 185217048-4. Page 13.
  4. ^ a b The Grants by Calum Grant. Published by Lang Syne Publishers Ltd. 1997. ISBN 185217048-4. Page 15 – 17.
  5. ^ The Grants by Calum Grant. Published by Lang Syne Publishers Ltd. 1997. ISBN 185217048-4. Page 18 – 19.
  6. ^ "". 
  7. ^ The Grants by Calum Grant. Published by Lang Syne Publishers Ltd. 1997. ISBN 185217048-4. Page 24.
  8. ^ The Grants by Calum Grant. Published by Lang Syne Publishers Ltd. 1997. ISBN 185217048-4. Page 28 – 30.
  9. ^ a b c "The Scottish Clans and Their Tartans”. W. & A. K. Johnston Limited. Edinburgh and London. 1886. Page 27.

External links

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