Grant, Alexander Cray (DNB00)

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GRANT, Sir ALEXANDER CRAY (1782–1854), civil servant, sixth baronet of Dalvey, N.B., was born at Bowring's Leigh in Devonshire on 30 Nov. 1782. He was the eldest son of Sir Alexander, the fifth baronet, and Sarah, daughter and heir of Jeremiah Cray of Ibsley, Hampshire. He was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge, where he graduated M.A. in 1806, and succeeded his father on 25 July 1825. He was for many years a prominent member of the House of Commons, to which he was first returned in 1812 for the borough of Tregony. Grant was a West India planter, and in 1810-11 had been a member of the colonial assembly of Jamaica. In the House of Commons he warmly espoused the interests of the West India proprietors, and during the session of 1816 replied to Brougham. In several subsequent sessions Grant supported the interests of the planters. In 1818 and 1820 Grant was elected for Lostwithiel, in 1826 for Aldborough, and in 1830 for Westbury. The operation of the Reform Act threw him for some years out of parliament. After having unsuccessfully contested Great Grimsby in 1835 and Honiton in 1837, he came forward for Cambridge in 1840, and was returned after a severe contest. He was re-elected for the same place in 1841, but retired from parliament in 1843. From 1826 to 1832 Grant was chairman of committees of the whole house. In 1834 he was appointed one of the members of the Indian board of control under Sir Robert Peel's administration, and held this office until the dissolution of the ministry in 1835. On resigning his seat in March 1813 he was appointed one of the commissioners for auditing the public accounts, with a salary of 1,200l. This post he retained until his death on 29 Nov. 1854. Grant was unmarried, and was succeeded in the baronetcy by his brother, Robert Innes Grant, father of Sir Alexander Grant [q. v.]

[Ann. Reg. 1854; Gent. Mag. February 1855; Hansard's Parl. Debates.]

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