1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Glenelg, Charles Grant

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7333801911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 12 — Glenelg, Charles Grant

GLENELG, CHARLES GRANT, Baron (1778–1866), eldest son of Charles Grant (q.v.), chairman of the directors of the East India Company, was born in India on the 26th of October 1778, and was educated at Magdalene College, Cambridge, of which he became a fellow in 1802. Called to the bar in 1807, he was elected member of parliament for the Inverness burghs in 1807, and having gained some reputation as a speaker in the House of Commons, he was made a lord of the treasury in December 1813, an office which he held until August 1819, when he became secretary to the lord-lieutenant of Ireland and a privy councillor. In 1823 he was appointed vice-president of the board of trade; from September 1827 to June 1828 he was president of the board and treasurer of the navy; then joining the Whigs, he was president of the board of control under Earl Grey and Lord Melbourne from November 1830 to November 1834. At the board of control Grant was primarily responsible for the act of 1833, which altered the constitution of the government of India. In April 1835 he became secretary for war and the colonies, and was created Baron Glenelg. His term of office was a stormy one. His differences with Sir Benjamin d’Urban (q.v.), governor of Cape Colony, were serious; but more so were those with King William IV. and others over the administration of Canada. He was still secretary when the Canadian rebellion broke out in 1837; his wavering and feeble policy was fiercely attacked in parliament; he became involved in disputes with the earl of Durham, and the movement for his supercession found supporters even among his colleagues in the cabinet. In February 1839 he resigned, receiving consolation in the shape of a pension of £2000 a year. From 1818 until he was made a peer Grant represented the county of Inverness in parliament, and he has been called “the last of the Canningites.” Living mainly abroad during the concluding years of his life, he died unmarried at Cannes on the 23rd of April 1866 when his title became extinct.

Glenelg’s brother, Sir Robert Grant (1779–1838), who was third wrangler in 1801, was, like his brother, a fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge, and a barrister. From 1818 to 1834 he represented various constituencies in parliament, where he was chiefly prominent for his persistent efforts to relieve the disabilities of the Jews.[1] In June 1834 he was appointed governor of Bombay, and he died in India on the 9th of July 1838. Grant wrote a Sketch of the History of the East India Co. (1813), and is also known as a writer of hymns.

  1. Sir S. Walpole (History of England, vol. v.) is wrong in stating that Charles Grant introduced bills to remove Jewish disabilities in 1833 and 1834. They were introduced by his brother Robert.