Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/353

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Grant
Grant
341

now spent the greater part of his time at House hill, Nairn, North Britain, where he died on 11 Feb. 1892.

He married on 25 July 1865 Margaret, daughter of Andrew Laurie, by whom he left two sons and three daughters. His eldest son was also attracted to African travel, and accompanied Joseph Thomson [q. v.] in his exploration of Lake Bangweolo, to the west of Lake Nyassa, and reached and mapped the head waters of the Congo and Zambesi. The younger son, when acting as a lieutenant in Lord Roberts's horse, died from wounds received on 11 Feb. 1900, in one of the engagements in the great Boer war during the advance towards the relief of Kimberley.

In appearance Grant was of remarkably fine physique, six feet two inches in height, and broad in proportion. He was possessed of great strength and power of endurance. Sir Samuel Baker described him as 'one of the most loyal, charming characters in the world, perfectly unselfish, and always ready to give to his companion in travel all the honour for the expedition' (Memoir of Sir S. Baker, p. 98). He perhaps too readily admitted that he would have been unable to carry through the object of the journey unaided (ib.), and from extreme modesty underestimated the value of his own services. The peculiar qualification which he possessed for winning the friendship of the natives was no less necessary to the success of the expedition than the spirit of leadership with which Speke was so richly endowed. A portrait of Grant by Watts is in the possession of Mrs. Grant, also a bust in marble by Davidson. A brass, with an inscription to his memory, is in the crypt of St. Paul's Cathedral.

He wrote a summary of the Speke and Grant expedition for the 'Journal of the Royal Geographical Society,' 1872, and contributed the matter for the twenty-ninth volume of the Linnean Society's publication entitled 'Botany of the Speke and Grant Expedition.' He also wrote in the 'Journal of the Geographical Society' for 1876 a paper on (Sir) H. M. Stanley's 'Exploration of the Victoria Nyanza.' His collections of dried plants are now in the Kew herbarium, and his manuscript journal is in the possession of his widow, Mrs. Grant, of House hill, Nairn.

[Times, 12 Feb. 1892; Grant's works; Journal of Royal Geographical Soc. 1892; Men and Women of the Time; information derived from family sources.]

W. C.-r.

GRANT, Sir JOHN PETER (1807–1893), of Rothiemurchus, Indian and colonial governor, born in London in November 1807, was the younger son of Sir John Peter Grant [q. v.], by his wife Jane, third daughter of William Ironside (d. 6 March 1795) of Houghton-le-Spring in Durham, and formerly fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge. He entered Eton in 1819, and Haileybury in 1825, after a session at Edinburgh University. He joined the Bengal civil service in 1828, and in the following year was posted to the north-western provinces, where he served in various subordinate appointments in the revenue department. Among the districts in which he was placed were Bareilly and Pilibhit in the province of Rohilkand, where Henry Boulderson was carrying on the settlement of the land revenue. He there acquired an insight into Indian village life and into the principles regulating the assessment and collection of the land revenue, which stood him in good stead in after years. In 1832 he was appointed an assistant in the board of revenue at Calcutta, and subsequently held various offices at the presidency, among them that of secretary to the Indian law commission, of which Lord Macaulay was president. In all these posts he made his mark, and was speedily regarded as one of the rising men in the civil service. During these earlier years he took part in an animated controversy in the public press on the question of the resumption of rent-free land tenures, which he discussed with an ability that greatly added to his reputation. From March 1841 until the autumn of 1844 Grant was absent from India on furlough. On his return he was deputed to inquire into the debts of the maharajah of Mysore, and was subsequently ordered to report upon the agency for the suppression of Meriah, or human sacrifices offered by the Khands in the hill tracts of Ganjam. Both these duties he discharged in a manner which elicited high commendation from the government of India. In 1848 he was selected by Lord Dalhousie for the post of secretary to the government of Bengal. In those days Bengal was governed directly by the governor-general, or in his absence by the senior member of the governor-general's council, acting in the capacity of deputy-governor. From 1848 to 1852 the governor-general, Lord Dalhousie, was absent in the north of India, and the deputy-governorship devolved upon General Sir John Littler, then the senior member of council, who was entirely unversed in civil affairs. During all this time Grant, as secretary, was the virtual ruler of the province, and introduced various reforms which greatly improved the administration. In 1853, after officiating for a time as foreign secretary, he became permanent