GRANT, Ludovick (1707-73), of Castle Grant, Elgin.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. 13 Jan. 1707, 2nd s. of Sir James Grant, 6th Bt. educ. St. Andrews and Edinburgh Univs.; adv. 1728. m. (1) 6 July 1727, Marion (d. 17 Jan 1735), da. of Sir Hew Dalrymple, 1st Bt., of North Berwick ld. pres. of court of session, 1da.; (2) 31 Oct. 1735, Lady Margaret Ogilvie, da. of James, 5th Earl of Findlater [S], 1s. 7da. suc. mother as chief of Colquhoun 1724, and fa. as 7th Bt. 16 Jan. 1747.

Offices Held

Commr. of police [S] Dec. 1737-Apr. 1741.


From 1719 Grant was known as Ludovick or Lewis Colquhoun, laird of Luss, which he inherited when his father, on becoming chief of Grant, was obliged, under the terms of an entail prohibiting the merger of Luss and Grant, to transfer the Colquhoun estates to his second son.1 While a law student at Edinburgh in 1727, he gave up his intention of standing for Glasgow Burghs after his first marriage, which connected him with a family opposed in politics to Lord Ilay, Walpole’s election manager for Scotland. Anxious to placate Ilay, who repeatedly thwarted his hopes of legal preferment, he offered the Campbells his Dunbartonshire interest at the 1734 election, during which, although permanently lamed by a riding accident, he campaigned for Ilay’s candidates in the northern counties and burghs. He himself thought of standing for Elginshire but withdrew. On the death of his elder brother in 1732, he became heir to the Grant estates, which his father made over to him in 1735, whereupon he reverted to the name of Grant. His efforts to retain possession of Luss failed when in 1737 the court of session decided the succession in favour of his next brother, James.2

Grant’s chief object was a seat on the Scotch bench. When, despite his father’s appeals to the ministry, this was denied him, his uncle Lord Lovat wrote to Ilay, 21 Jan. 1737:

I ... beg that your Lordship may seriously consider what a loss it must be to your Lordship’s interest, and what a vast mortification ... to us all, his relations and friends, if he is disappointed of this gown, since he was a candidate for the two last ones that were disposed of, and that the objection of his having been married to the President’s daughter is now entirely out of doors, since she is dead and that he is now married to the Earl of Findlater’s daughter, and that the Earl is a friend of your Lordship and to the Administration ... By preferring him now he will be of vast value to your Lordship both in town and country for he is a man of mettle, forwardness and activity.

Again unsuccessful, he left the bar in disgust, retiring to his estates to devote himself to paying off the debts incurred by his family in government service at the Revolution and in the Fifteen. He wrote to his father, 21 July 1737:

Observing that former services seem rather to be a drawback upon us in place of recommending us to the favour of the present ministry, I think it highly prudent to live retired ... Let us never be so ill treated ... no disappointment shall ever alter my zeal for the present family on the throne, although I shall not regret to see some change of our Scots ministers, if they behave to us no better than they have done.3

Unwilling to lose the Grant interest, Ilay at the end of 1737 secured the appointment of Grant to a place worth £400 p.a., which he retained until 1741 when, shortly before standing for Elginshire, he relinquished it to a kinsman, who held it for his benefit until 1761.4

Returned for Elginshire after a protracted election campaign, Grant consistently voted with the Administration, but before long was again at odds with Ilay, now Duke of Argyll. At the outbreak of the Forty-five he was ready to abandon a parliamentary career if appointed baron of the court of Exchequer of Scotland, but was warned by his brother-in-law, Lord Deskford, that he must tactfully apply to Argyll in the hope that past differences ‘would now be forgot’. ‘Making your application at the same time that you profess your zeal appears like making that a condition of the other service’. During the rebellion he gave no assistance to Sir John Cope. He reluctantly raised one independent company but did little to prevent his tenants from joining the rebels, declining to raise his clan unless they were paid. Abandoning Castle Grant at the approach of the Highland army, with whom, in his absence, his subordinates made a pact of neutrality, he did not take the field until after Culloden, when he induced his rebel tenants to surrender at discretion, but did little to mitigate the severity of their treatment. Some of the prisoners, indeed, claimed that he had had them arrested for ‘his sordid ends’, because they were his creditors: ‘as Mr. Grant likes money very well, this is a very easy method of paying his debt.’

Criticized by both Whig and Tory, Grant went to London to present a long statement to the Government in justification of his conduct.5 His arguments were unsuccessful, for at the general election Argyll, at the instance of the Pelhams, foiled his scheme to recover Inverness-shire for the Grants.6 The 2nd Lord Egmont records in his electoral survey, c.1749-50, ‘Sir Ludovick Grant will sooner be with us [Leicester House] than with them [the Pelhams], though with them too.’ Retiring from Parliament in 1761 after George III’s accession, he died 18 Mar. 1773.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Edith Lady Haden-Guest


  • 1. Sir W. Fraser, Chiefs of Grant, iii. 487-91; Chiefs of Colquhoun, i. 308-13.
  • 2. Chiefs of Grant, ii. 112-13, 299-300, 304, 323, 421-2; Chiefs of Colquhoun, i. 344, 346-7.
  • 3. Chiefs of Grant, ii. 125-6, 135-6, 346.
  • 4. Ibid. 213, 363; Cal. Treas. Bks. and Pprs. 1739-41, pp. 141, 145; 1742-5, pp. 159, 162, 180.
  • 5. Chiefs of Grant, ii. 146-268; Origins of the '45 (Sc. Hist. Soc. 2), ii. 269-309, 313-32; More Culloden Pprs. iii-v, passim; W. Mackay, Urquhart and Glenmoriston.