GRANT, Sir Ludovick, 7th Bt. (1707-73), of Castle Grant, Elgin.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Constituency

Dates

Family and Education

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

Offices Held

Commr. of police Dec. 1737-Apr. 1741.

Biography

In 1754 Sir Ludovick Grant was returned unopposed for Elginshire with the support of Administration. The place of commissioner of police he had surrendered in 1741 to be held in trust for him by a kinsman, and he was anxious to obtain further preferment. At odds with Argyll, he tried to ingratiate himself with Newcastle. But despite his subservience he received few favours. He had little influence in Parliament, where he is not known to have spoken, and was distrusted by many of his fellow Scots. His obsession with money and property involved him in frequent lawsuits and in intrigues even against relations and old friends.1

During the change of Administration Grant seems to have sat on the fence. In 1757, while counted by Newcastle among the Scots attached to himself, he was absent from the division of 2 May on the loss of Minorca. Although not prominent in the Scottish militia agitation, he was appointed to the parliamentary committee for preparing the bill, and presumably voted for it since he was not listed by Newcastle among those who might be persuaded to abstain.

As the general election approached, Grant plunged into intrigues. Lord Deskfoord warned Newcastle, 6 Mar. 1760:2

Sir Ludovick Grant is set out for London where he will have some favours to ask and I think your Grace should previously to your granting them, stipulate with him that he should give his interest in Elgin [Burghs] at next election to Mr. [Andrew] Mitchell. If this point is not fixed he may possibly give your Grace’s friends some trouble.

By this time his avarice and self-seeking had brought him into disrepute even with many of his clan, who welcomed the proposal that he should withdraw from Elginshire in favour of his son. A kinsman wrote, 24 Aug. 1760:3

Mr. Grant of Grant ... is much more esteemed in England than his father and by what I hear would have more interest were he to try ... I think the name is but in little favour at court at this time. Sir Ludovick ought either to make himself more or less respected, I am in great hopes his son will. It’s only at such times as this that he has it most in his power, but for the sake of a dirty pension he can sacrifice his interest and have no more regard paid to him than to his servant.

Sir Ludovick, having agreed to support Mitchell in Elgin Burghs, informed Newcastle of his intention to bring in his son for Elginshire. He himself proposed standing for Inverness Burghs, which Sir Alexander Grant had been nursing for years.4 Sir Alexander, however, refused to withdraw in favour of his chief, and ‘Sir Lud. with ane apology for past conduct’ eventually gave him his support.5 Sir Ludovick had earlier intended to set up his brother Francis Grant for Inverness-shire, while another brother contested Dunbartonshire. Sir Harry Erskine commented to Bute, 21 Apr. 1761:6 ‘Too great a number of one family, and especially of Grants, is what I presume your Lordship would not be solicitous to have in Parliament.’

In poor health and permanently lame from a riding accident, Sir Ludovick retired from Parliament to his estates which, with all their accumulated debts, he made over to his son in 1763. Having lost his ‘dirty pension’ by the removal of his kinsman from the Board of Police in October 1761, he sought to obtain from the Rockingham Administration the lucrative place of receiver-general of the land tax in Scotland. James Grant wrote to Newcastle, 1 Apr. 1766:7

Your Grace, knowing my father’s services to Government, his extensive interest ... in the country and his constant attachment to the principles of the present Administration, will think it proper that he should now receive some mark of his Majesty’s favour. And you will think it more proper as he has of late years, without, I am sure, deserving it, been discountenanced, which to an old and