James Hope Grant

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Sir James Grant
James Hope Grant, 1853.jpg
Gen. Sir James Grant, painted in 1853 by his brother Francis Grant
Born 22 July 1808
Died 7 March 1875
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Rank General
Commands held Commander of British Troops in China and Hong Kong
Madras Army
Aldershot Division
Battles/wars First Opium War
First Anglo-Sikh War
Indian Rebellion of 1857
Second Opium War
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Grave of General James Hope Grant

General Sir James Hope Grant GCB (22 July 1808 – 7 March 1875), British general, was the fifth and youngest son of Francis Grant of Kilgraston, Perthshire, and brother of Sir Francis Grant, President of the Royal Academy. He was uncle to Mary Grant the sculptress.

Military career[edit]

He entered the British Army in 1826 as cornet in the 9th Lancers, and became lieutenant in 1828 and captain in 1835. In 1842 he was brigade-major to Lord Saltoun in the First Opium War, and specially distinguished himself at the capture of Chinkiang, after which he received the rank of major and the CB. In the First Anglo-Sikh War of 1845–1846 he took part in the battle of Sobraon; and in the Punjab campaign of 1848–1849 he commanded the 9th Lancers, and won high reputation in the battles of Chillianwalla and Guzerat (Gujarat).[1]

He was promoted brevet lieutenant-colonel and shortly afterwards to the same substantive rank. In 1854 he became brevet-colonel, and in 1856 brigadier of cavalry. He took a leading part in the suppression of the Indian Rebellion of 1857, holding for some time the command of the cavalry division, and afterwards of a movable column of horse and foot.[1]

After rendering valuable service in the operations before Delhi and in the final assault on the city, he directed the victorious march of the cavalry and horse artillery dispatched in the direction of Cawnpore to open up communication with the commander-in-chief Sir Colin Campbell, whom he met near the Alambagh, and who raised him to the rank of brigadier-general, and placed the whole force under his command during what remained of the perilous march to Lucknow for the relief of the residency. After the retirement towards Cawnpore he greatly aided in effecting there the total rout of the rebel troops, by making a detour which threatened their rear; and following in pursuit with a flying column, he defeated them with the loss of nearly all their guns at Serai Ghat.[1]

He also took part in the operations connected with the recapture of Lucknow, shortly after which he was promoted to the rank of major-general, and appointed to the command of the force employed for the final "pacification" of India, as seen by British eyes. Before the work of "pacification" was quite completed he was created KCB. In 1859 he was appointed, with the local rank of lieutenant-general, to be Commander of British Troops in China and Hong Kong and to lead the British land forces in the united French and British expedition against China. The object of the campaign was accomplished within three months of the landing of the forces at Pei-tang (1 August 1860). The Taku Forts had been carried by assault, the Chinese defeated three times in the open and Peking occupied.[1]

For his conduct in this, which has been called the most successful and the best carried out of England's "little wars," he received the thanks of parliament and was gazetted GCB. In 1861 he was made lieutenant-general and appointed commander-in-chief of the Madras Amy; on this appointment he was automatically made a member of the Madras Legislative Council and held a seat from 1861 to 1864. On his return to England in 1865 he was made Quartermaster-General to the Forces at headquarters; and in 1870 he was transferred to the command of Aldershot Division, where he took a leading part in the reform of the educational and training systems of the forces, which followed the Franco-German War. The introduction of annual army manoeuvres was largely due to Sir James Hope Grant. In 1872 he was gazetted general.

He died in London on 7 March 1875.[1] He is buried in Grange Cemetery in Edinburgh.

In fiction[edit]

Hope Grant is featured in George McDonald Fraser's Flashman series of novels. In the novels Flashman describes Grant as being one of the most formidable soldiers of his day and the deadliest fighter alive as well as being an eccentric and 'unnerving' character. He speaks in barked one-word sentences.

References[edit]

  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 
  • Incidents in the Sepoy War of 1857-58, compiled from the Private Journal of General Sir Hope Grant, K.C.B., together with some explanatory chapters by Capt. H. Knollys, Royal Artillery, was published in 1873, and Incidents in the China War of 1860 appeared posthumously under the same editorship in 1875.
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Charles van Straubenzee
Commander of British Troops in China and Hong Kong
1860–1861
Succeeded by
Sir John Michel
Preceded by
Sir Patrick Grant
C-in-C, Madras Army
1861–1864
Succeeded by
Sir John Le Marchant
Preceded by
Sir Richard Airey
Quartermaster-General to the Forces
1865–1870
Succeeded by
Sir Frederick Haines
Preceded by
Sir James Scarlett
GOC-in-C Aldershot Division
1870 – 1875
Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Steele