Robert Grant (MP)

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Sir Robert Grant.

Sir Robert Grant GCH (1779–1838) was a British lawyer and politician.

He was born in India, the son of Charles Grant, chairman of the Directors of the Honourable East India Company, and younger brother of Charles Grant, later Lord Glenelg. Returning home with their father in 1790, the two brothers were entered as students of Magdalene College, Cambridge, in 1795. In 1801 Charles was fourth wrangler and senior Chancellor’s medallist; Robert was third wrangler and second Chancellor’s medallist.[1] It was a singular distinction for two brothers to be so closely associated in the honours’ list of the same year. (The senior wrangler was Henry Martyn, afterwards the famous missionary.)

Robert was called to the bar the same day as his brother, 30 January 1807, and entered on practice, becoming King’s Sergeant in the Court of the Duchy of Lancaster, and one of the Commissioners in Bankruptcy. He was elected Member of Parliament for the Elgin Burghs in 1818, and for the Inverness Burghs in 1826. The latter constituency he represented for four years. In 1830 and 1831, he was returned for Norwich, and in 1832 for Finsbury. Robert Grant was a strenuous advocate for the removal of the disabilities of the Jews, and twice carried bills on the subject through the House of Commons. They were, however, rejected in the Upper House, which did not yield on the question until 1858, twenty years after Grant’s death. In 1832 he became Judge Advocate General, and in 1834 was appointed Governor of Bombay and GCH. He died in India in 1838.

In his younger days Sir Robert published an essay on the trade and government of India, and a sketch of the early history of the British East India Company. He was the author of a volume of sacred poems, which was edited and published after his death by his brother, Lord Glenelg. This volume includes some beautiful hymns, which have found their way into modern collections. His most well known hymn, still in common usage in most hymnals today, is "O Worship the King", based on Psalm 104.

Sir Robert married Margaret, only daughter of Sir David Davidson of Cantray, with issue two sons and two daughters, namely, Sir Charles Grant, K.C.S.I, formerly a Member of Council in India; Colonel Robert Grant, R.E., Deputy Adjutant General; Sibylla Sophia, married to Granville Ryder, Esq., and Constance Charemile, who died in childhood. The Oldest Medical College in Mumbai, India; Grant Medical College is named after Sir Robert Grant. Grant Road and Grant Road Station in Mumbai (Bombay) are named after Governor Grant.

Ten years after his death, Margaret married Josceline William Percy, eldest brother of Algernon Percy, Sixth Duke of Northumberland, with issue one son, George Algernon, born in 1849, who later became Capt. and Lt. Col. of the Grenadier Guards.


  1. ^ "Grant, Robert (GRNT795R)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 

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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Patrick Milne
Member of Parliament for Elgin Burghs
Succeeded by
Archibald Farquharson
Preceded by
George Cumming
Member of Parliament for Inverness Burghs
Succeeded by
John Baillie
Preceded by
William Smith
Jonathan Peel
Member of Parliament for Norwich
With: Richard Hanbury Gurney
Succeeded by
Viscount Stormont
Sir James Scarlett
New constituency Member of Parliament for Finsbury
With: Robert Spankie
Succeeded by
Thomas Slingsby Duncombe
Robert Spankie
Legal offices
Preceded by
Sir John Beckett
Judge Advocate General
Succeeded by
Robert Cutlar Fergusson
Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Clare
Governor of Bombay
Succeeded by
Sir James Rivett-Carnac