Andrew Grant (MP)

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Andrew Grant (13 June 1830 – 1924) was a Scottish merchant and Liberal politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1878 to 1885.

Early life[edit]

Grant was born in Cassell’s Place, Leith Walk, Leith, the elder of twin sons of Rev James Grant and his wife Jessie Ann Campbell of Achindoon, Argyllshire. His father was minister of South Leith Parish church and later (1854) was Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and Director of Scottish Widows from 1840 to 1890.[1][2] Grant was educated at Leith High School Edinburgh and Edinburgh University.

Business career[edit]

In 1854 Grant went to China where he lived for four years and then in 1858 went to Bombay where he joined the firm of Campbell, Mitchell & Co. He became chairman of the company and was in business there as a merchant until 1866. He was a co-founder and Fellow of the University of Bombay, twice Chairman of the Bombay Chamber of Commerce, founder member and first Chairman of the Royal Bank of India.[3]

Grant returned to Britain in 1866, establishing himself in business, in Liverpool, until his retirement, at the age of forty-two, in 1873. In 1875 took the Invermay estate at Forteviot, Perthshire, for his first country seat. Invermay was one of the many country estates of Lord Clinton, Baron Fortescue.[citation needed]

Grant was a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.[3]

Political career[edit]

In 1878, Grant was invited to stand as Liberal candidate for Leith Burghs. He was elected Member of Parliament for Leith Burghs at a by-election in 1878, holding the seat for the Liberals, with a majority of 3141. In the General Election of 1880 he was returned unopposed.[4] He represented the constituency until he retired in 1885.[5] He was a highly respected politician, who much considered the well being of his constituents.[citation needed]

Later life[edit]

In 1894 Grant rented from the Williamsons of Balgray and Lawers, the estate of Lawers, an early 19th-century house which had been remodelled and extended to the design of Richard Crighton.[citation needed] Early in 1901, the Grants took Pitcorthie in Fife, a large and elegant mansion built for George Simson of Brunton and Pitcorthie, circa 1820 and which is particularly similar in style to both Camperdown House, Dundee and Balbirnie, Markinch.[citation needed] Grant gave £10,000 towards the new building for the Edinburgh College of Art constructed between 1907 and 1909.[6]

Grant died at Pitcorthie House, on 23 October 1924 and was buried at Warriston Cemetery, Edinburgh (Compartment “B” Number 7) next to the memorials to his parents and to his brother, Colin.

His published Will in respect of his £607,000 unsettled estate, revealed that he had left in the region of £350,000 for the foundation of what he stipulated was to be known as The Andrew Grant Bequest, to benefit students of Edinburgh College of Art, in the form of travelling scholarships. The Bequest was activated in 1930, with the death of Grant’s widow, Elizabeth and has a fund of over £3.5 million today.[citation needed]


Grant married Elizabeth Ann Townsend of Glasgow in 1872.[3] She was the daughter of a pharmaceuticals distiller from Glasgow.[citation needed] Grant had an exceedingly close relationship with his twin brother, Colin Campbell, W.S., afterwards, barrister-at-law, Middle Temple, who died suddenly on 30 April 1902.[citation needed]


  1. ^ BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX OF FORMER FELLOWS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF EDINBURGH 1783 – 2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0 902 198 84 X. 
  2. ^ Church of Scotland Yearbook 1908 edition, 1933 edition, 1966 edition and 2003-04 edition ISBN 0-86153-353-4. The 1908 yearbook entries (1560-1908) were compiled by the late Rev Dr Robert W. Weir]
  3. ^ a b c Debretts House of Commons and the Judicial Bench 1881
  4. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1977]. British parliamentary election results 1832–1885 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. pp. 554–555. ISBN 0-900178-26-4. 
  5. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "L" (part 2)[self-published source][better source needed]
  6. ^ British Listed Buildings
  • Andrew Grant's Will (codicil dated 12 September 1911) Will 58 pages in total.
  • "The London Times" newspaper dated Saturday, 27 December 1924 (Wills & Bequests - Scottish Merchant's Fortune.
  • The Edinburgh College of Art - my various correspondence with the Principal and Secretary of that institution over the last decade.
  • "The Bankers' Magazine" Volume 23. .
  • "The Bankers' Magazine" 1381 Bombay Chamber of Commerce.
  • "Business Corporations in India, 1851 - 1900".
  • "Parliamentary Papers" Volume 9 by Great Britain Parliament House of Commons.
  • "The Argus" Friday, 11 November 1864 (Royal Bank of India).
  • "Who's Who of British Members of Parliament.
  • "The Bombay University Calendar For The Year 1866 - 1867.
  • Birth, Death and Marriage certificates

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Donald Robert Macgregor
Member of Parliament for Leith Burghs Succeeded by
William Jacks