Robert Grant (MP)

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Sir Robert Grant.

Sir Robert Grant GCH (1779 – 9 July 1836) was a British lawyer and politician.


Robert Grant 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]

Grant was called to the bar the same day as his brother, 30 January 1807, and entered into legal 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. He advocated 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. As governor, Grant was a law unto himself and under his rule a multitude of large-scale projects were pushed forward which were to transform the shape of British policy in the East. He was a key player in the decision to occupy Aden, which was carried out shortly after his death.[2]

He died at Dapodi, near Poona on 9 July 1838.[3]His remains are housed in the St. Mary's Church, Poona.[4]


In his younger days Grant 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 hymns; his best known hymn is "O Worship the King", based on Psalm 104.


Grant Medical College, the oldest medical college in Mumbai, India, is named after Robert Grant, as are Grant Road and Grant Road Station in the same city.


Grant married Margaret, only daughter of Sir David Davidson of Cantray, with issue two sons and two daughters:

  • 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.

Ten years after his death, Margaret married Josceline Percy, second son of the Earl of Beverley, 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.
  2. ^ R. J. Gavin, Aden Under British Rule, 1839–1967, Barnes & Noble, 1975, p. 29 and following.
  3. ^ Kulkarni, Sumitra (1995). The Satara Raj, 1818-1848: A Study in History, Administration, and Culture. Mittal Publications. p. 27. ISBN 978-8-17099-581-4.
  4. ^ "The Bombay Diocesan Trust Association Pvt. Ltd". Retrieved 19 August 2021.

Attribution Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain: The Northern Highlands in the nineteenth century (1907) by James Barron

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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Member of Parliament for Elgin Burghs
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Member of Parliament for Inverness Burghs
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Member of Parliament for Norwich
With: Richard Hanbury Gurney
Succeeded by
New constituency Member of Parliament for Finsbury
With: Robert Spankie
Succeeded by
Legal offices
Preceded by
Judge Advocate General
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by
Governor of Bombay
Succeeded by