IR WILLIAM FRASER in his elaborate work on the Chiefs of Grant, from which much of this article is taken, discusses at length the possible origin of the family. It is therefore unnecessary here to repeat his arguments. Suffice it to say that the name appears in Scotland - in Morayshire - as early as 1258, when a Sir Laurence Le Grant appears as Sheriff of Inverness, and it would appear that there were others of the same surname who must have resided for some time in Morayshire.
Sir William Fraser tells also of others such as John le Grant
of Inverallan, and of other Grants of Inverallan and Stratherrick,
whom he places in chronological order, but without clearly stating
or proving from which of them is descended the present principal
family of Grant. In this article, therefore, it has been thought
best to begin with the first ancestor from whom a direct descent
can be traced.
The date of Ian Ruadh Grant's death is uncertain, but Matilda of Glencarnie died before
31 January 1434, leaving issue:- A1 DUNCAN, afterwards Sir Duncan Grant of Freuchie. The elder son, The son, The eldest son, a3. Agnes, married (contract 22 October 1520) to Donald Cameron,
younger of Lochiel, Constable of the Castle of Strone, son of the 13th Chief of Clan
Cameron and father of the 14th and 15th Chiefs. The eldest son and heir, JAMES, who succeeded .......
He was JOHN GRANT (Ian Ruadh), said to have been a knight and Sheriff of Inverness in 1434.
He was most probably the husband of Matilda of Glencarnie, the
daughter of Gilbert of Glencarnie.
Matilda is the "Bigla Comyn" of tradition, the basis of many legends.
But she was not a Comyn. She was descended from Gilbert, seventh
son of Gilbert, 3rd Earl of Strathearn, who before 1232 had received
the lands of Glencarnie from his father. Through Matilda, therefore,
the Grants claim direct descent from that Earl Malise of Strathearn
who fought at the Battle of the Standard in 1138 (the grievous
error that set father against son, brother against brother, and
initiated the destruction of Scotland's Golden Age), and who famously
promised his King that although he wore no armour, none who did
would advance beyond him.
A2 Patrick Mac Ian Roy, who is said by the Kinrara MS to have married Janet, 3rd daughter of Malcolm, 10th Chief of Mackintosh. To him, by some, is attributed the position of ancestor to the Clan Phadruig or House of Tulloch Gorm, while others say he was illegitimate. On 28 July 1473, Marjory Lude, a widow, styling herself "Lady of half the Barony of Freuchie", alienated her lands of Auchnarrows, Downan, Port and Dalfour (Dellifure) to her carnal son Patrick Grant. He is also called Reoch. He died before 2 December 1508, leaving a son surnamed Reoch, who probably is the Patrick Reoch said to have died in 1513 in a charter of apprising of 1 May 1585.
DUNCAN GRANT, Knight, the first Grant to be called "of Freuchie", was born in or before 1413. He was knighted between 1460 and 1464. On 31 January 1434-35, as Duncan le Grant, he received a precept of sasine from King James I for infefting him as lawful heir of his deceased mother Matilda of Glencarnie in the fifth part of the barony of Rothes Wiseman and Burmuckty (Barmuckity), the two Fochabers, a half of Surestown (Sheriffston), and an annual rent of two merks from the town of Thornhill, all in the sheriffdom of Elgin. He was styled "Duncan le Graunte of Fruychy" in a precept of 31 August 1453. As Sir Duncan he was retoured, first on 25 February 1464-65, and finally on 7 February 1468-69, as heir in the lands of Congash of his grandfather Gilbert of Glencairnie, who is said to have died about thirty years before. Sir Duncan died 1495, as appears from a short Latin chronicle relating to the Highlands, by James M'Gregor, Dean of Lismore, who died in 1542. It is said that he married Muriel Mackintosh, daughter of Malcolm, 10th Chief of the Mackintoshes, but the evidence points to her having married John Grant, Sir Duncan's son. Sir Duncan Grant had issue one son and two daughters:-
a1. Catherine, married, as his 3rd wife, to Lachlan Mackintosh, called "Badenoch", and was the ancestress of the Chiefs of Mackintosh. She is said also to have married Alexander Baillie of Dunain and Sheuglie.
a2. Muriel, married to Patrick Leslie of Balquhain, and had issue. She died ca. 1472.
JOHN GRANT, younger of Freuchie, who was a consenting party to a precept of his father in 1475, and an arbitrator in a dispute between the Mackintoshes and Rose of Kilravock in 1479. On 8th September 1478 he received a grant in liferent from George, Earl of Huntly, of the Earl's lands of Hermestoun, Kinrara, Gergask and others, and is there described as son and apparent heir of Duncan Grant of Freuchie. He was infeft in the lands of Inverallan in a precept dated 9 May 1482, from the superior, William Crawford of Federeth, on the resignation of Patrick Seres. It seems most probable that he is the John Mór Grant of Freuchie who is stated by the Kinrara Ms to have married Muriel Mackintosh, daughter of Malcolm, 10th Chief of the Mackintoshes. He died vitâ patris before 16 September 1483, and, according to the above-mentioned chronicle, at Kindrochat in Mar on 30 August 1482, and was buried in the cathedral church of Moray. He left issue three sons:-
A1 JOHN, who succeeded his grandfather as Laird of Freuchie.
A2 Patrick, stated to have been a twin brother of John Grant, second of Freuchie, and is claimed as the ancestor of the first family of Grants of Ballindalloch and also of the first Grants of Dalvey, afterwards of Dunlugas. Patrick Grant in Ballindalloch appears about 1520 as a prominent member of the Grant family. He acquired and held Ballindalloch from the Grants of Freuchie. On 17 February 1529-30 he bought from Robert Stewart de Clawauch the lands of half the town (ville) of Urquhart and the lands of Cantraydown in the barony of Clawauch (Clava) in the sheriffdom of Nairn. He was still alive after 8 June 1555. It is not known whom he married. He left issue.
A3 William, apparently the 3rd son of John Grant, younger of Freuchie, is named in a royal remission dated 13 February 1527, and is said to be an ancestor of the Grants of Blairfindy. He may be the same as the William Grant who witnessed a charter 6 November 1534.
JOHN GRANT, 2nd of Freuchie, called "the Red Bard" (Am Bard Ruadh). On 8 June 1483, on a precept from William Crawford of Federeth, he was infeft in the lands of Inverallan. On 16 September 1483 he received a gift from George, Earl of Huntly, of the lands of Kinrara and others, in the lordship of Badenoch, in liferent for man-rent service. On 4 January 1493-94 he had a confirmation of his lands, which were erected into the barony of Freuchie. John Grant, as early as 1488, must have acquired an interest in Urquhart, as in a dispute between the Laird of Freuchie and Alexander, Lord Gordon, the rents (270 merks) of the lands of Urquhart and Glenmoriston are stated, 28 January 1492-93, to be four years in arrear. He subsequently accepted from the Crown a lease of the lordship of Urquhart and Glenmoriston for five years from Whitsunday 1502 at the old rent of £100, of which, however, £20 a year was allowed to himself as his fee for keeping the castle. On 4 February 1498-99 the King bestowed on him the lands of Glencarnie and Ballindalloch, with the mills of the same. He purchased the lands of Nether Auchroisk in 1505 from John Nairn, the Baron of Cromdale. On 8 December 1509 he received a charter from King James IV of the barony of Urquhart. On 10 January 1512-13 he had a charter of sale from Alexander Gaderar, a burgess of Elgin, of the lands oi Auldcash, in the shire of Elgin. On All Saints' Day, 1513, Sir Donald Macdonald of Lochalsh, who had been proclaimed Lord of the Isles, invaded Urquhart, seized the castle, plundered the neighbourhood, and held the lands for three years. John Grant died on 1 May 1528, having married (contract 16 September 1484), Margaret, 4th daughter of Sir James Ogilvy of Deskford. He left issue two legitimate sons and five daughters:-
A1 JAMES, who succeeded him.
A2 John, who had a royal charter of the lands and barony of Corriemony 8 December 1509. Ancestor of the Grants of Corriemony and the Grants of Sheuglie. He is said to have married a daughter of Strachan of Culloden. He died in 1533.
a1. Margaret, married (contract 10 May and 8 November 1508) to Thomas Cumming, son and apparent heir of John Cumming of Erneside.
a2. Anne, married, about 1512, to Hugh Fraser, Master of Lovat, afterwards third Lord Fraser of Lovat, and died before 1536.
A near-contemporary scribe refers to Anne as Katherine and describes
"a pretty young widow, relict of John Haliburton of Pitcur" (Wardlaw
MS 128, 129), but Mackenzie in his History of the Frasers calls her Anne.
There are suggestions of another alliance between the Grants and the Frasers
at this time. A half-brother of Hugh, Master of Lovat, is stated in the
Polichronicon (Wardlaw MS 123) to have married "Morella Grant, the Laird
of Grant's daughter". His name is stated to be Andrew, but "he was vulgarly
called Master John; of him descended a numerous tribe" ("vulgarly" meaning
"commonly"). Mackenzie makes Andrew "Anndra Ruadh a' Chnuic"
(Red-haired Andrew of the Hill), killed at Kinlochlochy (Blar-nan-Leine),
distinct from John, who married a daughter of Grant of Freuchie. If either of
these two statements is correct, John Grant of Freuchie had another daughter,
Muriel or Morella,who married a brother of Hugh Fraser, Master of Lovat.
a4. Elizabeth, married to John Mackenzie of Kintail, and had issue.
a5. Christiana, mentioned as a creditor of her brother James in the testament of the latter, dated 1 June 1553.
a6. Another daughter is said to have been married to Hector Mackintosh, temporary Chief of the Clan Mackintosh, but no evidence of this has been found.
John Grant, 2nd of Freuchie, left also a natural son, John (called lan Mór ), ancestor of the Grants of Glenmoriston, and himself 1st of Glenmoriston. He afterwards acquired Culcabok, and died in September 1548, having married Elizabeth or Isabella, daughter of Walter Innes, and grand-daughter of Sir Robert Innes of that Ilk; he divorced her and married, 2ndly, by papal dispensation in 1544, Agnes, daughter of William Fraser, and grand-daughter of Thomas, second Lord Fraser of Lovat.
The date of Ian Ruadh Grant's death is uncertain, but Matilda of Glencarnie died before 31 January 1434, leaving issue:-
A1 DUNCAN, afterwards Sir Duncan Grant of Freuchie.
The elder son,
The eldest son,
a3. Agnes, married (contract 22 October 1520) to Donald Cameron,
younger of Lochiel, Constable of the Castle of Strone, son of the 13th Chief of Clan
Cameron and father of the 14th and 15th Chiefs.
The eldest son and heir, JAMES, who succeeded .......
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