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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


21 EIOG RAP HI GAL SKETCH E S. No. CLXXVIII. GENERAL JAMES GRANT OF BALLINDALLOCH. GENERAL GRANT entered the army as an ensign in the Royal Regiment in 1741, at the age of twenty-one, having previously applied himself to the study of the law. In 1747 he was Aide-de-camp to General St. Clair on his embassy to Vienna, to which David Hume, the historian, acted as secretary. On the journey, Hume and Sir Henry Erskine, General St. Clair’s other Aide-de-camp, quarrelled, and would not exchange words, on which occasion Captain Grant had the difficult task of keeping up the conversation, while all four travelled in the same carriage, so as to conceal from General St. Clair the terms on which the other two stood. He saw a good deal of service both in the Low Countries and in America : in the latter he held several high commands during the war. He was second in command to Lord Albemarle at the taking of the Havannah, directed the attack on the Morne Fortunbe at St. Lucia, and was afterwards Governor of East Florida, After having been for some years Governor of Dumbarton Castle, he was appointed in 1789 to the Government of that of Stirling, in the room of Lieutenant-General Mackay, and was Colonel, first of the 55th, and afterwards of the 11th Regiment of Foot. He represented the county of Sutherland in Parliament for many years, and was an intimate friend of Lord Melville and Mr. Pitt, as also of the Earls of Sutherland and Panmure! and of General Scott of Balconie. When walking one day with the last of these, Nisbet of Dirleton satirically remarked--“ There go the Imepam6Zes -an honest but a simple pair.“ General Grant was one of the most noted bow vivants of his day; and when travelling was always accompanied by his cooks. It was an established rule with him not to hazard his palate on any dish until its quality had been previously ascertained. While in command of the forces in the north of England, where he kept an open table for his military friends, he would say to his Aide-de-camp--“ Monypenny, have you ate of that dish more than once 8” If answered in the affiative, he would add-“Then be kind enough to help me.” He usuallf spent the winter in London, where the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York frequently partook of his good cheer, and where he daily entertained small and select parties. During summer he kept open house at his country residence of Ballindalloch, beautifully situated on the banks of the Spey and Avon, in Morayshire ; and spared no expense on its improvement. Some parts of the waste lands, it is said, cost him at the rate of one hundred pounds per acre ; but he used to say that he would rather “ Buy land at that rate on his own estate than at a very low one anywhere else.’’ It was a maxim
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