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James Grant (minister)

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James Grant (minister)

Very Rev James Grant DD FRSE DCL (1800-1890) was one of Scotland's most important and influential ministers. Combining his religious skills with business skills he was also Director of Scottish Widows for an outstanding 50 years (1840 to 1890) and Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1854.



He was born in the manse at Portmoak on the northern edge of Loch Leven on 23 January 1800, the son of Rev Andrew Grant, minister of Portmoak. He attended the High School in Edinburgh then studied Divinity at Edinburgh University. He was licensed as a minister in 1822 and ordained in 1824. His first ministry was South Leith, on the Kirkgate where he stayed 1824 until 1843.

Glasgow University awarded him an honorary doctorate (DD) in 1842. In 1843 he moved to St Mary's Parish Church in Edinburgh, and stayed there until retiral in 1871. During this period he was chosen as Moderator of the entire church in 1854. Oxford University awarded him an honorary doctorate (DCL) immediately after. He then lived at 11 Northumberland Street in Edinburgh's Second New Town.

In 1851 he had been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, his proposer being John Russell.

He died on 28 July 1890. He is buried in Warriston Cemetery with his wife. Their son is buried alongside.


In 1826 he married Jessie Anne Campbell of Achindoon (d.1881) a widow. They originally set up home at 3 Cassels Place in Leith, the harbour district of Edinburgh. The house forms part of the Georgian terrace at the foot of Leith Walk.

Their son was Andrew Grant (MP) (1830-1924).

Other Roles of Note

  • Honorary Chaplain of the Highland Society (1828)
  • Chaplain of the Highland and Agricultural Society (1840-1890)
  • Honorary Chaplain of the Harveian Society of Edinburgh (1844-1890)
  • References

    James Grant (minister) Wikipedia

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