Grant, Wm., Lord Prestongrange

Biography: Judge and M.P. Bapt. 1701. Admitted Middle Temple 1721 and Faculty of Advocates 1722. Appointed procurator for the Church of Scotland and principal clerk of its assembly 1731-47. Solicitor-general 1737-42. Wholeheartedly supported the Hanoverians in the rising of 1745. Appointed Lord Advocate 1746-54 a role which was political as well as legal, as there was no Secretary of State at the time. Bought the estate of Prestongrange, Haddingtonshire (East Lothian), 1746. Elected M.P. for the Elgin burghs 1747-54. Took a major role in drafting statutes which struck at traditional culture in the Highlands, and also in the prosecution of rebels. Involved in the highly irregular trial of Alan Breck Stewart for art and part involvement in the murder of Colin Campbell. Appointed ordinary Lord of Session (Lord Prestongrange) 1754, after resigning his post as Lord Advocate and his parliamentary seat. Registered his coat of arms 1759. Died Bath, 1764, buried at Prestonpans, Haddingtonshire. Renowned for his stinginess - there is a tale of him giving a beggar a gold coin and sending his servant to get it back when his mistake was pointed out. Portrayed in Robert Louis Stevenson's Catriona, a romanticised version of Alan Breck Stewart's life.

Biography Date: 1700/01-1764

Biography References: LOC; CERL;


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