Grant Rev Peter

Grant Rev Peter

Male 1796 - 1864

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  • Born  1796 
    Gender  Male 
    Died  4 Jun 1864  Sanday, Isle of Eigg Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID  I99  My Genealogy
    Last Modified  24 Sep 2013 

    Father  Grant George 
    Mother  McInroy Christine,   b. 22 Jan 1770, Dunkeld, Perthshire Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  3 Dec 1794 
    Family ID  F101  Group Sheet

    Family  Smith Isabella,   b. 27 May 1811, Inveravon, Banff, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Nov 1865 
    Married  26 Aug 1830  Parish of Inveravon Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
    >1. Grant Lt. Col. George,   b. 6 Aug 1834, Banff Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Oct 1911, Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. Grant Christina,   b. 20 Jan 1837, Inveravon, Banff Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Nov 1922
     3. Grant William,   b. 5 Mar 1841, Inveravon, Banff Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Oct 1894
     4. Grant Isabella,   b. 1846,   d. 26 Nov 1939, Ringwood in Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified  24 Nov 2012 
    Family ID  F38  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 26 Aug 1830 - Parish of Inveravon Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 4 Jun 1864 - Sanday, Isle of Eigg Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos

    » Slide Show
    the Manse on Eigg where the Small Isles Minister lived with his family, falling into disrepare
    the Manse on Eigg where the Small Isles Minister lived with his family, falling into disrepare
    Copyright Mary Miers
    The Manse on the Isle of Eigg
    The Manse on the Isle of Eigg
    Eigg Manse viewed from behind with a view over to the mainland. It was built in 1790 and then extended in the 1889 so that was probably when the two wings were added, after the Grant family lived there. It's now derelict inside, and is in a bad state of repair, having been held on to by the last owner of Eigg, Schellenburg, for about 20 years and since sold to an absentee crocter on the island who stores farm equipment in the ground floor.
    Church built on Eigg in 1862 when Peter Grant was minister.
    Church built on Eigg in 1862 when Peter Grant was minister.
    Peter Grant as the minister from 1848 must have been responsible for this first and only Church of Scotland building. He died two years after it was completed so would have preached in Gaelic and English in it till he died. Before the church was built the school, which is less than half a mile away, was used for services. Since the Parish of the small Isles no longer exists the church is only seldom used when the minister from Mallaig visits, since there is no minister on any of the Small Isles today.
    The grave of Peter Grant on the Isle of Eigg.
    The grave of Peter Grant on the Isle of Eigg.
    It lies at the south end of the Church on Eigg which he had built. It faces over the manse to the bay where he would often have sailed from to fish, to chase basking sharks and to minister to his parish in the other nearby islands of Rhum, Muck and Canna.
    Inside the church on Eigg
    Inside the church on Eigg
    This is the view of the pulpit from the back of the small church which Peter Grant had built in 1862 on the Isle of Eigg. He would have preached in Gaelic and English (the English service followed the Gaelic on a Sunday according to a visitor at the time, and together lasted 3 hours. The first service was probably attended by the islanders and the second by the 3 or 4 leading families on the island who spoke English)
    view from the church gate, Isle of Eigg
    view from the church gate, Isle of Eigg
    This is the view the parishioners would have had as they left the church, over across the Glebe barn (glebe land belonged to the Minister) which is visible, and which is 50 metres to the left of the Manse, and over to the mainland.
    It's also the view the grave of Peter Grant has.
    Communion cups engraved 'Parish of the small Isles 1845'
    Communion cups engraved 'Parish of the small Isles 1845'
    A photo of the communion cups and jug, which hangs in the church porch, Isle of Eigg. The inscription on them says 'Parish of the small Isles 1845', and so these would have been used by Peter Grant when he became minister in 1848. He had sail between the 4 small isles in all weathers as the minister, which is no doubt why they're a bit battered looking.
    view of the central staircase inside the now derelict Manse on Eigg
    view of the central staircase inside the now derelict Manse on Eigg
    taken from the top floor
    view of the ground floor inside the now derelict Manse on Eigg
    view of the ground floor inside the now derelict Manse on Eigg
    the Manse is now owned by an absentee crofter on the island who uses the ground floor to store farm equipment.
    The school on the Isle of Eigg, used for church services by Peter Grant until 1862
    The school on the Isle of Eigg, used for church services by Peter Grant until 1862
    This school was built in 1829 and was used on Sundays for services in Gaeilic and English until Peter Grant had the Church built in 1862. So he would have spent at least 3 hours on Sundays here between 1848 and 1862, when not ministering on the other Small Isles.
    Isle of Eigg Manse from the front
    Isle of Eigg Manse from the front
    It was built in 1790 and then extended in the 1889 so that was probably when the two wings were added, after the Grant family lived there. It's now derelict inside, and is in a bad state of repair, having been held on to by the last owner of Eigg, Schellenburg, for about 20 years and since sold to an absentee crocter on the island who stores farm equipment in the ground floor.
    Celtic cross
    Celtic cross
    1851 Census record for Peter and Isabella Grant in the Small Isles
    1851 Census record for Peter and Isabella Grant in the Small Isles
    1841 Census record for Peter and Isabella Grant
    1841 Census record for Peter and Isabella Grant
    1861 Census for Isabella Grant and family (Peter not there)
    1861 Census for Isabella Grant and family (Peter not there)

  • Notes 
    • Peter was a highlander, the son of a writer. His first job was as a school teacher in Glenlivet in the Cairngorms. It was here that he got married to Isabella, and they had 4 children before he decided to become a priest.
      He joined the Church of Scotland, and became Minister, spending the rest of his life in the West of the Highlands in charge of the Small Isles parish based on the island of Eigg. His parish was made up of 5 islands and so he would have spent a lot of time sailing. He was also minister during a time of great change in terms of the Highland Clearances which affected all the islands in his parish.

      Peter came as the minister to the island after a period of considerable religious instability. The minister two before him was dismissed for fornication and drunkeness (he didn't help his case by turning up at his church court hearing blind drunk). The next minister, Rev Swanson, who preceded Peter 1838-47 joined the evangelical Free Church movement after the Disruption of 1843 in the Church if Scotland. He was popular with the locals because the Free church movement's anti establishment pro-poor stance at a time of great hardship in the Highlands chimed with the population, and all but 3 parishioners from the Protestant community joined him. Quite how Peter Grant then went about returning them to the established church when he arrived is unclear. There was also a catholic priest in the island who ministered to his own flock.

      Peter Grant was a Gaelic and English speaker, giving services in both languages every Sunday, and was responsible for getting the Established Church of Scotland church built on Eigg in 1862 (prior to that the schoolhouse was used for services), beside which he's buried.

      +++++++++

      He is mentioned in a history of the island called 'Eigg - the story of an island' in the following passages, which give us a rare glimpse of his character.

      "Fishing on Eigg was lagging far behind Muck where the new owner, Captain Swinburne had established a salt depot and equipped the islanders with smacks capable of fishing Rockall, but it was catching up, especially since the arrival of Rev Grant and his son to the parish in 1848. Grant added to his income by catching basking sharks, and island tradition recalls how in the summer months the minister's smack would often be seen to divert it's course in pursuit of a shark whilst on its way to a church service in the other islands! George Grant the minister's eldest son, who had retired to Eigg from the Indian Medical Service, was now employing a crew of islanders to catch herring and gurnard on long lines. Fish were so plentiful that in one afternoon George Grant and two others managed to catch 494 gurnards with only 3 hooks!...

      ...The Edgeworth diaries made much of the polite social intercourse between the MacPhersons and their tenant farmers: The MacLeans in Kiell, as Kildonan was then called, the Stewarts at Laig, the minister and his family. The schoolmaster and the priest were also guests at Neag na Feannaig where 'reeling in the parlour' provided an agreeable distraction from reading novels and studying botany, when the young Grants occasionally dropped in with a fiddler...

      ...Great improvements were noticed on the glebe: 'capital oats in the morass Revd Grant had been draining, and all the ground up to it also except the rocks beautifully cultivated...

      ...Church services were held in the schoolhouse, the English service following the Gaelic one before the start of Sunday school in the afternoon, Edgeworth marvelling how the minister could bear three hours of preaching at a time...From 1862 onwards, services were held in the new church built out of local freestone..."

      source: P.88-89 'Eigg the story of an island' by Camille Dressler, 1998, Polygon, Edinburgh.

      Some background notes on the extracts from the Eigg book:
      - The large MacPherson family (whose father had bought Eigg off the hereditary and debt-ridden ClanRanalds) might have been responsible for George Grant's interest in India since many of them served in the army, medical service and civil service there, and often came back to Eigg from India on leave.
      - one can imagine that the 4 Grant children, 2 girls and 2 boys, would have made a welcome addition to any dance.
      - the extract above says George Grant retired to Eigg after serving with the Indian Medical Service, but census records show him and his family living in London, so perhaps they continued to holiday in Eigg, hence the mention of fishing. Certainly George's obituary mentions how he and his brother a William loved to sail in the Small Isles throughout their lives (see George Grant's record). This affection is shown by the fact that both of them have commemoration plaques in the church on Eigg.
      - From the 1840s to mid 1850s the population of Eigg dropped from about 540 to around 300 due to voluntary and 'assisted' emigration and the clearing of some townships. This happened during a mixture of changing farming methods across Britain, the potato famine which gripped the Highlands from 1847-54 and the pressures of population expansion & subdivision of crofts which affected the whole West Highland region.

      ++++++++

      Entry in the record of Scottish Ministers:
      'Small Isles or Eigg and Canna'

      1848 PETER GRANT born 1796 son of George G., writer, and Christine McRoy; schoolmaster at Glenlivet; pres. by Queen Victoria 12th Oct. 1847; adm 20th April 1848; died 4th June 1864.
      He marr. Isabella Smith, who died 16th Nov. 1865, aged 54, and had issue? William, CE born 1841, died 28th Oct. 1894;
      Christian, born 1837, died 17th Nov. 1922; George, brigade surgeon, lieut. -colonel in the Indian Medical Service; Isabella (marr. John Grant Robertson, I.C.S.).
      [the next minister starts 1864 so Peter must have died in office on Eigg]

      source: Fasti Ecclesiĉ Scoticanĉ: the Succession of Ministers in the Church of Scotland from the Reformation (1915-), Scott, Hew, vol. 7 p. 178
      http://archive.org/stream/fastiecclesiaesc00scot#page/176/mode/2up

      +++++++

      The evidence of Peter Grant being a schoolmaster in Glenlivet comes from his marriage record and the 1841 Census record:

      Marriage Record 1830:
      Inveravon Parish
      'The 26th day of August 1830, Mr Peter Grant, Schoolmaster in Tomvoulin and Isabella Smith in Upper Drumin were married.'

      1841 Census record:
      Peter Grant, age 40, teacher, lives with Isabella Grant, age 30, in Tamvoulen in the Parish of Inveravon, Banff.
      Living with them are children George age 6, Christina age 4, William age 3 months.

      ++++++

      1851 Census record:
      The Manse, 'Sanderag'[Kildonan village], Small Isles Record:
      Peter Grant, (age indecipherable), established minister, born Edinburgh, lives with his wife Isabella age 38, born Banffshire.
      Living with them are son William age 10 'at school', and daughter Isabella age 4.
      There are also 4 young servants living with them - a farm servant, herd, and two house servants.

      +++++++++

      Record of Death 1864:
      Small Isles Parish
      Peter Grant, Clergyman (married), died June 6th 7pm at Sanday on Eigg, age 67.
      Father, George Grant, Writer
      Mother Christina Grant, maiden name Roy.
      Cause of death "contraction of the...(illegible)"

      He is buried at the south end of the Church facing over the Manse to the bay where he would often have set sail from on his shark hunting, fishing and ministering voyages.


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