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"Stand Fast, Craig Elachie" (pronounced "K-ray-g-El-uh-khee"), is the war-cry of the Clan; this was used to rally the Grants to arms from a burning beacon at the summit of Craig Elachie, a high hill in Strathspey near the town of Aviemoire. They would assemble for battle in distinctive red and green tartan, the Grants being the first clan to adopt a common tartan. Later, the green and blue hunting tartan of the Grants became famous as the "Black Watch" tartan, used by the regiment that was co-founded by a Grant, and which had many Grants among its original men.

Our people come from two great glens of the Highlands: Strathspey and Glenurquhart. The first recorded Clan Chief was Sir Lawrence le Grant in the year 1263. The Present Clan Chief, Lord Strathspey, 33rd Chief of Grant, is his direct descendant.

The Strathspey seat of the Clan was Castle Grant near Grantown-on-Spey. The Grants of Glen Urquhart and Glen Moriston are associated with the awesome Castle Urquhart which overlooks Loch Ness at the very spot where the Monster is often claimed to have been sighted.

For more details on the history of Clan Grant, check out the excellent information on our sister society's site, the Clan Grant Society of the U.K. or check out the new Clan Grant History site run by clan researchers and historians in the U.K.

Some notable historic facts about Clan Grant:

  • Clan Grant was the first clan to adopt a common "clan tartan". An edict of the Chief of Grant in 1704-5 specified that all clansmen appearing before him should appear in tartan that was "red and green...broad springed". The same as Clan Grant wears today.

  • The tartan known as "The Black Watch" was originally a Grant tartan (the Clan supposedly has the reciepts for the original order of the tartan material!). This famous tartan, one of a handful considered to be a "national" tartan for Scotland, was thus a Grant tartan before being adopted by the entire Black Watch regiment. Clan Grant officially has "The Black Watch" as their "Hunting" tartan for this reason. Many other clans, such as the Campbells, wear the Black Watch or slight variations (minor variants in thread count from some mills) as their Dress tartan. Though other clans claim to have provided the regiment with the tartan after which the regiment is now named, it was, indeed, a Grant tartan which the regiment adopted as its own. Some clans use the Black Watch sett as the base design for their Dress tartan and simply add a colored stripe to the overall sett.

  • Clan Grant was one of the few clans not to be affected by the Highland Clearances. The "Good Sir James" Grant (Clan Chief from 1773-1811) built the town of Grantown-on-Spey for the purpose of establishing a textile industry in the north, and for the expressed purpose of providing for his clansmen to keep them from emigrating. While other Highlanders were emigrating in the face of the changes that were sweeping away the old Highland way of life, Sir James Grant was busy building an entire new Highland town to provide for his Clan. Grantown-on-Spey is a monument to Sir James's loyalty to his clansmen.

  • Clan Grant was the last clan ever to be raised by the "Fiery Cross".

    During a hostile election in 1820, the Chief of Grant and his sister (along with their retainers) became virtually imprisoned in their residence in Elgin by locals who supported an opposing candidate (the Chief's brother supported his opponent). The locals of the town grew increasingly hostile until finally they surrounded the residence of the Chief. The Chief (who was bed-ridden at the time) and his sister, along with the other residents of the house, felt it unsafe to venture out of the resdience, and were trapped. The Chief's sister (a lady of renowned beauty) sent out a note to the men of Strathspey via a young boy, pleading with them to come to their aid. The loyalty of the clansmen to their Chief, and their outrage at the afront to a lady of the Clan, was so great, that the clansmen immediately sent round the Fiery Cross. Within hours over 800 Grant clansmen had rallied and began to march on Elgin (singing Psalms since it was a Sunday). Upon seeing the approaching Grants, roused to high fury, the terrified citizenry of Elgin who had surrounded the Chief's residence quickly melted away and the mayor had to plead with them to keep them from causing any damage to the town. The Chief's sister greeted the Strathspey men at the gates of the house, to thank them personally. Honor satisified and the threat having vanished, the men then marched back to Strathspey without having caused any damage to the village. Called "The Raid on Elgin", this incident was the last time any Highland clan was raised to battle by the "Fiery Cross".

Through the years, other families affiliated with the Grants and are considered full clansmen. A partial list follows, spelling is not critical. Inquire if your name is not shown. For more information on the sept names, read the article on the Septs of Clan Grant!

  • Allan
  • Allen
  • Allanson
  • Bisset(t)
  • Biset
  • Bizet
  • Bowie
  • Buie
  • Gilroy
  • MacAllan
  • MacAllen
  • MacCallan
  • MacElroy
  • MacGilroy
  • MacHurron
  • MacIlroy
  • MacKerran
  • MacKerron
  • MacKiaran
  • Pratt
  • Suttie
  • More of Drumchork
  • Allan of Rhynagairn
  • The family of Cairns (Kearns, Carnes, etc) wears the Grant tartan out of friendship and is welcome to join the society!

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