The Battle of Culloden by Mark Churms. The panoramic view of the last battle fought on British soil, at the moment where MacBean stands in the breach in the wall.



And what of William GRANT before he farmed at the Haugh of Elchies in Speyside?

His father was William GRANT, born c.1707. It is believed that this branch of the Clan GRANT came from Glen Cearneach at the foot of the Monadhlaith mountains. There is even a suggestion that they may originally have lived in a‘castlie’ - possibly Muckrach castle (1).

And the Culloden connection? It appears to be common knowledge in Speyside, where the information was handed down orally though the family and is now recorded in at least two books, that a number of sons of this family defied the Chief of Clan GRANT’s wishes and went to fight at Culloden in April 1746 on the side of Bonnie Prince Charlie. They possibly attached themselves, with other GRANT men, to the Clan MACDONALD(2). Three of the brothers Alexander, Daniel and William (the youngest and then only 13) survived but had to be protected from the pursuing Duke of Cumberland’s dragoons and later from the excise officers who were ordered to give up the names of men who fought at Culloden. These were desperate and frightening times as the Hanoverians set out to curtail the power of the Clan Chiefs and destroy the Highland way of life. Daniel and William found shelter within the lands of Patrick GRANT, Lord Elchies who gave them a little croft on the Haugh of Elchies. As we know William farmed here and was a cattle drover before moving to Lancashire.

His brother Daniel became a farmer at Ballintomb - again alongside the River Spey. Daniel’s sons, Daniel and William came to Ramsbottom. Daniel was a manager living at Square Lodge in 1841(3). William is on the 1851 census as a manager (cotton), living in Higher Nuttall with his wife Jessie and children William and Jane, and on the 1861 census as an overlooker- cotton mill, living with his family in Winfield House, Higher Nuttall (4).

He was therefore one of five William GRANTs to live in Ramsbottom - the others being William, senior; his son William of William GRANT & Bros; William, his grandson/son of John GRANT of Nuttall Hall, who was responsible for changing the religious denomination of St Andrews Church from Presbyterian to Anglican; and his above mentioned nephew and grandnephew living in Higher Nuttall.

Alexander, (William Snr. & Daniel Snr.’s brother) the third brother returning from Culloden, was sheltered by Alexander GRANT, the Laird of Ballindalloch. To protect his identity he used the alias Alexander ‘Cearneach’. His great grandson, another William GRANT, was also a self made man who struggled from obscurity to fame. In 1886 he, with his seven sons, founded William GRANT & Sons Ltd – famously known for their Glenfiddich Malt Whisky (1).


1. Francis COLLINSON, The Life and Times of William Grant (1979: reprint 1984 Aberdeen University Press). This book is about William GRANT, founder of the malt whisky firm.
2. The Inverness Courier‘s Highlander Web Magazine- quoting from the book compiled and edited by John MACDONALD, Bloody Culloden (1995 Courier Publications)
3. Alan HITCH, GRANT of Speyside, Bury and Ramsbottom – unpublished GRANT family tree - in hands of Ramsbottom Heritage Society
4. Censuses 1851 HO 107/2212/345; 1861 RG 9/2837/85
5. Ian MACKINTOSH, local historian from Elchies - private letters

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