Hugh Grant Family History

Overview

The actor Hugh John Mungo Grant was born on September 9th, 1960 in London, the second of two sons to Captain James Murray Grant and his wife Fynola.  Despite their military background, neither brother had any ambition to join the army. Hugh’s elder brother Jamie became an investment banker.  And Hugh, also a bright lad, earned a scholarship to Oxford University where he studied English Literature and began acting, although in a small way.

He appeared in various films in the 1980’s and early 1990’s before his big breakthrough came in 1994 with Four Weddings and a Funeral.  This film also established his reputation as an affable and self-deprecating gent which his audience loved.  There followed other hit roles in Notting Hill in 1999 and Bridget Jones’ Diary in 2001 and his fame was assured.

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Scottish Origins

Hugh Grant has descent from the Grants of Glenmoriston in the Scottish Highlands.  The first Laird of Glenmoriston, John “Mor” Grant, took possession of his land in 1532 and his descendants intermarried with other Highland chiefs.

These Grants backed the wrong side in the Jacobite risings of 1715 and 1745.  Their home, Invermoriston House, was burnt down each time, property forfeited, and many became fugitives.  Alexander Grant who killed an English dragoon the day after Culloden fled to America and was never heard of again.  And eighty-four Grants from Glenmoriston who fought in the battle were rounded up and transported to Barbados.

But the Grants did recover.  Invermoriston House was rebuilt a third time and the lineage continued.  James Murray Grant, born in 1792, was the eleventh Laird of Glenmoriston.  His name has recurred repeatedly amongst Hugh Grant’s military ancestors of the 19th century and even extended to his own father born in 1929.

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Grants in the Army

Hugh’s James Murray Grant forebears distinguished themselves in the army, starting in 1856 in South Africa and culminating in 1940 in the retreat from Dunkirk.

Lt. Colonel James Murray Grant, born perhaps in Ireland, married in South Africe in 1863 and served there, first with the British army and then with the Cape Mounted Riflemen.  Two of his sons were army officers in South Africa, both also with the Cape Mounted Riflemen:

  • General Ronald Charles Grant DSO who fought in the Boer War and later in the German SW Africa campaign where he was wounded and taken prisoner.
  • and his younger brother Lt. Colonel James Murray Grant.

Ronald’s son Colonel James Murray Grant DSO, known as Gunga, made his home in Inverness and joined the Seaforth Highlanders in 1918.  His decoration came from his action at St. Valery in June 1940 during the retreat from Dunkirk.  Resisting the Germans until the end, he was finally captured with his men and made a prisoner of war (and remained so until the war ended in 1945) .

His son, Hugh Grant’s father, was also an officer in the Seaforth Highlanders for eight years in Malaya and Germany.  He then ran a carpet firm, pursued hobbies such as golf and painting watercolors and raised his family in Chiswick, west London,

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Hugh Grant’s Family Tree
  • Lt. Colonel James Murray Grant (1835-1921) m. Matilda Fynn (1847-1937) in South Africa in 1863
  • – Ronald Charles Grant (1864-1951)
  • – Eric Grant (1868-1918) m. Alice Shaw
  • – James Murray Grant (1870-1950) m. Alison Rennie
  • – Euphemia Grant (b.1871) m. Herbert Place
  • General Ronald Grant from South Africa m. Mina Stewart (1867-1941)
  • – James Murray Grant (1899-1974)
  • – Mina Stewart Grant (1902-1976) m. William Gordon
  • – Marjorie Grant (b. 1905)
  • Colonel James Murray Grant m. Jessie Martin (1900-1990)
  • – James Murray Grant (b. 1929)
  • – Shonaid Grant (1937-2002) m. George Kiddell
  • Captain James Murray Grant m. Fynola MacLean (1933-2001)
  • – James (Jamie) Grant (b. 1958)
  • – Hugh Grant (b. 1960)

 

 

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