GRANT, Charles

GRANT, Charles (Gaelic Teàrlach Grannd). Aldourie, Inverness-shire 16.4.1746 — London 31.10.1823. British (Scottish) Politician interested in Indian Affairs. Son of Alexander Grant, who was killed on his birthday, fighting for the Jacobites against British Crown, and Margaret Macbean. In 1767 went to India and eventually rose to superintendent of E.I.C.’s trade in Bengal, also collected fortune in silk industry. From 1787 member of Company’s Board of Trade. Having lost two children to smallpox he turned to religion. Returned to the U.K. in 1790, from 1802 M.P. for Inverness, from 1804 member of Company’s Court of Directors, soon its chairman. Married, father of —> Robert Grant. —> James Grant was his cousin.

He was abolutionist and a champion of social reforms and Christian mission in India. He saw Indian civilization barbarous and its religion degrading and strongly opposed to all Oriental studies. According to him, despotism together with oppressive legislature and religion have caused the supposed complete moral depravity of Hindu population. The remedy for all this was extensive Anglicization and Christinization. Unfortunately, his book was very influential. Founder of the East India College in Hertford (then Haileybury).

Publications: Observations on the State of Society among the Asiatic Subjects of Great Britain, particularly with respect to morals; and on the means of improving it. Written 1792, printed 1796, as book in 1813, new ed. 1833.

Sources: *A. Embree, Charles Grant and British Rule in India. 1962; Trautmann 1997, 101-117; Wikipedia with portrait;

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