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Sir Alexander Grant


1826 - 1884

Administrator and educationalist. Born in New York into a Scottish family, Grant was in the raised in the West Indies and educated at Harrow and Balliol College, Oxford. He succeeded to the Grant baronetcy in 1856, and went to India three years later as Inspector of Schools, based in Madras. The following year he was appointed Professor of History and Political Economy at Elphinstone College, Bombay. He became Principal in 1862 and went on to serve as Vice-Chancellor of Bombay University (1863-68). He was appointed Principal in the University of Edinburgh in 1868 and was to occupy that position until his sudden death. He was responsible for expanding the university, in particular the building of a new medical school, next to the Royal Infirmary at Lauriston Place in the 1870s.

His works include the Ethics of Aristotle (1857) and The Story of the University of Edinburgh during its first Three Hundred Years (1884). He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and received honorary degrees from Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Grant House in the University's Pollock Halls of Residence was named in his honour.


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