Charles Colmore Grant, 7th Baron de Longueuil (1844 – 98)
Pittville has had its share of titled residents, some passing through rapidly, and others remaining for many years. According to Harper’s Cheltenham Street Directory, Alwington Villa (also known as Sligo House) was occupied in 1844 by [Irwin] Grant de Longueuil.1 The listing refers to Charles James Irwin Grant, 6th Baron de Longueuil. Longueuil is the name of a city in the province of Quebec, in Canada. Charles and his wife, Harriet Colmore, lived in Cheltenham for only a year, but during that time their son, Charles Colmore Grant was born, on 13 April 1844.
Charles Colmore Grant went on to become the 7th Baron de Longueuil, succeeding to the title on the death of his father in 1879. The title had been created in 1700, at a time when the French controlled Canada, but Charles Colmore Grant claimed the right to have it recognised within the British orders of chivalry, and his claim was recognised by Queen Victoria. On 7 December 1880 the London Gazette announced that on 4 December:
“The Queen has been graciously pleased to recognise the claim of Charles Colmore Grant Esq., to the title of Baron de Longueiul in the Province of Quebec Canada.”
At the age of 17, in 1861, Charles Colmore Grant was living with his parents and seven brothers and sisters in Walcot, Bath (he was educated at Bromsgrove School in Worcestershire), but in the 1850s the family had been back in Kingston, Ontario, where most of his siblings were born. In 1878, he had married Mary Wayne, and in 1881 the couple lived with their retinue in South Street, St George, Hanover Square, in London. Charles Grant lived in later life at Birchwood, Pitlochry, Perth and Kinross, in Scotland. He died on 13 December 1898, aged 54, in New York. On 14 December of that year the New York Times published an account of his death. It notes that he registered at the Holland House hotel on 5 December after arriving from London, and that he:
“dropped dead in the café of the hotel about 10 o’clock last night and a doctor who was called in said heart disease was the cause of death.”
Charles Colmore Grant was a cousin of the popular novelist, Grant Allen.2 He and his wife had no children and on his death he was succeeded, as 8th Baron de Longueuil, by his half-brother, Reginald Charles Grant. He is buried in the Cimetière Mont-Royal, Outremont, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Charles Colmore Grant’s grave: see creditAlthough the Grant family left Pittville in the mid 1840s, the name they gave their house, in memory of their Canadian properties, remained the name of the grand house on the corner of Prestbury and Wellington Road until 1895, when Irish surgeon Alexander Duke renamed it “Sligo House”.
1 Charles Grant de Longueuil named his house Alwington Villa after his family’s Canadian property, Alwington House, in Kingston, Ontario. See “A gazetteer of Pittville house names in the 19th century” for further information about the house name.
2 The Times (1898), 21 December p. 6.