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Peter Grant

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Inverness, Highland, UK
Death: Died in Berwick, ME, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of James Grant "the Drummer" and Agnes Grant of Lurg
Husband of Joanna Grant and 1st wife of Peter Grant
Father of Peter Grant, Jr.; William Grant; Capt. James Grant; Alexander Grant; Grizel Key and 3 others
Brother of James Grant "the Scotchman"; Deborah Knowlton and Grant

Occupation: bought land in Kittery, ME in 1659
Managed by: Jason Scott Wills
Last Updated:

About Peter Grant

The James Grant who married Elizabeth Everell was NOT his father, but he was a kinsman.

Peter Grant was captured at the Battle of Dunbar on 3 September 1650 and deported to America.

During the English Civil War, the Parliamentary Army executed King Charles I. His son Charles attempted to regain his father's throne through various invasions originating in Scotland. The Scots, although by religion in sympathy with the Parliamentarians, were loyal to the Stuart dynasty. During one of these invasions Oliver Cromwell, Protector of England, marched on the Scots. The Scots surrounded the English army at Dunbar, but General David Leslie, commander of the Scottish army, believed that the English were still in the best position. The Covenanters (leaders of the Scottish Presbyterian Church) claimed that victory had been revealed to them in a vision and ordered Gen. Leslie to attack the English, which he did on 3 September 1650. The battle lasted all day and the Scots were defeated. Ten thousand of Leslie's forces, including the whole of the Scottish foot, surrendered. 3,000 were killed. Cromwell wrote, "I do not believe that we have lost twenty men."

140 members of Clan Grant, including Peter Grant, fought for Prince Charles under the command of the Chief's brother at the Battle of Dunbar. The English pursued many remnants of the Scottish army as far as eight miles before capturing them. The English took 5,000 prisoners, placed them in the care of Sir Arthur Heselrig, and marched them 100 miles from Dunbar to Durham and Newcastle in England. Many perished on this march, and some were shot because they could not or would not march. They had little to eat for eight days. The Cathedral at Durham was converted into a prison for the prisoners. Banks wrote, "Their food consisted of Pottage made with Oatmeal, Beef and Cabbage, a full Quart at every Meal for every Prisoner. They had also Coals daily brought them, as many as made about 100 Fires both Night and Day and Straw to lie upon." Yet, 1,600 of them died in 58 days from disease and lack of medical attention to their wounds.

Of the surviving prisoners, 900 were sent to Virginia and 150 to New England. Peter Grant was among those deported to New England. They sailed on the Unity captained by Augustine Walker. The 'Unity' sailed in the winter instead of waiting for spring, so the trip was rough and the prisoners had scurvy, but all arrived safely in Boston near the end of December. The prisoners were sold as indentured servants for £20-30 each, and were expected to work off the price of their voyage for 6-8 years, then be given their freedom. The typical cost for passage across the sea was £5, so Capt. Walker made quite a profit. Peter Grant was sold to the Lynn Iron Works in Massachusetts and like his fellow prisoners probably received his first medical attention after the battle from his purchasers. In 1651 another battle for Prince Charles, the Battle of Worcester, resulted in the deportation to New England of Peter's brother, James Grant, and a kinsman of theirs, another James Grant.

In 1652 Peter was working for a sawmill in Maine, and probably recieved his freedom and £10 to start life on his own there. The Maine sawmill was in financial trouble and it is possible that the remaining Scottish prisoners were discharged from their bondage early to relieve the owners of the mill from the responsibility of feeding the laborers. In 1656 Peter was granted land in Maine and so was free by that date. He went to Boston to look for work and is known to have spent some time in Nantasket, Massachusetts. In 1657 he moved to Dover, New Hampshire and two years later was living across the line in Kittery, Maine. Unity Parish in Berwick, Maine was founded by the Scottish prisoners. The name Berwick commemorates one of the battles with the English and the name Unity the ship that carried them to America. On 6 January 1657 Peter and James Grant were among those who formed the Scots' Charitable Society for the relief of Scottish prisoners in the New World. Peter Grant was taxed at Oyster River in 1659. He bought land on 21 October 1659 from James Emery in Kittery (now South Berwick)A deposition, made 13 September 1701, calls him "upwards of 70 years old." , Maine. The deed calls him "Peter Grant, Scotsman." This 50-acre lot is on the Piscataqua River, just to the south of the Vaughn Woods State Park and contains the prominent point of land that would have been known as Peter Grant's Point.

In 1661 Peter and James Grant were ordered by a local court in Kittery to return to Scotland to their wives, indicating that both had been married at the time of their capture. They do not appear to have returned to Scotland, perhaps because they could not afford the fare, or perhaps because after 11 years their wives must have remarried, assuming them dead.

After Peter's brother James disappeared in 1663-64, Peter continued to live with his sister-in-law Joanna Ingersoll. On 10 July 1664 Peter and Joanna were taken to court for living together while unmarried. Joanna was pregnant at the time and it was believed that Peter had a wife living in Scotland. Joanna claimed that the child was her husband's, and Peter supported her, claiming that the child was not his. Peter, however, promised to care for the child. The court decided otherwise and penalised Peter £10 or 10 lashes. Under pressure from the court, Peter married his sister-in-law. Her child was born and named Elizabeth. Because of the difficulties surrounding her birth, she was raised by Peter's kinsman James Grant and his wife Elizabeth Everell, a childless couple. In his 1683 will, this kinsman left property to his foster daughter Elizabeth and to Peter's two sons. Peter's will states that he has seven children and he names them, excluding Elizabeth. Peter's son James Grant, in his will calls Elizabeth his half-sister, as she would have been through their mother.

Peter and Joanna had no children for a period of six years after their marriage. Perhaps word came from Scotland that Peter's wife there was dead or remarried, or perhaps this was the necessary time to ensure that Joanna's first husband was legally dead.

Peter Grant was listed on the original tax lists of Kittery, Maine and certainly lived there at least from 1661. A 1673/74 description of common lands in a deed includes the description "above Birch Point to Peter Grant's Point." In 1674 Peter was granted 120 acres near York Pond. In 1679 Peter and his kinsman James signed a petition to the Massachusetts government for direct government in Kittery, Maine (Maine then being part of Massachusetts). On 12 November 1679 his kinsman James died leaving Peter some clothes and tools, and Peter's son James his "fyrelock muskett, sword & belt." In 1687 Peter served on a Grand Jury. In 1683 he was trustee of Alex Cooper's will, and in 1693 he was Surveyor of Highways and Fences. On 28 December 1704 there was an abatement of taxes given to all who had suffered in recent Indian attacks and were destitute, including an abatement in the amount of 3s. for Peter Grant.

Peter Grant was a good friend of other Scots captured in battle, including Niven Agnew, James Barry and John Taylor. Agnew administered the estate of James Barry about 1676, and lived on the land that the town of Kittery had granted to Barry. Agnew's will, 16 September 1687, mentioned debts due to him from James Barry, his predecessor. He divided his property between Peter Grant and John Taylor. In the inventory of his estate is this item, "To a sword that Peter Grant did say he would give ten shillings for." Neither Barry nor Agnew married.

Toward the end of his life Peter Grant lived at Berwick, Maine. A deposition, made 13 September 1701, calls him "upwards of 70 years old" and says he had lived in Kittery for over 40 years. He made his will 19 October 1709 and mentions his wife Joanna, and children William, James, Alexander, Daniel, Grizzell, Mary and Hannah. The inventory of his estate was taken 12 March 1712 and it was valued at £216 10s. 0d. He was buried on his own land somewhere outside Berwick.

He is sometimes said to have had a wife Mary Thomas, but she was the wife of his son Peter Grant. He is also sometimes said to have married Elizabeth Agnew. I have not been able to discover the source of that information. -------------------- Peter was a Royalist soldier taken prisoner in the battle of Dunbar Sept. 3, 1650 and deported to America. -------------------- Peter Grant was born in Scotland. He and his brother James Grant were captured at the Battle of Dunbar and force marched to London, They were eventurally shipped out on board the Unity along with other prisoners , to New England. He worked for awhile at The Saugus/Lynn Iron Works and when it closed they were sent to Berwick , Maine where they worked at a lumber Mill. After being set free they resided in Maine. Both brother were married to Joanne Ingersole. James disappeared and that's when Peter married her.

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Peter Grant's Timeline

1634
1634
Inverness, Highland, UK
1649
1649
Age 15
UK
1664
November 28, 1664
Age 30
Kittery, York County, Maine
1667
1667
Age 33
1670
1670
Age 36
York, ME, USA
1671
March 23, 1671
Age 37
Kittery, ME, USA
1674
1674
Age 40
Berwick, York, Maine
1676
1676
Age 42
Berwick, ME, USA
1680
1680
Age 46
Kittery, ME, USA
1682
1682
Age 48
Berwick, York, Maine