The surname of GRANDON was derived from the Old French GRANDE - meaning great. The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. The name is also spelt GRANT, GRANDE, LE GRANDE, GRANDO and GRAN. The Clan Grant is one of the clans claiming to belong to Siol Alpine and to be descended from Kenneth MacAlpine, King of Scotland in the 9th century. In the 13th century the Grants appear as Sheriffs of Inverness and they exerted considerable influence in the north east of Scotland, and supported Wallace in his struggle. John (Grant) chief of the Clan, married the daughter of Gilbert of Glencairnie and from his elder son sprung the Grants of Freuchie. His younger son was progenitor of the Tullochgorm branch of the clan. From John Grant are descended the earls of Seafield, the Grants of Corrimony and the Grants of Glenmoriston. The Grants were consistently Royalists and took part in the notable battle on the Haughs of Cromdale which gave its name to the pipe tune made famous by being played by Piper Findlater of the Gordon Highlanders at the battle of Dargai in 1897. In the Jacobite Risings the clan supported the Hanovarian side but the Grants of Glenmoriston supported the Jacobite cause. The Grants were of Norman origin who were introduced into the North by the Bissets on their return from their exile of 1242. In England the Bissets and the Grants possessed adjoining lands in Nottinghamshire and were intermarried. In 1246 William le Grant held the manor of East Bridgeford, Scotland. The earliest reference to the name Grant connected with Scotland is that of Thomas Grant, merchant of the king of Scotland, who on the 2nd of January 1252 was deposed from his office of visor of York Castle. A notable member of the name was Count Dino GRANDI (1895-1988) the Italian politician and diplomat, one of the closest lieutenants of the Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. Born at Mordano, near Bologna, he studied law and joined the Fascist quadrumvirate during the 1922 march on Rome. He became Mussolini's foreign minister (1929-32) then Italian ambassador in London (1932-39). He was created count in 1937. For many years he lived in exile in Brazil, then returned to Italy and wrote two acclaimed books 'The Foreign Policy of Italy' and 'My Country'.
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