British soldier and historian from Scotland, who was active in British India. Born James Grant, Duff was the eldest son of John Grant of History of marathas by grant duff pdf O’Neil and Margaret Miln Duff of Eden, who died 20 August 1824. His father having died about 1799, his mother moved to Aberdeen, where he went to school, and to the Marischal College. Duff was to become a civil servant of the East India Company, but being impatient at the prospect of delay in obtaining a post he accepted a cadetship in 1805 and sailed for Bombay.
After completing the cadet training in Bombay, he joined the Bombay Grenadiers. In 1808 Duff participated as an ensign in the storming of Maliah, a fortified stronghold of freebooters, where he displayed bravery. At an unusually early age he became adjutant to his regiment and Persian interpreter, and was even more influential in it than this position indicated. While still a lieutenant he attracted the attention of Mountstuart Elphinstone, then Company resident of Poona, and became, along with Henry Pottinger, his assistant and devoted friend.
He was particularly successful in understanding the native character, and in discovering the mean between too rapid reform and too great deference to native prejudice and immobility. During the long operations against the Peshwa Bajirao II, terminating in his overthrow, Grant took a considerable part, both in a civil and in a military capacity, attaining the rank of captain in his regiment. Upon the settlement of the country he was appointed in 1818 to the important office of resident of Sattara State. His instructions are contained in a letter of Elphinstone’s, dated 8 April 1818, and his remuneration was fixed at 2000 rupees per month, with allowances of 1500 rupees per month, which was in addition to an office establishment.
Here, in the heart of a warlike province, the centre of the Mahratta confederacy, with but one European companion and a body of native infantry, he succeeded in maintaining himself in a hostile environment. By proclamation dated 11 April 1818, Elphinstone made full powers over to Grant for the arrangement of Satara’s affairs of state. Pratap Singh the Rajah was rescued from his captivity by the Maratha Peshwa, after the Battle of Ashteh in February 1819, and restored to the throne under Grant’s tutelage. By treaty of 25 September 1819, Grant was to administer the country in the Rajah’s name till 1822, and then transfer it to him and his officers when they should prove fit for the task.
Grant’s successor, General Briggs, his behaviour was unsatisfactory. During this time, Grant concluded the treaties with the Satara jagirdars, viz.