Alexander Grant was born in New York on 13 September 1826, of parents whose wealth was founded on plantations in the West Indies, and died in Edinburgh on 30 November 1884. He was educated at Harrow and Oxford (Balliol College), and became a Fellow of Oriel College in 1849. After some years as a private tutor, and as an examiner for the Indian Civil Service, he went to India where he held academic posts at Madras and Bombay, and became actively involved in public affairs. From 1868 until his death he was Principal of the University of Edinburgh.
From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.