1843 William Grant born in Glasgow to James Grant, a shoe manufacturer
1861? Moved to Yokohama, Japan
1866 September – Inaugurated into the Yokohama Freemasons Lodge occupation given as a ships contractor
1866 December – departs Yokohama with the Matsui Gensui troupe – contracted to him, for whom he arranged 14 passports.
1867 February – lands in Southampton. Troupe perform at St Martin’s Hall, London, then tour France, Germany, Italy, Belgium
1867 invests in brother’s shoe business in Glasgow
1868 September – Matsui Gensui tries to claim second year of pay from William Grant, in France. Grant flees in the middle of the night.
1870 William Grant retires from partnership in brother’s business
1870 William Grant becomes proprietor of The Great Dragon Troupe in Britain
1870 Grant spends money from selling partnership on building a vessel for giving entertainments on the Rhine.
1871 January – William Grant bankrupt
1871 March – appears before Greenock bankruptcy court
1872 January – tries to abscond by joining the ship Ocean Chief as a cook and steward, intending to sail on the voyage from Clyde to Yokohama, but was apprehended before the ship set sail and kept in Paisley jail.