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The Right Honourable
 The Earl of Elgin 
KG, GCSI, GCIE, PC


In office
11 October 1894 – 6 January 1899
Monarch Victoria
Preceded by The Marquess of Lansdowne
Succeeded by The Lord Curzon of Kedleston

Born 16 May 1849 (2010-01-14T13:54:49)
Montreal, Canada
Died 18 January 1917 (2010-01-14T13:54:50)
Dunfermline, Fife
Nationality British
Political party Liberal
Alma mater Balliol College, Oxford

Victor Alexander Bruce, 9th Earl of Elgin, 13th Earl of Kincardine, KG, GCSI, GCIE, PC (16 May 1849–18 January 1917), known as Lord Bruce until 1863, was a British statesman who served as Viceroy of India from 1894 to 1899.

Contents

Background and education

Elgin was born in Montreal, Canada, the son of James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin, who served as Governor-General of Canada at the time, and his wife Lady Mary Louisa, daughter of John Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham. He was educated at Glenalmond, Eton and Balliol College, Oxford.

Political career

Elgin entered politics as a Liberal, serving as Treasurer of the Household and as First Commissioner of Works under William Gladstone in 1886.

Viceroy of India

Following in his father's footsteps, Elgin was made Viceroy of India in 1894. His viceroyalty was not a particularly notable one. Elgin himself did not enjoy the pomp and ceremony associated with the viceroyalty, and his conservative instincts were not well suited to a time of economic and social unrest. During his time as viceroy, famine broke out in India, in which Elgin admitted up to 4. 5 million people died. Other estimates put the death toll at 11 million.[1]

Return to England

He returned to England in 1899 and was made a Knight of the Garter. From 1902 to 1903, Elgin was made chairman of the commission that investigated the conduct of the Second Boer War. When the Liberals returned to power in 1905, Elgin became Secretary of State for the Colonies (with Winston Churchill as his Under-Secretary). As colonial secretary, he pursued a conservative policy, and opposed the generous settlement of the South African question proposed by Prime Minister Campbell-Bannerman, which was enacted more in spite of the Colonial Secretary's opposition than due to his efforts. Elgin retired from public life in 1908.

Family

The Earl of Elgin at his private estate in Scotland, 1889.

Lord Elgin married firstly Lady Constance Mary, daughter of James Carnegie, 9th Earl of Southesk, in 1876. They had six sons and five daughters. After her death in 1909 he married secondly Gertrud Lilian, daughter of William Sherbrooke and widow of Frederick Charles Ashley Ogilvy, in 1913. They had one who, who was born posthumously in 1917. Lord Elgin died at the family estate in Dunfermline in January 1917, aged 67. He was succeeded in his titles by his eldest son from his first marriage, Edward. The Countess of Elgin later remarried and died in February 1971.

The children of Lord Elgin and his first wife the Lady Constance Mary Carnegie were:

  • The Lady Elizabeth Mary Bruce (11th September 1877-13th May 1944)
  • The Lady Christina Augusta Bruce (25th January 1879-12th September 1940)
  • The Lady Constance Veronica Bruce (24th February 1880-7th July 1969)
  • Edward James Bruce, 10th Earl of Elgin
  • The Hon. Robert Bruce (18th November 1882-31st October 1959)
  • The Hon. Alexander Bruce (29th July 1884-October 1917)
  • The Lady Marjorie Bruce (12th December 1885-23rd May 1901)
  • Colonel Hon. David Bruce (11th June 1888-26th August 1964)
  • The Lady Rachel Catherine Bruce (23rd February 1890-17th December 1964)
  • Captain Hon. John Bernard Bruce (9th April 1892-3rd August 1971)
  • Hon. Victor Alexander Bruce (13th February 1897-19th December 1930)

Lord Elgin had one son with his second wife Gertrude Lilian Sherbrooke:

  • Hon. Bernard Bruce (12th June 1917-1983)

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Davis, Mike. Late Victorian Holocausts. 1. Verso, 2000. ISBN 1859847390 pg 158

References

Political offices
Preceded by
Viscount Folkestone
Treasurer of the Household
1886
Succeeded by
Viscount Folkestone
Preceded by
Albert Morley
First Commissioner of Works
1886
Succeeded by
David Plunkett
Preceded by
Alfred Lyttelton
Secretary of State for the Colonies
1905–1908
Succeeded by
The Earl of Crewe
Government offices
Preceded by
The Marquess of Lansdowne
Viceroy of India
1894–1899
Succeeded by
The Lord Curzon of Kedleston
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Sir Robert Anstruther
Lord Lieutenant of Fife
1886–1917
Succeeded by
Sir William Robertson
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
James Bruce
Earl of Elgin
1863–1917
Succeeded by
Edward James Bruce
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