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Major-General Robert Bruce

Paternal 3rd Cousin

Robert Bruce, born on March 15th, 1813 (the Ides of March) in Fifeshire, Scotland, was the son of my 2nd cousin, Elizabeth Oswald and her husband, General Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin & 11th Earl of Kincardine. He was also the brother of Augusta Frederica Elizabeth Bruce.

On June 18, 1830 at the age of 17, Robert entered the military with a purchase of a commission as an ensign and lieutenant in the Grenadier Guards. Purchasing a military commission was commonplace in the 18th and 19th centuries in Britain.

In 1833 Robert purchased a promotion to captain. He served as adjutant of his regiment from May 28, 1835 until July of 1836, and then on the staff of Sir Edward Blakeney, the Commander-in-Chief in Ireland.

From 1841-1846, Robert served as military secretary to his brother, Lord Elgin, who was Governor of Jamaica at that time. He again acted as military secretary to his brother when Lord Elgin served as Governor General of Canada from 1847-1854.

At the end of his brother's tenure as Governor General of Canada, Robert returned to England.

In 1858 Robert was appointed as Governor to the then 17 year old Prince of Wales, HRH Edward, who later became King Edward VII. Robert accompanied the Prince of Wales during the Prince's time at Christ Church, Oxford and Trinity College, Cambridge between 1859 and 1861. Robert also accompanied the prince on his travels to Rome, Canada and the United States in 1859 and 1860.

On December 7, 1859, Robert was promoted to the rank of Major-General. 

In 1862, during a trip with the Prince of Wales to the Near East, he caught a fever and became ill. Robert died at St. James's Palace in the rooms of his sister, Lady Augusta Frederica Bruce.

In 1866, Robert's wife, Katherine Mary (nee Shaw-Stewart) was appointed as a Woman of the Bedchamber to Her Majesty, Queen Victoria, and was a Lady of the Order of Victoria and Albert.

Shown below is a screenshot of the 1861 England Census showing the Royal Family followed by others including my cousin  Augusta Frederica Bruce, my cousin Robert Bruce and his wife Mary.