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SIR FREDERICK WRIGHT-BRUCE

My Paternal 3rd Cousin

Frederick William Adolphus Wright-Bruce was born on April 14th, 1814 and was the youngest of 3 sons of Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin and his second wife, Elizabeth, daughter of my cousin James Townsend Oswald of Dunnikier, Fife, Scotland.  He was born at Broomhall.

 

Frederick became a British diplomat and on February 9, 1842 he joined Lord Ashburton's mission to Washington, DC, and returned to England in September of 1842.

 

On February 9, 1844 he was appointed the Colonial Secretary of Hong Kong. Frederick held this position for a little over 2 years when, in June of 1846, he was appointed Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland.  In July of 1847 he changed positions and was appointed Consul General in Bolivia. He was further named the Charge d'Affaires of hte Oriental republic of Uruguay on August 29, 1851 and on August 3, 1853 he became agent and Consul-General in Egypt.

 

In 1857, when his brother, Lord Elgin was appointed Ambassador Extraodinary to China, he accompanied him as Principal Secretary in April, 1857. He brought home (18 September 1857) the treaty with China signed at Tientsin on 26 June 1858 and was made a C.B. on 28 September.

 

His diplomacy was appreciated by the English government and on  December 2,  1858 envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to the Xianfeng Emperor of China, On March 1, 1858, he was appointed as Chief Superintendent of British trade in China.

 

His mission was prevented from proceeding to Peking by the opposition made by the Chinese. The mission therefore returned to Shanghai, where it remained until the ratification of the treaty of 26 June 1858 at Peking on October 24, 1860. He proceeded to Peking on November 7, 1860 but withdrew to Tientsin for the winter.

 

The mission was established at Peking on 26 March 1861, but it was not until 2 April that Bruce paid a visit to Prince Gong.

 

On March 1, 1865, after the removal of Lord Lyons from Washington to Constantinople, Frederick was selected to fill the important office of British representative at Washington. He was made a Knight Commander of the Bath of the civil division on December 12,  1862 and received the grand cross of the order on  March 17, 1865.

 

He was also appointed as umpire by the commission named under the convention of 1864, concluded between the United States of America and the United States of Colombia, for the adjustment of claims of American citizens against the Colombian government.

 

He died, unmarried, in Boston, USA on  September 19, 1867. He remains were interred at Dunfermline Abbey on 8 October.