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Victor Alexander Bruce, 9th Earl of Elgin, 13th Earl of Kincardine

Paternal 4th cousin

This is my 4th cousin, Victor Alexander Bruce, 9th Earl of Elgin, 13th Earl of Kincardine and the son of my other cousin, James Bruce. He bears a striking resemblance to my 1st cousin, Ken Bland, who is also a 4th cousin of Victor.

 

One of the many fascinating things about this relative is that he actually worked with Winston Churchill, the future Prime Minister of Great Britain and agruably one of the greatest figures of the 20th century.

 

Victor Alexander Bruce was born in Montreal, Canada. He was the son of James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin, who served as Governor-General of Canada, and his wife, Lady May Lousia, the daughter of John Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham.

 

Victor was educated at Glenalmond, Eton and Balliol College, Oxford.

 

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

 

Victor followed in his father's political footsteps and was made Viceroy of India in 1894. According to records, Victor did not enjoy the pomp and pagentry associated with being Viceroy and his conservative instincts were not well suited to a time of ecnomic and social unrest as was experienced in India. During his time as Viceroy, famine broke out in India claiming up to 4.5 million lives.

 

Elgin returned to England in 1899 and was made a Knight of the Garter. From 1902 to 1903 Victor was made Chairman of the commission that investigated the conduct of the Second Boer War.

 

In 1905, when the Liberals returned to power, Elgin became Secretary of the Colonies. Winston Churchill served as his Undersecretary. In this position Elgin pursued a conservative policy and opposed the generous settlement of the South African question which was proposed by Prime Minister Campbell-Bannerman. Elgin was dropped from the next government by the new Prime Minister Asquith and Elgin retired from public life in 1908.

 

The following information regarding Victor Alexander's family is borrowed from Wikipedia:

Lord Elgin married, firstly, Lady Constance Mary, daughter of James Carnegie, 9th Earl of Southesk, in 1876. They had six sons and five daughters:

Lady Elizabeth Mary Bruce (11 September 1877 – 13 May 1944)
Lady Christina Augusta Bruce (25 January 1879 – 12 September 1940)
Lady Constance Veronica Bruce (24 February 1880 – 7 July 1969)
Edward James Bruce, 10th Earl of Elgin, 14th Earl of Kincardine (9 June 1881 – 27 November 1968)
Hon. Robert Bruce (18 November 1882 – 31 October 1959)
Hon. Alexander Bruce (29 July 1884 –October 1917)
Lady Marjorie Bruce (12 December 1885 – 23 May 1901)
Colonel Hon. David Bruce (11 June 1888 – 26 August 1964)
Lady Rachel Catherine Bruce (23 February 1890 – 17 December 1964)
Captain Hon. John Bernard Bruce (9 April 1892 – 3 August 1971)
Hon. Victor Alexander Bruce (13 February 1897 – 19 December 1930)

After Lady Elgin's death in 1909 he married, secondly, Gertrud Lilian, daughter of William Sherbrooke and widow of Frederick Charles Ashley Ogilvy, in 1913. They had one son:

Hon. Bernard Bruce (12 June 1917 –1983)

Lord Elgin died at the family estate in Dunfermline in January 1917, aged sixty-seven. He was succeeded in his titles by his eldest son from his first marriage, Edward. His widow, Gertrude, later remarried. She died in February 1971.