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Publication: James Bruce, Earl of Elgin and Kincardine, and family fonds add link
Issue: 1904-1908
Title: Victor Alexander Bruce, 9th Earl of Elgin
Web Link: link

Victor Alexander Bruce, 9th Earl of Elgin and 13th Earl of Kincardine was born 16 May 1849 at Montreal, the eldest son and heir of James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin and 12th Earl of Kincardine and his second wife, Lady Mary Louisa Lambton. Styled the Lord Bruce during his father's lifetime, he likewise was educated at Oxford University. Both were men of modest stature (about 5 feet 7 inches). He inherited a sense of public responsibility from both parents. Victor Alexander married Lady Constance Mary Carnegie (1853-1909), second daughter of the Earl of Southesk, on 9 November 1876. She bore him 11 children. In 1913 he married Gertrude Sherbrooke (1880-1971), who bore him a posthumous son. A man of retiring disposition, Lord Elgin initially devoted himself to the Broomhall estates, to county and Scottish affairs. His first major political appointment came in the short-lived Gladstone cabinet of 1886. Thanks largely to his management of the Liberal Party in Scotland, he was offered the post of Viceroy of India in 1893. With some reluctance, he took up the post in January 1894 and remained through 1898. Subsequently, he demonstrated considerable skill as chairman of three commissions of inquiry. Invited to join the Cabinet again in December 1905, he took office as Secretary of State for the Colonies. Having the bumptious Winston Churchill as Under-Secretary worked greatly to Elgin's disadvantage. When H H Asquith succeeded Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman as Prime Minister in April 1908, Lord Elgin was abruptly excluded from the Cabinet (but retained his seat in the House of Lords). He devoted his remaining years to local politics until his death on 18 January 1917.