Below you will find a list of Elgin family members and other relatives who are featured in the Lord Elgin Collection. Each entry includes a brief biographical note, an image (a related photograph or artifact), and a link to additional biographical information about the person in the MIKAN database or the Dictionary of Canadian.
James Bruce, Earl of Elgin and Kincardine, and his son, Victor Alexander Bruce, ca. 1858
James Bruce (1811–1863), 8th Earl of Elgin and 12th Earl of Kincardine, implemented responsible government in the Province of Canada, transferring executive and legislative powers to Canada during his pivotal years as Governor-in-Chief from 1847 to 1854. He also refined the role of Governor General of British North America by promoting intercolonial co-operation and negotiating the Reciprocity Treaty of 1854 on behalf of all the colonies. Biography in MIKAN and the Dictionary of Canadian Biography.
Lady Mary and Lady Emily Lambton, by Katherine Jane Ellice, 1838
Lady Mary Louisa Lambton Bruce (1819–1898), Countess of Elgin and Kincardine, recorded her impressions of Canada during two stays—one in 1838 with her parents and siblings, and another with her husband and children from 1847 to 1853. Life in Canada is documented through her diary and letters, and more extensively through sketches and paintings, which were later gathered in albums. Biography in MIKAN.
Scene at Monklands, with Lady Elma Bruce in the foreground, 1848
Lady Elma Bruce (1842–1923), eldest daughter of Lord Elgin, wrote to her grandparents about her studies, activities, family life and special events during her childhood in the Province of Canada from 1847 to 1853. Biography in MIKAN.
General Robert Bruce, October 1860
General Robert Bruce (1813–1862) served as secretary, confidant and political advisor to his brother James Bruce while he was governor of Jamaica and of the Province of Canada. He also held the post of Superintendent of Indian Affairs in the Province of Canada from 1849 to 1854. In 1860, he accompanied the Prince of Wales on a royal visit across British North America. Biography in MIKAN.
Letter from Lord Elgin to Mr. Cumming-Bruce, noting his plans for opening Parliament and having Elma Bruce present, January 18, 1849. Four pages
Charles Lennox Cumming-Bruce (1790–1875), maintained a close correspondence with his former son-in-law, James Bruce, the 8th Earl of Elgin, bridging personal and public spheres as a political and financial adviser for the Elgin family estate.
Letter from Lord Elgin to Lord Grey, reporting on his opening of Parliament, January 18, 1849. Two pages
Henry George Grey (1802–1894), 3rd Earl Grey, served as Secretary of State for War and the Colonies from 1846 to 1852. He relied on Lord Elgin, his nephew-in-law, to help him promote colonial self-government. Biography in MIKAN.
Sir Frederick William Adolphus Bruce (1814–1867) spent the final years of his diplomatic career as the British Minister at Washington. He focused on improving diplomatic relations with the United States and counteracting the Fenian threat to the colonies of British North America.
Menu for the Christening dinner in honour of Victor Alexander Bruce, August 6, 1849. Three pages
Victor Alexander Bruce (1849–1917), 9th Earl of Elgin and 13th Earl of Kincardine, spent his early childhood in the Province of Canada. From 1905 to 1908, he served as Secretary of State for the Colonies. During his tenure, he recommended that Canada assume authority over its external affairs and resolved fisheries disputes on behalf of Canada and Newfoundland.
Biography in MIKAN.
Letter from Lord Grey to Lord Elgin about relations with the United States and the resolution of fisheries disputes, January 21, 1907. Seven pages
Albert Henry George Grey (1851–1917), 4th Earl Grey, served as Governor General of the Dominion of Canada from 1904 to 1911. He worked with his cousin, Lord Elgin, to help Canada assume authority over its external affairs and defence. He is also known for donating the Grey Cup in 1909 to recognize the best amateur rugby team in Canada. Biography in MIKAN and the Dictionary of Canadian Biography.