Victor Bruce, 9th Earl of Elgin


Victor Bruce, 9th Earl of Elgin

Victor Alexander Bruce, 9th Earl of Elgin, 13th Earl of Kincardine, KG GCSI, GCIE, PC (16 May 184918 January 1917) was a British statesman who served as Viceroy of India from 1894 to 1899.

Lord Bruce (as he was known until his father's death in 1863) was born in Montreal, while his father was serving as Governor-General of Canada. Educated at Glenalmond, Eton and Balliol College, Oxford, Elgin entered politics as a Liberal, serving as First Commissioner of Works under Gladstone in 1886.

Career as Viceroy

Following in his father's footsteps, Elgin was made Viceroy of India in 1894. His viceroyalty was not a particularly notable one. Elgin himself did not enjoy the pomp and ceremony associated with the viceroyalty, and his conservative instincts were not well suited to a time of economic and social unrest.

Indian Famine

During his time as viceroy, famine broke out in India, in which Elgin admitted up to 4. 5 million people died. Other estimates put the death toll at 11 million. Davis, Mike. Late Victorian Holocausts. 1. Verso, 2000. ISBN 1859847390 pg 158]

Return to England

He returned to England in 1899 and was made a Knight of the Garter. From 1902 to 1903, Elgin was made chairman of the commission that investigated the conduct of the Second Boer War. When the Liberals returned to power in 1905, Elgin became Secretary of State for the Colonies (with Winston Churchill as his Under-Secretary). As colonial secretary, he pursued a conservative policy, and opposed the generous settlement of the South African question proposed by Prime Minister Campbell-Bannerman, which was enacted more in spite of the Colonial Secretary's opposition than due to his efforts. Elgin retired from public life in 1908, dying nine years later at the family estate in Dunfermline.

Notes

ee Also

*Famine in India


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