- Victor Bruce, 9th Earl of Elgin
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 Worksunder Gladstone in 1886.
Career as Viceroy
Following in his father's footsteps, Elgin was made
Viceroy of Indiain 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.
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 Churchillas 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.
Famine in India
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