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James Bruce


(8th Earl of Elgin; 12th Earl of Kincardine)

1811 - 1863

Statesman. Born in London, Bruce succeeded his father Thomas, the 7th Earl (1766 - 1841). He lived at the family home, Broomhall, near Limekilns (Fife), profiting from coal-mines on his nearby estates. He served as Governor of Jamaica (1842-6) and Governor-General of Canada (1847-54). In the latter post, he improved education, brought about political reform and boosted the Canadian economy, which was depressed through the British policy of free trade. He negotiated the Reciprocity Treaty (1854) between Canada and the United States and went on to negotiate trade agreements with China and Japan (1857-60). He served as Viceroy of India from 1862, until his death the following year at Dharamsala.

Port Elgin, Elgin County and the village of Elgin (all in Ontario, Canada) are named in his honour and his name is carved in the Canadian Parliament, alongside the other 'founding fathers' of that country.


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