Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V09, Page 269 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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VICTOR ALEXANDER BRUCE, 9th earl of Elgin (1849— ), British statesman, was born on the 16th of May 1849, the son of the 8th earl, and was educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford. In 1863 he succeeded as 9th earl of Elgin and 13th of Kincardine. A Liberal in politics, he became first commissioner of works (1886), and subsequently viceroy of India (1894-1899). His administration in India was chiefly notable for the frontier risings of 1897-1898. The Afridis broke out into a fanatical revolt and through hesitation on the part of the government were allowed to seize the Khyber Pass, necessitating the Tirah Expedition. After his return to England he was nominated chairman of the royal commission to investigate the conduct of the South African War; and on the formation of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman's ministry in December 19os, he became a member of the cabinet as secretary of state for the colonies. In this capacity, though he showed many statesmanlike qualities, he was somewhat overshadowed by his brilliant under-secretary in the Commons, Mr Winston Churchill, whose speeches on colonial affairs were as aggressive as Lord Elgin's were cautious; and when in April 1908, Mr Asquith became prime minister, Lord Elgin retired from the cabinet.

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