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Robert Bruce
Earl of Ailesbury
Robert Bruce, 1st Earl of Ailesbury by Henri Gascars.jpg
Reign 18 March 1664 – 20 October 1685
Born ca. March 1626
Died 20 October 1685
Houghton House, Bedfordshire,
Spouse Diana Grey
  • Hon. Edward Bruce (1644/5 - 1662)
  • Thomas Bruce, 2nd Earl of Ailesbury
  • Hon. Henry Bruce (b. 1656?, d. young).
  • Lady Diana Bruce (d. 15 July 1672)
  • Mary Bruce (born 31 December 1657, buried 15 May 1711)
  • Lady Christian (or Christiana) Bruce (born 1658)
  • Lady Anne Bruce (1st Anne, b. ca. 1660, d. before 1717)
  • Hon. Robert Bruce (1st Robert?, d. 1652).
  • Hon. Charles Bruce (d. 1661).
  • Hon. Bernard (or Barnard) Bruce (b. 1666, d. 1669).
  • Arabella Bruce (d. young).
  • Anne Charlotte Bruce (2nd Anne, bur. 13 March 1713)
  • Henrietta Bruce; married Thomas Ogle.
  • Hon. Robert Bruce (2nd Robert?, d. 1728).
  • Hon. James Bruce (d. 1738).
  • Christian Bruce (1st Christian?, d. young).
  • Elizabeth Bruce (d. young).
Father Thomas Bruce, 1st Earl of Elgin

Robert Bruce, 1st Earl of Ailesbury and 2nd Earl of Elgin, PC, FRS (ca. March 1626 – 20 October 1685) was a British politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1660 to 1663 when he inherited his father's title as Earl of Elgin.


Bruce was the son of Thomas Bruce, 1st Earl of Elgin. During his father's lifetime, Lord Bruce, as he was styled, was Member of Parliament for Bedfordshire in the Convention Parliament in 1660 and the Cavalier Parliament in 1661, until he succeeded to his father's titles in 1663.[1] The following year (18 March 1664) he was created Earl of Ailesbury, Viscount Bruce of Ampthill and Baron Bruce of Skelton for his services in procuring the English Restoration. He was Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire from 1660 with the Earl of Cleveland and solely from 1667 to his death.[2]

In October 1678, Lord Ailesbury was invested as a Privy Counsellor (PC) and a Gentleman of the Bedchamber. He was Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire and Hampshire from 1681 to his death. In 1685, he was invested as a Fellow of the Royal Society and Lord Chamberlain on 30 July 1685.[2]

Lord Ailesbury died in 1685, aged 58 at Houghton House, just north of Ampthill, Bedfordshire, and was buried on 26 October of that year, at Maulden. [2] His widow built Ampthill House nearby in 1686, originally as a dower house.

Marriage & progeny

Diana, Countess of Ailesbury, by Henri Gascar

Lord Bruce married Lady Diana Grey, daughter of Henry Grey, 1st Earl of Stamford, on 16 February 1645. They had seventeen children, nine of which seem to have survived to adulthood:



 Henderson, Thomas Finlayson (1886). "Bruce, Robert (d.1685)". In Stephen, Leslie. Dictionary of National Biography. 7. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 

External links

Parliament of England
Preceded by
Member of Parliament for Bedfordshire
With: Samuel Browne 1660–1661
Sir Humphrey Winch, 1st Baronet 1661–1663
Succeeded by
Sir Humphrey Winch, 1st Baronet
Sir John Napier
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Bolingbroke
Custos Rotulorum of Bedfordshire
jointly with The Earl of Bolingbroke 1671–1681

Succeeded by
The Earl of Ailesbury
Preceded by
The Earl of Cleveland
Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire
jointly with The Earl of Cleveland 1660–1667

Preceded by
The Earl of Manchester
Lord Lieutenant of Huntingdonshire
(in the absence of The Earl of Sandwich)
Preceded by
The Lord Alington
Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire
(in the absence of The Earl of Sandwich)
Title next held by
The Lord Dover
Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Arlington
Lord Chamberlain
Succeeded by
The Earl of Mulgrave
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
Thomas Bruce
Earl of Elgin
Succeeded by
Thomas Bruce
Peerage of England
New title Earl of Ailesbury
Succeeded by
Thomas Bruce

2 Annotations

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

Robert Bruce, second Earl of Elgin, created in 1664 Baron and Viscount Bruce, and Earl of Aylesbury (English honours). He was also a Privy Councellor and one of the Lords of the King's Bedchamber. He died in 1685, just after his appointment a Lord Chamberlain to JamesII.

Bill  •  Link

BRUCE, ROBERT (d.1685), succeeded as second Earl Of Elgin, 1663, and created Earl Of Ailesbury, 1664; joint lord-lieutenant of Bedfordshire, 1660, and lord-lieutenant, 1667; privy councillor, 1678; lord chamberlain, 1685.
---Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome. S. Lee, 1906.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.



  • Jun