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Edward 
Bruce
1549 - 1611


Edward 
Bruce
, Bruce, Edward, first Lord Kinloss and first Baron Bruce of Kinloss (1548/9-1611), lawyer and administrator, was the second son of Sir Edward Bruce of Blairhall, Clackmannanshire (15051565), and his wife, Alison, daughter of William Reid of Aitkenhead, Clackmannanshire; he was thus a nephew of Robert Reid, bishop of Orkney, and elder brother of Sir George Bruce, mining industrialist and landowner. Educated at St Andrews University, he matriculated in 1568 and graduated MA in 1571. In the following decade Bruce apparently developed a legal career and is infrequently referred to in public records, mostly as a lawyer. By 1583 he had acquired some prominence and had attracted the notice of the government, and in that year he was appointed a judge of the commissary court of Edinburgh, and one of the deputies of the lord justice-general. Also in 1583 he received a grant of the abbey of Kinloss in Moray, to be held for life in commendam, subject to an annuity payable to the abbot and a rent of 500 merks to the crown. Some time before 1586 Bruce married Magdalen, daughter of Sir Alexander Clark of Balbirnie, Fife. Although English observers consistently labelled Bruce a protestant, his conduct suggests that he was considerably more moderate in his views than other government officials. It would appear that he followed the lead of James VI in such matters, and was more concerned with the political implications of the king's attempts to secure religious harmony than with the fine details of devotional form and practice. His legal experience and social position enabled Bruce to play an important part in shaping the government's approach to religious affairs. In 1587 the government exploited his legal skills to thwart the political initiatives of an increasingly radical Scottish church. The general assembly petitioned James to bar from parliament the bishops and other spiritual lords (by this time consisting mostly of the holders of secularized monastic commendatorships) in favour of church representatives nominated by the assembly. Addressing parliament as a member of the spiritual estate, Bruce set out the government's position, one opposed to such a change in the parliamentary constitution, and the king refused the petition. After 1587 James increasingly confided legal matters of a particularly sensitive nature to Bruce, who typified the professional legal administrators increasingly cultivated by the king in his government of Scotland. In the 1590s affairs of state which were of personal importance to the king were also entrusted to Bruce. He was the lawyer and junior political member on three embassies to England, in 1594, 1598, and 1601. The first of these, led by James Colville of Easter Wemyss, bore a complaint to Queen Elizabeth that the earl of Bothwell was being harboured in England and sought a subsidy to crush the earl's conspiracy. Bruce also complained that the English ambassador to Scotland, Edward, Lord Zouche, had attempted to conduct secret negotiations with Bothwell. A modest subsidy was secured, ostensibly to suppress religiously motivated conspiracy in Scotland. In 1597 Bruce was appointed a commissioner to levy an aid granted by parliament, and on 2 December that year he was made a judge in the court of session, the kingdom's highest civil court. In March 1598 he was again sent to the English court, to make King James's apologies for offences complained of by Elizabeth, and to discuss other matters of state concerning the two realms and their borders. Probably he was also secretly instructed to sound out the queen and her council about James's position with regard to the English succession, but if so his mission appears to have been fruitless in that respect. Early in 1601, on the eve of the eruption of the Essex plot, King James, who had for some time been in secret correspondence with the conspirators, determined to send Bruce and the earl of Mar to London on a mission which was ostensibly of no special importance but which was really intended to ascertain the precise state of affairs in England and the prospects for the plot, with a view to co-operating with it. However, the envoys did not start until February, and therefore did not arrive until after Essex's execution. In view of the changed circumstances, James instructed his ambassadors to seek a formal declaration from the queen and her council that he was guiltless of involvement in any of the intrigues against her, particularly in the late conspiracy, and the assurance of his succession to the English throne after her death. They obtained an early audience with Sir Robert Cecil, who exacted from them a pledge that James would abandon all his efforts to obtain formal recognition of his title as the condition of continued communications, and that all such communications should be kept secret. The result was a celebrated correspondence between James and Cecil. Following his return to Scotland, on 2 February 1602, Bruce was made Lord Kinloss. Bruce accompanied King James to England in 1603, was naturalized as an English subject by act of parliament, and worked for the crown from London until his death. He was made a member of the privy council in both realms. On 18 May 1603 he was made master of the rolls and given lands in Yorkshire, and on 8 July 1604 he was created Baron Bruce of Kinloss, a further Scottish peerage, probably because there were legal doubts over the 1602 creation. On 30 August 1605 Oxford University conferred the degree of MA upon him. Although his career in England tended towards legal administration, and was less noteworthy than his very active service in Scotland, Bruce remained closely involved in government and high in James's favour. When his daughter Christiana [see Cavendish, Christian] married William Cavendish, later second earl of Devonshire, on 10 April 1609, the king gave the bride away and made her wedding portion up to £10,000. Bruce died suddenly on 14 January 1611, aged sixty-two, and was buried in the Rolls Chapel in Chancery Lane, London; a splendid monument marks the tomb. The Bruces had three sons, Robert, Edward, and Thomas, and two daughters, Christiana and Janet. Robert predeceased his father, who was therefore succeeded in his lands and title by Edward, who, however, was killed in a duel by Sir Edward Sackville at Bergen op Zoom in August 1613. Thomas succeeded his brother and in 1633 was created earl of Elgin during Charles I's visit to Scotland. Janet (who is recorded as illegitimate in Crawford's Scottish Peerage) married Thomas Dalziel of the Binns, Linlithgowshire, an Edinburgh lawyer. Lady Bruce remarried, to Sir James Fullerton, and died about the end of 1630. R. R. Zulager Sources G. Brunton and D. Haig, An historical account of the senators of the college of justice, from its institution in MDXXXII (1832) Scots peerage, 3.4747 GEC, Peerage, 2.35051 CSP Scot. ser., 15891603 DNB G. Crawfurd, The peerage of Scotland: containing an historical and genealogical account of the nobility of that kingdom (privately printed, Edinburgh, 1716) Correspondence of King James VI of Scotland with Sir Robert Cecil and others in England during the reign of Elizabeth, ed. J. Bruce, CS, old ser., 78 (1861) D. Dalrymple, The secret correspondence of Sir Robert Cecil with James VI (1766) Likenesses Barrett, line engraving (after tomb effigy), NPG G. P. Harding, drawing (after portrait, 1604), NPG funeral monument, Rolls Chapel, Chancery Lane, London tomb effigy, Public Record Office Museum, London Oxford University Press 20045 All rights reserved: see legal notice Oxford University Press R. R. Zulager, `Bruce, Edward, first Lord Kinloss and first Baron Bruce of Kinloss (1548/9-1611)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/3729, accessed 24 Sept 2005] Edward Bruce (1548/9-1611): doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/3729

Born: 1549Baptised:
Died: Jan 1611Buried:
Family:
Bruce

Titles:

Ancestors
[ Patrilineage | Matrilineage | Earliest Ancestors | Force | Force2 | Set Relationship | Relationship | Options ]

1.
Edward 
Bruce
(
Clerk
) 1549 - 1611
2.
Sir Edward 
Bruce
1505 - 1565
 

Siblings



Spouses



1. ante 1595
Magdalen 
Clerk
(
Bruce
,
Fullerton
) ante 1580 - post 1630

Descendants
[ Options ]

a.
Magdalen 
Clerk
(
Bruce
,
Fullerton
) ante 1580 - post 1630
1.
Christian 
Bruce
(
Cavendish
) 1595 - 1675
1a.
William 
Cavendish
(
Bruce
) 1590 - 1628
1.1.
Anne 
Cavendish
* post 1608
1.2.
William 
Cavendish
(
Cecil
) 1617 - 1684 ...
1.3.
Henry 
Cavendish
* post 1620
1.4.
Charles 
Cavendish
1620 - 1643
b. ?
2.
Thomas 
Bruce
(
Chichester
) 1599 - 1663
2a.
Anne 
Chichester
(
Bruce
) c. 1604 - 1627
2.1.
Robert 
Bruce
(
Grey
) 1627 - ante 1686 ...
Sources

  • Family Archivists: see
    Bruce


Timeline


1549Born
ante 1595Married
Magdalen 
Clerk
(
Bruce
,
Fullerton
) ante 1580 - post 1630
2nd Feb 1602
Edward 
Bruce
(
Clerk
) 1549 - 1611 inherited the title
Bruce
  of Kinloss [B]
9th Aug 1610Made a will (will)
Jan 1611Died
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