Elgin, Victor Alexander Bruce, Ninth Earl of
- Elgin, Victor Alexander Bruce, Ninth Earl of
Victor Bruce, ninth earl of Elgin was viceroy of India. The son of the eighth earl of Elgin, Victor was born in Canada but educated at Eton and Balliol, Oxford. Appointed Viceroy of India by the Liberal Prime Minister Lord Rosebery in 1894, he served through 1899. In India, he was a moderate reformer, overseeing the operation of the Tories’ Indian Councils Act of 1892, which introduced a small degree of representative government in India, and he also worked energetically on famine relief. His viceroyalty, however, has tended to be overshadowed by the more programmatic tenure of his successor, Lord Curzon.
Elgin served as colonial secretary in the ministry of Henry Campbell-Bannerman, where he oversaw the grant of self-government to the conquered Boer republics. He is best remembered, however, for controlling his bumptious young parliamentary secretary, Winston Churchill. Churchill began his tenure of office by sending Elgin a long memorandum describing the Empire’s problems and ending with the words “these are my views.” Elgin returned the paper with the annotation, “but not mine.”
Checkland, S. G. The Elgins: A Tale of Aristocrats, Pronconsuls and Their Wives. Aberdeeen: Aberdeen University Press, 1988.
MARK F. PROUDMAN
Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914.
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