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Thomas Bruce, Earl of Elgin

(b. July 20, 1766, Broomhall House, Dumferline, Scotland – d. Nov. 14, 1841, Paris, Île-de-France, France )

Gender: M

Thomas Bruce (1766-1841), 7th Earl of Elgin, was the second son of Charles Bruce, 5th Earl of Elgin. After a brief military career, he was posted as British envoy to Brussels in 1792 and to Berlin in 1795. He was subsequently envoy extraordinary at Constantinople from 1799-1803, during which time he purchased from the Turkish rulers the sculptures from the frieze of the Parthenon in Athens which he donated to the British Museum and became known as the Elgin Marbles. In July 1789, Elgin arrived in London from Paris with a report of violent uprisings in France, and in particular a bread riot in Metz during which French troops had taken the side of the populace and attacked German regiments, with the loss of a thousand lives.

Also known as:

  • Thomas Bruce
  • Earl of Elgin




Please note that all dates and location information are provisional, initially taken from the library and archive catalogues. As our section editors continue to work through the material we will update our database and the changes will be reflected across the edition.