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Description found in Archives

Letters from Lady Elma Bruce to her grand parents [textual record] 

Sub-sub-series consists of


1 June 1847-22 May 1863

Place of creation

Various places

5 cm of textual records (pages 1-821).

Scope and content

This sub-sub-series consists of a bundle of letters written by or on behalf of Lady Elma Bruce to her grandparents (Charles Lennox Cumming-Bruce and his wife Mary Elizabeth Bruce) includes one she wrote to her step-mother Lady Elgin; 8 written by Lady Elgin and 1 by Lord Elgin to the grandparents. The majority of these letters were enclosed with those sent by Lord and Lady Elgin to the grandparents; in other cases, Lady Elgin added a post-script. The sequence illustrates how Elma mastered the arts of writing and composition. Lady Elgin or her governess wrote the first letters on Elma's behalf between June and September 1847. Over the next year, Elma contributed words, phrases and sentences, writing them in large characters, with the exception of a solo effort on 27 March 1848. From October 1848 onward she wrote each letter herself except when ill or if the postal schedule demanded speed. She began writing in "small hand" on 22 May 1851. The sequence of letters provides an exceptional record of Elma's childhood, her studies and passtimes, her family and environment, as viewed through the eyes of a child. She comments on her pony, her dog, members of the family (uncle Robert Bruce and his wife Katherine; aunt Alice Lambton; brothers "Brucie" known more formally as Victor Alexander, the Lord Bruce, plus Robert and Charles), attendance at public events and family parties. All but three of the letters date between 1847 and 1855, during the family's residence in the Province of Canada and after the September 1853 return to Scotland. They demonstrate the development of her ability to perceive her surroundings, to conceptualize ideas and to communicate between the ages of 5 and 13.

Textual records
90: Open
19 File number 1 -- 15
90: Open
Archival reference no.