Archives Search


Search only: Library, Archives Advanced Search, Ancestors, Images, Search All

To submit a comment, contact webservices@lac-bac.gc.ca

Search Help

Description found in Archives

Letters from Lord Elgin to his wife [textual record] 

Sub-sub-series consists of

Date(s)

15 January 1847-9 December 1854

Place of creation

Various places

5 cm of textual records.

Scope and content

The sub-sub-series consists of a bundle of letters written by James Bruce, Earl of Elgin and Kincardine, to his wife Mary Louisa Lambton Bruce provides explicit statements of his affection and concern for her and his children while illustrating the means by which he sought to maintain and strengthen the bonds of their relationship, writing to her whenever travels or the demands of his official duties separated them. At times the letters take on the character of a journal, notably during his voyage in January-February 1847. At other times, he wrote briefly to advise her of changes to his schedule. He routinely acknowledged her letters and mentioned letters exchanged with other family members and friends. His comments his activities, encounters with individuals and participation in events demonstrate his sense of duty, his approach to various challenges, his interest in scientific and technical developments, and his attitudes toward social conventions and mores. Many letters retain their integral cover sheets, which bear postal markings and the residues of black or red wax seals. The occasional envelope remaining with the letters likewise exhibits postal markings and seals. Elgin enclosed newspaper clippings on occasion, and (page 774A) a "Sketch of my lady" executed in watercolors by Viscount Bury.

Textual records
90: Open
Volume
18 File number 1 -- 7
90: Open
Archival reference no.

Additional information

Custodial history
Pages have been numbered 1 to 812 to preserve the sequence. Elgin himself numbered the leaves [that is, one page out of each 4] in some of his longer missives (see 173-343 for example). That practice served to reveal where portions had at some point been excised (notably the left side and half the upper right side at pages 315-316 and half of each leaf at 303-304, 337-338 and 339-340) resulting in some confusion as to the sequence in at least two cases. He also struck out some passages, notably on pages 219-221. As received, the bundle included one letter from Elgin to his brother Robert Bruce and one letter from Robert; these remain where found.

Availability of other formats note
The bundle of letters from Lord Elgin to his wife was included in the 1958 microfilming; see reel A-401.

Private

3980204