Bruce Street

The Order of the Thistle

James Bruce  Stratford-Perth Archives

Bruce County was organized in 1849, and named in honour of James Bruce, 8th  Earl of Elgin and 12th Earl of Kincardine. He was known as the Earl of Elgin when he was Governor General of Canada from 1846 to 1855. 

The Bruce family was of Norman origins and after the battle of Hastings in 1066, William the Conqueror sent his knight aide-de-camp Robert Le Brus to reduce northern England to submission. Brus carried out his mission so well that he was lavishly rewarded with titles and estates.

Lord Elgin, James Bruce (1811-1863), was elected to the British House of Commons in 1841 and became Governor of Jamaica in 1842. He was appointed Governor-General of British North America in 1847 and laid down the lines of conduct which all governors-general of Canada have followed since his time.

After leaving Canada, he was twice a special commissioner to China, and in 1862 became the Viceroy of India, the country in which he died. In 1849, he was made a peer of the United Kingdom with the title of Baron Elgin, was sworn of the Privy Council, and invested with the Order of the Thistle. 

In 1856, Oxford University recognized his services in Canada by conferring upon him the degree of DCL Doctor of Civil Law). He was educated at Eton College and Oxford. By Stanford Dingman