Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Bruce Family of Kinnaird

Robert Bruce of Kinnaird*, Stirlingshire, is believed to have been born at Airth Castle, c1555, 2nd son of Sir Alexander Bruce of Airth and his wife Janet Livingstone, daughter of Alexander, 5th Lord Livingstone and Lady Agnes Douglas, daughter of John, 2nd Earl of Moray. (*Kinnaird House was situated in Larbert Parish, about 1 mile north east of Stenhousemuir and 3.5 miles from Falkirk.)

He was educated to University level and was intended by his father to follow the law. He completed his education at Edinburgh and began to practise law in the Court of Session, but Robert wanted to study Theology. His parents eventually consented to his going into the church only on his resigning the estate of Kinnaird, which he did, going on to study under Andrew Melville, Professor of Divinities at St. Andrew’s University.

In 1590 he married Margaret or Martha, daughter of George Douglas of Parkhead and Marion Douglas, heiress of James Douglas of Parkhead and Pittendreich. At this point his father restored him to the Barony of Kinnaird.

Nearby Larbert Church having been neglected and left without a minister by the Bishops, was repaired in 1629 by Robert Bruce and here he preached every Sunday to large congregations.

He died 13th August 1631 and was buried in the aisle of the original church at Larbert and it is said that 4 to 5 thousand people followed his body to the grave.

"The mortal remains of Mr. ROBERT BRUCE of Kinnaird
Minister of the Gospel, 2nd son of Sir ALEXANDER BRUCE of Airth
By JANET daughter of the 5th Lord LIVINGSTONE lie intered in this spot
At the foot of the pulpit of the first church in Larbert which he built, and from which he sought
To make known the truth, as it is in Christ
Born 1554 he died 1631 aged 77 years"

Their Children were: Robert, his heir, John, Elizabeth (married James, eldest son of John Campbell of Moy), Mary (married Michael Elphinstone of Quarrell) and Martha.

Robert, 2nd of Kinnaird succeeded his father in 1631. He married Margaret Menteith of the Kerse family. They had two sons, Colonel Robert and Alexander.

Colonel Robert Bruce, 3rd of Kinnaird, Captain of the Life Guards of Charles II succeeded Robert in 1645 but died of wounds whilst a soldier, at the battle of Naseby. He married Dame Marianne Rollo, but the couple had no children. He was succeeded in 1655 by his younger brother Alexander

Alexander Bruce, 4th of Kinnaird married Helen Bruce, daughter of Sir Robert Bruce of Clackmannan and had two daughters - Helen and Jean. After the death of first wife Helen, he married Margaret Elphinstone, daughter of Michael Elphinstone of Quarrell. They had no children.

Helen Bruce, 5th of Kinnaird, eldest daughter of Alexander 4th of Kinnaird succeeded in 1711 'through a deed of entail by which her son and heir and his successors were obliged to retain the name and arms of Bruce'. Helen married David Hay, son of John Hay of Woodcockdale, Linlithgowshire who assumed the name of Bruce.and the couple had one son - David.
After the death of David, she then married Robert Boyd, Writer, Edinburgh

David Bruce, 6th of Kinnaird (son of Helen Bruce, 5th of Kinnaird) succeeded in 1729. He married Marion Graham, daughter of James Graham of Airth, (Dean of the Faculty of Advocates and Judge of the High Court of Admiralty in Scotland) and they had (besides other children), James, his heir. He then married Agnes Glen by whom he had 6 sons and 2 daughters.

James Bruce, 7th of Kinnaird, born at Kinnaird 14th December 1730. Educated at Harrow & Edinburgh University where he studied law. He went to London and in 1754 married Adriana Allan, the daughter of a rich wine merchant and became a partner in the business. Adriana died at Paris within a year of their marriage. James Bruce now went on to study languages and travelled in France, Spain, Portugal & the Netherlands. His father died in 1758 and he returned to London. In 1761 he retired from the wine trade. In 1763 he was appointed Consul General at Algiers. There he studied oriental languages and surgery.

In June 1768, he proceeded to Alexandria and from Cairo set out on his famous journey to Abyssinia. He arrived at Jeddah in April 1769, reached Gondar, the capital of Abyssinia in February 1770 and in November of that year succeeded in reaching the sources of the Abawi, then considered the main stream of the Nile.

In 1774 he returned to Scotland and on 20th May 1776 married Mary Dundas, eldest daughter of Thomas Dundas of Carron Hall. The couple went on to have 3 children

His "Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile" was first published in 1790.

His death is reported to have been quite tragic. He had been entertaining at Kinnaird and when assisting a lady to her carriage, his foot slipped and fell on the steps. He died in the early hours of the next morning, Sunday 27th April 1794 age 63. He was buried in Larbert Churchyard.

He left 2 sons, Robert who died young and James who succeeded him, also a daughter Janet Maitland who married John Jardine.

James Bruce, 8th of Kinnaird succeeded in 1794 married Eliza, daughter of William Spicer of Wear in the County of Devon and had a daughter Mary Elizabeth who was heiress of Kinnaird.

Mary Elizabeth Bruce, 9th of Kinnaird succeeded to the property in 1810 and was married 20th June 1822 to Charles Lennox Cumming (who assumed the name and arms of Bruce), 3rd son of Sir Alexander Cumming Gordon, Baronet of Altyre & Gordonstown. They had one daughter, Elizabeth Mary who succeeded to Kinnaird. Mrs. Cummings-Bruce was the author of "The Bruces and the Cumyns".

Elizabeth Mary Cummings-Bruce, 10th of Kinnaird was married in 1841 to James, Lord Bruce who succeeded his father as 8th Earl of Elgin. They had one daughter, Elma.

Lady Elma Bruce, 11th of Kinnaird, was married in 1864 to Thomas John, 5th Baron Thurlow, who assumed the name of Cumming-Bruce. Their children:

James Frederick Hovell Thurlow Cumming-Bruce
Mary Elma Hovell Thurlow  Cumming-Bruce
Henry Nigel Hovell Thurlow Cumming-Bruce
Charles Edward Hovell Thurlow Cumming-Bruce
Alice Margaret Hovell Thurlow Cumming-Bruce

The estate was exposed for sale by the Free Church of Scotland under the power of sale contained in a bond and disposition in security, and was bought by Robert Orr, merchant, in Glasgow, J.P., for the County of Stirling in 1895.

"MARY DUNDAS died the 10th day of February 1780 aged 31 years
JAMES BRUCE of Kinnaird erected this monument as a memorial of his gratitude and affection and her virtues.
At her feet lies the body of ROBERT BRUCE their eldest son died 10th day of November 1778

JAMES BRUCE Esqr. Of Kinnaird died on the 27th of April 1794 in the 64th year of his age.
His life was spent in performing useful and splendid actions
He explored many distant regions
He discovered the fountains of the Nile
He traversed the deserts of Nubia
He was an affectionate husband, an indulgent parent, an ardent lover of his country
By the unanimous voice of mankind his name is enrolled with those who were conspicuous
For genius, for valour and for virtue.

Grand daughter and Heiress of JAMES BRUCE of Kinnaird
Born 1799, married 1820 and died at Kinnaird in 1875
Her husband CHARLES LENNOX CUMMING BRUCE of  Dunphial and Roseisle
Born at Altyre February 20th 1790, died at Broomhall January 1st 1875
Representative of the United Counties of Elgin and Nairn and previously of the
Inverness District of Burghs during ten successive parliaments from 1851 to 1869"

The impressive iron Bruce Monument was cast in Carron Foundry, but now appears to lie quite
forgotten at a 'temporary' spot at the foot of Larbert Churchyard overlooking the River Carron.

It originally sat in a walled enclosure within the Churchyard where it's stone plinth is still located, but due to the enclosure being completely overgrown, this 'Grade A' Listed Monument although now restored, has not been replaced.

(The Monument was given Grade A Listing in 1977.
Plans for the restoration back to it's original location were outlined in 2005)

The Obelisk is believed to have been designed by William Haworth of London who was employed for over 50 years at the Carron Co. as a Designer/Model Maker.
William had trained at the Royal Academy.

Description: Cast-iron obelisk on plinth. Rectangular plinth with rope work edges and long inscriptions to side panels; 4 lions couchant with bared teeth to top corners of plinth supporting obelisk which is capped by classical everlasting lamp.
Oval reliefs depicting goddesses to each side of obelisk.

Amongst the company's major shareholders was John Adam - brother of  the famous James Adam who frequently used Carron to cast his fireplaces.

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