James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin and 12th Earl of Kincardine
At Eton : 1826 - 1830
Politicians, Diplomats and Civil Servants
Known for: Lord Elgin was a colonial administrator and diplomat. He was appointed the governor of Jamaica then the governor general of Canada, Elgin was then appointed High Commissioner and Plenipotentiary in China where he oversaw the 2nd opium war and unequal treaties. Lastly he became the first viceroy in India and in 1863 he died of a heart attack.
He is known for his roles in administrating the empire acting as governor in Jamaica and Canada as well as viceroy in India however he is held in infamy by the world for his actions in the second opium war.
The Chinese Qing dynasty’s officials had tortured 20 Europeans and Indians to death and so Elgin in retaliation ordered the destruction of the Summer Palace, just outside Beijing, an architectural wonder with immeasurable collections of artworks and historic antiques, inflicting invaluable loss of cultural heritage. Subsequently, he submitted the Qing dynasty to the unequal treaty of the Convention of Peking, adding Kowloon Peninsula to the British crown colony of Hong Kong.
At Eton:Bruce was in 5th form in Eton in the year 1826. He is referred to as Mr. Bruce on the school register which denoted his social status above that of even the average Etonian.