Earl of Elgin, James Bruce

(1811—1863) governor-in-chief of British North America and viceroy of India

Quick Reference

(1811–63) British statesman and colonial administrator. As governor-general of British North America (1847–54) he was given the task of carrying out the recommendations made by the Durham Report. In 1848 he implemented “responsible” government with the formation of the Baldwin-La Fontaine ministry to be responsible to the elected legislative assembly. He introduced measures to improve education in Canada and to stabilize the economy, which was depressed by the new British policy of free trade. After leaving Canada, he jointly led an Anglo-French force that marched into Beijing in 1860 to secure ratification of the Treaty of Tianjin. In 1862 he was appointed viceroy of India, dying in office a year later.

From A Dictionary of World History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: World History.