Papers of Professor John Bruce (1745-1826)

Scope and Content

The collection consists of volumes of lectures on moral philosophy, 1770, and a copy of First principles of philosophy, for the use of students, 1781.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Bruce was born into the Bruce family of Earlshall in 1745. From his father, he inherited Grangehill, near Kinghorn, Fife. Bruce was educated at Edinburgh University and went on to become Professor of Logic there. He also held the posts of Keeper of the State Paper Office, secretary for the Latin language to the Privy Council, and historiographer to the East India Company. Bruce was also MP for a division of Cornwall from 1809 until 1814, and for a short time he was Secretary to the Board of Control. Professor John Bruce died at Nutshill, Fife, on 16 April 1826.

Access Information

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.

Acquisition Information

Lectures received from Mrs. Hamilton Bruce, 1926.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Stephen Leslie. and Lee, Sidney (eds.). Dictionary of national biography. Vol.3. Brown-Chaloner. London: Smith, Elder and Co., 1908.

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.

Related Material

The local Indexes show various references to Bruce related material (check the Indexes for more details) in the Laing Collection: letter, 1781, at La.II.82; letters, 1796, at La.II.453/2 (Kemp); and, letter, 1786, at La.II.222. There are also lectures of Professor Hugh Blair, taken down by Bruce, 1765, at Dc.10.6.

Corporate Names