WHICH DAY MAGISTER ROBERT BRUCE, SON OF SIR GEORGE, BRUCE, KNIGHT,
IS ADDED TO THE NUMBER OF THE BURGESSES OF DUNDEE.
ROBERT BRUCE was the youngest son of the famous SIR GEORGE BRUCE of Carnock, and of MARGARET, daughter of ARCHIBALD PRIMROSE of Burnbrae. His father, SIR GEORGE, was one of the most successful commercial men of his time, and did more to develop the mineral resources of Scotland than any of his contemporaries. "He embarked in the coal and salt trades, carried on an extensive business in the working of coals and manufacture of salt within his native parish (Culross), exported large quantities of these articles, and erected numerous and extensive works, which rendered his name famous throughout the country.
He is said to have been the first who introduced the method of draining coal pits by machinery; and he was probably also the first who conceived and successfully carried out the daring project of sinking a coal pit in the sea, and encasing the shaft in a circular wall or moat which rose above the surface of the water. . . . The profits of these collieries and salt works enabled SIR GEORGE BRUCE to acquire an immense estate, comprising a great part of the parish of Culross, and a great part of the adjoining parish of Carnock, in Fife. He also owned extensive possessions in the parishes of Torryburn. and Dunfermline" (Beveridge's Culross and Tulliallan, Vol. L, p. 112).
SIR GEORGE BRUCE had three sons, GEORGE, ALEXANDER, and ROBERT. The eldest son, GEORGE, was the father of the first EARL OF KINCARDINE and the son of the youngest, ROBFRT, succeeded as fourth EARL OF KINCARDINE. ALEXANDER died without issue, and when Sir GEORGE BRUCE expired, on 6th May, 1625, his vast estates were divided between his two surviving sons. ROBERT BRUCE studied Law at Edinburgh University, and passed as Advocate, on 4th February, 1631. He was made an Ordinary Lord of Session on 2nd June, 1649, his title of LORD BROOMHALL being taken from one of his Fife estates.
In 1648 he was a member of the Committee for Fifeshire, and in the following year was associated with SIR GEORGE HALIBURTON of Fodderance in the Commission for Revising and Arranging the Laws (vide page 134). He served as a member of the Committee of Estates, appointed 6th June, 1651, and died oil 25th June, 1652. By his marriage with HELEN, daughter of SIR JAMES SKENE of Curriehill, Lord President of the Court of Session, he left an only son, SIR ALEXANDER BRUCE of Broomhall, who afterwards succeeded as fourth EARL OF KINCARDINE, and was made a Burgess of Dundee on 1st April, 1671.
Three of the sons of the latter were EARLS OF KINCARDINE successively; and the present EARL OF ELGIN AND KINCARDINE is his direct descendant.