Robert Bruce, 1st Earl of Ailesbury
|Earl of Ailesbury|
|Reign||18 March 1664 – 20 October 1685|
|Father||Thomas Bruce, 1st Earl of Elgin|
|Born||ca. March 1626|
|Died||20 October 1685
Houghton House, Bedfordshire,
Robert Bruce, 1st Earl of Ailesbury and 2nd Earl of Elgin, PC, FRS (ca. March 1626 – 20 October 1685) was a British politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1660 to 1663 when he inherited his father's title as Earl of Elgin.
Bruce was the son of Thomas Bruce, 1st Earl of Elgin. During his father's lifetime, Lord Bruce, as he was styled, was Member of Parliament for Bedfordshire in the Convention Parliament in 1660 and the Cavalier Parliament in 1661, until he succeeded to his father's titles in 1663. The following year (18 March 1664) he was created Earl of Ailesbury, Viscount Bruce of Ampthill and Baron Bruce of Skelton for his services in procuring the English Restoration. He was Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire from 1660 with the Earl of Cleveland and solely from 1667 to his death.
In October 1678, Lord Ailesbury was invested as a Privy Counsellor (PC) and a Gentleman of the Bedchamber. He was Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire and Hampshire from 1681 to his death. In 1685, he was invested as a Fellow of the Royal Society and Lord Chamberlain on 30 July 1685.
Lord Ailesbury died in 1685, aged 58 at Houghton House, just north of Ampthill, Bedfordshire, and was buried on 26 October of that year, at Maulden.  His widow built Ampthill House nearby in 1686, originally as a dower house.
Marriage & progeny
Lord Bruce married Lady Diana Grey, daughter of Henry Grey, 1st Earl of Stamford, on 16 February 1645. They had seventeen children, nine of which seem to have survived to adulthood:
- Hon. Edward Bruce (b. 1644/5, d. 1662).
- Thomas Bruce, 2nd Earl of Ailesbury (b. 1656, d. 16 December 1741).
- Hon. Henry Bruce (b. 1656?, d. young).
- Lady Diana Bruce (d. 15 July 1672); married firstly Sir Seymour Shirley, 5th Baronet on 29 January 1666; married secondly John Manners, 1st Duke of Rutland on 10 November 1671.
- Mary Bruce (b. 31 December 1657, bur. 15 May 1711), married Sir William Walter, 2nd Baronet.
- Lady Christian (or Christiana) Bruce (b.1658), married firstly, on 4 June 1677 at Ampthill, John Rolle (d.1689), eldest son and heir apparent of Sir John Rolle (d.1706), KB, MP, of Stevenstone in Devon; she married secondly Sir Richard Gayer (or Geyer/Gere) of Stoke Poges in Buckinghamshire.
- Lady Anne Bruce (1st Anne, b. ca. 1660, d. before 1717); married Sir William Rich, 2nd Baronet in 1672.
- Hon. Robert Bruce (1st Robert?, d. 1652).
- Hon. Charles Bruce (d. 1661).
- Hon. Bernard (or Barnard) Bruce (b. 1666, d. 1669).
- Arabella Bruce (d. young).
- Anne Charlotte Bruce (2nd Anne, bur. 13 March 1713); married Sir Nicholas Bagnall/Bagenall of Newry, a grandson of Henry Bagenal.
- Henrietta Bruce; married Thomas Ogle.
- Hon. Robert Bruce (2nd Robert?, d. 1728).
- Hon. James Bruce (d. 1738).
- Christian Bruce (1st Christian?, d. young).
- Elizabeth Bruce (d. young).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Robert Bruce, 1st Earl of Ailesbury.|
- History of Parliament Online - Robert, Lord Bruce
- Henderson 1886.
- Stirnet: Bruce05 (Thomas Bruce, 3rd Earl of Elgin, 2nd Earl of Ailesbury)
- Stirnet: Shirley2 (Seymour Shirley, 5th Bart of Staunton Harold)
- Stirnet: Manners2 (John Manners, 1st Duke of Rutland)
- Stirnet: Bruce05 (Mary Bruce)
- Stirnet: WZmisc04 (William Walter, 2nd Bart of Saresden)
- Stirnet: Bruce05 (Christian Bruce)
- Stirnet: Rolle1 (John Rolle, younger of Stevenstone)
- Stirnet: Bruce05 (Anne Bruce)
- Stirnet: Rich3 (Sir William Rich, 2nd Bart of Sonning)
- Stirnet: Bruce05 (Anne Charlotte Bruce)
- Stirnet: Bagnall01 (Sir Nicholas Bagnall/Bagenall of Newry)