Robert Bruce (tea planter)

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Robert Bruce was a Scottish gentleman who introduced the tea plantations in Assam in the early 19th century.[1] He is buried in the cemetery in Tezpur town.


Bruce learned from Maniram Datta Barua, a native nobleman, that Singhpo grew tea that was unknown to the rest of the world. Singhpo was a principal tribe in the Assam. Bruce realized that if the tea was good, Assam could rival China. He could have obtained samples of the tea from just about any tribal contact, but he wanted a friendship so he could have long-term access to the tea. In 1823, he met with the chief of the Singhpo, Bessa Gaum. He was allowed to take away from the meeting plants and seeds of the plant. He died soon after in 1824, but opened Assam's doors to a great industry.[2]

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