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date: 14 October 2019

Bruce, Sir Williamlocked

(b Perthshire, 1625; d 1710).
  • Aonghus Mackechnie

Extract

(b Perthshire, 1625; d 1710).

Scottish architect and garden designer. He was the younger son of Robert Bruce of Blairhall, Perthshire, and probably attended St Salvator’s College, St Andrews, in 1637–8. Bruce was interested in the arts and was reputed to be well versed in languages, but it was as a politician that he first achieved recognition. He played a significant role in General Monk’s conversion to the Royalist cause in 1659 and was a confidential messenger between the Scottish Lords and Charles II in the months preceding the Restoration. Shortly after 1660 he was knighted, and through John Maitland, 2nd Earl and 1st Duke of Lauderdale—whose second wife was a full cousin of Bruce’s—he obtained various minor though lucrative employments before his appointment in 1671 as Surveyor-General of the Royal Works in Scotland (the ancient post of Master of the Royal Works, which had been re-created specifically for the rebuilding of the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh), which he held until ...

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H. M. Colvin: A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600–1840 (London, 1954, rev. 2/1978)