The House from a circa 1912 postcard
Illustration of the East Frieze of the Parthenon from a circa 1855 illustration
House & Family History: In November of 1798 Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin, was appointed ambassador extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of His Britannic Majesty to the Sublime Porte of Selim III, Sultan of Turkey. In this position, which was basically the British ambassador to the Ottoman province of Greece, Lord Elgin saw and became shocked by the condition of the 5th century BC marble sculptures by Phidias and his assistants on the Parthenon and other buildings on the Acropolis of Athens. In 1801 Lord Elgin obtained a controversial permit from the Ottoman government to remove the marbles and ship them to Britain. Between 1801 and 1802 Elgin's men removed approximately half of the surviving sculptures of the Parthenon, as well as sculptures from the Propylaea and the Erechtheum. The marbles were installed in Broomhall for a time, but the process of purchasing and transporting the sculptures nearly bankrupted the earl, so he began negotiations to sell them to the British government. Following a public debate in Parliament, in 1816 the Elgin Marbles, as they became known (today the Parthenon Marbles), were purchased from Lord Elgin by the British government and given to the British Museum, where they have remained ever since. The earls of Elgin are the hereditary chiefs of Clan Bruce.
Collections: Twenty watercolors, most from the area of Naples and dated 1782, purchased by Thomas, 7th Earl of Elgin and 11th Earl of Kincardine, were sold at Sotheby's on June 30, 1986. Seven paintings commissioned by Marie de'Medici, Queen of France, among them Jacopo Ligozzi's "Marriage of Francesco de' Medici and Joanna of Austria," were sold at Sotheby's on April 21, 1993. The sword of King Robert I (Robert the Bruce) is today in the collection at Broomhall.
Country Life: CXLVII, 242, 1970.
Title: Disintegration of a Heritage: Country Houses and their Collections, 1979-1992, The
Author: Sayer, Michael
Year Published: 1993
Publisher: Norfolk: Michael Russell (Publishing)
Book Type: Hardback
Title: Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage, 1990
Author: Kidd, Charles; Williamson, David (Editors)
Year Published: 1990
Publisher: London: Debrett's Peerage Limited (New York: St. Martin's Press, Inc.)
Book Type: Hardback
House Listed: Category A
Park Listed: Not Listed
Current Seat / Home of: Charles Edward Bruce, 12th Earl of Elgin and 16th Earl of Kincardine.
Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust
Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home
Ownership Details: Available for corporate events