England is a country, part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to Scotland to the north-northwest; the Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south; the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century, since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world; the English language, the Anglican Church, English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world – developed in England, the country's parliamentary system of government has been adopted by other nations.
The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation. England's terrain is chiefly low hills and plains in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the west; the capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. England's population of over 55 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom concentrated around London, the South East, conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century; the Kingdom of England – which after 1535 included Wales – ceased being a separate sovereign state on 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The name "England" is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means "land of the Angles"; the Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages. The Angles came from the Anglia peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea; the earliest recorded use of the term, as "Engla londe", is in the late-ninth-century translation into Old English of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. The term was used in a different sense to the modern one, meaning "the land inhabited by the English", it included English people in what is now south-east Scotland but was part of the English kingdom of Northumbria; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that the Domesday Book of 1086 covered the whole of England, meaning the English kingdom, but a few years the Chronicle stated that King Malcolm III went "out of Scotlande into Lothian in Englaland", thus using it in the more ancient sense.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its modern spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, in which the Latin word Anglii is used; the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars. How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe, less significant than others, such as the Saxons, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain Angli Saxones or English Saxons to distinguish them from continental Saxons of Old Saxony between the Weser and Eider rivers in Northern Germany. In Scottish Gaelic, another language which developed on the island of Great Britain, the Saxon tribe gave their name to the word for England. An alternative name for England is Albion; the name Albion referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus the 4th-century BC De Mundo: "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules is the ocean that flows round the earth.
In it are two large islands called Britannia. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, i.e. it was written in the Graeco-Roman period or afterwards. The word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins, it either derives from a cognate of the Latin albus meaning white, a reference to the white cliffs of Dover or from the phrase the "island of the Albiones" in the now lost Massaliote Periplus, attested through Avienus' Ora Maritima to which the former served as a source. Albion is now applied to England in a more poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England and made popular by its use in Arthurian legend; the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximate
Thomas Cecil, 1st Earl of Exeter
Thomas Cecil, 1st Earl of Exeter, KG, known as Lord Burghley from 1598 to 1605, was an English politician and soldier. Thomas Cecil was the elder son of William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, by his first wife, Mary Cheke, daughter of Peter Cheke of Cambridge, Esquire Bedell of the University from 1509 until his death in 1529, he was the half-brother of Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, Anne Cecil, Elizabeth Cecil. It has been said that William Cecil considered Thomas to be, "hardly fit to govern a tennis court"; this quotation is both unfair. Whilst Thomas's career may have been overshadowed by those of his illustrious father and half-brother, he was a fine soldier and a useful politician and had a good deal of influence on the building, not only of Burghley itself, but two other important houses: Wothorpe Towers and Wimbledon Palace. Cecil was educated and at Trinity College, where he matriculated in 1558, being admitted to Gray's Inn in the same year. In 1561–62 he was sent with a guardian to Europe to improve himself, at first to Paris, where he applied himself more to social pleasures than to his studies.
He was removed from this environment first to Antwerp and to Germany, might have proceeded to Italy but for the death of his stepbrother William, which led to his being recalled to England. He served in government under Queen Elizabeth I of England, sitting in the House of Commons first for Stamford, Lincolnshire, in the parliaments of 1563, 1571 and 1572, he was knighted in 1575 and appointed High Sheriff of Northamptonshire for 1578. He accompanied Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester to the Dutch Republic, where he was distinguished for his bravery. In 1584 and 1586 he was Member of Parliament for Lincolnshire, in 1585 was appointed governor of Brielle – an English Cautionary Town, he did not have good relations with Dudley, but he was loyal to Sir John Norreys. In 1588, Cecil completed the building of Wimbledon Palace in Wimbledon Park, London, a leading example of the Elizabethan prodigy house, he returned again to the Commons as member for Northamptonshire in 1592 and 1597. His father's death in 1598, brought him a seat in the House of Lords, the 2nd Lord Burghley, as he was, served from 1599 to 1603 as Lord Lieutenant of Yorkshire and Lord President of the Council of the North.
It was during this period, that Queen Elizabeth I made him a Knight of the Garter in 1601. During the early reign of King James I of England, he was created Earl of Exeter on 4 May 1605, the same day his younger half-brother, Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cranborne, was created 1st Earl of Salisbury. Unlike his brother, however, he did not become a government minister under King James's rule, he attempted to build up a family alliance with one of King James's leading ministers, Sir Thomas Lake, by marrying his grandson, William Cecil, 16th Baron de Ros, to Lake's daughter, Anne Lake, in 1615, but the marriage collapsed amidst a welter of allegations and counter-allegations of adultery and incest. The ensuing scandal fascinated the Court and dragged on for years, until in 1621, the Star Chamber found that Anne, her mother, other members of the Lake family, had fabricated all of the original allegations; the Cecil family fostered arts. The latter, in his youth, was in the service of Thomas Cecil.
Thomas Cecil married, Dorothy Neville, the daughter of John Neville, 4th Baron Latimer and Lady Lucy Somerset, daughter of Henry Somerset, 2nd Earl of Worcester. By his first wife, Thomas Cecil had ten children who survived to adulthood: William Cecil, 2nd Earl of Exeter. Lady Lucy Cecil, who married William Paulet, 4th Marquess of Winchester. Lady Mildred Cecil, who married firstly, Sir Thomas Reade, married secondly, Sir Edmund Trafford. Sir Richard Cecil of Wakerley. Edward Cecil, 1st Viscount Wimbledon. Lady Mary Cecil, who married Edward Denny, 1st Earl of Norwich. Lady Dorothy Cecil, who married Sir Giles Alington of Horseheath, Cambridgeshire, their daughter, Mary Alington, married Sir Thomas Hatton. Lady Elizabeth Cecil, who married, Sir William Newport alias Hatton, secondly, Sir Edward Coke of Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire. Thomas Cecil, esquire. Lady Frances Cecil, who married Nicholas Tufton, 1st Earl of Thanet; the Earl of Exeter was buried in Westminster Abbey, London. Wimbledon Palace - The house Sir Thomas Cecil built Foster, Joseph.
The Royal Lineage of Our Noble and Gentle Families. London: Hazell and Viney. P. 93. Retrieved 22 March 2013
Trinity College, Cambridge
Trinity College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge in England. With around 600 undergraduates, 300 graduates, over 180 fellows, it is the largest college in either of the Oxbridge universities by number of undergraduates. In terms of total student numbers, it is second only to Cambridge. Members of Trinity have won 33 Nobel Prizes out of the 116 won by members of Cambridge University, the highest number of any college at either Oxford or Cambridge. Five Fields Medals in mathematics were won by members of the college and one Abel Prize was won. Trinity alumni include six British prime ministers, physicists Isaac Newton, James Clerk Maxwell, Ernest Rutherford and Niels Bohr, mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan, the poet Lord Byron, historian Lord Macaulay, philosophers Ludwig Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell, Soviet spies Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt. Two members of the British royal family have studied at Trinity and been awarded degrees as a result: Prince William of Gloucester and Edinburgh, who gained an MA in 1790, Prince Charles, awarded a lower second class BA in 1970.
Other royal family members have studied there without obtaining degrees, including King Edward VII, King George VI, Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester. Trinity has many college societies, including the Trinity Mathematical Society, the oldest mathematical university society in the United Kingdom, the First and Third Trinity Boat Club, its rowing club, which gives its name to the college's May Ball. Along with Christ's, King's and St John's colleges, it has provided several of the well known members of the Apostles, an intellectual secret society. In 1848, Trinity hosted the meeting at which Cambridge undergraduates representing private schools such as Westminster drew up an early codification of the rules of football, known as the Cambridge Rules. Trinity's sister college in Oxford is Christ Church. Like that college, Trinity has been linked with Westminster School since the school's re-foundation in 1560, its Master is an ex officio governor of the school; the college was founded by Henry VIII in 1546, from the merger of two existing colleges: Michaelhouse, King's Hall.
At the time, Henry had been seizing church lands from monasteries. The universities of Oxford and Cambridge, being both religious institutions and quite rich, expected to be next in line; the King duly passed an Act of Parliament. The universities used their contacts to plead with Catherine Parr; the Queen persuaded her husband not to create a new college. The king did not want to use royal funds, so he instead combined two colleges and seven hostels namely Physwick, Gregory's, Ovyng's, Catherine's, Margaret's and Tyler's, to form Trinity. Contrary to popular belief, the monastic lands granted by Henry VIII were not on their own sufficient to ensure Trinity's eventual rise. In terms of architecture and royal association, it was not until the Mastership of Thomas Nevile that Trinity assumed both its spaciousness and its courtly association with the governing class that distinguished it since the Civil War. In its infancy Trinity had owed a great deal to its neighbouring college of St John's: in the exaggerated words of Roger Ascham Trinity was little more than a colonia deducta.
Its first four Masters were educated at St John's, it took until around 1575 for the two colleges' application numbers to draw a position in which they have remained since the Civil War. In terms of wealth, Trinity's current fortunes belie prior fluctuations. Bentley himself was notorious for the construction of a hugely expensive staircase in the Master's Lodge, for his repeated refusals to step down despite pleas from the Fellows. Most of the Trinity's major buildings date from the 17th centuries. Thomas Nevile, who became Master of Trinity in 1593, redesigned much of the college; this work included the enlargement and completion of Great Court, the construction of Nevile's Court between Great Court and the river Cam. Nevile's Court was completed in the late 17th century when the Wren Library, designed by Christopher Wren, was built. In the 20th century, Trinity College, St John's College and King's College were for decades the main recruiting grounds for the Cambridge Apostles, an elite, intellectual secret society.
In 2011, the John Templeton Foundation awarded Trinity College's Master, the astrophysicist Martin Rees, its controversial million-pound Templeton Prize, for "affirming life's spiritual dimension". Trinity is the richest Oxbridge college, with a landholding alone worth £800 million. Trinity is sometimes suggested to be the second, third or fourth wealthiest landowner in the UK – after the Crown Estate, the National Trust and the Church of England. In 2005, Trinity's annual rental income from its properties was reported to be in excess of £20 million. Trinity owns: 3400 acres housing facilities at the Port of Felixstowe, Britain's busiest container port the Cambridge Science Park the O2 Arena in London Lord Byron purportedly kept a pe
An earl is a member of the nobility. The title is Anglo-Saxon in origin, akin to the Scandinavian form jarl, meant "chieftain" a chieftain set to rule a territory in a king's stead. In Scandinavia, it was replaced by duke. In medieval Britain, it became the equivalent of the continental count. However, earlier in Scandinavia, jarl could mean a sovereign prince. For example, the rulers of several of the petty kingdoms of Norway had the title of jarl and in many cases they had no less power than their neighbours who had the title of king. Alternative names for the rank equivalent to "earl/count" in the nobility structure are used in other countries, such as the hakushaku of the post-restoration Japanese Imperial era. In modern Britain, an earl is a member of the peerage, ranking below a marquess and above a viscount. A feminine form of earl never developed; the term earl has been compared to the name of the Heruli, to runic erilaz. Proto-Norse eril, or the Old Norse jarl, came to signify the rank of a leader.
The Norman-derived equivalent count was not introduced following the Norman conquest of England though countess was and is used for the female title. Geoffrey Hughes writes, "It is a speculation that the Norman French title'Count' was abandoned in England in favour of the Germanic'Earl' because of the uncomfortable phonetic proximity to cunt". In the other languages of Britain and Ireland, the term is translated as: Welsh iarll and Scottish Gaelic iarla, Scots yarl or yerl, Cornish yurl. An earl has the title Earl of when the title originates from a placename, or Earl when the title comes from a surname. In either case, he is referred to as Lord, his wife as Lady. A countess who holds an earldom in her own right uses Lady, but her husband does not have a title; the eldest son of an earl, though not himself a peer, is entitled to use a courtesy title the highest of his father's lesser titles, for instance the eldest son of The Earl Of Wessex is styled as James, Viscount Severn. Younger sons are styled The Honourable, daughters, The Lady.
In the peerage of Scotland, when there are no courtesy titles involved, the heir to an earldom, indeed any level of peerage, is styled Master of, successive sons as younger of. In Anglo-Saxon England, earls had authority over their own regions and right of judgment in provincial courts, as delegated by the king, they collected fines and taxes and in return received a "third penny", one-third of the money they collected. In wartime they led the king's armies; some shires were grouped together into larger units known as earldoms, headed by an ealdorman or earl. Under Edward the Confessor earldoms like Wessex, East Anglia and Northumbria—names that represented earlier independent kingdoms—were much larger than any shire. Earls functioned as royal governors. Though the title of Earl was nominally equal to the continental duke, unlike them, earls were not de facto rulers in their own right. After the Norman Conquest, William the Conqueror tried to rule England using the traditional system but modified it to his own liking.
Shires became the largest secular subdivision in England and earldoms disappeared. The Normans did create new earls like those of Herefordshire and Cheshire but they were associated with only a single shire at most, their power and regional jurisdiction was limited to that of the Norman counts. There was no longer any administrative layer larger than the shire, shires became "counties". Earls no longer aided in tax collection or made decisions in country courts and their numbers were small. King Stephen increased the number of earls to reward those loyal to him in his war with his cousin Empress Matilda, he gave some earls the right to hold royal castles or control the sheriff and soon other earls assumed these rights themselves. By the end of his reign, some earls held courts of their own and minted their own coins, against the wishes of the king, it fell to Stephen's successor Henry II to again curtail the power of earls. He took back the control of royal castles and demolished castles that earls had built for themselves.
He did not create new earldoms. No earl was allowed to remain independent of royal control; the English kings had found it dangerous to give additional power to an powerful aristocracy, so sheriffs assumed the governing role. The details of this transition remain obscure, since earls in more peripheral areas, such as the Scottish Marches and Welsh Marches and Cornwall, retained some viceregal powers long after other earls had lost them; the loosening of central authority during the Anarchy complicates any smooth description of the changeover. By the 13th century, earls had a social rank just below the king and princes, but were not more powerful or wealthier than other noblemen; the only way to become an earl was to inherit the title or marry into one—and the king reserved a right to prevent the transfer of the title. By the 14th century, creating an earl included a special public ceremony where the king tied a sword belt around the waist of the new earl, emphasizing the fact that the earl's rights came from him.
Earls still held influence and, as "companions of the king", were regarded as supporters of the king's power. They showed that power for the first time in 1327 when they deposed Edward II, they would do th
Parliament of England
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England, existing from the early 13th century until 1707, when it merged with the Parliament of Scotland to become the Parliament of Great Britain after the political union of England and Scotland created the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1066, William of Normandy introduced what, in centuries, became referred to as a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief and ecclesiastics before making laws. In 1215, the tenants-in-chief secured Magna Carta from King John, which established that the king may not levy or collect any taxes, save with the consent of his royal council, which developed into a parliament. Over the centuries, the English Parliament progressively limited the power of the English monarchy which arguably culminated in the English Civil War and the trial and execution of Charles I in 1649. After the restoration of the monarchy under Charles II, the subsequent Glorious Revolution of 1688, the supremacy of Parliament was a settled principle and all future English and British sovereigns were restricted to the role of constitutional monarchs with limited executive authority.
The Act of Union 1707 merged the English Parliament with the Parliament of Scotland to form the Parliament of Great Britain. When the Parliament of Ireland was abolished in 1801, its former members were merged into what was now called the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Under a monarchical system of government, monarchs must consult and seek a measure of acceptance for their policies if they are to enjoy the broad cooperation of their subjects. Early kings of England had no standing army or police, so depended on the support of powerful subjects; the monarchy had agents in every part of the country. However, under the feudal system that evolved in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066, the laws of the Crown could not have been upheld without the support of the nobility and the clergy; the former had economic and military power bases of their own through major ownership of land and the feudal obligations of their tenants. The Church was a law unto itself in this period as it had its own system of religious law courts.
In order to seek consultation and consent from the nobility and the senior clergy on major decisions, post-Norman Conquest English monarchs called Great Councils. A typical Great Council would consist of archbishops, abbots and earls, the pillars of the feudal system; when this system of consultation and consent broke down, it became impossible for government to function effectively. The most prominent instances of this before the reign of Henry III are the disagreements between Thomas Becket and Henry II and between King John and the barons. Becket, who served as Archbishop of Canterbury between 1162 and 1170, was murdered after a long running dispute with Henry II over the jurisdiction of the Church. John, king from 1199 to 1216, aroused such hostility from many leading noblemen that they forced him to agree to Magna Carta in 1215. John's refusal to adhere to this charter led to civil war; the Great Council evolved into the Parliament of England. The term came into use during the early 13th century, when it shifted from the more general meaning of "an occasion for speaking."
It first appears in official documents in the 1230s. As a result of the work by historians G. O. Sayles and H. G. Richardson, it is believed that the early parliaments had a judicial as well as a legislative function. During the 13th and 14th centuries, the kings called Knights of the Shire to meet when the monarch saw it as necessary. A notable example of this was in 1254 when sheriffs of counties were instructed to send Knights of the Shire to parliament to advise the king on finance. Parliaments were summoned when the king needed to raise money through taxes. After Magna Carta, this became a convention; this was due in no small part to the fact that King John died in 1216 and was succeeded by his young son Henry III. Leading peers and clergy governed on Henry's behalf until he came of age, giving them a taste for power that they would prove unwilling to relinquish. Among other things, they made sure. Once the reign of John ended and Henry III took full control of the government, leading peers became concerned with his style of government his unwillingness to consult them on decisions he took, his seeming patronisation of his foreign relatives over his native subjects.
Henry's support of a disastrous papal invasion of Sicily was the last straw. In 1258, seven leading barons forced Henry to swear to uphold the Provisions of Oxford, the following year, by the Provisions of Westminster; this abolished the absolutist Anglo-Norman monarchy, giving power to a council of fifteen barons, providing for a thrice-yearly meeting of parliament to monitor their performance. Parliament assembled six times between June 1258 and April 1262, most notably at Oxford in 1258; the French-born nobleman Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, emerged as the leader of this characteristically English rebellion. In the years that followed, those supporting Montfort and those supporting the king grew more hostile to each other. Henry obtained a papal bull in 1263 exempting him from his oath and both sides began to raise armies. At the Battle of Lewes on 14 May 1264, Henry was taken prisoner by Montfort's army. However, many of the peers who had supported Montfort began to suspect that he ha
Edward Manners, 3rd Earl of Rutland
Edward Manners, 3rd Earl of Rutland, 14th Baron de Ros of Helmsley, KG was the son of Henry Manners, 2nd Earl of Rutland, whose titles he inherited in 1563. He was the eldest son of Henry Manners, 2nd Earl of Rutland, Margaret, fourth daughter of Ralph Neville, 4th Earl of Westmorland, he seems to have been educated at Oxford. He bore the title of Lord Roos or Ros, the old title of his family, until 1563, when by the death of his father he became third Earl of Rutland, he was made one of the queen's wards, was specially under the charge of Sir William Cecil, connected with him by marriage. He accompanied the queen on her visit to Cambridge in 1564, was lodged in St. John's College, created M. A. 10 August. In October 1566, he was made M. A. of Oxford. In 1569, he joined the Earl of Sussex, taking his tenants with him, held a command in the army which suppressed the northern insurrection. In 1570, he passed into Cecil drawing up a paper of instructions for his guidance, he was in Paris in the next year.
At home, he received many offices, displayed enthusiastic devotion to the queen. On 5 August 1570, he became constable of Nottingham Castle, steward, keeper and chief justice of Sherwood Forest. On 17 June 1577, Rutland was placed on the ecclesiastical commission for the province of York, in 1579 on the council of the north. In the grand tilting match of 1580, Rutland and twelve others contended with a similar number, headed by Essex, before the queen at Westminster, his public offices now absorbed all his time, as in 1581 a relative, John Manners, seems to have been managing his estate. On 23 April 1584, he became K. G. and on 14 June 1585 lord-lieutenant of Lincolnshire. His style of living was expensive. In June 1586, with Lord Eure and Randolph, he arranged a treaty of peace with the Scots at Berwick, his brother Roger wrote that his conduct had been approved by the court. On 6 October, he was one of the commissioners to try Mary Queen of Scots; the queen promised to make him lord chancellor after the death of Sir Thomas Bromley, which took place 12 April 1587, he was for a day or two so styled.
He died, however, on 14 April 1587, at his house at Ivy Bridge in the Strand. On 6 June 1573, he married Isabel Holcroft, they had one child, born in January 1575; the Earl was brought home for burial. The Earldom of Rutland and Barony of Manners went to his brother John Manners, but the Barony of de Ros went to his daughter. At Bottesford Church in Leicestershire is the tomb commemorating his wife, it was created by Gerard Johnson the elder of a famous Flemish craftsman. Earl Edward lies on a mat. Instead of a gorget protecting his throat he wears a ruff, he wears the Order of the Garter on his left leg. His coronet has disappeared and at his feet is a decorated bull crest. Countess Isabel, daughter of Sir Thomas Holcroft, KT, wears a ruff with the usual dress of the time under an ermine trimmed mantle, her head supported by a cushion, her only daughter, kneels at her feet. The inscription on the tomb lists the Earl's activities in the Scottish "troubles" of the time. Attribution This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Archbold, William Arthur Jobson.
"Manners, Edward". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography. 36. London: Smith, Elder & Co. Jack, Sybil M.. "Manners, third earl of Rutland". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/17952. Retrieved 2011-10-24
Thomas Bruce, 1st Earl of Elgin
Thomas Bruce, 1st Earl of Elgin, 3rd Lord Bruce of Kinloss, of Houghton House in the parish of Maulden in Bedfordshire, was a Scottish nobleman. Born in Edinburgh in 1599, Thomas Bruce was the second son of Edward Bruce, 1st Lord Kinloss by his wife Magdalene Clerk, he succeeded to the Scottish peerage title as 3rd Lord Bruce of Kinloss in August 1613, aged 13, on the death of his elder brother, Edward Bruce, 2nd Lord Kinloss, killed in a duel with Edward Sackville, 4th Earl of Dorset. The family estates included Whorlton Castle and manor given to his father by King James I of England in 1603; the King granted the wardship of Thomas and the estates to his mother Magdalene, until he came of age at 21. In 1624, King James I granted Houghton House near Ampthill, Bedfordshire; the house was built by architects, John Thorpe and Inigo Jones, in the Jacobean and Classical style for Mary Herbert, Dowager Countess of Pembroke. It became the principal residence for the Bruce family for over a century. King Charles I of England granted him nearby Houghton Park to preserve game for the royal hunt, but persistent hunting and hawking by the local Conquest family forced the King's subsequent intervention.
During King Charles I's period of Personal rule, Thomas Bruce maintained close relations with the court. He attended the King for his coronation in Scotland in 1633 and was created Earl of Elgin on 21 June 1633; the year after performing in Thomas Carew's masque, Coelum Britannicum, Bruce received the degree of Master of Arts from the University of Oxford in 1636. He was invested as a Knight in 1638 at Windsor, along with William Villiers and Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales. Thomas Bruce continued in royal favour, he was created Baron Bruce of Whorlton, in the Peerage of England, on 29 July 1641. In 1643, he was appointed "Keeper of the King's Park" at Byfleet, a role he held until 1647. Although Bruce's sister Christian Cavendish, Countess of Devonshire was a notable Royalist, Bruce himself took the side of the Parliamentarians, serving on several county committees from 1644 to Pride’s Purge. Shortly before the 1648 outbreak of the Second English Civil War, fellow scot, William Murray, 1st Earl of Dysart, whipping boy of Charles I and husband of his relative, Catherine Bruce, appointed Bruce as principal trustee of Ham House to act on behalf of his wife and their daughters.
The move was successful in helping protect Murray's ownership of the estate by making sequestration by the Parliamentarians both more difficult and, given Elgin's influential position with the Scottish Presbyterians, politically undesirable. Bruce was described by Sir Philip Warwick as'a Gentleman of a good understanding, of a pious, but timorous and cautious mind', he recounted how Bruce expressed some uneasy regret for his actions, that he had tried to avoid parliament when he could and denied having been one of the handful of lords that condemned Archbishop Laud to death. Thomas Bruce married twice: Firstly, on 4 July 1622, he married Anne Chichester, a daughter of Sir Robert Chichester of Raleigh, by his first wife, Frances Harington, a daughter of John Harington, 1st Baron Harington of Exton, a co-heiress of her brother John Harington, 2nd Baron Harington of Exton. Anne was a half-sister of 1st Baronet, of Raleigh, she died on 20 March 1626/27, the day after having given birth to an only child: Robert Bruce, 1st Earl of Ailesbury, only son and heir.
Secondly, on 12 November 1629, he married Lady Diana Cecil, daughter of William Cecil, 2nd Earl of Exeter by his second wife, Elizabeth Drury, widow of Henry de Vere, 18th Earl of Oxford. The marriage was without issue. Diana had married de Vere in 1624, just a year before his death, thus brought with her considerable estates at West Tanfield and Manfield, near Bruce's existing Yorkshire estates, as well as property in Lincolnshire and Middlesex, including Clerkenwell Priory. Thomas built in her memory, the Ailesbury Mausoleum, in the churchyard of St. Mary's Church, Maulden, in Bedfordshire, an octagonal building built over an existing crypt. Inside the Mausoleum survives the monument to Diana, marble busts of her husband Thomas and of his grandson Edward Bruce. Sir Howard Colvin identified it as one of the first two freestanding mausoleums in England, the other being the Cabell Mausoleum in Buckfastleigh, Devon. Thomas Bruce died on 21 December 1663 at the age of 64, was succeeded by his son and heir Robert Bruce, 2nd Earl of Elgin, 1st Earl of Ailesbury