Thomas Brudenell-Bruce, 1st Earl of Ailesbury

The Right Honourable

The Earl of Ailesbury


The Earl of Ailesbury by Joshua Reynolds.
Personal details
Born 30 April 1729
Died 19 April 1814 (1814-04-20) (aged 84)
Seamore Place, Mayfair, London, England
Nationality British
Spouse(s) (1) Susanna Hoare
(2) Lady Anne Elizabeth Rawdon (1753–1813)

Thomas Brudenell-Bruce, 1st Earl of Ailesbury KT (30 April 1729 - 19 April 1814), styled The Honourable Thomas Brudenell until 1747 and known as The Lord Bruce of Tottenham between 1747 and 1776, was a British courtier.

Background and education

Born Thomas Brudenell, he was the youngest son of George Brudenell, 3rd Earl of Cardigan and Lady Elizabeth Bruce, daughter of Thomas Bruce, 3rd Earl of Elgin. He was the younger brother of George Montagu, 1st Duke of Montagu, James Brudenell, 5th Earl of Cardigan and the Honourable Robert Brudenell. He was educated at Winchester College. In February 1747, aged 17, he succeeded his uncle, the 4th Earl of Elgin and 3rd and last Earl of Ailesbury, as 2nd Baron Bruce of Tottenham according to a special remainder in the letters patent.[1] In 1767 he assumed by Royal licence the additional surname of Bruce.[2]

Public life

Lord Bruce served as a Lord of the Bedchamber to King George III, and was briefly in May 1776 Governor to the Prince of Wales and Prince Frederick. In June 1776 he was created Earl of Ailesbury, in the County of Buckingham,[3] a revival of the earldom which had become extinct on his uncle's death. He subsequently served as Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire from 1780 to 1782, as Lord Chamberlain to Queen Charlotte from 1780 to 1792 and as Treasurer to Queen Charlotte from 1792 to 1814. On 29 November 1786 he was made a Knight of the Order of the Thistle.


Lord Ailesbury married firstly, Susanna Hoare, daughter of the banker Henry Hoare and widow of Viscount Dungarvan, on 17 February 1761. They had five children:

Susanna, Countess of Ailesbury, died on 4 February 1783. Lord Ailesbury married as his second wife Lady Anne Elizabeth Rawdon (1753-1813), eldest daughter of John Rawdon, 1st Earl of Moira, on 14 February 1788. There were no children from this marriage. She died on 8 January 1813. Lord Ailesbury died at Seamore Place, Mayfair, London, in April 1814, aged eighty-four. He was succeeded in the earldom by his third but only surviving son, Charles, who was created Marquess of Ailesbury in 1821.[1]

Lord Ailesbury's first wife, Susanna Hoare, was the widow of Charles Boyle, Viscount Dungarvan. 
Lord Ailesbury's eldest daughter Lady Caroline Anne Brudenell-Bruce died ummarried in 1824. 
Lord Ailesbury's eldest son George, Lord Bruce, died at the age 20 or 21. 
Lord Ailesbury's second daughter Lady Frances Elizabeth Brudenell-Bruce later married Sir Henry Wright-Wilson of Chelsea Park, Middlesex. 
Lord Ailesbury's third and youngest son, Charles, later 1st Marquess of Ailesbury. 





  1. 1 2 Thomas Brudenell-Bruce, 1st Earl of Ailesbury
  2. The London Gazette: no. 10793. p. 2. 26–29 December 1767.
  3. The London Gazette: no. 11672. p. 1. 4 June 1776.
  4. WRO [43] 15th HMC Report App VII
  5. WRO 9, 100, 111; NRA 30725; Principal Family estate correspondence, 1996, A-K [12a]
  6. BL, MSS, II, 1984
  7. NRS GD224/663; NRA 34806
  8. CUL BP; NRA 42238
  9. NRAS 3955; NRA 26223 Bruce
  10. Sheffield City Archives WWM; WRA 1083 Wentworth Woodhouse
Court offices
Preceded by
Marquess of Carmarthen
Lord Chamberlain to Queen Charlotte
Succeeded by
The Earl of Morton
Title last held by
The Earl of Guilford
Treasurer to Queen Charlotte
Succeeded by
The Earl of Effingham
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Pembroke
Lord-Lieutenant of Wiltshire
Succeeded by
The Earl of Pembroke
Peerage of Great Britain
New creation Earl of Ailesbury
Succeeded by
Charles Brudenell-Bruce
Preceded by
Charles Bruce
Baron Bruce
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