Submitted by thf1977 on Sat, 12/26/2009 - 13:50

Welcome, everybody, to the forum on Jamesboswell.info.

We have had forums on this site before, but are now re-lauching the whole thing in connection with our transfer to a new system.

Here you can put any question concerning Boswell, his family, friends and acquaintances, his home, the places he visisted the books he wrote, etc. The only requirement is, that you register as a user and are OKied by the site admin - none of the personal information that you give when signing up will be publicly disclosed - ever - and it has been made a requirement only because of the huge amounts of spam which flooded the forums on our former site.

If you have any problems signing up or posting a topic in the forum, please don't hesitate to contact me.


Thomas Frandzen

Peter R. Rose (not verified)

Fri, 04/13/2012 - 00:53

I am the great, great,great, great, great grandson of Andrew Bruce, who I believe was Factor of Auchinleck for Alexander Boswell, son of James Boswell and his wife Elizabeth Bruce, and father of James Boswell, the famous biographer of Samuel Johnson.  Andrew Bruce's son James Bruce succeeded his father as Factor, probably sometime around 1745.  What I am trying to discover is the connection (if any) between 1) Elizabeth Bruce Boswell and 2) Andrew and James Bruce, Factors of  Alexander Boswell's estate.  Can anyone enlighten me, or point me to literature that might provide answers?  Thanks in advance. You may reply to: prrose@roseassoc.com

The correspondence between James Boswell (the biographer) and the overseers of the Auchinleck estate, James Bruce and Andrew Gibb, was published in 1998 as the 8th volume in the Yale Research series of Boswell's correspondence. The volume contains numerous and some surprisingly personal letters between Boswell and Bruce, but, as the editors of the volume also states in the introduction, Bruce knew Boswell intimately for nearly fifty years - "longer than any other person".

There appears to have been some family connection, albeit distant. In the same volume just mentioned, the editors cite a manuscript in the possession of Yale, supposedly written by James Boswell, the grandfather of the biographer, stating that "The Bruces had been retainers at Auchinleck since the time of Boswell's grandfather, who in 1704 had brought home from the east of Scotland not only Lady Elizabeth Bruce (a daughter of the Earl of Kincardine) to be his wife but a humbler member of that family, Andrew Bruce, to be his gardener." No further information about Andrew Bruce's relationship to the family of the Earl is given, and so I can't say whether the connection is within a few generations or if Andrew Bruce was merely a distant relation and a lesser member of the Clan Bruce. As James Boswell, who was usually very aware of and attentive to family, does not refer specifically to Bruce as a relation in any of his journals or letters - that I have seen, and as far as I remember, anyway - I suspect that the latter interpretation may be the right one.

Please see this article for some further information about James Bruce.

I hope this answers some of your questions. I can recommend the Yale Research volume entitled "The Correspondence of James Boswell with James Bruce and Andrew Gibb, Overseers of the Auchinleck Estate". It is usually available from the [Abebooks] used books search engine.

Best wishes,

Thomas Frandzen