Men of the Time, eleventh edition/Aberdare (Lord), Henry Austin Bruce

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820250Men of the Time, eleventh edition — Aberdare (Lord), Henry Austin BruceThompson Cooper

ABERDARE (Lord), The Right Hon. Henry Austin Bruce, is the second son of the late Mr. John Bruce Pryce, of Duffryn St. Nicholas, Glamorganshire, who assumed the name of Bruce in lieu of his patronymic Knight, in 1805, and the name of Pryce in 1837. He was born at Duffryn on April 16, 1815. At the age of six years he was taken by his family to France, where he remained till 1827. Returning to England in that year he began his regular studies at the Swansea Grammar School, and continued at that establishment till 1832, when he was removed to London, where he read for two years in the chambers of his uncle, the late Lord Justice Knight Bruce. He was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1837, but after practising for about six years, he withdrew his name altogether in 1843 from the ranks of the profession. He was Police-Magistrate of Merthyr-Tydvil and Aberdare, Glamorganshire, from 1847 till 1852, when he entered the House of Commons as member for Merthyr-Tydvil. That borough he represented in the Liberal interest till the general election of December, 1868, when he lost his seat; but in the following month he was returned for Renfrewshire. Mr. Bruce was Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department from Nov. 1862, to April, 1864; and Vice-President of the Committee of Council on Education from the latter date to July, 1866. He was also in 1864 appointed a Charity Commissioner for England and Wales, and sworn a member of the Privy Council. From Nov. 1865, to Aug. 1866, he held the post of second Church Estates Commissioner. On the formation of Mr. Gladstone's cabinet, in Dec. 1868, he took office as Secretary of State for the Home Department, and the following year he was appointed an Ecclesiastical Commissioner. In Aug. 1873, he was raised to the peerage by the title of Lord Aberdare, in order to enable him to hold the high post of Lord President of the Council, in the place of Lord Ripon, resigned. However, he was only destined to retain that exalted position a very short time, as he of course went out of office on the defeat of the Liberal party in Feb. 1874. He presided over the meeting of the Social Science Association held at Brighton in 1875. His Lordship edited the "Life of General Sir Wm. Napier, K.C.B., author of 'History of the Peninsular War,'" 2 vols., 1864; and has published "National Education: an Address delivered to the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science," 1866; and his "Speech on the Second Reading of the Education of the Poor Bill," 1867. He has been twice married; firstly, in 1846, to Annabella, daughter of Mr. Richard Beadon (she died in 1852); and, secondly, in 1854, to Norah, daughter of the late Lieutenant-General Sir William P. Napier, K.C.B. His son and heir is Mr. Henry Campbell-Bruce, who was born in 1851.