Bruce, Robert Tyndall Hamilton

Person Key: 
BRU003
Family Name: 
Bruce
First Name(s): 
Robert Tyndall Hamilton
Birth Year: 
1847
Death Year: 
1899
Century: 
19
County: 
Highlands
Biography: 

Robert Tyndall Hamilton Bruce, was an Edinburgh business man. His wealth came from a chain of Glasgow bakeries, and the design of his book stamp plays on this association. He was a keen fisherman, book collector and a friend of W. E. Henley. In 1888, with R. Fitzroy Bell, the printer Walter Blaikie, and Charles Baxter, W.S., Robert Louis Stevenson's boyhood friend, he put up the money for a weekly review, The Scots Observer, to be published from Edinburgh. Fitzroy Bell put up most of the money. Bruce's stake was smaller, but he took a great deal of interest in the day to day running of the paper. The nominal editor of the paper was James Nichol Dunn, but the paper was so dull that after the sixth number the friends invited Henley, whom they had known when he was in Edinburgh receiving treatment for his tuberculous leg by Lister, to take over the editorship. This he did until 1894, making a great editorial success of it, drawing contributions from among others, Barrie, Kipling, Kenneth Grahame, and others, but never managing to make it economically stable, even after it was transferred to London as The National Observer. Bruce was a member of the Civil Service Commission, and moved from a house in George Square, to a country home which he set up in Dornoch, where he concentrated his large collection of paintings, sculpture and books. The larger part of his library was sold in Dowell's rooms in Edinburgh in December 1900.

Seat / Residence(s): 
Dornoch, Highlands
Auction House: 
Dowell's (Edinburgh)
Biographical Sources: 
John Connell. W.E. Henley. London, 1949. pp.137 8