Henry Bruce

1798 - 31st Aug 1864

Claimant or beneficiary


London West India merchant, partner in Rainey Bruce, trustee in two awards in British Guiana with his partner Robert Rainey (q.v.), and probably the same man as the recipient of a further award in British Guiana.

  1. In 1841, Henry Bruce merchant aged 43 born I[reland] was living in Tavistock Square with his wife Mary aged 31 and four young children. In 1851 the family was living at Erskine House Hampstead Heath, Henry Bruce described as West India merchant aged 53 born Belfast, Mary as 'merchant's wife', aged 40 born Liverpool, with seven children. In 1861 Henry Bruce West India merchant was living at 6 Albert Terrace St Pancras aged 63 born Belfast; wife Mary born Liverpool aged 50; children Emily (23); Henry Michael (21); Mary Louisa (17); William H[?] (15); Clara (14) Catherine (9).

  2. Will of Henry Bruce of 40 Moorgate St and 6 Albert Terrace who died 31/08/1864 at Albert Terrace proved by Mary, widow and sole executrix. Effects under £45,000.

  3. Henry Bruce's sister-in-law, Anna Swanwick (1813-1899), is in the ODNB as translator, writer and social reformer. Mary and Anna Swanwick were the daughters of John Swanwick (d. 1837), a Liverpool merchant, and Hannah Hilditch.

  4. Henry Bruce was the son of Rev. William Bruce (1752-1841), the Principal of the Belfast Academy, and brother of William Bruce (1790-1868), both of whom are in the ODNB as Presbyterian ministers.

  5. A Henry Bruce appears in the Times in 1845, having petitioned the House of Commons against the London and York Railway and alleged that £500,000 of £5,000,000 was fraudulent: the list included fictitious subscribers and those who from their circumstances and station in life are 'utterly irresponsible'. It is not definitive that this was the same man, but the Henry Bruce of the award was an active railway investor.  


T71/886 British Guiana claim no. 1796; T71/887 no. 2599. British Guiana no. 969 was also in the name of Henry Bruce.

  1. 1841, 1851 and 1861 censuses online.

  2. National Probate Calendar 1864.

  3. ODNB online, Barbara Dennis, 'Swanwick, Anna (1813-1899), translator, writer and social reformer.'

  4. Anna Swanwick: a Memoir and Recollections 1813-1899, compiled by her niece Mary L. Bruce (London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1903), p. 25, which shows the marriage of Mary to Henry Bruce, 'youngest son of the Rev. Dr Bruce of Belfast.'; ODNB online, I.R. Mcbride, 'Bruce, William (1757-1841), non-subscribing Presbyterian minister', and Alexander Gordon, rev. David Huddleston, 'Bruce, William (1790-1868), non-subscribing Presbyterian minister'

  5. Times 06/08/1845 p. 6.

We are grateful to Mr A.J. Pyett for his help with this entry. Family letters in his possession show Henry Bruce to have been in Demerara at least betweebn 1819 and 1824.

Further Information

Mary Swanwick
Wealth at death
West India merchant

Associated Claims (2)

£209 19s 10d
Awardee (Trustee)
£289 9s 10d
Awardee (Trustee)

Legacies Summary

Commercial (12)

Colonial Bank
Railway Investment
Eastern Counties (Cambridge and Lincoln Line) [1846126]  
Railway Investment
Tottenham and Farringdon-street Extension [1845189]  
Queen Insurance Co.
Railway Investment
Railway Investment
Eastern Counties (Cambridge and Lincoln Line) [1846126]  
Railway Investment
Dublin and Belfast Junction (Branch to Kells) [184540]  
Railway Investment
Great Southern and Western (Extensions to Limerick and Cork) [184576]  
Railway Investment
Cambridge and Lincoln [184524]  
Railway Investment
Irish North Midland [1846243]  
Railway Investment
Lynn and Ely (Extension to March) [1846323]  
Name partner
Rainey, Bruce & Co.
West India merchant  

Relationships (1)

Brother-in-law → Sister-in-law
Notes →
Jane Elizabeth Smith had married Henry Bruce's brother Rev. William Bruce of Belfast in...

Addresses (1)

Bell Court, Mincing Lane, City of London, Middlesex, London, England