Today’s blog post comes from Katrina Wood, a summer intern with the Public Affairs Office.
As I took a self-guided tour of Embassy Row in Washington, DC, and paused at the statue of Winston Churchill at the British Embassy on Massachusetts Avenue, I thought of all the diplomats and representatives who have made homes in Washington.
Sir Frederick Bruce was a highly valued diplomat in Queen Victoria’s service. Somewhat surprisingly, he seems to be portrayed in a fashion slightly more casual than his lengthy political and diplomatic career would suggest.
Sir Frederick held posts from colonial secretary and consul-general to envoy extraordinary and chief superintendent of British trade in China. He was a native of Scotland, born in Broomhall, Fifeshire.
In 1865, when Sir Frederick was the British Minister in China, he received a new assignment as Minister to the United States. He arrived in New York only one week before the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln and never officially met the President.
The diplomat did not survive the President very long. Sir Frederick died in Boston on September 19, 1867. His obituary in the New York Times praised him for performing his ministerial functions “faithfully and earnestly, but with no needless demonstration and no extra-official zeal. . . . His genial hospitality will long be remembered by those who had the opportunity of enjoying it during the last two years.”
So, for his dedicated service and his notable beard, we salute Sir Frederick William Adolphus Wright-Bruce.