The Bruce Family.

This famous Scottish family, which produced a King of Ireland and three Kings of Scotland, came to England with James I and lived at Houghton House for seventy years. Thomas, who acquired Houghton House in 1624 was made Earl of Elgin in 1633, and his son Robert became also Earl of Aylesbury and Viscount Bruce of Ampthill. Robert was a Royalist and became Lord Chamberlain after the Restoration. His son, Thomas, the third earl, also strongly supported the Stuarts and retired in 1696 into voluntary exile abroad on account of his sympathy with James II. He never returned to Houghton House, which was sold to the Duke of Bedford in 1738.