Sir Bruce Lockhart Burnside (26 July 1833 – 11 August 1909[1]) was a Bahamian lawyer and politician.

Sir Bruce Burnside
16th Chief Justice of Ceylon
In office
21 May 1883 – 1889
Appointed byJames Robert Longden
Preceded byJacobus de Wet
Succeeded byJohn Winfield Bonser
15th Queen's Advocate of Ceylon
In office
24 October 1879 – 1883
Preceded byRichard Cayley
Succeeded byFrancis Flemming
Personal details
Born(1833-07-26)26 July 1833
Nassau, Bahamas
Died10 August 1909(1909-08-10) (aged 76)
Kent, Surrey, England
SpouseMary Elizabeth Francis
ChildrenFrederick K. Burnside
Eustace A. Burnside
Robert Bruce Burnside
Edmund Burnside
Bertram W. Burnside
Ida M. Burnside
Lilla Burnside
Frederick R. Burnside

He served as a Member of Parliament, Solicitor-General and Attorney-General of the Bahama Islands,[1] later becoming the 25th Queen's Advocate of Ceylon and the 16th Chief Justice of Ceylon.

Early life and education


Burnside was born in Nassau, the second son of Hon. John James Burnside,[2] one time Surveyor-General of the Bahamas[1][2] and his wife, Mary.[3]

Burnside was called to the Bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1856.[1][2]




Burnside returned to Nassau and established himself in legal practice.[1] He became a member of the House of Assembly of the Bahamas in 1859.[1]

During the American Civil War, he served as a legal adviser to the Confederate States.[1][2]

In 1864, Burnside was appointed Solicitor-General of the Bahamas.[1] He served as the Speaker of the House of Assembly from November 1866 to February 1867. He was appointed to the Legislative Council in 1872 and appointed Attorney-General in 1875.[1][4]

Chief Justice of Ceylon


In 1879, Burnside was appointed Queen's Advocate in Ceylon.[1][2][5]

Four years later, he was appointed Chief Justice of Ceylon on 21 May 1883[1][2][6] succeeding Jacobus de Wet and served as Chief Justice until 1889. He was succeeded by John Winfield Bonser.[7][8]

Honours and awards


In 1874, Burnside was made Queen's Counsel.[1][9] He was knighted in 1884.[1][10]

Personal life and death


Burnside died in England on 11 August 1909.[1] He was survived by his wife, Mary. One son, Robert Bruce Burnside, was a judge on the Supreme Court of Western Australia.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Obituary of Sir Bruce Burnside". Nassau, Bahamas. The Nassau Guardian. 1 September 1909. Retrieved 16 December 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Obituary". Birmingham Post. 13 August 1909. p. 12. Retrieved 16 December 2023.
  3. ^ "Sir Bruce Lockhart Burnside". RootsWeb. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  4. ^ "Appointments". The Gazette (24254). London, England: 4821. 12 October 1875.
  5. ^ "Appointments". The London Gazette. No. 24807. London, England. 30 January 1880. p. 449. Retrieved 17 December 2023.
  6. ^ "Appointments". The London Gazette. No. 25217. London, England. 30 March 1883. p. 1739.
  7. ^ "Overview". Judicial Service Commission Secretariat. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  8. ^ John Ferguson (1996) [1887]. Ceylon in the Jubilee Year (Repr. ed.). Asian Educational Services. p. 254. ISBN 978-81-206-0963-1. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
  9. ^ "Appointments". The London Gazette. No. 24119. London, England. 4 August 1874. p. 3811. Retrieved 17 December 2023.
  10. ^ "Appointments". The London Gazette. No. 25402. London, England. 7 October 1884. p. 4372.
  11. ^ Staples, G. T. "Burnside, Robert Bruce (1862–1929)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
Legal offices
Preceded by Chief Justice of Ceylon
Succeeded by
Preceded by Queen's Advocate of Ceylon
Succeeded by