Bryce served as Liberal MP for Tower Hamlets 1880-85 and Aberdeen South 1885-1907. He joined Gladstone’s last cabinet as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, serving as President of the Board of Trade under Lord Rosebery and Chief Secretary for Ireland under Campbell-Bannerman. In 1907 he was appointed Ambassador to the United States, a post he held until 1913. Outside politics Bryce had a distinguished academic career, serving as Regius Professor of Civil Law at Oxford University 1870-93. During the first world war Bryce chaired a commission to look at German atrocities in Belgium and, with Arnold Toynbee, investigated the Armenian massacres in the Ottoman Empire.