RUSSELL, Thomas II, of Chichester, Suss.
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Family and Education
Bailiff, Chichester Mich. 1417-18; of the rape of Arundel, Suss. c.1420.1
Russell was regularly employed as an attorney at the Sussex assizes held at East Grinstead, where his clients included the prior of Tortington. He was sometimes associated with retainers of Thomas Fitzalan, earl of Arundel, as, for instance, in February 1414 when he joined Robert Jugler* in providing securities at the Exchequer on behalf of James Knottesford, to whom the earl, as treasurer of England, had assigned custody of the estates of the alien priory of La Luzerne. But he himself seems to have been more closely linked with the earl’s nearest male relation, John Arundel, Lord Mautravers, and it was on this nobleman’s behalf that he acted as an attorney at the assizes in December the same year. He continued to provide legal counsel to Mautravers after the latter inherited the castle and lordship of Arundel, following Earl Thomas’s death in 1415, and was apparently beholden to him for his appointment as bailiff of the rape of Arundel, a post he was holding by about 1420.
Meanwhile, Russell had attended the Sussex elections held at Chichester for the Parliaments of November 1414 and March 1416 and, a year later, during his term of office as bailiff of the liberty of Chichester, he himself had been returned to Parliament for the city. Little is recorded of him thereafter, although he evidently remained an active member of the legal profession, as such appearing in the Exchequer in 1430 to defend William Hore*, who had been accused of abusing his authority as mayor of Chichester.2 Perhaps ability as an advocate was the quality which caused four different boroughs to select him as their representative in the Commons, although in each instance only once.