RUSSELL, William (d.1418/19), and Strensham, Worcs.
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Family and Education
William was Sir John Russell’s eldest son, although it is clear from the provisions in Sir John’s will that his younger brother, John, was their father’s favourite. Furthermore, the generous settlement made by Sir John on the occasion of his third marriage, to Elizabeth, Lady Clinton, meant that she was entitled to retain most of his Worcestershire estates for life, and that if she had children by him they would inherit the same to the exclusion of their half-brothers. In May 1401 William formally confirmed to his stepmother the terms of the entail so detrimental to his own interests, which affected descent not only of the family seat at Strensham but also of the manor of Peopleton and other substantial properties; and after his father’s death in 1405 he would appear to have come into possession of little more than the manor of Dormston, which had not been included in the settlement. However, it seems likely that at some point before her death in 1423 Lady Clinton relinquished her interest in additional Worcestershire estates to her stepson. In the meantime, in 1406, Russell had married one of the daughters of his father’s executor, Thomas Hodyngton.2
Russell’s career was brief and uneventful. He apparently never served on any royal commissions, and he made few appearances in the central courts as a mainpernor. In 1407 he attended the Worcestershire elections to Parliament. Four years later, in November 1411, he joined another local esquire, Humphrey Stafford* of Grafton, in enlisting as a member of the retinue of Henry, prince of Wales, about to sail to Calais, but it is doubtful that he ever set off, for in the following February an order was out for his arrest at home in Worcestershire. Russell was returned to Parliament for the only known time in 1416. In the following year he was mustered in the company led by Richard, earl of Warwick, for service in the army which Henry V was leading to France.3
Russell may have died abroad in 1418 or early the next year. Certainly, lands known as ‘Clintonfield’ in Southfleet, Kent (probably given him by his stepmother), were in the possession of his widow by March 1419. His son, Robert, inherited the family estates before 1428, and eight years later these, along with a moiety of the manor of Huddington, which Robert had inherited from his mother, were estimated to be worth £66 a year. Robert, who represented Worcestershire in 1435 and 1439, married the eldest of the six daughters of John Throckmorton*, a leading councillor to the earl of Warwick.4
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. Vis. Worcs. (Harl. Soc. xxvii), 118.
- 2. CCR, 1399-1402, pp. 412-13; 1405-9, p. 19; 1422-9, pp. 98-99; Lambeth Pal. Lib. Reg. Arundel, i. f. 222; VCH Bucks. iv. 368-70; C139/12/36; VCH Worcs. iii. 426; iv. 71; Peds. Plea Rolls ed. Wrottesley, 241; Warws. RO, Throckmorton mss box 50.
- 3. CCR, 1402-5, p. 528; C219/10/4; CPR, 1408-13, p. 377; C76/95 m. 3; E101/51/2.
- 4. CAD, iii. D753; Feudal Aids, v. 322, 326-7, 332; E179/200/68; VCH Worcs. iii. 409.