RUSSELL, Hon. James (c.1647-1712), of Laverstoke, nr. Whitchurch, Hants, and Maidwell, Northants.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1685 - 1687
1689 - 1695
1695 - 13 Mar. 1696
1695 - 13 Mar. 1696
13 Mar. 1696 - Nov. 1701
1702 - 21 Dec. 1703

Family and Education

b. c.1647, 6th but 3rd surv. s. of Sir William Russell†, 5th Earl and 1st Duke of Bedford; bro. of Hon. Edward*, Hon. Robert*, and Hon. William Russell†.  educ. Twickenham (Mr William Fuller) 1659; Westminster 1660, Magdalen Coll. Oxf. matric. 26 Oct. 1666, aged 20, MA 1667; travelled abroad (Italy) c.1669.  m. (1) lic. 5 July 1682, aged 34, Elizabeth, da. and coh. of Sir Edmund Wright of Swakeleys, Ickenham, Mdx., wid. of Sir John Trott, 1st Bt.†, of Laverstoke, s.p.; (2) lic. 11 Aug. 1698, Elizabeth, da. and coh. of Richard Lloyd of London, wid., 1da.  Styled Ld. James Russell aft. 11 May 1694.1

Offices Held


By his first marriage Russell had acquired an estate near Whitchurch and represented the borough in Parliament from 1685. Re-elected in 1690, he was classed as a Whig by Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†). Robert Harley* listed him as a Court supporter in April 1691, as did Carmarthen in 1692 and Samuel Grascome in 1693. Russell was returned both for Whitchurch and Tavistock in 1695, but was unseated on petition for the latter borough on 13 Mar. 1696. He was forecast as likely to support the Court in the division of 31 Jan. 1696 on the proposed council of trade. He signed the Association in February, and voted in March for fixing the price of guineas at 22s. In April he obtained a royal grant allowing two fairs a year to be held at Whitchurch. He voted for the attainder of Sir John Fenwick† on 25 Nov. Re-elected in 1698, he was classed as a Court supporter in an analysis of the new Parliament. He voted against the third reading of the disbanding bill on 18 Jan. 1699. In an analysis of the House of early 1700 he was listed as a member of the Bedford and Orford (Edward Russell*) interest.2

Russell’s second marriage, to a young widow worth £40,000, had allowed him to purchase a Northamptonshire estate, where he took up residence and thereafter allowed his electoral interest at Whitchurch to lapse. In 1702 he was returned for Tavistock on his family interest, but was unseated on petition on 21 Dec. 1703. Following the death of his nephew, the 2nd Duke of Bedford, in 1711, he was involved with his elder brother, Lord Edward, in the management of the Bedford estates. Russell died on 22 June 1712.3

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. G. Scott Thomson, Life in a Noble Household, 93–94; Wood, Life and Times, 170; London Mar. Lic. ed. Foster, 1167–8; PCC 120 Lloyd.
  • 2. CSP Dom. 1696, pp. 128, 157.
  • 3. Devonshire mss at Chatsworth House, Devonshire pprs. 68.7, Dowager Lady Halifax to [Ld. Halifax, (William Savile*)], 3 Sept. 1698; J. H. Wiffen, Hist. Mems. House of Russell, 223; HMC Lords, n.s. ix. 194–5.