Sue Young Histories

William Russell 1767 – 1840

January 14, 2010

Lord William Russell 1767 – 1840, a member of the British aristocratic family of Russell and longtime Member of Parliament,

Russell was an advocate of homeopathy (Georgiana Blakiston, Lord William Russell and his wife, 1815-1846, (J. Murray, 1972). Page 225). His relative John Russell 1st Earl Russell was a friend of James Stansfeld. His wife Charlotte was the sister in law of Sarah Sophia Villiers Countess of Jersey, and his uncle Francis Russell 7th Duke of Bedford was also an advocate of homeopathy,

On 10.6.1858, another fund raising event was held in support of the London Homeopathic Hospital at the Riding School of the Cavalry Barracks in Kensington, attended by Colonel Parker, the Duchess of Abercorn, Lady Acton, the Marchioness of Aberdeen, the Marchioness of Aylesbury, Viscountess Barrington, the Duchess of Beaufort, the Countess of Bradford, Lady Bryant, Erneste de Bunsen, Burne, Adelaide Cadogan, Augusta Duchess of Cambridge, Georgiana Codrington, the Countess of Cowley, the Countess of Craven, Curson, Blanche Dapplin, Lady Ebury, Lady Elcho, the Marchioness of Exeter, Lady Forester, the Countess of Gainesborough, the Countess of Glengall, Lady Gray of Gray, Lady Charlotte Greville, Lady Hall of Hanover, the Countess of Harrowby, Lady Ellinor Hopwood, the Countess of Kinnoull, Viscountess Lismore, Lady Lynd L’emplemore, the Duchess of Manchester, the Duchess of Montrose, Henrietta Morant, Viscountess Newport, Adeliza Norman, Lady Caroline Paget, the Duchess of Richmond, Lady Rokeby, Lady Cosmo Russell, the Countess of Sandwich, Lady Elizabeth de Emily Seymour, Viscountess Sidmouth, Villers, Lady Smith, Mrs. Felix Vaughn Smith, Mrs. Dudly Ward, Lady Willoughby, the Countess of Wilton, the Countess of Winchelsea,

Russell was the posthumous child of Francis Russell Marquess of Tavistock, eldest son of John Russell 4th Duke of Bedford. He was the youngest brother of Francis Russell 5th Duke of Bedford, and John Russell 6th Duke of Bedford, and uncle of Francis Russell 7th Duke of Bedford.

Russell married Lady Charlotte Villiers, eldest daughter of George Bussy Villiers 4th Earl of Jersey, on 11 July 1789; they had seven children. Lady Charlotte died in 1808. As was mentioned in evidence at the trial of his murderer, Russell had a locket containing some of his wife’s hair, which he valued greatly.

The Times, reporting on proceedings where Russell’s eligibility to register as a voter in Middlesex and Surrey was challenged in 1836, included the information that he spent much time abroad, living in hotels when in England. However, by 1840 Lord William was residing in the London house where he was murdered in his sleep by his valet.

Of interest:

Bertrand Arthur William Russell 3rd Earl Russell 1872 – 1970 was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, socialist, pacifist and social critic.

Bertrand Russell’s paternal grandfather, John Russell 1st Earl Russell, was the third son of John Russell 6th Duke of Bedford, and had twice been asked by Queen Victoria to form a government, serving her as Prime Minister in the 1840s and 1860s.

Bertrand Russell’s godfather was John Stuart Mill, and though John Stuart Mill died the year after Bertrand Russell’s birth, his writings had a great effect on Bertrand Russell’s life.

Bertrand Russell was a colleague of Sidney and Beatrice Webb, and he was a Vice President of the National Council for Civil Liberties founded by Ronald Hubert Kidd, the grandson of homeopath Joseph Kidd,

Lord Cosmo Russell 1817 - 1875 was the son of John Russell 6th Duke of Bedford (whose wife was related to the Earls of Albemarle),

With thanks to Peter Morrell and the Illustrated London News April 1858:

The supporters of homeopathy are now striving to establish a large metropolitan hospital, which shall be conducted according to the principles inculcated by Hahnemann, which will be a school for homeopathic students, and which will afford to allopathic physicians the means of inquiring into the merits of the new doctrine and practice.

A public dinner in aid of the building fund of this charity took place on Wednesday, April 21 at Willis’s Rooms, when the Duke of Beaufort, George Ponsonby O’Callaghan 2nd Viscount Lismore, Arthur de Vere Capell Viscount Malden, Lord Rokeby, Lord Grey de Wilton, Lord Cosmo Russell, Robert Grosvenor, Mr Truman MP, Major Blake, Edmund Gardiner Fishbourne, *H D Pritchard, Mr Sheriff Rutherford, Frederick Hervey Foster Quin, John Rutherford Russell, and about 150 other gentlemen, known as supporters and practitioners of homeopathy in the metropolis and in the provinces.

The usual toasts were given, viz– “The Queen;” “The Prince Consort and the Royal Family;” and “The Army and Navy,” responded to by Lord Rokeby and Edmund Gardiner Fishbourne, who alluded to their experience of the benefits personally derived by them from homeopathy during their service in the Niger expedition and in the Crimea.

Lady Cosmo Russell was the daughter in law of John Russell 6th Duke of Bedford, and the sister in law of James Hamilton 1st Duke of Abercorn,


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