RUSSELL, Hon. James (c.1647-1712), of Laverstoke, nr. Whitchurch, Hants and Maidwell, Northants.
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Family and Education
b. c.1647, 6th but 3rd surv. s. of Sir William Russell, 5th Earl and 1st Duke of Bedford, and bro. of Hon. Edward Russell, Hon. Robert Russell and Hon. William Russell. educ. Twickenham (Mr William Fuller) 1659; Westminster 1660; Magdalen Coll. Oxf. matric. 26 Oct. 1666, aged 20; 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., ld. mayor of London 1640-1, wid. of (Sir) John Trott, 1st Bt. of Laverstoke, s.p.; (2) lic. 11 Aug. 1698, Elizabeth, da. and coh. of Richard Lloyd, Mercer, of London, 1da. styled Lord James Russell 11 May 1694.1
Commr. for assessment, Hants 1689, j.p. by 1701-?d.
While on his travels Russell obtained an audience of the Pope, together with the Roman Catholic antiquary, Ralph Sheldon, and was instructed on his knees in the duty of passive obedience to the crown; but the papal allocution could not prevail against the Whiggish principles of the family. His marriage to a widow twenty-five years his senior brought him a safe seat at Whitchurch, and he was in consequence one of the few Whigs elected to James II’s Parliament, though not without opposition; but he left no trace on its records. On 15 Nov. 1688 he was given a pass to go to his house at Laverstoke ‘and return’’; but he was doubtless the ‘Mr Russell’ who joined William of Orange at Exeter a few days later. He was re-elected to the Convention, but granted leave of absence on 10 May 1689, and no committee appointments can be definitely attributed to him. He supported the disabling clause in the bill to restore corporations, and remained a court Whig under William. A second City marriage enabled him to buy an estate in Northamptonshire. He died on 22 June 1712.2