RUSSELL, Sir William (1643-1705), of Gracechurch Street, London and Stubbers, North Ockendon, Essex.
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Family and Education
bap. 9 Nov. 1643, 4th s. of Robert Russell (d.1663), Skinner, of London by Elizabeth, da. of George Eaton of Langley, Derbys. m. (1) lic. Susanna (d. 18 Nov. 1683), da. and h. of Daniel Palmer, MD, of Cheshunt, Herts., 4s. (1 d.v.p.) 3da.; (2) 1704, Mary, sis. of Simon Lodowich, merchant, of London, wid. of James Woods, Tallow-chandler, of London, s.p. Kntd. 20 Oct. 1679.1
Member, Skinners’ Co. 1664, master 1683-4, asst. to 687; common councilman, London 1675-9, dep. lt. 1676-87, Oct. 1688-at least 1690, col. of auxiliary militia ft. to 1685; commr. for assessment, Mdx. 1679 80; alderman, London 1686-7; j.p. Essex by 1701-d.2
Member, Society for Propagation of the Gospel 1701.3
Russell’s father, a merchant, probably served on the London assessment commissions of 1652 and January 1660. Russell himself was a Skinner by patrimony; but he became a draper as soon as he was out of his apprenticeship to his father. He took a corner shop in Lombard Street, and returned over 30 per cent profit on his first year’s trade. Unlike most of the Skinners’ Company, he was a court supporter, and was knighted for his loyalty in 1679. At the general election of 1681 he was returned for Mitchell, where he was a stranger, but he was appointed to no committees in the Oxford Parliament. In May he presented loyal addresses from the lieutenancy and militia of London and two months later one from the corporation of Mitchell. He fined off for sheriff, but stood unsuccessfully as court candidate for alderman in opposition to Thomas Papillon in 1682. As master of the Skinners’ Company he surrendered its charter in 1684, and when the charter was renewed in the next year he was nominated to its governing body. He was one of the jurors chosen by the Tory sheriffs for the trial of Henry Cornish for high treason, and in 1686, during the suspension of the City’s charter, he was chosen alderman by James II, but was one of the Tories dismissed in June of the following year. He never sat again, though in 1695 he stood unsuccessfully for London as a Tory. Shortly after the Revolution he had purchased an estate in Essex, and had greatly enlarged the manor house at Stubbers. Russell died on 10 June 1705 and was buried at St. Dunstan in the East,
having lived in steady communion with the Church of England, and with the general reputation of an useful citizen, a loyal subject, an affectionate husband and father, and a wise and good man.
Though his ‘hopeful and flourishing descendants’ lived on at Stubbers till the 19th century, none of them entered Parliament.4
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Basil Duke Henning
- 1. J. R. Woodhead, Rulers of London , 142, 180; St. Dunstan in the East (Harl. Soc. Reg. lxix), 82; (lxxxiv), 101; Mar. Lic. (Harl. Soc. xxiii), 110; London Vis. Peds. (Harl Soc. xcii), 153; A. G. B. West, St. Dunstan in the East, 89, 93.
- 2. Woodhead, 142; PC2/72/503; Corp. London RO, 186/1, pt. 2, p. 21; 186/2/578; HMC Lords, iii. 45.
- 3. CSP Dom. 1700-2, p. 358.
- 4. Essex Arch. Soc. Trans. n.s. xxi. 51-52; London Gazette , 23 May, 21 July 1681; CSP Dom. 1682, pp. 548, 550; 1685, p. 81; HMC Lords , iii. 54, 290; Luttrell, i. 24, 243, 408; iii. 538, 540, 542; West, 89.