Duke of Bedford

Last updated

Dukedom of Bedford
Coronet of a British Duke.svg
Russell arms.svg
Argent, a lion rampant gules on a chief sable three escallops of the first (Russell). [1]
Creation date11 May 1694
Created by William III and Mary II
Peerage Peerage of England
First holder William Russell, 5th Earl of Bedford
Present holder Andrew Russell, 15th Duke
Heir apparentHenry Russell, Marquess of Tavistock
Remainder to1st Duke's heirs male of the body lawfully begotten
Subsidiary titlesMarquess of Tavistock
Earl of Bedford
Baron Russell
Baron Russell of Thornhaugh
Baron Howland
Seat(s) Woburn Abbey

Duke of Bedford (named after Bedford, England) is a title that has been created six times (for five distinct people) in the Peerage of England. The first and second creations came in 1414 and 1433 respectively, in favour of Henry IV's third son, John,[ clarification needed ] who later served as regent of France. He was made Earl of Kendal at the same time and was made Earl of Richmond later the same year. The titles became extinct on his death in 1435. The third creation came in 1470 in favour of George Neville, nephew of Warwick the Kingmaker. He was deprived of the title by Act of Parliament in 1478. The fourth creation came in 1478 in favour of George, the third son of Edward IV. He died the following year at the age of two. The fifth creation came in 1485 in favour of Jasper Tudor, half-brother of Henry VI and uncle of Henry VII. He had already been created Earl of Pembroke in 1452. However, as he was a Lancastrian, his title was forfeited between 1461 and 1485 during the predominance of the House of York. He regained the earldom in 1485 when his nephew Henry VII came to the throne and was elevated to the dukedom the same year. He had no legitimate children and the titles became extinct on his death in 1495.


The Russell family currently holds the titles of Earl and Duke of Bedford. John Russell, a close adviser of Henry VIII and Edward VI, was granted the title of Earl of Bedford in 1551, and his descendant William, 5th Earl, was created Duke in 1694, following the Glorious Revolution.

The subsidiary titles of the Duke of Bedford, all in the Peerage of England, are Marquess of Tavistock (created 1694), Earl of Bedford (1550), Baron Russell, of Cheneys (1539), Baron Russell of Thornhaugh in the County of Northampton (1603), and Baron Howland, of Streatham in the County of Surrey (1695) (and possibly the Barony of Bedford, which was merged into it in 1138, 1366 or 1414). The courtesy title of the Duke of Bedford's eldest son and heir is Marquess of Tavistock .

Every Duke from the 5th Duke onwards is descended from Charles II of England. The family seat is Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire. The private mausoleum and chapel of the Russell Family and the Dukes of Bedford is at St. Michael's Church in Chenies, Buckinghamshire (photo). [2] The family owns The Bedford Estate in central London.

Dukes of Bedford, first Creation (1414)

Other titles: Earl of Kendal (1414) and Earl of Richmond (1414)

Dukes of Bedford, second Creation (1433)

Other titles: Earl of Kendal (1414) and Earl of Richmond (1414)

Dukes of Bedford, third Creation (1470)

Other titles: Marquess of Montagu (1470) and Baron Montagu (1461)

Dukes of Bedford, fourth Creation (1478)

Dukes of Bedford, fifth Creation (1485)

Other titles: Earl of Pembroke (1452)

Earls of Bedford (1551)

Other titles: Baron Russell (1539)
Other titles (4th Earl onwards): Baron Russell of Thornhaugh (1603)

Dukes of Bedford, sixth Creation (1694)

William Russell, 1st Duke of Bedford Robert Williams - William Russell, 1st Duke of Bedford.png
William Russell, 1st Duke of Bedford
Other titles: Marquess of Tavistock (1694), Baron Howland (1695), Earl of Bedford (1551), Baron Russell (1538) and Baron Russell of Thornhaugh (1603)

The heir apparent is the present holder's only son Henry Robin Charles Russell, Marquess of Tavistock (b. 2005).

Line of succession

Family Tree

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Duke of Devonshire</span> Title in the Peerage of England

Duke of Devonshire is a title in the Peerage of England held by members of the Cavendish family. This branch of the Cavendish family has been one of the wealthiest British aristocratic families since the 16th century and has been rivalled in political influence perhaps only by the Marquesses of Salisbury and the Earls of Derby.

Duke of Newcastle upon Tyne was a title that was created three times, once in the Peerage of England and twice in the Peerage of Great Britain. The first grant of the title was made in 1665 to William Cavendish, 1st Marquess of Newcastle upon Tyne. He was a prominent Royalist commander during the Civil War.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Francis Russell, 2nd Earl of Bedford</span> English nobleman, soldier and politician

Francis Russell, 2nd Earl of Bedford, KG of Chenies in Buckinghamshire and of Bedford House in Exeter, Devon, was an English nobleman, soldier, and politician. He was a godfather to the Devon-born sailor Sir Francis Drake. He served as Lord Lieutenant of Devon (1584-5).

Andrew Ian Henry Russell, 15th Duke of Bedford is a British nobleman and peer. He is the son of Henry Robin Ian Russell, 14th Duke of Bedford, and his wife, Henrietta Tiarks.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Duke of Sutherland</span> Title in the peerage of the United Kingdom

Duke of Sutherland is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom which was created by William IV in 1833 for George Leveson-Gower, 2nd Marquess of Stafford. A series of marriages to heiresses by members of the Leveson-Gower family made the Dukes of Sutherland one of the richest landowning families in the United Kingdom. The title remained in the Leveson-Gower family until the death of the 5th Duke of Sutherland in 1963, when it passed to the 5th Earl of Ellesmere from the Egerton family.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Duke of Queensberry</span> Title in the Peerage of Scotland

The title Duke of Queensberry was created in the Peerage of Scotland on 3 February 1684 along with the subsidiary title Marquess of Dumfriesshire for the 1st Marquess of Queensberry. The Dukedom was held along with the Marquessate of Queensberry until the death of the 4th Duke in 1810, when the Marquessate was inherited by Sir Charles Douglas of Kelhead, 5th Baronet, while the Dukedom was inherited by the 3rd Duke of Buccleuch. Since then the title of Duke of Queensberry has been held by the Dukes of Buccleuch.

The Peerage of the United Kingdom is one of the five Peerages in the United Kingdom. It comprises most peerages created in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland after the Acts of Union in 1801, when it replaced the Peerage of Great Britain. New peers continued to be created in the Peerage of Ireland until 1898.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Earl of Huntingdon</span> Title in the Peerage of England

Earl of Huntingdon is a title which has been created several times in the Peerage of England. The medieval title was associated with the ruling house of Scotland.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Marquess of Tweeddale</span> Scottish peerage

Marquess of Tweeddale is a title of the Peerage of Scotland, created in 1694 for the 2nd Earl of Tweeddale. Lord Tweeddale holds the subsidiary titles of Earl of Tweeddale, Earl of Gifford (1694), Viscount of Walden (1694), Lord Hay of Yester (1488), and Baron Tweeddale, of Yester in the County of Haddington (1881), all but the last in the Peerage of Scotland. As Baron Tweeddale in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, Lord Tweeddale sat between 1881 and 1963 in the House of Lords. The Marquess's eldest son uses Viscount Walden as a courtesy title.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Earl of Cardigan</span> Title in the Peerage of England

Earl of Cardigan is a title in the Peerage of England, currently held by the Marquesses of Ailesbury, and used as a courtesy title by the heir apparent to that Marquessate, currently David Brudenell-Bruce, Earl of Cardigan, son of the 8th Marquess. The Brudenell family descends from Sir Robert Brudenell, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas from 1520 to 1530. His great-grandson, Sir Thomas Brudenell, was created a Baronet in the Baronetage of England, styled "of Deene in the County of Northampton", on 29 June 1611. On 26 February 1628, he was raised to the Peerage of England as Baron Brudenell, of Stanton Wyvill in the County of Leicester, and on 20 April 1661 he was further honoured when he was made Earl of Cardigan, also in the Peerage of England. On his death, the titles passed to his son, Robert, the 2nd Earl, and on the 2nd Earl's death to his grandson, George, the 3rd Earl, the 2nd Earl's only son, Francis, Lord Brudenell, having predeceased his father.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Baron de Clifford</span> Title in the Peerage of England

Baron de Clifford is a title in the Peerage of England. It was created in 1299 for Robert de Clifford (c.1274–1314), feudal baron of Clifford in Herefordshire, feudal baron of Skipton in Yorkshire and feudal baron of Appleby in Westmoreland. The title was created by writ, which means that it can descend through both male and female lines. The Norman family which later took the name de Clifford settled in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066 and was first seated in England at Clifford Castle in Herefordshire. The first Baron served as Earl Marshal of England but was killed at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. His 8th generation descendant the 11th Baron, was created Earl of Cumberland in 1525, whose grandson the 3rd Earl was a noted naval commander. On the latter's death in 1605 the earldom passed to his younger brother, the 4th Earl.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Earl Russell</span> Earldom in the Peerage of the United Kingdom

Earl Russell, of Kingston Russell in the County of Dorset, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created on 30 July 1861 for the prominent Liberal politician Lord John Russell. He was Home Secretary from 1835 to 1839, Foreign Secretary from 1852 to 1853 and 1859 to 1865 and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1846 to 1852 and 1865 to 1866. At the same time as he was given the earldom of Russell, he was made Viscount Amberley, of Amberley in the County of Gloucester and of Ardsalla in the County of Meath. A member of the prominent Russell family, he was the third son of John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Duke of Leeds</span> Dukedom in the Peerage of England

Duke of Leeds was a title in the Peerage of England. It was created in 1694 for the prominent statesman Thomas Osborne, 1st Marquess of Carmarthen, who had been one of the Immortal Seven in the Revolution of 1688. He had already succeeded as 2nd Baronet, of Kiveton (1647) and been created Viscount Osborne, of Dunblane (1673), Baron Osborne, of Kiveton in the County of York and Viscount Latimer, of Danby in the County of York, Earl of Danby, in the County of York (1674), and Marquess of Carmarthen (1689). All these titles were in the Peerage of England, except for the viscountcy of Osborne, which was in the Peerage of Scotland. He resigned the latter title in favour of his son in 1673. The Earldom of Danby was a revival of the title held by his great-uncle, Henry Danvers, 1st Earl of Danby.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford</span> British politician (1766–1839)

John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford,, known as Lord John Russell until 1802, was a British Whig politician who notably served as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in the Ministry of All the Talents. He was the father of Prime Minister John Russell, 1st Earl Russell.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">William Russell, 1st Duke of Bedford</span> British nobleman

William Russell, 1st Duke of Bedford KG PC was an English nobleman and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1640 until 1641 when he inherited his Peerage as 5th Earl of Bedford and removed to the House of Lords. He fought in the Parliamentarian army and later defected to the Royalists during the English Civil War.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wriothesley Russell, 2nd Duke of Bedford</span> English duke (1680–1711)

Wriothesley Russell, 2nd Duke of Bedford KG was an English nobleman and politician. He was the son of William Russell, Lord Russell, and his wife Lady Rachel Wriothesley. From 1683 until 1694, he was styled Lord Russell, and from 1695 until his accession in 1700, Marquess of Tavistock.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Francis Russell, 7th Duke of Bedford</span> British peer and Whig politician (1788-1861)

Francis Russell, 7th Duke of Bedford,, styled Marquess of Tavistock from 1802 to 1839, was a British peer and Whig politician.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Baron Russell of Thornhaugh</span> Barony in the Peerage of England

Baron Russell of Thornhaugh is a title in the Peerage of England. It was created in 1603 for the English military leader, the Honourable Sir William Russell. He was the fourth son of Francis Russell, 2nd Earl of Bedford. His son succeeded as Earl of Bedford in 1627 and the barony has been united with the earldom ever since.

Lord Russell is a form of address used for several different members of the English family of Russell, including:

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Caroline Spencer, Duchess of Marlborough</span>

Caroline Spencer, Duchess of Marlborough, formerly Lady Caroline Russell, was the wife of George Spencer, 4th Duke of Marlborough.


  1. Debrett's Peerage, 1968, p.131; The chief is present in the arms of the modern coat of arms of the London Borough of Camden, because the dukes of Bedford used to own land in the borough (see Bedford Estate)
  2. "HERALDRY of the BEDFORD CHAPEL CHENIES". www.middlesex-heraldry.org.uk. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  3. Cracroft – Extinct dukedoms of England Archived 17 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  4. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bedford, Earls and Dukes of"  . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  5. Burke's Peerage & Baronetage
  6. "Google Groups". groups.google.com. Retrieved 10 April 2018.