The Earl of Bedford
John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford, 1555
| Lord High Steward |
for the coronation of Edward VI
20 February 1547 –20 February 1547
|Lord Privy Seal|
|Monarch|| Henry VIII |
|Preceded by||The Earl of Southampton|
|Succeeded by||The Lord Paget|
|Lord High Admiral|
|Chancellor||Sir Thomas Audley|
|Preceded by||The Earl of Southampton|
|Succeeded by||The Earl of Hertford|
|Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall|
|Succeeded by||The Earl of Bath|
|Lord Lieutenant of Devon|
|Succeeded by||The Earl of Bath|
|Lord Lieutenant of Dorset|
|Succeeded by||The Earl of Bath|
|Lord Lieutenant of Somerset|
The Earl of Pembroke
|High Sheriff of Somerset and Dorset|
|Preceded by||John Seymour|
|Succeeded by||Sir Andrew Luttrell|
|Member of Parliament for Buckinghamshire|
9 August 1529 –14 April 1536
|Chancellor||Sir Thomas More (1529-1532)|
Sir Thomas Audley (1532-1536)
|Died||May 14, 1555 69–70)(aged|
|Resting place||Bedford Chapel, St Michael's Church, Chenies, Buckinghamshire|
|Relations|| John Russell, 1st Earl Russell |
|Children||Francis Russell, 2nd Earl of Bedford|
|Parents||Sir James Russell (father)|
Alice Wyse (mother)
|Residence||Chenies Manor House, Chenies, Buckinghamshire|
|Awards||Knight of the Order of the Garter |
Several Life peerages
John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford(c. 1485 – 14 March 1555) was an English royal minister in the Tudor era. He served variously as Lord High Admiral and Lord Privy Seal. Among the lands and property he was given by Henry VIII after the Dissolution of the Monasteries, were the Abbey and town of Tavistock, and the area that is now Covent Garden. Russell is the ancestor of all subsequent Earls and Dukes of Bedford and Earls Russell, including John Russell, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and philosopher Bertrand Russell.
John Russell was born ca. 1485 probably at Berwick-by-Swyre, Dorset, the son of Sir James Russell (d. Nov. 1505)and his first wife Alice Wyse, daughter of Thomas Wyse of Sidenham, near Tavistock, Devon. James's father was possibly Sir William Russell, but more likely his brother John Russell (d. pre November, 1505) by his wife Alice Froxmere, daughter of John Froxmere of Droitwich, Worcestershire, because his coat of arms quarters Froxmere. The elder John Russell was the son of Sir Henry Russell (d. 1463/4), and Elizabeth Herring, daughter of John Herring of Chaldon Herring. Henry, great-grandfather of the 1st Earl, was a substantial wine merchant and shipper, who represented Weymouth in the House of Commons four times.
The Russell pedigree can only be traced back with certainty to Henry Russell's father, Sir Stephen Russell, the evidence being contained in a deed of April 1440in which Henry Russell made over to his daughter Christina and her husband Walter Cheverell of Chauntemarle, a tenement in Dorchester to be held of himself and his heirs upon rent of a red rose. In the deed Henry referred to himself as son and heir of Sir Stephen Russell and of Alice his wife. This Alice appears to have been the heir general of the De la Tour family, which had long owned Berwick-by-Swyre, and by whom therefore the manor was brought into the Russell family.
Both Sir Henry and Sir Stephen were referred to as Gascoigne as well as Russell, possibly due to their wine trade with France, as in a 1442 pardon under the Privy Seal referring to Henry Russell of Weymouth, merchant, alias Henry Gascoign, gentleman.It was long believed in the noble Russell family, certainly by the 2nd Earl of Bedford, that the family was descended from the ancient family of Russell of Kingston Russell in Dorset, three miles northeast of Berwick, which descent was declared unproven by Gladys Scott Thomson in her Two Centuries of Family History, London, 1930, an exhaustive and scholarly work on the early pedigree of the Earls of Bedford. (For a disambiguation of the Bedford Russells and the Russells of Kingston Russell, see Kingston Russell).
In 1506 John Russell was of service to Archduke Philip of Austria and Juana his wife (King and Queen of Castile) when they were shipwrecked off Weymouth, and escorted the royal couple to the English court in London. He was one of the most accomplished gentlemen of his timeand so impressed them by his gracious manners that they praised him highly to King Henry VII. He became a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber to Henry VII in 1507 and to his son and successor Henry VIII in 1509, who employed him in various military and diplomatic missions during the War of the League of Cambrai. He was at the taking of Thérouanne and Tournai. He was knighted on 2 July 1522 after losing an eye at the taking of Morlaix in Brittany, and he witnessed the Battle of Pavia.
Following his marriage in the Spring of 1526 he made alterations to his ancestral seat Chenies Manor House to reflect his new good fortunes. He now stood in favour with the King and Cardinal Wolsey, though he would not suffer disgrace at the fall of the latter.
He was made High Sheriff of Dorset and Somerset in 1528 and served as Member of Parliament for Buckinghamshire 1529–1536, retaining the royal favour despite the antipathy of Anne Boleyn. Late in 1536, he was made a Privy Counsellor, and helped to suppress the Pilgrimage of Grace.
The fall and execution of Henry Courtenay, Marquess of Exeter, left a power vacuum in the south-western counties of England, which Russell was called upon to fill. On 9 March 1538/1539 he was created Baron Russell , and appointed Lord President of the Council of the West. In the next month, he was made a Knight of the Garter. In July 1539 he was made High Steward of Cornwall, and Lord Warden of the Stannaries.
The Council of the West proved unsuccessful as an instrument of government, and did not survive the fall of Cromwell. Russell, however, remained a great magnate in the western counties, and obtained the office of Lord High Admiral in 1540. (The previous holder, the Earl of Southampton, replaced Cromwell as Lord Privy Seal.) After Henry VIII met Anne of Cleves at Rochester, the next day he asked Russell if he "thought her fair". Russell replied with his natural diplomacy and prudence that he took her "not to be fair, but of a brown complexion".In 1542, Russell himself resigned the Admiralty and succeeded to the Privy Seal on the death of Southampton. He was High Steward of the University of Oxford from 1543 till his death.
During the Italian War of 1542, he unsuccessfully besieged Montreuil in 1544, and was Captain General of the Vanguard of the army for the attack on Boulogne in 1545. He was a close companion of King Henry VIII during the last years of his reign. On Henry's death in 1547, he was one of the executors of the King's will, and one of sixteen counsellors during the minority of his son King Edward VI.
On 21 June 1553 he was one of the twenty-six peers who signed the settlement of the crown on Lady Jane Grey. He was sent to attend King Philip II into England on his arrival from Spain to wed the Queen Mary.
He was Lord High Steward at the Coronation of King Edward VI (1547–1553) on 20 February 1547. He was created by that young king (in practice by the Regent) Earl of Bedford on 19 January 1550 for his assistance in carrying out the order of the Council against "images" and for promoting the new religion. In 1552, he was made Lord Lieutenant of Devon.
In the spring of 1526 he married Anne Sapcote, daughter of Sir Guy Sapcote of Huntingdonshire by his wife Margaret Wolstonand widow successively of John Broughton (d. 24 January 1518) of Toddington, Bedfordshire, by whom she had a son and three daughters, and secondly of Sir Richard Jerningham (d.1525), by whom she had no issue. By Anne Sapcote he had one child:
The issue of Anne Sapcote by her first husband John Broughton (d. 1518) were as follows:
Russell died on 14 March 1554/5 and was buried at his ancestral manor of Chenies, Buckinghamshire, in the private Bedford Chapel of the parish church next to Chenies Manor House, his former chief residence. The Dukes of Bedford continue to be buried in this chapel.
His widow, Anne, died on 14 March 1559 and was buried at Chenies 21 March 1559.
Russell is the ancestor of all subsequent Earls and Dukes of Bedford and Earls Russell, including John Russell, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the philosopher Bertrand Russell.
On the Dissolution of the Monasteries King Henry VIII granted Russell lands and properties including Tavistock Abbey and Plympton Abbey in Devon, the wealthiest two abbeys in Devon, and the Cistercian Dunkeswell Abbey also in Devon. He was granted the Blackfriars in Exeter, on the site of which he built his opulent townhouse known as Bedford House, from where he conducted his duties as Lord Lieutenant of Devon. These grants made him the largest landowner in Devon. In Bedfordshire he acquired the site of Woburn Abbey which he made his chief seat. In London he was granted seven acres (28,000 m²) called "Long Acre", and the kitchen garden of Westminster Abbey, which is now the site of Covent Garden. The present Duke of Bedford (or his trustees, the "Bedford trustees") retain still in 2013 several acres of prime London property comprising the Bedford Estate centred on Bedford Square and Tavistock Square.[ citation needed ]
John Russell's Garter stall plate survives affixed to the back of his stall in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. The shield shows quarterly of four: 1st grand quarter: quarterly 1st & 4th: Argent, a lion rampant gules on a chief sable three escallops of the first (Russell); 2nd & 3rd: Azure, a tower argent (de la Tour); 2nd Gules, three herrings hauriant argent (Herringham); 3rd Sable, a griffin segreant between three crosses crosslet fitchy argent (Froxmere); 4th: Sable, three chevronnels ermine in dexter chief a crescent or for difference (Wyse).Crest: A goat passant argent; Supporters: Dexter: A goat argent, Sinister: A lion rampant gules Motto: Plus que Jamais ("More than Never"). Inscription in French: Du tres noble et puisant Seigneur Johan Conte de Bedford Baron Russell Chevalier du tres noble Ordre de la Jarretiere et Garduen du Prive Seau, fust enstalle a Wyndsor le XVIII jure de Maye l'an du Roy Henry VIII de son reigne XXXI l'an 1539 ("Of the very noble and powerful Lord John, Earl of Bedford, Baron Russell, Knight of the Very Noble Order of the Garter and Keeper of the Privy Seal was installed at Windsor the 18th day of May the year of King Henry VIII of his reign the 31st, the year 1539").
John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford, the second son of John de Vere, 12th Earl of Oxford, and Elizabeth Howard, a first cousin of John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk, was one of the principal Lancastrian commanders during the English Wars of the Roses.
Duke of Bedford is a title that has been created six times 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, 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 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.
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).
Thomas Wriothesley, 1st Earl of Southampton, KG was an English peer, secretary of state, Lord Chancellor and Lord High Admiral. A naturally skilled but unscrupulous and devious politician who changed with the times and personally tortured Anne Askew, Wriothesley served as a loyal instrument of King Henry VIII in the latter's break with the Catholic church. Richly rewarded with royal gains from the Dissolution of the Monasteries, he nevertheless prosecuted Calvinists and other dissident Protestants when political winds changed.
William Howard, 1st Baron Howard of Effingham was an English diplomat and military leader. He served four monarchs, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I, in various official capacities, most notably on diplomatic missions and as Lord Admiral and Lord Chamberlain of the Household.
Sir Thomas Cheney KG of the Blackfriars, City of London and Shurland, Isle of Sheppey, Kent, was an English administrator and diplomat, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports in South-East England from 1536 until his death.
The Office of the Lord Lieutenant was created during the reign of Henry VIII (1509–1547), taking over the military duties of the Sheriffs and control of the military forces of the Crown. From 1569 there was provision for the appointment of Deputy Lieutenants, and in 1662 the Lord-Lieutenant was given entire control of the militia. The Forces Act of 1871 transferred this function back to the Crown, and in 1921, the office lost its power to call upon men of the County to fight in case of need. Since 1711 all the Lord Lieutenants have also been Custos Rotulorum of Devon.
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.
Chenies Manor House in the parish of Chenies in Buckinghamshire, England, is a Tudor Grade I listed building once known as Chenies Palace, although it was never a royal seat nor the seat of a bishop. It was held by the Cheney family since 1180 and passed by marriage successively to the Semark and Sapcote families and thence in 1526 to the Russell family, Earls of Bedford, later Dukes of Bedford, by whom it was held for several centuries. Although the Russells soon abandoned Chenies as its main seat in favour of Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire, Chenies parish church remains the site of the private "Bedford Chapel", the mausoleum still in use by that family.
Tavistock Abbey, also known as the Abbey of Saint Mary and Saint Rumon, is a ruined Benedictine abbey in Tavistock, Devon. Nothing remains of the abbey except the refectory, two gateways and a porch. The abbey church, dedicated to Our Lady and St Rumon, was destroyed by Danish raiders in 997 and rebuilt under Lyfing, the second abbot. The church was further rebuilt in 1285 and the greater part of the abbey between 1457 and 1458.
Events from the 1530s in England.
Sir John Bourchier, 2nd Earl of Bath, PC was an Earl in the peerage of England. He also succeeded to the titles of 12th Baron FitzWarin, Baron Daubeney and 4th Count of Eu.
William Bourchier, 3rd Earl of Bath was Lord Lieutenant of Devon. His seat was at Tawstock Court, three miles south of Barnstaple in North Devon, which he rebuilt in the Elizabethan style in 1574, the date being sculpted on the surviving gate house.
Robert Radcliffe, 10th Baron Fitzwalter, 1st Earl of Sussex, KG, KB, PC, also spelled Radclyffe, Ratcliffe, Ratcliff, etc., was a prominent courtier and soldier during the reigns of Henry VII and Henry VIII who served as Chamberlain of the Exchequer and Lord Great Chamberlain.
Sir Hugh Paulet of Hinton St. George in Somerset, was an English military commander and Governor of Jersey.
John Dynham, 1st Baron Dynham of Nutwell in the parish of Woodbury and of Hartland, both in Devon, was an English peer and politician. He served as Lord High Treasurer of England and Lord Chancellor of Ireland. He was one of the few men to have served as councillor to Kings Edward IV, Richard III and Henry VII and was trusted by all of them.
Sir Richard Jerningham was a soldier and diplomat in the service of King Henry VIII.
Sir Robert Broughton was a landowner, soldier, and Member of Parliament for Suffolk. He was knighted at the Battle of Stoke, where he fought on the Lancastrian side under John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford. He was a close associate of the Earl, and is said to have married the Earl's illegitimate daughter, Katherine.
St Michael's Church at Chenies, Buckinghamshire, is a Grade I listed Anglican parish church in the Diocese of Oxford in England. It is not of great architectural interest but stands in an attractive position in the Chess Valley near the Chenies Manor House. The church is famous for its Bedford Chapel, the mausoleum of the Russell family which is private and not open to the public.
Milton Abbot is a village, parish, and former manor in Devon, 6 miles (9.7 km) north-west of Tavistock, Devon, and 6 miles (9.7 km) south-east of Launceston, Cornwall.
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| Lord High Admiral|
| Lord Privy Seal |
Sir William Paulet
| Comptroller of the Household |
Sir William Kingston
| Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall |
The Earl of Bath
| Lord Lieutenant of Devon and Dorset |
| Lord Lieutenant of Somerset |
The Marquess of Exeter
| Lord Warden of the Stannaries |
The Earl of Bedford
|Peerage of England|
|New title|| Earl of Bedford |
| Baron Russell |
(descended by acceleration)