John Russell (bishop)

Last updated

John Russell
Bishop of Lincoln
Appointed7 July 1480
Term ended30 December 1494
Predecessor Thomas Rotherham
Successor William Smyth
Consecration22 September 1476
Personal details
Died30 December 1494
Previous post(s) Bishop of Rochester

John Russell (died 30 December 1494) was an English Bishop of Rochester and bishop of Lincoln and Lord Chancellor.



Russell was admitted to Winchester College in 1443, and in 1449 went to Oxford as Fellow of New College. He resigned his fellowship in 1462, and appears to have entered the royal service. [1]

He was appointed Archdeacon of Berkshire and served from 1466 to 1476. [2]

In April 1467 and January 1468 Russell was employed on diplomatic missions for Edward IV of England to Charles the Bold, at Bruges. He was there again in February 1470 as one of the envoys to invest Charles with the Order of the Garter: the Latin speech which Russell delivered on this last occasion was one of William Caxton's earliest publications, probably printed for him at Bruges by Colard Mansion. [1] [3]

In May 1474 Russell was promoted to be Lord Privy Seal, [2] and retained his office even after his consecration as bishop of Rochester on 22 September 1476, and translation to the post of bishop of Lincoln on 7 July 1480. [1] [4]

As a trusted minister of Edward IV, Russell was one of the executors of the king's will. [1] After Lord Chancellor Thomas Rotherham, Archbishop of York, had been dismissed due to his mishandling of the great seal, Russell was appointed to succeed him on 13 May 1483. Reportedly, Russell accepted the appointment only with reluctance. [1] He remained chancellor under King Richard III until being dismissed on 29 July 1485. [5]

Russell was above all things an official, and was sometimes employed by Henry VII in public affairs. But his last years were occupied chiefly with the business of his diocese, and of the university of Oxford, of which he had been elected chancellor in 1483. He died at Nettleham, and was buried at Lincoln Cathedral. [1]

Sir Thomas More called Russell "a wise manne and a good, and of much experience, and one of the best-learned men, undoubtedly, that England had in hys time." Two English speeches composed by Russell, for the intended parliament of Edward V, and the first parliament of Richard III, are printed in Nichols's Grants of Edward V. [1] [6] Some other writings remain in manuscript.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Wikisource-logo.svg One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain :  Kingsford, Charles Lethbridge (1911). "Russell, John". In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica . Vol. 23 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 863.
  2. 1 2 Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 96
  3. See Blades, Life of Caxton, i. p. vii, ii. 29–31.
  4. Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 268
  5. Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 88.
  6. Camden Society

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thomas Bourchier (cardinal)</span> 15th-century Archbishop of Canterbury, Chancellor of England, and cardinal

Thomas Bourchier was a medieval English cardinal, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Lord Chancellor of England.

Thomas Langton was chaplain to King Edward IV, before becoming successively Bishop of St David's, Bishop of Salisbury, Bishop of Winchester, and Archbishop-elect of Canterbury.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thomas Rotherham</span> 15th-century Archbishop of York and Chancellor of England

Thomas Rotherham, also known as Thomas (Scot) de Rotherham, was an English cleric and statesman. He served as bishop of several dioceses, most notably as Archbishop of York and, on two occasions as Lord Chancellor. He is considered a venerable figure in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, his town of birth.

Robert Stillington was an English cleric and administrator who was Bishop of Bath and Wells from 1465 and twice served as Lord Chancellor under King Edward IV. In 1483 he was instrumental in the accession of King Richard III, leading to later reprisals against him under King Henry VII.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Alcock (bishop)</span> 15th-century Bishop of Ely, Bishop of Rochester, Bishop of Worcester, and Chancellor of England

John Alcock was an English churchman, bishop and Lord Chancellor.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Stafford (bishop)</span> 15th-century English archbishop and statesman

John Stafford was a medieval English prelate and statesman who served as Lord Chancellor (1432–1450) and as Archbishop of Canterbury (1443–1452).

Thomas Charlton was Bishop of Hereford, Lord High Treasurer of England, Lord Privy Seal, and Lord Chancellor of Ireland. He is buried in Hereford Cathedral in Hereford, Herefordshire, England.

Marmaduke Lumley was an English priest, Bishop of Carlisle from 1429 to 1450, and Knight Commander of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. He was a son of Ralph de Lumley, 1st Baron Lumley and Eleanor de Neville. He was elected about 5 December 1429, and consecrated on 16 April 1430. He was Bishop of Lincoln for a short time before his death in December 1450. He was educated at University of Cambridge and was appointed Precentor of Lincoln Cathedral in 1425. He also became Chancellor of the University of Cambridge in 1427 and was Master of Trinity Hall, Cambridge from 1429 to 1443. From 1446 to 1449 he served as Lord High Treasurer of England. Lumley's tenure as Lord High Treasurer occurred during the Great Bullion Famine and the Great Slump in England.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Henry Burghersh</span> 14th-century Bishop of Lincoln, Treasurer of England, and Chancellor of England

Henry Burghersh, was Bishop of Lincoln (1320-1340) and served as Lord Chancellor of England (1328–1330). He was a younger son of Robert de Burghersh, 1st Baron Burghersh, and a nephew of Bartholomew de Badlesmere, 1st Baron Badlesmere. He was educated in France.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">George Neville (bishop)</span> 15th-century Archbishop of York and Chancellor of England

George Neville was Archbishop of York from 1465 until 1476 and Chancellor of England from 1460 until 1467 and again from 1470 until 1471.

John Kirkby was an English ecclesiastic and statesman.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John de Ufford</span> 14th-century Archbishop of Canterbury-elect and Chancellor of England

John de Ufford was chancellor and head of the royal administration to Edward III as well as being appointed to the Archbishopric of Canterbury.

John of Thoresby was an English clergyman and politician, who was Bishop of St David's, then Bishop of Worcester and finally Archbishop of York. He was Lord Chancellor of England under King Edward III starting from 1349.

William Dudley was Dean of Windsor and then Bishop of Durham.

Robert Baldock was the Lord Privy Seal and Lord Chancellor of England, during the reign of King Edward II of England.

Richard de Wentworth was a medieval Bishop of London.

William Ayermin was a medieval Bishop of Norwich.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Richard FitzJames</span> 15th and 16th-century Bishop of Chichester, Bishop of Rochester, and Bishop of London

Richard FitzJames was an English academic and administrator who became successively Bishop of Rochester, Bishop of Chichester, and Bishop of London.

John Sandale was a Gascon medieval Lord High Treasurer, Lord Chancellor and Bishop of Winchester.

Events from the 1480s in England. This decade marks the beginning of the Tudor period.


Political offices
Preceded by Lord Privy Seal
Succeeded by
Lord Chancellor
Succeeded by
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Bishop of Rochester
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Lincoln
Succeeded by
Academic offices
Preceded by Chancellor of the University of Oxford
Succeeded by