The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Lord Russell

Lord Russell

A carte-de-visite portrait of John Russell (1792-1878), 1st Earl Russell.

John Russell was the third son of the 6th Duke of Bedford. A Liberal politician, he entered Parliament in 1813, and was a supporter of Catholic emancipation and the Reform Bill. He held Cabinet posts from 1830 to 1841, and first became Prime Minister 1846-52. He was again a Cabinet Minister, until becoming Prime Minister again 1865-66. He retired after the defeat of his Reform Bill of 1866.

During his first term of office, he provoked Queen Victoria by his support for Italian unity, even going so far in 1849 as secretly allowing Palmerston as his Foreign Secretary to supply Garibaldi's rebels in Sicily with arms for use in an uprising against their legitimate sovereign, King Ferdinand II.

Physically, Russell was a short, emaciated little man and Queen Victoria found him stubborn, opinionated and graceless. He would be better company, she said, 'if he had a third subject, for he was interested in nothing except the constitution of 1688 and himself.’

Photographed by W. Walker and Sons of 64 Margaret Street, London.


Code: 124582
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© Paul Frecker 2018