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Bedford, Earl of (E, 1549/50)


Creation: let. pat. 19 Jan 1549/50


Family name: Russell




See Duke of Bedford



John [Russell], 1st Baron Russell later 1st Earl of Bedford, KG PC

son and heir of James Russell, of Kingston Russell, co. Dorset, by his wife Alice Wyse, dau. of Thomas Wyse, of Sydenham, co. Devon


c. 1485


1526 Anne Broughton (widow of Sir Richard Jerningham and of John Broughton, of Toddington, co. Bedford;  d. Mar 1558/9;  bur. at Chenies, co. Buckingham), dau. and hrss. of Sir Guy Sapcote, of Huntingdonshire, by his wife Margaret Wolston, dau. and hrss. of Sir Guy Wolston

only child

1. Hon Francis Russell, later 2nd Earl of Bedford


14 Mar 1554/5 (bur. at Chenies, co. Buckingham)


9 Mar 1538/9 Baron Russell

19 Jan 1549/50 Earl of Bedford

suc. by



Gentleman of the Privy Chamber to Henry VIII 1507, and to Henry VIII 1509;  knighted 2 Jul 1522;  Knight Marshal 1523;  Sheriff of Dorset and Somerset 1528;  Member of Parliament for Buckinghamshire 1529-36;  Comptroller of the Household 1537-39;  Privy Councillor 1538, 1547 and 1553;  Knight of the Garter 1539;  High Steward of Cornwall, Steward of the Stannaries, etc. 1539;  Lord High Admiral 1542;  President of the Council for Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset;  High Steward of the University of Oxford 1542;  Lord Privy Seal 1543-47 and 1547-53;  one of the executors of the will of Henry VIII;  Lord Lieutenant of Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset 1552.  Besides the Cistercian Abbey at Dunkeswell, Devon, in 1540 on the dissolution of the greater monasteries he obtained for himself and the heirs of his body the whole of the rich abbey of Tavistock, Devon, also the town of Tavistock with about thirty manors, several advowsons, etc. belonging thereto in Devon and Cornwall, also other lands in Devon, Somerset and Dorset, some belonging to the dissolved abbey of St Albans.  Other grants followed:  from Edward VI he obtained the preceptory of the Knights Hospitallers at Mitchelburn, co. Bedford, the Cistercian Abbey at Woburn, co. Bedford, the Benedictine Abbey at Thorney, co. Cambridge, the Dominican Priory at Exeter, etc.;  finally on 4 May 1552 he obtained the grant of seven acres called "Long Acre", co. Middlesex, which, being the garden of a suppressed convent, comprises the site of the present Covent Garden.


Francis [Russell], 2nd Baron Russell later 2nd Earl of Bedford, KG PC



mar. (1)

Margaret Gostwick, a Lady of Honour (widow of Sir John Gostwick;  d. 27 Aug 1562;  bur. at Chenies, co. Buckingham), sister of Oliver [St John], 1st Baron St John of Bletso, and dau. of Sir John St John, of Bletsoe, co. Bedford, by his wife Margaret Waldegrave, dau. of Sir William Waldegrave

children by first wife

1. Hon Edward Russell, styled Lord Russell (dvpsp. 30 Jun 1572;  bur. at Chenies, co. Buckingham), mar. c. 1571 his step-sister Jane Sibella Morrison (mar. (2) as his second wife Arthur [Grey], 14th Baron Grey of Wilton;  d. Jul 1615), dau. of Sir Richard Morrison, of Cashiobury, co. Hertford, by his wife Hon Bridget Hussey, 3rd dau. by his second wife of John [Hussey], 1st Baron Hussey

2. John [Russell], 3rd Baron Russell, Member of Parliament for Bridport 1572-80/1, sum. to Parliament v.p. Jan 1580/1 in his father's Barony of Russell (dvpspms. 1584;  bur. in Westminster Abbey), mar. 23 Dec 1574 Elizabeth Hoby (widow of Sir Thomas Hoby, of Bisham, Berkshire;  bur. 2 Jun 1609 at Bisham, co. Berkshire), dau. of Sir Anthony Cooke, of Gidea Hall, Romford, co. Essex, and had issue:

1a. Hon Elizabeth Russell

2a. Hon Anne Russell (d. 1 Apr 1639), mar. 16 Jun 1600 Henry [Somerset], 1st Marquess of Worcester, and had issue

3. Hon Sir Francis Russell MP, styled Lord Russell, knighted 1570, Member of Parliament for Northumberland 1572-84 (dvp. 27 Jul 1565;  bur. at Alnwick, co. Northumberland), mar. 15 Apr 1571 Juliana Foster (d. bef. 1585), dau. and cohrss. of Sir John Foster, Warden of the Middle Marches, and had issue:

1a. Edward Russell, later 3rd Earl of Bedford

4. Hon Sir William Russell, later 1st Baron Russell of Thornhaugh

1. Lady Anne Russell (b. Dec 1548; d. 9 Feb 1603/4), mar. 11 Nov 1565 as his third wife Ambrose [Dudley], 1st Earl of Warwick

2. Lady Elizabeth Russell (d. 24 Mar 1605), mar. 7 Aug 1583 as his second wife William [Bourchier], 3rd Earl of Bath, and had issue

3. Lady Margaret Russell (b. 7 Jul 1560;  d. 22 May 1616), mar. 24 Jun 1577 George [Clifford], 3rd Earl of Cumberland, and had issue

mar. (2)

25 Jun 1566 Hon Bridget Manners (widow of Sir Richard Morrison, of Cashiobury, co. Hertford, and of Henry [Manners], 2nd Earl of Rutland; d. 12 Jan 1600/1;  bur. at Watford, co. Hertford), 3rd dau. of John [Hussey], 1st Baron Hussey, by his second wife Lady Anne Grey, only dau. by his second wife of George [Grey], 2nd Earl of Kent


28 Jul 1585 (bur. at Chenies, co. Buckingham)

suc. by



cr. Knight of the Bath 1546 at the Coronation of Edward VI;  Sheriff of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire 1547;  Member of Parliament for Buckinghamshire 1547-52, and for Northumberland 1553;  Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire 1552;  sum. to Parliament v.p. 1 Mar 1552/3 in his father's Barony of Russell;  Warden of the Stannaries 1553-80;  Governor of Berwick and Warden of the East Marches 1564;  Knight of the Garter 1564;  Chief Justice in Eyre, South of Trent;  Lord Lieutenant of Dorset, Devon and Cornwall


Edward [Russell], 3rd Earl of Bedford


20 Dec 1572


12 Dec 1594 Hon Lucy Harington (d. 26 May 1627;  bur. at Exton, co. Rutland), 1st dau. of John [Harington], 1st Baron Harington of Exton, by his wife Ann Kelway, dau. and hrss. of Robert Kelway, of Minster Lovel, co. Oxford, Surveyor of the Court of Wards and Liveries


s.p.s. 3 May 1627 (bur. at Chenies, co. Buckingham)

suc. by



Francis [Russell], 2nd Baron Russell of Thornhaugh later 4th Earl of Bedford, PC

1st son of William [Russell], 1st Baron Russell of Thornhaugh (by his wife Elizabeth Long, dau. of Henry Long, of Shengay, co. Cambridge), 4th son by his first wife of Francis [Russell], 2nd Earl of Bedford




26 Feb 1608 Hon Catherine Brydges (d. 29 Jan 1656/7;  bur. at Chenies, co. Buckingham), 2nd dau. and cohrss. of Giles [Brydges], 3rd Baron Chandos, by his wife Lady Frances Clinton, 2nd dau. by his second wife of Edward [Clinton], 1st Earl of Lincoln


1. Hon William Russell, later 5th Earl of Bedford later 1st Duke of Bedford

2. Hon Francis Russell

3. Col Hon John Russell

4. Hon Edward Russell, mar. Penelope Brooke, widow of Sir William Brooke KB, of Sterborough Castle, co. Surrey, and Cowling Castle, co. Kent, and dau. of Sir Moyses Hill, of Hillsborough, co. Down, and had issue:

1a. William Russell, Standard-Bearer to King Charles II (d. unm.)

2a. Edward Russell, later 1st Earl of Orford

3a. Col Francis Russell, Governor of Barbados (d. 1 Oct 1696), mar. 30 Apr 1691 Hon Catherine North (widow of (1) Sir Edward Moseley, 2nd Bt. MP, of Hough, co. Lancaster, and Rolleston, co. Stafford, and (2) Charles [North], 1st Baron Grey of Rolleston and 5th Baron North), 2nd dau. of William [Grey], 1st Baron Grey of Warke, by his wife Cecilia Wentworth, dau. of Sir John Wentworth, of Gosfield, co. Essex

1a. Laetitia Russell (d. 9 Jan 1721/2), mar. Thomas Cheeke, of Pirgo, co. Essex, and had issue

1. Lady Catherine Russell (d. c. 1 Dec 1676), mar. c.1630 Robert [Greville], 2nd Baron Brooke, and had issue

2. Lady Anne Russell (d. 26 Jan 1696/7), mar. George [Digby], 2nd Earl of Bristol, and had issue

3. Lady Margaret Russell (bur. s.p. 1 Dec 1676), mar. (1) 21 Mar 1631/2 James [Hay], 2nd Earl of Carlisle, and (2) 31 Jul 1667 as his fifth wife Edward [Montagu], 2nd Earl of Manchester

4.Lady Diana Russell (b. c.1621; d. 30 Jan 1694/5), mar. 28 Apr 1642 Francis [Newport], 1st Earl of Bradford, and had issue


9 May 1641 (bur. at Chenies, co. Buckingham)

suc. by



knighted 1607;  suc. his father 9 Aug 1613 as 2nd Baron Russell of Thornhaugh;  Lord Lieutenant of Devon 1623;  Privy Councillor 1641


William [Russell], 5th Earl of Bedford later 1st Duke of Bedford, KG PC


11 May 1694 Marquess of Tavistock and Duke of Bedford

13 Jun 1695 Baron Howland, of Streatham in the County of Surrey, with remainder to his grandson Wriothesley Russell and his heirs male begotten of the body of his wife, Elizabeth Howland


The Earldom of Bedford has been held by the Dukes of Bedford since 11 May 1694


Updated 19 Nov 2012



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