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Russell, family, Dukes of Bedford

This page summarises records created by this Family

The summary includes a brief description of the collection(s) (usually including the covering dates of the collection), the name of the archive where they are held, and reference information to help you find the collection.

Date: 1100-2000
History:

Stephen Russell (d. 1438), of a Dorset family, owned land at Maiden Newton and elsewhere, and acquired Berwick (Dorset) through his wife. (Kingston Russell, an older family possession, was alienated but re-acquired c.1560.) Sir John Russell (1485-1555), courtier, soldier and diplomat, married in 1526 Anne, daughter of Sir Guy Sapcote, through whom the Chenies (Buckinghamshire) and Thornhaugh (Northamptonshire) estates were inherited. He received large grants from the Crown, including lands of Tavistock Abbey and other property in Devon and Cornwall in 1540-50, the reversion of Woburn Abbey (Bedfordshire) in 1547, Thorney Abbey (Cambridgeshire), and the Covent Garden estate (Middlesex) (following the attainder of the Duke of Somerset) in 1552. He was created Earl of Bedford in 1550.

The Thornhaugh estate passed to the 1st Baron Russell (d. 1613), fourth son of the 2nd Earl of Bedford. Lord Russell also acquired Shingay (Cambridgeshire) by marriage. The 2nd Baron Russell succeeded his cousin as 4th Earl of Bedford in 1627. Thornhaugh then descended with the earldom of Bedford, but Shingay passed to a younger son, created Earl of Orford in 1697.

The 5th Earl of Bedford (1613-1700) was created Duke of Bedford in 1694. His eldest son William, Lord Russell (1639-83), married in 1669 Lady Rachel Wriothesley, daughter and co-heir of the 4th Earl of Southampton, through whom the Bloomsbury (Middlesex) estate and land in Hampshire (Stratton, Micheldever, etc) came to the Russell family. (See also, for other Southampton co-heirs, Montagu-Douglas-Scott, Dukes of Buccleuch and Queensberry, and Noel, Earls of Gainsborough). The second Duke (1680-1711) married in 1695 Elizabeth Howland, who brought property in Surrey (Streatham, Wandsworth, Lambeth and Rotherhithe), Essex, Suffolk and elsewhere. These properties were sold after her death in 1724, apart from the Surrey estates, which were disposed of between about 1790 and 1816.

In the 18th and early 19th centuries the Bedfordshire and Tavistock estates were increased by purchase, the Bedfordshire estates notably by Oakley (1737), lands in Houghton Conquest, etc (1738, from the Earl of Ailesbury), Gostwick, etc (1774, from the Duke of Marlborough) and Ampthill and Houghton Conquest (1842, from Lord Holland's devisees), and the Tavistock estates partly by land in Cornwall later sold. The Hampshire estate was sold to the Baring family in 1800, to help meet the 5th Duke's liabilities. The Thornhaugh estate was sold in 1904 (to the 7th Earl Fitzwilliam), the Thorney estate in 1910, Covent Garden in 1917-18, and Chenies and most of the Tavistock estate by the late 1960s.

Estates in 1883: Beds 32,269 acres, Devon 22,607 acres, Cambs 18,800 acres, Northants 3,414 acres, Dorset 3,412 acres, Bucks 3,036 acres, Hunts 1,334 acres, Cornwall 1,231 acres, Hants 148 acres, Herts 83 acres, Lincs 1 acre, total 86,335 acres worth £141,793 a year. (The metropolitan property is excluded.)

Places:
  • Ampthill, Bedfordshire
  • Aspley Guise, Bedfordshire
  • Aspley Heath, Bedfordshire
  • Beckenham, Kent
  • Bloomsbury, Middlesex
  • Calstock, Cornwall
  • Cheam, Surrey
  • Chenies, Buckinghamshire
  • Covent Garden, Middlesex
  • Dry Drayton, Cambridgeshire
  • Easton Bavents, Suffolk
  • Eversholt, Bedfordshire
  • Ewell, Surrey
  • Hadnock, Monmouthshire
  • Helgay, Norfolk
  • Hitchin, Hertfordshire
  • Houghton Conquest, Bedfordshire
  • Husborne Crawley, Bedfordshire
  • Kingston Russell, Dorset
  • Maiden Newton, Dorset
  • Micheldever, Hampshire
  • Oakley, Bedfordshire
  • Pinchbeck, Lincolnshire
  • Plymstock, Devon
  • Rotherhithe, Surrey
  • Shingay, Cambridgeshire
  • Sibson cum Stibbington, Huntingdonshire
  • Southery, Norfolk
  • Stoke Climsland, Cornwall
  • Stratton, Hampshire
  • Streatham, Surrey
  • Swyre, Dorset
  • Tavistock, Devon
  • Thorney, Cambridgeshire
  • Thornhaugh, Northamptonshire
  • Tooting, Surrey
  • Wandsworth, Surrey
  • Wansford, Northamptonshire
  • Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire
Sources of authority: Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, Guide to Principal Estate and Family Collections L-W, 1999
Name authority reference: GB/NNAF/F88308 (Former ISAAR ref: GB/NNAF/F8447 )
Collections
  Description Held by Reference Further information
1
16th cent-20th cent: Beds (Woburn Abbey, etc), Bucks (Chenies, etc) and London (Bloomsbury, Covent Garden, etc) deeds, family and estate papers 16th-20th cent, with records of the Russell family estates generally 17th-20th cent and misc estate papers for Cambs (Thorney, etc), Cornwall (Calstock, etc), Devon (Tavistock Abbey, etc), Dorset (Kingston Russell, etc) and Northants (Wansford, etc) 18th-20th cent
Woburn Abbey
NRA 26179 Russell

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [90i]
2
12th cent-20th cent: Beds (Woburn Abbey, etc), Bucks (Chenies, etc), Cambs (Thorney, etc), Hunts (Sibson cum Stibbington, etc) and Northants (Thornhaugh, etc) deeds, manorial records, estate and household papers 12th-20th cent, with estate papers for Cambs (Dry Drayton and Shingay), Herts (Hitchin) and Norfolk (Helgay and Southrey) 17th-18th cent and misc deeds and papers for Kent (Beckenham, etc), Lincs (Pinchbeck, etc), Suffolk (Easton Bavents) and Monmouthshire (Hadnock, etc) 13th-18th cent, etc
Bedfordshire Archives & Records Service
NRA 17140 Russell

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [90a]
3
1557-1938: Beds (Aspley Heath, Aspley Guise, etc) deeds
Bedfordshire Archives & Records Service
See Annual Return 2011
4
19th cent- 20th cent: Beds estate valuation papers
Bedfordshire Archives & Records Service
NRA 44154
5
1602-1904: Beds (Eversholt) deeds
Bedfordshire Archives & Records Service
See Annual Return 2016
6
1296-1613: misc Bucks (Chenies, etc) deeds and papers
Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre
NRA 32135 Seymour

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [92a]
7
16th cent-20th cent: Cambs (Thorney, etc) and misc Hunts (Sibson cum Stibbington, etc) and Northants (Thornhaugh, etc) estate papers
Cambridgeshire Archives
See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [90b]
8
1665-1702: Cambs (Thorney) estate agency and other papers of Ralph Peirson
Collection held privately: enquiries to Norfolk Record Office
NRA 1224 Townshend

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [107a]
9
c17th cent: misc Cambs (Thorney) and London (Covent Garden) estate papers
Alnwick Castle
NRA 836 Percy

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [82a]
10
12th cent-20th cent: Cornwall (Calstock, etc), Devon (Tavistock Abbey, etc) and Dorset (Kingston Russell, etc) deeds, legal papers, manorial records, leases, rentals, accounts and estate papers
Devon Archives and Local Studies Service (South West Heritage Trust)
NRA 9813 Russell

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [90d]
11
1822-43: Devon (Endsleigh) account book
Plymouth and West Devon Record Office
See Annual Return 2009
12
1914-1915: Devon (Tavistock) and Dorset draft rental
Plymouth and West Devon Record Office
See Annual Return 2007
13
1867-1911: Dorset (Kingston Russell, etc) estate rentals
Dorset History Centre
See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [90e]
14
1870: Dorset (Kingston Russell) estate map
Dorset History Centre
15
14th cent-1802: Hants (Micheldever, Stratton, etc) deeds, rentals, accounts and estate and household papers 14th cent-1802, incl papers rel to the New Forest and to Stratton household alterations 18th cent
Hampshire Archives and Local Studies
NRA 17140 Russell

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [90c]
16
1600-1791: Hants (Micheldever, etc) leases
Bedfordshire Archives & Records Service
NRA 17140 Russell

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [90a]
17
1677: Hants (Micheldever, etc) estate survey
Devon Archives and Local Studies Service (South West Heritage Trust)
NRA 9813 Russell

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [90d]
18
16th cent-20th cent: London (Covent Garden, Rotherhithe, Streatham, Tooting Bec, etc) and Surrey (Cheam, etc) deeds, legal papers, leases, rentals, accounts, estate and building papers 16th-20th cent, incl Downe in Wandsworth particular 1717 and Streatham household inventories and accounts 18th cent
London Metropolitan Archives: City of London
NRA 28054 Russell

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [90f]
19
14th cent-1689: London (Tooting Bec) manorial records
London Metropolitan Archives: City of London
See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [90f]
20
1598-1938: London (mainly Streatham) deeds, legal, trust, estate, household and family papers
Lambeth Archives
NRA 24823 Russell

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [90g]
21
1330-1481: Easton Bavents (Suffolk) manorial accounts
Suffolk Record Office, Ipswich Branch
22
1656-1762: Russell family general estate and household vouchers, with misc estate corresp and papers
London University: London School of Economics Library, Archives and Special Collections
NRA 29736 Russell

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [90h]
23
1664-1699: Russell family and personal vouchers
National Art Library, Victoria & Albert Museum
NRA 13466 V & A Museum

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [90j]
24
1656-1690: Russell family corresp, mainly of Rachel Russell, wife of the 2nd Duke
Chatsworth House
NRA 20594 Cavendish

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [17a]
25
17th cent-1706: misc Russell family corresp, mainly of Rachel Russell, wife of the 2nd Duke
Nottingham University Library, Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections
NRA 7411 Pelham

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [81a]

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