Catalogue description Ampthill Papers

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Details of FO 918
Reference: FO 918
Title: Ampthill Papers

This series contains private and semi-official papers of Odo Russell, accumulated throughout his diplomatic career. They relate principally to his missions to Rome, 1858 to 1870, and Berlin, 1871 to 1884.

In addition to the majority of the collection, there are also two volumes of typescript of the letters of Odo Russell to his brother Arthur and to his mother. In these letters Lady William (2 Oct. 1793-10 Aug. 1874) is referred to or addressed as "MM", Hastings (16 Oct. 1819-14 Jan. 1891) as "Baba" and Arthur (13 June 1825-4 April. 1892) as "Atty".

Date: 1851-1884
Separated material:

The originals of Odo Russell's letters to his mother and brother Arthur have been destroyed.

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Odo William Leopold Russell, 1st Baron Ampthill, 1829-1884

Physical description: 85 bundle(s)
Immediate source of acquisition:

, in 1968.

John Hugo Russell3rd Baron Ampthill, 1896-1973 , in 1968.

Custodial history: The tin box containing the Ampthill Papers was discovered at Woburn Abbey in the autumn of 1968.
Publication note:

A selection of Russell's despatches from Rome are in The Roman Question, ed by Noel Blakiston (Chapman & Hal, 1962) For further reading on Russell's ambassadorship to Berlin see Winifred Taffs, Ambassador to Bismarck, Lord Odo Russell, First Baron Ampthill (Fred. Muller, 1938) and Letters from the Berlin Embassy 1871-4, 1880-5, ed Paul Knaplund, Annual Report of the American Historical Association for 1942, II, (Washington, 1944).

Administrative / biographical background:

Odo William Leopold Russell was born on 20 February 1829, son of Lord William Russell who was an elder brother of Lord John Russell. He became attaché to the embassy in Vienna at the age of twenty. He served in the Foreign Office under Palmerston and Granville (1850-52), and was later posted to Paris (1853), Constantinople (1854), Washington (1857) and Rome (Nov. 1858 to July 1870). He was then transferred to the Foreign Office, to be sent in November 1870 on a special mission to Bismarck at Versailles. On 16 October 1871 he was appointed ambassador in Berlin.

From 25 June 1872, when his brother, Hastings, became Duke of Bedford, he was known as Lord Odo Russell. On 11 March 1881 he was created Baron Ampthill. He died in Berlin on 25 August 1884.

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