National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Lord John Russell (1792-1878)

Lord John Russell (1792-1878)

Prime Minister, 1846-1852 and 1865-1866

John Russell was born in Westminster on 18 August 1792, the son of Lord John Russell and Georgiana Byng. He met Sir Walter Scott during a visit to Scotland with his father in 1807 and  lodged with Professor John Playfair while studying at the University of Edinburgh. He was elected as MP for Tavistock in 1813 and published several historical works over the next few years. He played a key role in getting the Great Reform Act 1832 onto the statute book at the third attempt, and as Home Secretary, oversaw reform of education, religion and prisons. He was leader of the Whigs in opposition before becoming Prime Minister in 1846 until February 1852. He served as Foreign Secretary from 1859 to 1865. Lord Palmerston died shortly after the general election held that year and John Russell took over as Prime Minister until the goverment fell in June 1866. He died at his home, Pembroke Lodge, on 28 May 1878.

Marriage in 1841

John Russell married Frances Anna Maria Elliot on 20 July 1841. The entry in the Old Parish Register (OPR) for Minto in the county of Roxburghshire records that they were married by the Reverend Gilbert Elliot 'after regular proclamation in Minto Parish Church'.

Marriage entry for John Russell

Marriage of Lord John Russell (43 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland OPR 800/2