Home >> Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 23 >> Runes to The Lock Rape Of >> Russell_3

Russell

lord, king and duke

RUSSELL, William, Loan, English states-• man: b. 29 Sept. 1639; d. London, 21 July 1683. He was educated at Cambridge, was elected to Parliament for Tavistock in 1661 and became one of the leaders of °the country party" in 1673, coming forward in opposition to the at tempts of the king and his partisans to destroy English freedom 'through the aid of France. In 1678 he became Lord Russell and heir ap parent to the earldom of Bedford; Ott 14 March 1678 he seconded the motion to declare war against France and spoke in support of it. In November 1678 he was chosen to move in the House of Commons that the Duke of York should be removed from the king's pres-. ence and counpils. When the new council pro posed by Sir William Temple was formed Lord Russell was appointed one of the 30 mem bers. He was not at first in favor of exclud ing the Duke of York from the succession, but finally the measure. He left the council at the beginning of 1680. On 26 Octo ber he spoke in favor of measures against apopery and to prevent a popish successor" to the Crown; and a week later seconded Colonel Titus' motion to disable the Duke of York from becoming King of England. When the reac

tion against the Whigs took place, the govern ment of Charles 'II resolved to destroy their leaders, proceeding to do so according to the forms of law. He was arrested on the charge of having been concerned in the Rye House plot, said to have been formed by Rumboldt and others, for an attack on the king and the Duke of York, and after his examination was committed to the Tower. His trial took place at the Old Bailey, 13 July 1683. The charge against him was for conspiring`the death of the king and consulting and agreeing to stir up insurrection; and to that end to seize the guards (appointed) for the preservation of the king's person." No counsel was then al lowed to the accused, except on points of law; his condemnation quickly followed and he was beheaded in Lincoln's Inn Fields. Consult 'Life of William, Lord Russell,' by Lord John Russell (1819).