William Russell, Lord Russell(1639-1683), Politician; MP for Tavistock and Bedfordshire
Sitter associated with 28 portraits
Russell was the grandson of the disgraced Earl and Countess of Somerset, who had scandalised the Jacobean Court. He was a Whig politician, known as 'The Patriot', who defended religious nonconformity, a limited monarchy and the right of resistance. He feared that if James, then Duke of York, became king he would overturn parliamentary power with policies promoting France, Catholicism and absolutism. He supported the Exclusion Bill which attempted to remove James from the order of succession. Russell maintained his innocence of involvement in the Rye House Plot but was found guilty of treason and executed.
possibly after Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt
oil on canvas, feigned oval, based on a work of circa 1680
by Charles Knight, published by J. Deeley, after Thomas Stothard
hand-coloured stipple engraving, published 1 March 1809