Francis Russell, 9th Duke of Bedford

The Duke of Bedford

The Duke of Bedford in the House of Lords, by Carlo Pellegrini, 1874
Born (1819-10-16)16 October 1819
Died 14 January 1891(1891-01-14) (aged 71)
Title Duke of Bedford
Tenure 27 May 1872 – 14 January 1891
Other titles 9th Marquess of Tavistock
13th Earl of Bedford
13th Baron Russell
11th Baron Russell of Thornhaugh
9th Baron Howland
Successor George Russell, 10th Duke
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Sackville-West
Issue George William Francis Sackville Russell
Ella Monica Sackville Russell
Ermyntrude Sackville Russell
Herbrand Arthur Russell
Parents Lord George William Russell
Elizabeth Anne Rawdon

Francis Charles Hastings Russell, 9th Duke of Bedford[1]KG (16 October 1819 – 14 January 1891) was an English politician and agriculturalist.


The son of Major-General Lord George William Russell and Lady William Russell, and the grandson of John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford, Russell was born in Curzon Street, London,[2] and commissioned into the Scots Fusilier Guards in 1838, retiring in 1844.[3] He was Liberal Member of Parliament for Bedfordshire from 1847 until 1872, when he succeeded to his dukedom and took his place in the House of Lords. In 1886, he broke with the party leadership of William Ewart Gladstone over the First Irish Home Rule Bill and became a Unionist.

He took an active interest in agriculture and experimentation on his Woburn Abbey estate and was President of the Royal Agricultural Society in 1880. On 1 December 1880, he was made a Knight of the Garter. From 1884 until his death he was Lord Lieutenant of Huntingdonshire.[3]

He died in 1891, aged 71 at 81 Eaton Square, London, by shooting himself as a result of insanity, while suffering from pneumonia. After being cremated at Woking Crematorium, his ashes were buried at the ‘Bedford Chapel’ of St. Michael’s Church in Chenies, Buckinghamshire.


He married Lady Elizabeth Sackville-West, daughter of George Sackville-West, 5th Earl De La Warr, on 18 January 1844. They had four children:


  1. The 9th Duke was known as "Hastings, 9th Duke of Bedford", the style used for example on the plaque recording his 1883 gift of the Drake statue in Tavistock
  2. The Complete Peerage, Volume II. St Catherine's Press. 1912. pp. 86–87.
  3. 1 2 The Complete Peerage, Volume II. p. 87.


External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Viscount Alford
Lord Charles Russell
Member of Parliament for Bedfordshire
With: Viscount Alford 1847–1851
Sir Richard Gilpin, Bt 1851–1872
Succeeded by
Sir Richard Gilpin, Bt
Francis Bassett
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Sandwich
Lord Lieutenant of Huntingdonshire
Succeeded by
The Earl of Sandwich
Peerage of England
Preceded by
William Russell
Duke of Bedford
Succeeded by
George Russell
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