John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford

John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford

Born Sep 30, 1710

John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford KG, PC, FRS was an 18th century British statesman. He was the fourth son of Wriothesley Russell, 2nd Duke of Bedford, by his wife, Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of John Howland of Streatham, Surrey.

related links


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford.


1710 Birth Born in 1710.


1731 21 Years Old Known as Lord John Russell, he married in October 1731 Diana Spencer, daughter of Charles Spencer, 3rd Earl of Sunderland; became Duke of Bedford on his brother’s death a year later; and having lost his first wife in 1735, married in April 1737 Lady Gertrude Leveson-Gower (died 1794), daughter of John Leveson-Gower, 1st Earl Gower. … Read More


1744 34 Years Old When Carteret, now Earl Granville, resigned office in November 1744, Bedford became First Lord of the Admiralty in the administration of Henry Pelham, and was made a privy councillor.
1748 38 Years Old He was very successful at the admiralty, but was not equally fortunate after he became Secretary of State for the Southern Department in February 1748. … Read More


1756 46 Years Old Instigated by his friends, he was active in opposition to the government, becoming the leader of a faction named after him, the Bedford Whigs. After Newcastle’s resignation in November 1756, Bedford became Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in the new government led by William Pitt and the Duke of Devonshire.
1757 47 Years Old He retained this office after Newcastle, in alliance with Pitt, returned to power in June 1757. … Read More
1759 49 Years Old He oversaw the Irish response to the threatened French invasion in 1759, and the landing of a small French force in northern Ireland.


1761 51 Years Old 1 More Event
In March 1761 he resigned this office.
1762 52 Years Old The cabinet of Bute was divided over the policy to be pursued with regard to the war, but pacific counsels prevailed, and in September 1762 Bedford went to France to treat for peace.
1763 53 Years Old 1 More Event
He was considerably annoyed because some of the peace negotiations were conducted through other channels, but he signed the Peace of Paris in February 1763. Resigning his office as Lord Privy Seal soon afterwards, various causes of estrangement arose between Bute and Bedford, and the subsequent relations of the two men were somewhat virulent. The duke refused to take office under George Grenville on Bute’s resignation in April 1763, and sought to induce Pitt to return to power.
1765 55 Years Old 1 More Event
His haughty manner, his somewhat insulting language, and his attitude with regard to the regency bill in 1765 offended George III, who sought in vain to supplant him, and after this failure was obliged to make humiliating concessions to the ministry.
1767 57 Years Old During his term of office he had opposed a bill to place high import duties on Italian silks. He was consequently assaulted and his London residence attacked by a mob. He took some part in subsequent political intrigues, and although he did not return to office, his friends, with his consent, joined the ministry of the Duke of Grafton in December 1767. … Read More
1769 59 Years Old Bedford was hostile to John Wilkes, and narrowly escaped from a mob favourable to the agitator at Honiton in July 1769. … Read More


1770 60 Years Old His health had been declining for some years, and in 1770 he became partially paralysed.
1771 61 Years Old He died at Woburn on 5 January 1771, and was buried in the 'Bedford Chapel' at St. Michael’s Church, Chenies, Buckinghamshire. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on,_4th_Duke_of_Bedford.
Text is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.