Francis Russell, 9th Duke of Bedford

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

The Duke of Bedford
The Duke of Bedford in the House of Lords, by Carlo Pellegrini, 1874
Born(1819-10-16)16 October 1819
Mayfair, London, England
Died14 January 1891(1891-01-14) (aged 71)
Belgravia, London, England
TitleDuke of Bedford
Tenure27 May 1872 – 14 January 1891
Other titles9th Marquess of Tavistock
13th Earl of Bedford
13th Baron Russell
11th Baron Russell of Thornhaugh
9th Baron Howland
IssueGeorge William Francis Sackville Russell, 10th Duke of Bedford
Ella Monica Sackville Russell
Ermyntrude Sackville Russell
Herbrand Arthur Russell, 11th Duke of Bedford
ParentsLord George William Russell
Elizabeth Anne Rawdon


Known as Hastings, the 9th Duke was born in Curzon Street, London, the son of Major-General Lord George William Russell and Lady William Russell, and the grandson of John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford.[1] He was commissioned into the Scots Fusilier Guards in 1838, retiring in 1844.[2] He was Liberal Member of Parliament for Bedfordshire from 1847 until 1872, when he succeeded to the dukedom on the death of his cousin William Russell, 8th Duke of Bedford, 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.[2]

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 Complete Peerage, Volume II. St Catherine's Press. 1912. pp. 86–87.
  2. The Complete Peerage, Volume II. p. 87.


  • Lloyd, E.M. & Seccombe, T. "Russell, Lord George William (1790–1846)", rev. James Falkner, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 , <accessed 28 Feb 2006> (subscription required)
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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