Lord Alexander Russell

General Lord Alexander George Russell GCB (16 September 1821 10 January 1907), was a British Army general. He served during the Siege of Sevastapol in the Crimean War.

Lord Alexander Russell
Lord Alexander Russell.
Born(1821-09-16)16 September 1821
Woburn, Bedfordshire
Died10 January 1907(1907-01-10) (aged 85)
Woodeaton, Oxfordshire
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
UnitRifle Brigade
Battles/warsCrimean War
AwardsKnight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Spouse(s)Anne Emily Worsley Holmes


Russell was born at Woburn, Bedfordshire, the son of John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford and his second wife, Lady Georgina (or Georgiana) Gordon, daughter of Alexander Gordon, 4th Duke of Gordon, although it has been claimed that Russell's father was actually the Victorian painter Sir Edwin Landseer, who conducted a lengthy affair with the Duchess of Bedford.[1] He was the half-brother of Francis Russell, 7th Duke of Bedford, Lord George Russell and John Russell, 1st Earl Russell and the full brother of Lord Edward Russell and Lord Charles Russell.[2]

Military career

Russell joined the Army on 11 July 1839 when he purchased a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Rifle Brigade. Russell was a Colonel in the Rifle Brigade and served during the Siege of Sevastapol in the Crimean War. He became General Officer Commanding South-Eastern District in April 1877[3] and Commander of the British Troops in Canada in May 1883[4] and was advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB), having previously been a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB). He was not however styled Sir Alexander Russell since he already held the higher title of Lord due to his father being first a Marquess and later a Duke.


Russell married Anne Emily Worsley Holmes, daughter of Sir Leonard Worsley Holmes, 9th Baronet, on 3 July 1844. They had two children:

  • Alexander Gordon Russell (11 July 18544 June 1917); became a Captain in the British Army.
  • Leonard George Russell (6 June 18587 April 1946; became a Major in the British Army.

Lady Alexander Russell died in October 1906. Russell only survived her by three months and died at Woodeaton, Oxfordshire, in January 1907, aged 85.[2] She is buried with her husband in the churchyard of St Michael's, Chenies.



  1. Campbell Lennie, Landseer: The Victorian Paragon (London: Hamilton, 1976), 28.
  2. General Lord Sir Alexander George Russell
  3. "Army Commands" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  4. "No. 25225". The London Gazette. 27 April 1883. p. 2241.
Military offices
Preceded by
William Parke
GOC South-Eastern District
Succeeded by
Edward Newdegate
Preceded by
Sir Alexander Macdonnell
Colonel-Commandant of the 2nd Battalion,
The Prince Consort's Own (Rifle Brigade)

Succeeded by
Frederick Elrington
Preceded by
Sir Patrick Leonard MacDougall
Lieutenant-General Commanding the Troops in Canada
Succeeded by
Sir John Ross
Preceded by
John Longfield
Colonel of the 8th (The King's) Regiment of Foot
Succeeded by
George William Powlett Bingham
Preceded by
Sir Arthur Johnstone Lawrence
Colonel-Commandant of the 1st Battalion,
The Prince Consort's Own (Rifle Brigade)

Succeeded by
Sir Arthur Frederick Warren

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