Surrey is a subdivision of the English region of South East England in the United Kingdom. A historic and ceremonial county, Surrey is one of the home counties; the county borders Kent to the east, East Sussex and West Sussex to the south, Hampshire to the west, Berkshire to the northwest, Greater London to the northeast. Inhabited by about 1.2 million people, Surrey is the twelfth most populous English county, both the third most populous home county and the third most populous county in the South East. Guildford is considered to be the county town; however despite the town's designation, Surrey County Council has never been based there, being instead seated throughout its history in London. Since the borders of Surrey were altered in 1965 by the London Government Act 1963 which created Greater London, none of these places are now in Surrey, marking an example of a de facto capital, located outside of its administrative area. Surrey is divided into eleven districts: Elmbridge and Ewell, Mole Valley and Banstead, Spelthorne, Surrey Heath, Tandridge and Woking.
Services such as roads, mineral extraction licensing, strategic waste and recycling infrastructure, birth and death registration, social and children's services are administered by Surrey County Council. The London boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark and small parts of Lewisham and Bromley were in Surrey until 1889. Since the 1965 reform the bordering boroughs of the capital have been those taken from it in 1965 plus Bromley and Hounslow; the form of Surrey which remains since 1965 is a wealthy county due to economic, aesthetic and logistical factors. It has the highest GDP per capita of any English county, some of the highest property values outside Inner London and the highest cost of living in the UK outside of the capital. Surrey has the highest proportion of woodland in England, having been rural since it was shorn in 1965 of the urbanised swathes of South London which had hitherto been part of the county, it has large protected green spaces. It has four racecourses in horse racing, the most of any Home County and as at 2013 contained 141 golf courses including international competition venue Wentworth.
Surrey has proximity to London and to Heathrow and Gatwick airports, along with access to major arterial road routes including the M25, M3 and M23 and frequent rail services into Central London. Surrey is divided in two by the chalk ridge of the North Downs; the ridge is pierced by the rivers Wey and Mole, tributaries of the Thames, which formed the northern border of the county before modern redrawing of county boundaries, which has left part of its north bank within the county. To the north of the Downs the land is flat, forming part of the basin of the Thames; the geology of this area is dominated by London Clay in the east, Bagshot Sands in the west and alluvial deposits along the rivers. To the south of the Downs in the western part of the county are the sandstone Surrey Hills, while further east is the plain of the Low Weald, rising in the extreme southeast to the edge of the hills of the High Weald; the Downs and the area to the south form part of a concentric pattern of geological deposits which extends across southern Kent and most of Sussex, predominantly composed of Wealden Clay, Lower Greensand and the chalk of the Downs.
Much of Surrey is in the Metropolitan Green Belt. It contains valued reserves of mature woodland. Among its many notable beauty spots are Box Hill, Leith Hill, Frensham Ponds, Newlands Corner and Puttenham & Crooksbury Commons. Surrey is the most wooded county in England, with 22.4% coverage compared to a national average of 11.8% and as such is one of the few counties not to recommend new woodlands in the subordinate planning authorities' plans. Box Hill has the oldest untouched area of natural woodland in one of the oldest in Europe. Surrey contains England's principal concentration of lowland heath, on sandy soils in the west of the county. Agriculture not being intensive, there are many commons and access lands, together with an extensive network of footpaths and bridleways including the North Downs Way, a scenic long-distance path. Accordingly, Surrey provides many rural and semi-rural leisure activities, with a large horse population in modern terms; the highest elevation in Surrey is Leith Hill near Dorking.
It is 294 m above sea level and is the second highest point in southeastern England after Walbury Hill in West Berkshire, 297 m. Surrey has a population of 1.1 million people. Its largest town is Guildford, with a population of 77,057, they are followed by Ewell with 39,994 people and Camberley with 30,155. Towns of between 25,000 and 30,000 inhabitants are Ashford, Farnham and Redhill. Guildford is the historic county town, although the county administration was moved to Newington in 1791 and to Kingston upon Thames in 1893; the county counc
Writ of acceleration
A writ in acceleration called a writ of acceleration, was a type of writ of summons that enabled the eldest son and heir apparent of a peer with multiple peerage titles to attend the British or Irish House of Lords, using one of his father's subsidiary titles. This procedure could be used to lower the average age of the house, increase the number of capable members in a house that drew on a small pool of talent, without increasing the effective size of the peerage and thereby diluting the exclusivity of noble titles; the procedure of writs of acceleration was introduced by King Edward IV in the mid 15th century. It was a rare occurrence, only 98 writs of acceleration were issued in over 400 years; the last writ of acceleration was issued in 1992 to the Conservative politician and close political associate of John Major, Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, Viscount Cranborne, the eldest son and heir apparent of the 6th Marquess of Salisbury. He was summoned as Baron Cecil of Essendon and not as Viscount Cranborne, the title he used by courtesy.
The procedure of writs of acceleration was abolished through the House of Lords Act 1999, along with the automatic right of hereditary peers to sit in the House of Lords. A writ of acceleration was granted only if the title being accelerated was a subsidiary one, not the main title, if the beneficiary of the writ was the heir apparent of the actual holder of the title; the heir apparent was not always summoned in his courtesy title. For example, William Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington, heir apparent of William Cavendish, 3rd Duke of Devonshire, was summoned as Baron Cavendish of Hardwick, it was not possible for heirs apparent of peers in the Peerage of Scotland and Peerage of Ireland to be given writs of acceleration after 1707 and 1801 as holders of titles in these peerages were not automatically guaranteed a seat in the British House of Lords. An heir apparent receiving such a writ took the precedence within the House of Lords owing to the title accelerated. For example, when Viscount Cranborne was accelerated to the barony of Cecil, he took precedence ahead of all barons in Parliament created after that date.
If an accelerated baron dies before his father, the barony passes to his heirs if any, else to his father. For example, Charles Boyle, Viscount Dungarvan, the eldest son of the 1st Earl of Burlington, was summoned to Parliament in 1689 in his father's barony of Clifford of Lanesborough, but predeceased his father, his son, the Earl's grandson, was granted a writ of attendance to the Lords in the barony. Acceleration can affect the numbering of holders of peerages. In the example above, the 1st Earl of Burlington was the 1st Baron Clifford of Lanesborough, his son Charles was, by virtue of the writ of accelaration, summoned to Parliament as Baron Clifford of Lanesborough, but predeceased his father. On the death of the 1st Earl of Burlington, Charles' son thus became the 2nd Earl of Burlington, but 3rd Baron Clifford of Lanesborough. Two issues of writs of acceleration may be noted. In 1628 James Stanley, Lord Strange, heir apparent of William Stanley, 6th Earl of Derby, was summoned to the House of Lords in the ancient Barony of Strange, a title assumed by his father.
However, the House of Lords decided that the sixth Earl’s assumption of the Barony of Strange had been erroneous. It was deemed that there were now two Baronies of Strange, the original one created in 1299 and the new one, created "accidentally" in 1628. Another noteworthy writ of acceleration was issued in 1717 to Charles Paulet, Marquess of Winchester, heir apparent of Charles Paulet, 2nd Duke of Bolton, he was meant to be summoned in his father's junior title of Baron St John of Basing, but was mistakenly summoned as Baron Pawlett of Basing. This inadvertently created a new peerage. However, the Barony of Pawlett of Basing became extinct on his death, while the Dukedom was passed on to his younger brother, the fourth Duke; the summons of Thomas Butler, 6th Earl of Ossory to the English House of Lords in 1666, as Baron Butler, of Moore Park, may represent an error for a writ of acceleration in his father's peerage of Baron Butler, of Lanthony. When it had been decided that the eldest son of a peer should become a member of the House of Lords, the alternative to a writ of acceleration was to create a new peerage.
For example, in 1832 Edward Smith-Stanley, Lord Stanley and heir apparent of Edward Smith-Stanley, 12th Earl of Derby, was given a new peerage as Baron Stanley, of Bickerstaffe. Two years he succeeded his father in the Earldom; this was in contrast to his son, Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby, who in 1844 was summoned to the House of Lords through a writ of acceleration in the aforementioned title of Baron Stanley, of Bickerstaffe. Other examples of new peerages being created for heirs apparent include the barony of Butler in the peerage of England, 1666, for Thomas Butler, 6th Earl of Ossory, eldest son of James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde, who sat in the English House of Lords by virtue of this title, although he had been accelerated to the Irish House of Lords as Earl of Ossory. After his career in the House of Commons was ended by a defeat in the 1974 general election, Lord Balniel was given a life peerage as Baron Balniel, of Pitcorthie in the County
William Russell, 1st Duke of Bedford
William Russell, 1st Duke of Bedford KG PC was an English nobleman and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1640 until 1641 when he inherited his Peerage as 5th Earl of Bedford and removed to the House of Lords. He fought in the Parliamentarian army and defected to the Royalists during the English Civil War, he is known for developing the Bloomsbury area of London. He was the son of Francis Russell, 4th Earl of Bedford and his wife Catherine, the daughter and coheir of Giles Brydges, 3rd Baron Chandos. Russell was educated at Magdalen College, in 1635 went to Madrid where he hoped to learn Spanish, he returned by July 1637, at which point he concluded a marriage, to Anne, the sole heir of Robert Carr, 1st Earl of Somerset. In April 1640, Russell was elected Member of Parliament for Tavistock in the Short Parliament, he was re-elected MP for Tavistock in the Long Parliament in November 1640 and sat until 1641. John Pym was the other MP for Tavistock. Russell followed his father's lead and sided with Parliament in its emerging conflict with Charles I which would shortly lead to the English Civil War.
In May 1641, Russell's father died unexpectedly of smallpox and he succeeded him as 5th Earl of Bedford. Although he was only 24 at the time, Parliament gave Bedford considerable responsibilities, naming him a commissioner to treat with the king in 1641 and naming him Lord Lieutenant of Devon and Lord Lieutenant of Somerset in 1642, he was made General of the Horse in the Parliamentary Service on 14 July 1642 and in September he led an expedition in western England against royalist forces under the command of the Marquess of Hertford. Although Bedford's forces outnumbered Hertford's, Bedford's troops were poorly trained and many deserted and, upon his return to London, Bedford was criticised for his performance; the next month, he joined Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex and fought with the Parliamentarians in the Battle of Edgehill on 23 October 1642. By summer 1643, Bedford had aligned himself with the parliamentary "peace party" headed by Henry Rich, 1st Earl of Holland and John Holles, 2nd Earl of Clare, which advocated a settlement with Charles I.
When Essex rejected the peace party's advice, Bedford became one of the "peace lords" who abandoned the Parliamentary cause and joined Charles I at Oxford: the king pardoned Bedford for his previous offence. Bedford returned to battle, this time on the side of the Royalists, with his participation in the Siege of Gloucester and the first Battle of Newbury. On 16 June 1644, the eve of the Second Battle of Newbury, the King's daughter Princess Henrietta was born in Bedford House, the Earl's town house in the South-West. Although Charles I pardoned Bedford, Charles' inner circle remained wary of Bedford and was therefore reluctant to give him anything but minor responsibilities. Disillusioned, Bedford returned to the Parliamentary side in December 1643, claiming that he had only been attempting to negotiate a settlement with the king and had never intended to abandon the Parliamentary cause. Parliament, remained wary of a man who had abandoned them and refused to allow Bedford to retake his seat in the House of Lords.
At any rate, the radical course pursued by the army in the mid-1640s alienated Bedford and he withdrew to his estate at Woburn. Although he took the Engagement in 1650, Bedford would not play any significant public role during the English Interregnum. At the Restoration of 1660, Bedford resumed his seat in the House of Lords, becoming a leader of the Presbyterian faction. Bedford bore the sceptre at Charles II's coronation in 1661. In an attempt to win Bedford's support in the run-up to the Third Anglo-Dutch War, Charles II made Bedford Governor of Plymouth in 1671 and, on 29 May 1672, the day after the Battle of Solebay, had him invested as a Knight of the Garter, he held the office of Joint Commissioner for the office of Earl Marshal in 1673. Charles' courtship of Bedford ended shortly thereafter when his overtures to the Dissenters proved fruitless. Although Bedford attended services in the Established Church, he kept a Presbyterian chaplain in his household and his wife was arrested in 1675 for attending a conventicle.
This made Bedford a natural ally of Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury in opposition to the Earl of Danby's plans to establish royalist and Anglican dominance. As such, Bedford supported the Whigs during the Exclusion Crisis; the king turned against Bedford, and, in 1682, the family borough of Tavistock lost its charter. In 1683, Bedford's son, William Russell, Lord Russell was implicated in the Rye House Plot and was executed. Following his son's execution, Bedford withdrew from politics. Bedford returned to public life at the time of the Glorious Revolution, he again carried the sceptre at the coronation of William and Mary, was made a member of the Privy Council. He was made Recorder of Cambridge in 1689, he was Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire and Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire between 1689 and 1700 and Lord Lieutenant of Middlesex between 1692 and 1700. He was invested as a Privy Counsellor on 14 February 1689 and created Duke of Bedford and Marquess of Tavistock on 11 May 1694.
He was created Baron Howland of Streatham on 13 June 1695, with remainder to his grandson, Wriothesley Russell. Bedford died on 7 September 1700 at age 84 at Bedford House and was buried on 17 September in the'Bedford Chapel' at St. Michael’s Church at Chenies, Buckinghamshire. Russell married Anne Carr, daughter of the Earl of Somerset, on 11 July 1637, bringing him a fortune of £12,000, they had children
Northamptonshire, archaically known as the County of Northampton, is a county in the East Midlands of England. In 2015 it had a population of 723,000; the county is administered by Northamptonshire County Council and by seven non-metropolitan district councils. It is known as "The Rose of the Shires". Covering an area of 2,364 square kilometres, Northamptonshire is landlocked between eight other counties: Warwickshire to the west and Rutland to the north, Cambridgeshire to the east, Bedfordshire to the south-east, Buckinghamshire to the south, Oxfordshire to the south-west and Lincolnshire to the north-east – England's shortest administrative county boundary at 19 metres. Northamptonshire is the southernmost county in the East Midlands region. Apart from the county town of Northampton, other major population centres include Kettering, Wellingborough and Daventry. Northamptonshire's county flower is the cowslip. Much of Northamptonshire's countryside appears to have remained somewhat intractable with regards to early human occupation, resulting in an sparse population and few finds from the Palaeolithic and Neolithic periods.
In about 500 BC the Iron Age was introduced into the area by a continental people in the form of the Hallstatt culture, over the next century a series of hill-forts were constructed at Arbury Camp, Rainsborough camp, Borough Hill, Castle Dykes, Guilsborough and most notably of all, Hunsbury Hill. There are two more possible hill-forts at Arbury Thenford. In the 1st century BC, most of what became Northamptonshire became part of the territory of the Catuvellauni, a Belgic tribe, the Northamptonshire area forming their most northerly possession; the Catuvellauni were in turn conquered by the Romans in 43 AD. The Roman road of Watling Street passed through the county, an important Roman settlement, stood on the site of modern-day Towcester. There were other Roman settlements at Northampton and along the Nene Valley near Raunds. A large fort was built at Longthorpe. After the Romans left, the area became part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia, Northampton functioned as an administrative centre.
The Mercians converted to Christianity in 654 AD with the death of the pagan king Penda. From about 889 the area was conquered by the Danes and became part of the Danelaw – with Watling Street serving as the boundary – until being recaptured by the English under the Wessex king Edward the Elder, son of Alfred the Great, in 917. Northamptonshire was conquered again in 940, this time by the Vikings of York, who devastated the area, only for the county to be retaken by the English in 942, it is one of the few counties in England to have both Saxon and Danish town-names and settlements. The county was first recorded as Hamtunscire: the scire of Hamtun; the "North" was added to distinguish Northampton from the other important Hamtun further south: Southampton – though the origins of the two names are in fact different. Rockingham Castle was built for William the Conqueror and was used as a Royal fortress until Elizabethan times. In 1460, during the Wars of the Roses, the Battle of Northampton took place and King Henry VI was captured.
The now-ruined Fotheringhay Castle was used to imprison Queen of Scots, before her execution. George Washington, the first President of the United States of America, was born into the Washington family who had migrated to America from Northamptonshire in 1656. George Washington's ancestor, Lawrence Washington, was Mayor of Northampton on several occasions and it was he who bought Sulgrave Manor from Henry VIII in 1539, it was George Washington's great-grandfather, John Washington, who emigrated in 1656 from Northants to Virginia. Before Washington's ancestors moved to Sulgrave, they lived in Lancashire. During the English Civil War, Northamptonshire supported the Parliamentarian cause, the Royalist forces suffered a crushing defeat at the Battle of Naseby in 1645 in the north of the county. King Charles I was imprisoned at Holdenby House in 1647. In 1823 Northamptonshire was said to " a pure and wholesome air" because of its dryness and distance from the sea, its livestock were celebrated: "Horned cattle, other animals, are fed to extraordinary sizes: and many horses of the large black breed are reared."Nine years the county was described as "a county enjoying the reputation of being one of the healthiest and pleasantest parts of England" although the towns were "of small importance" with the exceptions of Peterborough and Northampton.
In summer, the county hosted "a great number of wealthy families... country seats and villas are to be seen at every step." Northamptonshire is still referred to as the county of "spires and squires" because of the numbers of stately homes and ancient churches. In the 18th and 19th centuries, parts of Northamptonshire and the surrounding area became industrialised; the local specialisation was shoemaking and the leather industry and by the end of the 19th century it was definitively the boot and shoe making capital of the world. In the north of the county a large ironstone quarrying industry developed from 1850. Prior to 1901 the ancient hundreds were disused. Northamptonshire was administered as four major divisions: Northern, Eastern and Southern. During the 1930s, the town of Corby was established as a major centre of the steel industry. Much of Northamptonshire remains rural. Corby was designated a new town in 1950 and Northampton followed in 1968; as of 2005 the government is encouraging d
St Michael's, Chenies
St Michael's Church at Chenies, Buckinghamshire, is a Grade I listed Anglican parish church in the Diocese of Oxford in England. It is not of great architectural interest but stands in an attractive position in the Chess Valley near the Chenies Manor House; the church is famous for its Bedford Chapel, the mausoleum of the Russell family, private and not open to the public. The present parish church dates from the late 15th and early 16th centuries, replacing an earlier wooden church dating from the 12th century; the first church on this site and dedicated to St. Michael is believed to have been built in the latter part of the 12th century by Alexander de Isenhampstead. "Isenhampstead" was the original name of the village that came to be known as "Isenhampstead Chenies" and by the 19th century as "Chenies". In 1556 the Russell family added the Bedford Chapel, subsequently rebuilt and enlarged. After the church had fallen into disrepair during the 18th century, a major period of repairs and amendments was begun in 1829 by Lord Wriothesley Russell, Rector of Chenies for 57 years.
This involved the closure of the church for part of the 1830s, during which time his father, the 6th Duke of Bedford, allowed the Long Room in the Chenies Manor House to be used for services. After St Michael’s had been restored and repaired, it was reopened for public worship on 23 June 1836. Another great renovation was carried out on St. Michael's in the period 1861-1887, during which the church was rebuilt. In 1885 the Bedford Chapel was extended westwards towards the tower, in 1886-1887 the roof was raised and the present day hammer beam roof installed. In 1906 the Bedford Chapel was further extended; the belfry chamber was installed in 1933. Prior to that date the ringers were to be seen at the base of the tower on the same level as the nave. Electric light was installed for the first time in 1936. In 1959-1960 the organ was replaced in 1960 by the present organ; the new organ console was placed at the south east corner of the nave. The chancel, south aisle and west tower date from the 15th century, while the north chapel was added in 1556.
Most of the masonry is of flint rubble with stone dressings. The west tower features a stair turret in the south-east; the exterior walls had their flint facing reworked in the 1860s. Inside the church, there are many items of interest. At the north side of the church, an arch leads from the nave into the Bedford Chapel. There is a 12th-century'Aylesbury' style font from the Norman period medieval brasses, Victorian windows; the Bedford Chapel is the private mausoleum of Dukes of Bedford. Although it is within the curtilage of St. Michael’s Church, it is administrated from Woburn Abbey, it is not open to the public, though visible through the glazed screen in the church. The chapel contains what Nikolaus Pevsner described as "as rich a store of funeral monuments as any parish church of England"; the Bedford Chapel is attached to the north side of St Michael's Church and was commissioned in 1556 by Anne Sapcote, widow of John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford, in accordance with her husband's will. An inscribed stone tablet is built into the outer face of the east wall of the chapel, below the window, records: "Anno Dni 1556 / Thys Chappel ys, built by Anne / Countysse of Bedforde wyfe to / John Erle of Bedford accordyg to / ye last wyll of the sayd erle."
Monuments in the Bedford Chapel range from one from the 15th century through elaborate 17th century sculpture to one to the 9th Duke of Bedford. The Russell standard and banners hang from the walls and ten funeral hatchments are fixed to the roof. Throughout the chapel, all recumbent figures have their feet turned away from the East. Several coronets are fixed at cornice level on the South wall; the floor of the Bedford Chapel is of white marble. There is an open wood roof with hammer beams, the ends of the corbels decorated with half figures of angels bearing coloured shields of the Russell and associated families; the series of six stained glass windows on the north side is by C. E. Kempe, circa 1897. On the floor of the chancel is the helm and sword which hung over the stall of 7th Duke of Bedford in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle as a Knight of the Garter; the large East window is dedicated to the 9th Duke of Bedford and his wife Elizabeth, as is a carved stone achievement on the outer face of the West gable wall.
The 9th Duke and his wife were early supporters of cremation and paid for the construction of Woking Crematorium. Their ashes are buried in the Bedford Chapel, as are those of Herbrand Russell, 11th Duke of Bedford, who served as president of the Cremation Society of Great Britain from 1921 to his death in 1940. In 1868, a new parish church was completed near Woburn Abbey in Woburn, under the 8th Duke of Bedford, it was equipped with a crypt beneath, intended as the burial place of the Dukes of Bedford and their family. In the end the Russell family continued to use the ancient mausoleum at Chenies, the crypt of St. Mary's parish church in Woburn is now used for events and meetings; the hatch through which coffins would have been lowered into the crypt is still visible. The Bedford Chapel is famous for its collection of monuments to the Earls and Dukes of Bedford from the Russell family, most of whom are buried in the vault beneath the chapel; the monuments of the highest quality and importance are: Monument to John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford and wife Anne Sapcote.
Monument to Bridget Hussey, daughter of John Hussey, 1st Baron
John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford
John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford was an English royal minister in the Tudor era. He served variously as Lord Privy Seal. Among the lands and property he was given by Henry VIII after the Dissolution of the Monasteries, were the Abbey and town of Tavistock, the area, now Covent Garden. Russell is the ancestor of all subsequent Earls and Dukes of Bedford and Earls Russell, including John Russell, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and philosopher Bertrand Russell. John Russell was born ca. 1485 at Berwick-by-Swyre, the son of Sir James Russell and his first wife Alice Wyse, daughter of Thomas Wyse of Sidenham, near Tavistock, Devon. James's father was Sir William Russell, but more his brother John Russell by his wife Alice Froxmere, daughter of John Froxmere of Droitwich, because his coat of arms quarters Froxmere. John was the son of Sir Henry Russell, Elizabeth Herring, daughter of John Herring of Chaldon Herring. Henry, great-grandfather of the 1st Earl, was a substantial wine merchant and shipper, who represented Weymouth in the House of Commons four times.
The Russell pedigree can only be traced back with certainty to Henry Russell's father, Sir Stephen Russell, the evidence being contained in a deed of April 1440 in which Henry Russell made over to his daughter Christina and her husband Walter Cheverell of Chauntemarle, a tenement in Dorchester to be held of himself and his heirs upon rent of a red rose. In the deed Henry referred to himself of Alice his wife; this Alice appears to have been the heir general of the De la Tour family, which had long owned Berwick-by-Swyre, by whom therefore the manor was brought into the Russell family. Both Sir Henry and Sir Stephen were referred to as Gascoigne as well as Russell due to their wine trade with France, as in a 1442 pardon under the Privy Seal referring to Henry Russell of Weymouth, alias Henry Gascoign, gentleman, it was long believed in the noble Russell family by the 2nd Earl of Bedford, that the family was descended from the ancient family of Russell of Kingston Russell in Dorset, three miles northeast of Berwick, which descent was declared unproven by Gladys Scott Thomson in her Two Centuries of Family History, London, 1930, an exhaustive and scholarly work on the early pedigree of the Earls of Bedford.
In 1506 John Russell was of service to Archduke Philip of Austria and Juana his wife when they were shipwrecked off Weymouth, escorted the royal couple to the royal court in London. He was one of the most accomplished gentlemen of his time and so impressed them by his gracious manners that they praised him to King Henry VII, he became a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber to Henry VII in 1507 and to his son and successor Henry VIII in 1509, who employed him in various military and diplomatic missions during the War of the League of Cambrai. He was at the taking of Tournai, he was knighted on 2 July 1522 after losing an eye at the taking of Morlaix in Brittany, he witnessed the Battle of Pavia. Following his marriage in the Spring of 1526 he made alterations to his ancestral seat Chenies Manor House to reflect his new good fortunes, he now stood in favour with the King and Cardinal Wolsey, though he would not suffer disgrace at the fall of the latter. He was made High Sheriff of Dorset and Somerset in 1528 and served as Member of Parliament for Buckinghamshire 1529–1536, retaining the royal favour despite the antipathy of Anne Boleyn.
Late in 1536, he was made a Privy Counsellor, helped to suppress the Pilgrimage of Grace. The fall and execution of Henry Courtenay, Marquess of Exeter, left a power vacuum in the south-western counties of England, which Russell was called upon to fill. On 9 March 1538/1539 he was created Baron Russell, appointed Lord President of the Council of the West. In the next month, he was made a Knight of the Garter. In July 1539 he was made High Steward of Cornwall, Lord Warden of the Stannaries; the Council of the West proved unsuccessful as an instrument of government, did not survive the fall of Cromwell. Russell, remained a great magnate in the western counties, obtained the office of Lord High Admiral in 1540. After Henry VIII met Anne of Cleves at Rochester, the next day he asked Russell if he "thought her fair". Russell replied with his natural diplomacy and prudence that he took her "not to be fair, but of a brown complexion". In 1542, Russell himself resigned the Admiralty and succeeded to the Privy Seal on the death of Southampton.
He was High Steward of the University of Oxford from 1543 till his death. During the Italian War of 1542, he unsuccessfully besieged Montreuil in 1544, was Captain General of the Vanguard of the army for the attack on Boulogne in 1545, he was a close companion of King Henry VIII during the last years of his reign. On Henry's death in 1547, he was one of the executors of the King's will, one of sixteen counsellors during the minority of his son King Edward VI. On 21 June 1553 he was one of the twenty-six peers who signed the settlement of the crown on Lady Jane Grey, he was sent to attend King Philip II into England on his arrival from Spain to wed the Queen Mary. He was Lord High Steward at the Coronation of King Edward VI on 20 February 1547, he was created by that young king Earl of Bedford on 19 January 1550 for his assistance in carrying out the order of the Council against "images" and for promoting the new rel
Henry VII of England
Henry VII was the King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizure of the crown on 22 August 1485 to his death on 21 April 1509. He was the first monarch of the House of Tudor. Henry attained the throne when his forces defeated King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field, the culmination of the Wars of the Roses, he was the last king of England to win his throne on the field of battle. He cemented his claim by marrying Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV and niece of Richard III. Henry was successful in restoring the power and stability of the English monarchy after the civil war, his supportive stance of the British Isles' wool industry and his standoff with the Low Countries had long-lasting benefits to all of the British economy. However, the capriciousness and lack of due process that indebted many would tarnish his legacy and were soon ended upon Henry VII's death, after a commission revealed widespread abuses. According to the contemporary historian Polydore Vergil, simple "greed" underscored the means by which royal control was over-asserted in Henry's final years.
Henry can be credited with a number of administrative and diplomatic initiatives. He paid close attention to detail, instead of spending lavishly he concentrated on raising new revenues and after a reign of nearly 24 years, he was peacefully succeeded by his son, Henry VIII; the new taxes were unpopular and two days after his coronation, Henry VIII arrested his father's two most unpopular ministers, Sir Richard Empson and Edmund Dudley. They were charged with high treason and were executed in 1510. Henry VII was born at Pembroke Castle on 28 January 1457 to Countess of Richmond, his father, Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond, died three months before his birth. Henry's paternal grandfather, Owen Tudor from the Tudors of Penmynydd, Isle of Anglesey in Wales, had been a page in the court of Henry V, he rose to become one of the "Squires to the Body to the King" after military service at the Battle of Agincourt. Owen is said to have secretly married the widow of Catherine of Valois. One of their sons was Edmund Tudor, father of Henry VII.
Edmund was created Earl of Richmond in 1452, "formally declared legitimate by Parliament". Henry's main claim to the English throne derived from his mother through the House of Beaufort. Henry's mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, was a great-granddaughter of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, fourth son of Edward III, his third wife Katherine Swynford. Katherine was Gaunt's mistress for about 25 years, thus Henry's claim was somewhat tenuous: it was from a woman, by illegitimate descent. In theory, the Portuguese and Castilian royal families had a better claim as descendants of Catherine of Lancaster, the daughter of John of Gaunt and his second wife Constance of Castile. Gaunt's nephew Richard II legitimised Gaunt's children by Katherine Swynford by Letters Patent in 1397. In 1407, Henry IV, Gaunt's son by his first wife, issued new Letters Patent confirming the legitimacy of his half-siblings, but declaring them ineligible for the throne. Henry IV's action was of doubtful legality, as the Beauforts were legitimised by an Act of Parliament, but it further weakened Henry's claim.
Nonetheless, by 1483 Henry was the senior male Lancastrian claimant remaining, after the deaths in battle or by murder or execution of Henry VI, his son Edward of Westminster, Prince of Wales, the other Beaufort line of descent through Lady Margaret's uncle, the 2nd Duke of Somerset. Henry made some political capital out of his Welsh ancestry, for example in attracting military support and safeguarding his army's passage through Wales on its way to the Battle of Bosworth, he came from an old, established Anglesey family that claimed descent from Cadwaladr, on occasion Henry displayed the red dragon of Cadwaladr. He took it, as well as the standard of St George, on his procession through London after the victory at Bosworth. A contemporary writer and Henry's biographer, Bernard André made much of Henry's Welsh descent. In reality, his hereditary connections to Welsh aristocracy were not strong, he was descended by the paternal line, through several generations, from Ednyfed Fychan, the seneschal of Gwynedd and through this seneschal's wife from Rhys ap Tewdwr, the King of Deheubarth in South Wales.
His more immediate ancestor, Tudur ap Goronwy, had aristocratic land rights, but his sons, who were first cousins to Owain Glyndŵr, sided with Owain in his revolt. One son was executed and the family land was forfeited. Another son, Henry's great-grandfather, became a butler to the Bishop of Bangor. Owen Tudor, the son of the butler, like the children of other rebels, was provided for by Henry V, a circumstance that precipitated his access to Queen Catherine of Valois. Notwithstanding this lineage, to the bards of Wales, Henry was a candidate for Y Mab Darogan – "The Son of Prophecy" who would free the Welsh from oppression. In 1456, Henry's father Edmund Tudor was captured while fighting for Henry VI in South Wales against the Yorkists, he died in three months before Henry was born. Henry's uncle Jasper Tudor, the Earl of Pembroke and Edmund's younger brother, undertook to protect the young widow, 13 years old when she gave birth to Henry; when Edward IV became King in 1461, Jasper Tudor went into exile abroad.
Pembroke Castle, the Earldom of Pembroke, were granted to the Yorkist William Herbert, who assumed the guardianship of Margaret Beaufort and the young Henry. Henry lived in the Herbert household