George W. E. Russell

Not to be confused with George William Russell (1867–1935) the writer and theosophist.
The Right Honourable
George W. E. Russell
Under-Secretary of State for India
In office
19 August 1892  21 June 1894
Monarch Victoria
Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone
Preceded by George Curzon
Succeeded by The Lord Reay
Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department
In office
12 March 1894  21 June 1895
Monarch Victoria
Prime Minister The Earl of Rosebery
Preceded by Herbert Gladstone
Succeeded by Jesse Collings
Personal details
Born (1853-02-03)3 February 1853
London, England
Died 17 March 1919(1919-03-17) (aged 66)
London, England
Nationality British
Political party Liberal
Alma mater University College, Oxford

George William Erskine Russell PC (3 February 1853 17 March 1919), known as George W. E. Russell, was a British biographer, memoirist and Liberal politician.

Background and education

Russell was born in London, England, on 3 February 1853, the youngest son of Lord Charles Russell, sixth son of John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford. His mother was Isabella Clarisa Davies, daughter of William Griffith Davies, of Penylan, Carmarthenshire.[1] He was educated at Harrow and University College, Oxford.[2]

Though he entered University College as a Scholar, he obtained only a Pass degree. Ill-health, particularly myelitis, put paid to any chance of academic distinction.

Political career

Russell was Liberal Member of Parliament for Aylesbury from 1880 to 1885.[3] and for Biggleswade from 1892-1895.[4] He was appointed by William Ewart Gladstone as Parliamentary Secretary to the Local Government Board from 1883 to 1885 and as Under-Secretary of State for India from 1892 to 1894. Under Lord Rosebery he was Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department from 1894 to 1895. He was also an Alderman on London County Council from 1889 to 1895. He was appointed a Privy Counsellor in 1907, and held the honorary degree of LLD from St Andrews University. He was the author of the biography The Right Honourable William Ewart Gladstone (1891). Russell was a journalist by profession, and a close ally of the Grand Old Man, a home ruler, when Gladstone presented the bill to the Commons for the second time on 13 February 1893.[5]

Personal life

Russell died, unmarried, at 18 Wilton Street, London, on 17 March 1919, aged 66.[1]


The Victoria and Albert Museum's photograph of Russell can be seen at


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George William Erskine Russell
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Nathan Rothschild
Samuel George Smith
Member of Parliament for Aylesbury
With: Nathan Rothschild
Succeeded by
Ferdinand James von Rothschild
Preceded by
Viscount Baring
Member of Parliament for Biggleswade
Succeeded by
Lord Alwyne Compton
Political offices
Preceded by
John Tomlinson Hibbert
Parliamentary Secretary to the Local Government Board
Succeeded by
The Earl Brownlow
Preceded by
George Curzon
Under-Secretary of State for India
Succeeded by
The Lord Reay
Preceded by
Herbert Gladstone
Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department
Succeeded by
Jesse Collings
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