Lord John Russell: Papers and correspondence

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John Russell (1792-1878), statesman, was born on 18 August 1792 in Mayfair, London, the third son of John, sixth Duke of Bedford, and his first wife, Georgiana Elizabeth, second daughter of the fourth Viscount Torrington. Educated at Westminster School (1803-04) and Edinburgh University (1809-12), he began in 1813 that Whig political career for which his family connexions prepared him. He sat in the Commons almost without a break until 1861, when he was created first Earl Russell of Kingston Russell, Dorsetshire.

Russell was more important as a British than an imperial statesman. He was in the forefront of the movement for the Reform Act of 1832. In Lord Melbourne's government (1835-41), he was the most powerful minister; and he was himself twice prime minister. He presided over the Colonial Office in 1839-41 and from February to July 1855.

John M. Ward, 'Russell, John (1792–1878)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/russell-john-2619/text3615

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