Military Wiki
Edward Russell, 1st Earl of Orford
Admiral Edward Russell, 1st Earl of Orford, 1653–1727 by Thomas Gibson, painted c. 1715
Born 1653
Died 26 (aged -1628–-1627) November 1727 (aged 73–74)
Allegiance  Kingdom of Great Britain
Service/branch  Royal Navy
Rank Admiral of the Fleet
Other work MP for Launceston, for Portsmouth and for Cambridgeshire

Admiral of the Fleet Edward Russell, 1st Earl of Orford, PC (1653 – 26 November 1727) was the First Lord of the Admiralty under King William III.

Naval career

He was a son of the Hon. Edward Russell, a younger son of the 4th Earl of Bedford and a younger brother of the 5th Earl (later 1st Duke of Bedford).[1] He married his cousin, Lady Margaret Russell,[1] youngest daughter of the 5th Earl, but they had no children.

He was one of the first gentleman officers of the Royal Navy regularly bred to the sea. In 1671, he was named Lieutenant at the age of eighteen and was promoted to Captain in the following year.[1] In the Third Anglo-Dutch War he saw active service in the North Sea in 1672 and 1673. Russell later served in the Mediterranean in the operations against the Barbary Pirates with Sir John Narborough and Arthur Herbert from 1676 to 1682.[1] In 1683 he ceased to be employed, as all of the members of the Russell family had fallen into disfavour with the King after the discovery of Lord Russell's connection with the Rye House Plot. In 1688, Russell was one of the Immortal Seven, a group of English noblemen who issued the Invitation to William, a document asking William of Orange to depose King James II.[1] In the subsequent War of the Grand Alliance, Russell served at sea, commanding the fleet as Admiral of the Fleet after 1690.[1] In 1692, Russell was Commander-in-Chief of the Anglo-Dutch force that fought the French fleet at Barfleur, and destroyed much of it at La Hougue, his victory there being the decisive naval battle of the war.[1]

Russell became First Lord of the Admiralty in 1694,[1] remaining in that post until 1699. He served in the Mediterranean from 1694 to 1695 and was created Baron Shingay, Viscount Barfleur, and Earl of Orford in 1697.[1] These titles all became extinct on the childless Orford's death.

On the orders of King William III, he was the first English commander to over-winter at Cadiz (rather than sailing his squadron home in the autumn) and so inaugurated a policy that led to the acquisition of an English Mediterranean base at Gibraltar in 1704.

Painting in the British Government collection which shows Orford with Admiral John Benbow and Admiral Sir Ralph Delaval.[2]


Russell was lord of the manor of Chippenham, Cambridgeshire from 1689 until his death. Russell remodelled the manor house and greatly extended the estate of Chippenham Park which now dominates the parish to the south of the village.[3]

Styles from birth to death

  • Mr Edward Russell (1653–1689)
  • The Rt Hon. Edward Russell, MP (1689–1697)
  • The Rt Hon. The Earl of Orford, PC (1697–1727)

See also

  • Whig Junto


External links

Military offices
Preceded by
New Post
Admiral of the Fleet
Succeeded by
Sir George Rooke
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Sir Hugh Piper
John Granville
Member of Parliament for Launceston
1689 – 1690
With: William Harbord
Succeeded by
William Harbord
Bernard Granville
Preceded by
Henry Slingsby
Richard Norton
Member of Parliament for Portsmouth
1690 – 1695
With: Nicholas Hedger
Succeeded by
Nicholas Hedger
Matthew Aylmer
Preceded by
Sir Robert Cotton
The Lord Cutts
Member of Parliament for Cambridgeshire
1695 – 1697
With: The Lord Cutts
Succeeded by
The Lord Cutts
Sir Rushout Cullen, Bt
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Chicheley
Custos Rotulorum of Cambridgeshire
1689 – 1727
Succeeded by
The Earl of Lincoln
Preceded by
The Lord North
Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire
1715 – 1727
Political offices
Preceded by
The Viscount Falkland
Treasurer of the Navy
1689 – 1699
Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Littleton
First Lord of the Admiralty
1694 – 1699
Succeeded by
The Earl of Bridgewater
Preceded by
The Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery
(Lord High Admiral)
First Lord of the Admiralty
1709 – 1710
Succeeded by
Sir John Leake
Preceded by
The Earl of Strafford
First Lord of the Admiralty
1714 – 1717
Succeeded by
The Earl of Berkeley
Peerage of England
New creation Earl of Orford
1697 – 1727

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