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British Industrial History

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John Francis Stanley Russell

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John Francis Stanley Russell (1865-1931)

John Francis Stanley Russell, 2nd Earl Russell known as Frank Russell, (12 August 1865 – 3 March 1931) was the elder surviving son of Viscount Amberley and his wife the Honourable Katharine (Kate) Stanley, and was raised by his paternal grandparents after his non-conventional parents both died young. He was the grandson of former prime minister, John Russell, 1st Earl Russell and elder brother of philosopher Bertrand Russell.

Trained at Plenty and Son, Newbury

1901 Received England's first license plate, number A1 on Christmas Eve 1901.

Building on his childhood interests in science and engineering, and experience gained as an adolescent when he helped electrify Hatfield House, he set up an electrical contracting business with the electrical engineer James Swinburne

Later established his own company with offices in Queen Victoria Street, works at Walham Green, and a branch in Cambridge but after three years abandoned the enterprise at considerable financial loss.

1922 Chairman of Humber Ltd

For many years he was chairman of the marine engineering firm Plenty and Co of Newbury, and was associated with other businesses.

He was married three timesand despite his landmark achievements in other respects, this Earl Russell is most famous for being tried for bigamy in 1901. Henceforth, he was known to Edwardian society as the "Wicked Earl".

1903 Bio Note [1]

RUSSELL, EARL.- Born in 1865, and educated at Winchester and Balliol College, Oxford, Earl Russell is by profession an electrician. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical Engineers, of the Royal Institution. His road experiences began as a cyclist, amongst his other pastimes being yachting. He started automobilism with a Benz car five years ago, driving since a Panhard with Napier engines, which originally belonged to Mr. Edge, also an 8 h.p. Haynes Apperson American car. His next car, to be delivered shortly, is to be a four-cylinder 12 h.p. Napier. Earl Russell is one of the early Life Members of the Club.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1903/02/26 Automobile Club Journal
  • [1] Wikipedia
  • Biography of John Francis Stanley Russell, ODNB