Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 49.djvu/482
roughly handled by the Magicienne three weeks before, and afterwards, in a violent gale, had been dismasted, and obliged to throw twelve of her guns overboard. When she sighted the Hussar she hoisted the English flag over the French, the recognised signal of a prize, and at the same time, in the shrouds, another English flag, union downwards, the signal of distress. Russell accordingly bore down to her assistance, but as he drew near, his suspicions being roused, he did not close her. On this the Sibylle, under English colours, attempted to board the Hussar, but was beaten off with great loss, and when the Centurion, attracted by the firing, came within gunshot, the Sibylle surrendered. Indignant at the treacherous conduct of her captain, the Comte de Kergariou, Russell broke his sword and made him a close prisoner, with a sentry over him. When he brought the prize into New York he reported the circumstance, but, as peace was then on the point of being concluded, the affair was hushed up. Kergariou threatened to demand personal satisfaction, and after the peace Russell went to Paris to meet him, but returned on finding that his would-be enemy had gone to the Pyrenees.
In 1789 he was appointed to the Diana frigate on the West Indian station, and in the end of 1791 was sent to St. Domingo with a convoy of provisions for the French. He learned that an English officer, Lieutenant Perkins, was imprisoned at Jeremie in Hayti, on a charge of having supplied the revolted blacks with arms. Russell convinced himself that the charge was false, went round to Jeremie, and, under a threat of laying the town in ruins, secured Perkins's release. He returned to England in 1792, and in 1796 was appointed to the Vengeance of 74 guns, again for service in the West Indies, where, under Rear-admiral Henry Harvey [q. v.], he took part in the reduction of St. Lucia and Trinidad. The Vengeance returned to England in the spring of 1799, and formed part of the Channel fleet during the summer, after which she was paid off, and in the following April Russell was appointed to the Princess Royal, which he commanded till his promotion to the rank of rear-admiral on 1 Jan. 1801. On the renewal of the war in 1803 he hoisted his flag on board the Dictator, under the orders of Lord Keith in the Downs. On 9 Nov. 1805 he was promoted to be vice-admiral, and in 1807 was appointed commander-in-chief of the squadron in the North Sea. In September, on the news of war having been declared by Denmark, he took possession of Heligoland, which during the war continued to be the great depôt of the English trade with Germany. He became an admiral on 12 Aug. 1812, and died suddenly, in his carriage, in the neighbourhood of Poole, on 22 July 1824. He married, about 1793, a Miss Phillips, who died in 1818, leaving no children.[Gent. Mag. 1824, ii. 369; Naval Chronicle, xvii. 441, with a portrait after a painting by C. G. Stuart, then (1806) in the possession of Sir John Macnamara Hayes; ib. xxv. 239; official correspondence in the Public Record Office; Marshall's Royal Naval Biogr. i. 137, 606; Beatson's Naval and Military Memoirs, v. 552, vi. 349; Troude's Batailles Navales de la France, ii. 238.]
RUSSELL, Sir WILLIAM, first Baron Russell of Thornhaugh (1558?–1613), fourth and youngest son of Francis Russell, second earl of Bedford [q. v.], was born about 1558. He was educated at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he ‘sat at the feet of that excellent divine, Dr. Humphrys’ [see Humphrey, Laurence, D.D.], but apparently did not graduate. He then spent several years in travelling through France, Germany, Italy, and Hungary. Returning to England about 1579, he was sent to Ireland in October of the following year in command of a company of recruits raised by the English clergy for the wars in Ireland. He was stationed on the Wicklow frontier to hold Fiagh Mac Hugh O'Byrne [q. v.] in check, and on 4 April 1581 he and Sir William Stanley (1548–1629) [q. v.] succeeded in burning Fiagh's house of Ballinacor and killing some of his followers. He was rewarded with a lease of the abbey of Baltinglas in co. Carlow on 4 Sept., and, being licensed to return to England, he was knighted by the lord-deputy, Arthur Grey, fourteenth lord Grey de Wilton [q. v.], on 10 Sept. On the occasion of the Duc d'Alençon's visit to England in November, he took part in a royal combat and fight on foot, wherein the duke and the prince dauphin were the challengers and Russell and Lord Thomas Howard the defenders.
In December 1585 Russell accompanied the Earl of Leicester on his expedition to the Netherlands, and was by him appointed lieutenant-general of cavalry. He repaired to England in April 1586 in order to raise a band of horse, but returned in time to take part in the fight at Warnsfeld before Zutphen on 22 Sept., when he led the attack, and, according to Stow (Annals, p. 737), ‘so terribly he charged that after he had broke his lance, he with his curtle-axe so played his part that the enemy reputed him a devil and no man.’ On the death of Sir Philip Sidney, who in token of friendship bequeathed him his best gilt armour, he