Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Russell, Thomas (1781?-1846)

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RUSSELL or Cloutt, THOMAS (1781?–1846), independent minister, was born at Marden, Kent, about 1781. His father and grandfather were members of the church of England, and he was himself confirmed in that communion, but was educated for the dissenting ministry at Hoxton Academy (September 1800–June 1803), under Robert Simpson, D.D. His first settlement was at Tonbridge, Kent, in 1803. In 1806 he became minister of Pell Street Chapel, Ratcliff Highway, where he was ordained on 5 Sept. His tastes were literary, and he edited a collection of hymns as an appendix to Watts; but his ministry was not popular. About 1820 he adopted the name of Russell, and obtained in 1823 the king's patent for the change. Soon afterwards he received from a Scottish university the diploma of M.A. On the closing of Pell Street Chapel a few years before his death, he became minister of Baker Street Chapel, Enfield, Middlesex. He was a Coward trustee, and (from 1842) a trustee of the foundations of Daniel Williams, D.D. [q. v.]; he was also secretary of the Aged Ministers' Relief Society. Contrary to the general sentiment of his denomination, he was a promoter of the Dissenters' Chapels Act of 1844 [see Field, Edward Wilkins]. He died at his residence, Penton Row, Walworth, Surrey, on 10 Dec. 1846. His sons, Arthur Tozer Russell [q. v.] and John Fuller Russell [q. v.], are separately noticed.

Under the name of Cloutt he published four sermons (1806–18), and a ‘Collection of Hymns,’ 1813, 12mo (17th edit. 1832, 12mo). His ‘Jubilee Sermon’ (1809) was roughly handled in the ‘Anti-Jacobin Review,’ November 1809, and he issued a defensive ‘Appendix,’ giving autobiographical particulars. In 1823 he began his edition of the works of John Owen, D.D. [q. v.], finishing it in 1826 in twenty octavo volumes, uniform with the ‘Life of Owen,’ 1820, 8vo, by William Orme [q. v.]; sets are usually completed by prefixing this ‘Life,’ and adding the seven volumes of Owen on Hebrews (Edinburgh, 1812–14, 8vo), edited by James Wright; but Russell's edition has been superseded by that of W. H. Goold, D.D. In 1828 he issued proposals for a series of ‘The Works of the English and Scottish Reformers;’ only three vols. 1829–31, 8vo, were published, containing works of William Tindal [q. v.] and John Frith [q. v.]

[Biographical Dict. of Living Authors, 1816, p. 67; Congregational Year Book, 1846, p. 177; Christian Reformer, 1847, p. 64; Jeremy's Presbyterian Fund, 1885, p. 208; Julian's Dict. of Hymnology, 1892.]

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