Russell, John (fl.1450) (DNB00)

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RUSSELL, JOHN (fl. 1450), author of a ‘Book of Nurture,’ was usher in chamber and marshal in hall to Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, and evidently took great interest in his various duties. He made his experience serve as the basis of a handbook of contemporary manners and domestic management, which he entitled a ‘Book of Nurture.’ He probably derived much from an earlier work with like views, which is preserved at the British Museum as Sloane MS. 2027. The copy of his work in Sloane MS. 1315 seems to represent it in its original shape, while that in the Harleian MS. 4011 embodies a later revision. The ‘Book of Nurture’ has been edited from Harleian MS. 4011 by Dr. Furnivall for the Roxburghe Club, London, 1867, 4to, and for the Early English Text Society in ‘The Babees Book,’ 8vo, 1868. It gives a complete picture of the household life of a noble from a servant's point of view; setting out the duties of a butler, the way to lay a table, the art of carving, and other particulars. The manuscript has no title. Parts of Russell's work are to be found in the ‘Boke of Keruynge,’ printed by Wynkyn de Worde in 1513.

[Edition of Russell's Book of Nurture in the Roxburghe Club.]

W. A. J. A.