- Gordon Brown
- Tony Blair
- Sir John Major
- Baroness Margaret Thatcher
- James Callaghan
- Harold Wilson
- Sir Edward Heath
- Sir Alec Douglas-Home
- Harold Macmillan
- Sir Anthony Eden
- Sir Winston Churchill
- Clement Attlee
- Neville Chamberlain
- Stanley Baldwin
- James Ramsay MacDonald
- Andrew Bonar Law
- David Lloyd George
- Herbert Henry Asquith
- Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman
- Arthur James Balfour
- Robert Gascoyne-Cecil 3rd Marquess of Salisbury
- Archibald Primrose 5th Earl of Rosebery
- William Ewart Gladstone
- Benjamin Disraeli The Earl of Beaconsfield
- Edward Smith Stanley 14th Earl of Derby
- Lord John Russell 1st Earl Russell
- Henry John Temple 3rd Viscount Palmerston
- George Hamilton Gordon Earl of Aberdeen
- Sir Robert Peel 2nd Baronet
- William Lamb 2nd Viscount Melbourne
- Arthur Wellesley 1st Duke of Wellington
- Charles Grey 2nd Earl Grey
- Frederick Robinson Viscount Goderich
- George Canning
- Robert Banks Jenkinson Earl of Liverpool
- Spencer Perceval
- William Bentinck Duke of Portland
- William Wyndham Grenville 1st Baron Grenville
- William Pitt 'The Younger'
- Henry Addington 1st Viscount Sidmouth
- William Petty 2nd Earl of Shelburne
- Lord Frederick North
- Augustus Henry Fitzroy 3rd Duke of Grafton
- William Pitt 'The Elder' 1st Earl of Chatham
- Charles Watson-Wentworth 2nd Marquess of Rockingham
- George Grenville
- John Stuart 3rd Earl of Bute
- Thomas Pelham-Holles 1st Duke of Newcastle
- William Cavendish Duke of Devonshire
- Henry Pelham
- Spencer Compton 1st Earl of Wilmington
- Sir Robert Walpole
Lord John Russell 1st Earl Russell Whig 1846 to 1852, 1865 to 1866
18 August 1792, Mayfair, London
28 May 1878, Richmond Park, London
Dates in office
1846 to 1852, 1865 to 1866
Factory Act 1847: limitations on factory working hours.
Public Health Act 1848: improving the sanitary conditions of towns and populous places.
He was the last Whig Prime Minister.
Charles Dickens dedicated the novel, A Tale of Two Cities, to him, “In remembrance of many public services and private kindnesses.”
“I have made mistakes, but in all I did my object was the public good.”
Lord John Russell served twice as prime minister. Neither period of office proved smooth, and his achievements were limited by weak leadership and difficult circumstances.
Born prematurely on 18 August 1792, Lord John Russell was the third son of the Duke of Bedford.
Lord Russell came to Parliamentary attention for helping to write the 1832 Reform Bill, which increased the number of people eligible to vote.
He served as Leader of the Commons, and later as Home Secretary and Colonial Secretary under Melbourne. He then went on to lead the opposition to Peel’s government, but supported Robert Peel in repealing the Corn Laws.
In 1846 after Peel resigned, Russell became leader himself.
Due to party disunity and his own ineffectual leadership, he was unable to get past many of the measures he wanted. His government also had to face problems including poor trade, high unemployment and the Irish potato famine.
As Prime Minister, he did manage to liberalise trade and limited women’s working hours. The Education Act of 1847 improved pay for teachers and granted money to non-conformist schools. The Australian Colonies Act of 1850 gave representative government to New South Wales. He also achieved improvements to the Poor Law.
Russell was forced to resign by his independent-minded Foreign Secretary, Lord Palmerston. He then served briefly as Foreign Secretary under the Earl of Aberdeen, and then later under Lord Palmerston, having made up his differences with him.
In 1861 he was created Earl Russell. When Lord Palmerston suddenly died in 1865, he formed a second government. His advanced age was outweighed by Queen Victoria’s trust in him but, when he immediately tried to introduce a further Reform Bill to extend the political franchise, his Cabinet failed to support him. He resigned with little regret the following year.