1759-62. Oil on canvas. 125.7 x 100.3 cm. The Marquess of Tavistock and the Trustees of the Bedford Estates, UK. Read Note.
John Russel, 4th Duke of Bedford (1710-1771) a British statesman. He was the second son of Wriothesley Russell, 2nd Duke of Bedford, and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of John Howland of Streatham, Surrey. In 1731 Lord John Russell married Lady Diana Spencer (d. 1735), daughter of Charles Spencer, 3rd Earl of Sunderland. A year later, after his elder brother’s death he became Duke of Bedford. In April 1737 he married Lady Gertrude Leveson-Gower (d. 1794), daughter of John Leveson-Gower, 1st Earl Gower.
In 1756-1761 he occupied the post of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, that is, the head of the administration of Ireland. In 1761-1763 he was Lord Privy Seal and in this post he signed in February 1763 on the part of Great Britain the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Seven Years’ War.
In 1763 he took the post of the Lord President of the Council.
The duke held many public offices: lord-lieutenant of Bedfordshire and Devon, and chancellor of Dublin University among others, and was a Knight of the Garter.
His health had been declining for some years, and in 1770 he became partially paralysed. He died in 1771, and was buried in the family burying-place at Chenies. His three sons all died before him, and the title was inherited by his grandson, Francis Russel, son of Frances Russel, Marquess of Tavistock and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of William Keppel 2nd Earl of Albemarle.
See: Sir Joshua Reynolds. Gertrude, Duchess of Bedford.