Russell, William

Submitted by edpope on Fri, 14/09/2012 - 15:25

9.12.1795 Fenwick, Dyson, White, Cooper, Powell & Russell call / 11.12.1795 Marshall & Russell call: signature / 13.12.1795 adv at Holcroft's Powell & Russell / 3.1.1796 adv at Holcroft's Powell & Russell / 10.1.1796 meet Russell / 11.1.1796 again / 21.7.1802 Russell grammarian calls

The first six entries were all in just over a month and separated from other Russel entries by several years. Three were with James Powell, the unsuspected government spy in the London Corresponding Society. Thale, Selected Papers of the LCS shows Russell from August 1795 to June 1796 p275, 278, 279, 327, 330, 359, 393, as a delegate from Divisions 36, 39, 31, 43, a member of the executive committee, and a delegate of the Western District when he was named as William Russell. There are 18 works in the British Library Catalogue attributed to William P Russel published between 1796 and 1812. I haven't read them but the first was "Reform or Revolution in a letter to a Bishop, with an appendix addressed to the people of England" by William P Russel London 1796, and the second "Multum in Parvo or a brief display of more than a thousand errors in each of the under-mentioned writers: Johnson, Sheridan, Walker, Nares, Perry, Entick, and the works of other Philologists; with observations on the Lancashire, Welsh and Scotch mode of speaking" by William P Russel London 1801. It seems likely to me this was the grammarian of 1802, and possibly the Russel of the 1795/6 entries as well. He also wrote later as Guillaume Sanpeur. Other works (not in BL) by him mentioned in newspaper ads included "A New Play on a New Plan. The Tea Room, or Fiction and Reality" "No Peace with France & Catholic Emancipation dedicated withiout permission to Henry Grattan" sold by Mr Chapple 66 Pall Mall (Clement Chapple will PCC 1835) and Mr Glindon 48 Rupert St Haymarket  (William Glindon will PCC 1837) letters in the Sunday Review proposing an orthoepic society (see DNB Robert Nares 1753-1829) and a reply to the speech of Alderman Rowcroft at the Literary Fund 3.4.1803, giving an address at 5 High St Newington Butts. In 1809 he gave his address as Haymarket and elsewhere as 23 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, a straw bonnet shop. A witness at an Old Bailey trial of 24.4.1805 was servant to Mr Macpherson, straw hat warehouse, Maiden Lane. Another title page mentioned the actors Kemble and Cooke, and another work was "Folly Detected" concerning Joanna Southcott DNB 1750-1814.  As far as I can judge, later Russel and Russell entries in Godwin's diary were not him, but it's possible that some were (see my entries Russell and Russell, John). His probable last work, in 1812 was signed "by a Political Apothecary", and in 1802 his work "The Medical Quaerist and Investigator" was published, so he may have been a surgeon or apothecary. There was a James Russell apothecary at 51 Swallow St in 1790.

I hope when I have leisure to go to the British Library and read all his works, which appear from their titles idiosyncratic but interesting. I'd be very interested to hear of any further details about his life. The only person I found in birth, marriage &c records with the middle name beginning P was William Peagum Russel widower who married Marianne Conway Quested spinster by licence at St Andrew Holborn 21.2.1832. This person emigrated to Kentucky not long after that marriage (Ancestry user-submitted tree). His first marriage was possibly (without the middle name) to Sophia Warren in 1810 at St Martin in the Fields

William Russell is a very common name but a few work notes below from London Lives website


Work notes
tailor Denmark Ct Covt Gdn voted Townshend 1788 / tailor 50 Long Acre bail 1789 / tailor Charles Ct St Martin's voted Graham 1802
mercer Bedfordbury voted Hood 1788 / woollendraper Bedfordbury voted Hood 1790
greengrocer Petty France coroner's jury 1791 / greengrocer York St voted Fox 1796
Princes st Westminster clerk to mr Manning solicitor 1793
cook King St St Mgts coroners jury 1793 / victualler King St voted Fox & Gardner 1796
varnish maker and beadle Vineyard gdns St Jas Clerkenwell 1793 / will PCC 1807
PCC 1787 St My le Strand / PCC 1791 shoemaker Cornhill / PCC 1793 St James Westminster / PCC 1814 cooper St Sepulchre
waggoner age 55 guilty of stealing coals 1795 one yr in house of correction & publicly whipped 100 yds
with dau Mary Ann removed & conveyed from St Giles to St Clement Danes 1794
wife Frances kept house in Cartwright La nr Tower Hill lodger Mary Connelly 1795
son of James R distiller of St Giles bound appr to Francis Keysall cheesemonger Broad st Bloomsbury Carpenters Coy 1795