Russell, William Russell, Lord

Russell, William Russell, Lord

biographical name

(born Sept. 29, 1639—died July 21, 1683, London, Eng.) English Whig politician. A member of the House of Commons, he joined the opposition to the pro-French policies of Charles II. In 1678 he was convinced by Titus Oates's fabricated Popish Plot, and by 1680 he led the fight in the Commons to exclude Charles's brother James (later James II) from the succession. After Charles dissolved Parliament (1681), Russell continued to associate with Whig dissidents. In 1683 he was accused of participating in the Rye House Plot to murder Charles. The charges were never proved, but Russell was found guilty of treason and beheaded.

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