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Francis Russell, 7th Duke of Bedford was born on 13 May 1788 at Pall Mall, St. James's, London and died at the family home of Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire on 14 May 1861. He was buried at Chenies in Buckinghamshire. He was the son of John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford and his wife Georgiana Elizabeth. Francis Russell married Anna Maria Stanhope; they had one son, William, who succeeded to the title. Russell was the elder brother of Lord John Russell, 1st Earl Russell, who was twice Prime Minister of Britain.
Francis Russell entered the British House of Commons in 1809, sitting as Member of Parliament for Peterborough for the next three years. Subsequently, he represented Bedfordshire until 1832. In the following year, he was summoned to the House of Lords in his father's junior title Baron Howland of Streatham by a writ of acceleration. Russell was sworn of the Privy Council on 6 July 1846 and was invested as a Knight of the Order of the Garter on 26 March 1847. He was made a Special Deputy Warden of the Stannaries in 1852 and was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire in 1859, a post he held until his death in 1861.
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