John RUSSELL III (AFN.1L8H-B13)
Born: 29 Mar 1745 Place: Guildford, Surrey, England
John was the second child of the marriage between John Russell II and Ann Parvish. He was born on March 29, 1745 and was baptized in Holy Trinity Church on April 10 of the same year.
John studied at the Royal Grammar School in Upper High Street. His first artistical expression was when at the age of 13 he painted an exact replica of a painting he saw at a window store in London.
Approximately at the age of 15, John went to London as pupil to Francis Cotes (1726-1770). Cotes’ study was located in Cavendish Square. John would have lived with Cotes or nearby. We don’t know when John left Cotes but by 1767 he was already working on his own.
Religion was very important for John. In his diary he wrote he had been converted on September 30, 1764 at 7:30 in the evening. He joined the Free Church which put a lot of emphasis on free prayer and long sermons.
This belief created conflicts between John and his family since they did not approve of it. It also caused problems with many other people. In 1768 he wrote in his diary that the people of Guildford would love to see him drown in the river.
In 1770 John attended classes at the Royal Academy Schools. On the same year John won a gold medal for a drawing called ‘Aquarius’. He also made his own pastels since those available at the time would fade when old.
While in London, John met the family of William Faden. The Faden’s had 2 daughters, Judith and Hannah. Although John painted a portrait of Judith, it was Hannah who he really loved. Her family opposed the relationship especially since they did not approve of his religion. However, Hannah attended Methodist Church with him. The family finally approved of the relationship after Hannah suffered a serious illness in 1769 and almost died. John and Hannah were married on February 5, 1770 in St. Mary le Bow. Hannah was born in 1745 on Charing Cross, London and died on November 6, 1816 in St. Mary le Bow, London.
The first home of the new couple was at 7 Mortimer Street, near Cavendish Square. Soon , the family began to grow, and in the period from 1771 to 1786 they had 12 children:
The Cambridge University Alumni lists William as being born in 1780 and not 1782 as indicated by William Michaelsen. He was admitted to Clare College in Cambridge University on February 12, 1810. He was ordained deacon in 1814 and priest in 1815. He was rector of Shepperton, Middlesex from 1817 to 1870. Rural Dean of Hampton in 1847. He exhibited 8 crayon paintings in the Royal Academy and 3 in the B.I. He was the father of William Henry Leighton Russell (1843).
Created by Edgar H. Cross