Cromwell were confirmed at the Restoration. Indeed,
some of these lands were actually handed over to
the Duke of York, afterwards James II. Like so
many of the Russells, Patrick Russell the elder had
married a Celt, Mary, daughter of Cahil O'Hara of
Crehilly. She now resolved that the inheritance of her
child should not be lost without a struggle. She de-
termined to appeal to the King (Charles II) in person,
and to plead the cause of her house at the foot of the
throne. There is still a tradition in the family that Mary
Russell walked from Holyhead to London, flung herself
before the King, and asked for justice.
Charles was not proof against her prayers and remon-
strances. The forfeitures of Cromwell were cancelled,
and young Patrick Russell was restored to the lands of
his fathers. He was succeeded by his son Valentine in
Once more Ireland was in the throes of war, and
once more the Russells were in the thick of the fight,
standing by faith and fatherland. The familiar results
followed : defeat and confiscation. In 1696 Valentine
Russell was outlawed for high treason, and his lands
were forfeited. An appeal was made to the Court of
Claims in behalf of his son Patrick, a minor, but in vain.
Then a chivalrous friend interposed, and, in this case as
in many another, the inheritance of an Irish Catholic was
saved by the manly action of an Irish Protestant.
In 1703 the lands of Ballystrew and Coniamston were
DR. RUSSELL OF MAYNOOTH
put up for sale by the trustees of the forfeited estates.
They were bought in by General Echlin of Rush in trust
for the minor. The trust was faithfully kept, and in time
Patrick Russell came into his own. He died in 1759, and
was succeeded by his son Patrick, who left no issue.
Patrick's brother Thomas followed. His son and successor,
Patrick Henry Russell, died in 1840, and was succeeded
by his son, Thomas John Russell, who married, first,
Marie Christina, daughter of the Marquis de St. Gery,
and secondly Josephine, daughter of the Marquis de
Flamerens. His son, Henry Russell, who ranks in the
French nobility as Count Russell, is the present repre-
sentative of the Russells of Killough.
Lord Russell of Killowen was descended from a
collateral branch of the Russells of Ballystrew. In 1749
George Russell of Ballystrew married Elizabeth Norris.
Their son, Charles Russell, became a corn merchant in
Killough, and died in 1828. Among his children were
Charles, who entered the Church and died president of
Maynooth College, and Arthur, the father of the subject
of this memoir.
Dr. Russell was a remarkable man. Born in 1812,
he entered Maynooth in 1826, and was appointed
professor of humanities in 1835. Ten years later he
filled the chair of ecclesiastical history, and in 1857
became president. He was an intimate friend of
Newman, and, it is said, exercised not a little influence
on the Tractarian movement. ' My dear friend Dr.
Russell, President of Maynooth,' Newman wrote, ' had
perhaps more to do with my conversion than any
one else. I do not recollect that he said a word on
the subject of religion. He was always gentle, mild,
LORD RUSSELL OF KILLOWEN
unobtrusive, uncontroversial. He let me alone.' Dr.
Russell was a member of the Historical MSS. Commis-
sion, and, assisted by Prendergast (author of the ' Crom-
wellian Settlement in Ireland '), he prepared a report of
the Carte MS. in the Bodleian Library. He also with
Prendergast compiled the State Papers Ireland, 1603-
1625. He was associated with Cardinal Wiseman in
editing the Dublin Review, and among other literary
works wrote a ' Life of Cardinal Mezzofanti,' which ran
through two editions. He died in 1880 at the same
age, curiously, as his illustrious nephew and namesake.
Arthur Russell went to sea, and in time became
master of a ship of his own. He fell in love with
Margaret Mullan, the daughter of a Belfast merchant,
but his suit did not prosper.
Margaret married John Hamill, a Belfast merchant.
On the death of Mr. Hamill (1820), Arthur Russell
renewed his suit, and, in 1825, Mrs. Hamill became his
wife. Then he left the sea, bought a brewery at Newry,
and made that town his home.
All the time that I have been writing this chapter
Lord Russell has been present to my mind ; and there
were moments when I seemed to hear him rapping with
his pencil on the table and saying : ' Enough pedigree,,
come to the point.'
BOYHOOD : YOUTH
NEWRY, the capital of the County Down, is picturesquely
situated in the ' gap of the North.' Lying in a valley
on the Leinster frontier, the breezes from the Mourne
and Carlingford mountains sweep over it. Carlingford
Lough flows almost to its quays, and the dialects
of three counties may be heard in its streets. It is
essentially a border town. The little river Glanrye,
flowing through it into Carlingford Lough, marks the
boundary between Down and Armagh, the Lough itself
the boundary between Down and Louth. On the Down
side of the river is the larger part of the town of Newry.
On the Armagh side is a district now called Queen
Street, but which seventy years ago was known by the
name of Ballybot ; and at Bally bot, on November 10,
1832, Charles Russell was born. He was therefore,
technically at all events, right in saying, ' I am an
Armagh man ; ' though Down, with good reason as we
have seen, claims him for her own. 1
It is curious to note the number of eminent men who
sprang up in this northern district between the years
1812 and 1832. Born in the County Derry in 1815,
1 By a recent Act of Parliament the Ballybot district has been joined to
the County Down.
LORD RUSSELL OF KILLOWEN [1832
John Mitchel, the most brilliant of the Young Irelanders,
the most perfect master of the English language whom
Ireland has produced during the century, was reared
in Newry within a stone's throw of the house where
Charles Russell first saw the light. At Loughorne, near
Newry, John Martin, another Young Irelander a man of
sterling patriotism and the greatest amiability of character
was born in 1812. In Newry John O'Hagan, one of the
mostgifted of the contributors to the Nation, andafterwards
the first judge of the Irish Land Court, was born in 1822.
At Carlingford Thomas Darcy Magee, another brilliant
Young Irelander, who died Prime Minister of Canada,
was born in 1825. The town of Monaghan is about
eighteen miles from Newry as the crow flies, and there
Charles Gavan Duffy, the founder of the Nation, and
afterwards Prime Minister and ultimately Speaker of
the Legislative Assembly in the Colony of Victoria, was
born in 1816. Belfast is about thirty miles from Newry,
and there Thomas O'Hagan, the first Catholic Lord
Chancellor of Ireland since the revolution, was born in
1813. At Cultra, in the County Down, Hugh Cairns,
Lord Chancellor of England (1868, 1874-80), was born
in 1819. Lord Dufferin, one of the most distinguished
diplomatists who ever served England, who happened to
be born in Florence in 1826, is also a County Down man.
The youngest of this little band of northerners (who
were destined to play so varied and so distinguished a
part in the world) was Charles Russell, the hero of my
The Russells made a numerous household at Ballybot.
First there were Mrs. Russell's children by her first
JEr. i] THE RUSSELL FAMILY
marriage the Hamills, five all told. Then came the
young Russells Mary, Elizabeth, Katharine, Sarah,
Charles, and Matthew.
Mr. Russell was not rich : he was not poor. The
children were brought up in comfort, but with simple
frugal tastes. Mrs. Russell was the head of the house.
She was a handsome, clever woman, clear-headed
and strong-willed, having excellent business qualities,
and possessing a composure and dignity of character
which her letters to a great extent reveal. Mr. Russell
was a gentle, amiable man, warmly attached to his
children, whom he would have possibly spoiled by tender-
ness but for the discipline of their Spartan mother.
About 1837, having fallen into ill-health, he made up his
mind to leave Ireland altogether, and to spend the re-
mainder of his days in France. But this project was
soon abandoned, and the family continued to live at
Ballybot until 1838. Then it was decided to change
from town to country, and, the brewery having been
leased on advantageous terms, the Russells moved to
their new home at Seafield House, Killowen a charm-
ing spot on Carlingford Lough, close to Rostrevor, and
commanding a glorious view of the mountains and the
sea. There Charles Russell grew up, boating in the
Lough, climbing the mountains, mingling with the
fishermen on the shore and the peasants on the hill-side,
loving the place and its people, leading a simple, happy,
In 1839 his education began under the direction of a
clever governess, Miss O'Connor, who lived with the
family until 1 844. All this time he was a handsome, bright-
eyed, serious-looking lad, gentle as a rule, but always
LORD RUSSELL OF KILLOWEN [1839
sturdy, and on occasion defiant. One day the servant
threatened to report him to the governess. ' Do,' said
he, ' I'll chalk the way for you ; ' and, suiting the action to
the word, he got a bit of chalk and drew a line from the
kitchen to the school-room. He was fond of reading,
and bombarded his father with questions about the words
and things which he did not understand. His father told
him to get a dictionary. The dictionary was got. On a
certain occasion the family wanted it. It could be found
nowhere. At length Charles was discovered lying in a
field, reading the ' Lives of the Saints ' with the dictionary
by his side. He had seized the work of authority
and made it his own. One day he, his brother Matthew,
and a very little boy named Patrick Murphy (after-
wards known to fame for he was exhibited in nearly all
the principal towns of Europe as ' Murphy the Irish
Giant ') were playing in a boat on the shore. The tide
came suddenly in, and the boat (which had neither sails,
oars, nor rudder) drifted off and was quickly blown out
towards the sea : Murphy cried, Matthew prayed, and
Charles whistled. The whistling was heard, and the
young scapegraces were rescued.
We have a vivid picture of these early days at
Killowen from the pen of Charles Russell's sister Sarah,
now a nun Mother Emmanuel in the Convent of
Mercy, Newry, writing to her brother Matthew :
' Seafield was a small farm about sixteen English acres.
The house was old-fashioned and comfortable. The
fields lay sloping to the sea-shore and the midday sun.
Behind us rose the Mourne Mountains. Six years and a
half of peaceful happy life were spent in that still loved
and well-remembered home. I can recall our school days.
. 7] KILLOWEN
Miss O'Connor's authority was absolute, and we were
made to respect her as we would our parents. Lesson
time was, as a rule, never interfered with. But some-
times, on fine sunny days, a knock might be heard at the
school-room door, and our dear father would come in
to ask Miss O'Connor to allow us to go out into the
meadows, to pull the yellow flowers of the dandelion
before their thistle-winged seeds were ready to fly away
to produce a more beautiful crop, or to do some little bit
of weeding in the garden. How delighted we were to
start away, even though this half-holiday meant a real
hard afternoon of work.
' A well-filled week of lessons was followed by the day
of rest, and how did we keep Sunday ? Mamma was
most particular on that point. No cooking that might
be done on Saturday was allowed. Each Sunday had
Sunday's fare. We four young people that is, Kate,
myself, Charlie, and Matthew sat at table with our
seniors, dressed in our very neatest and best.
' After breakfast we got ready for Mass, to which some
of us drove in a roomy inside car. How solemn and holy
everything was, while the calm that seemed to me to lie
over the whole country was like the sensible presence of
God. Many a time since I have recalled those Sundays,
and the words came back to me,
With heart at rest within my breast,
And sunshine on the land.
' After dinner each of us had to read a chapter of the
Bible aloud, while mamma and dada listened respectfully.
The piano was never heard except to accompany a hymn ;
no game of cards was allowed ; but all sorts of childish
LORD RUSSELL OF KILLOWEN [1844,
games, such as riddles, conundrums, stories, &c., made our
' Each season had its pleasures. I n the winter evenings
some one read a story aloud while the rest listened it
was most frequently our dear gentle father who read.
How well I remember, when some touching, high-minded,
magnanimous action was related, his voice would falter
and break, and he would be silent. How kind he was !
No one ever heard a hard word from him. If^any of us
did wrong and mamma showed her displeasure, he would
take the culprit's part (if penitent), and say, " Margaret, let
bygones be bygones," or " Forget and forgive."
1 Mamma had a lovely touching voice, and Moore's
" Melodies " were her favourite songs ; so we all learned
early to love our great national poet. The public events of
the day were talked about ; sometimes the newspapers
were read aloud. In the stirring times of O'Connell's
monster meetings our grand Liberator was the figure ever
before us. About this time [1843-44] it came to be my
turn to go with mamma on her journeys to Dublin, and
my whole ambition and real earnest prayer was to
see O'Connell. On the occasion of one of our visits,
mamma gratified my wishes and brought me to Concili-
ation Hall. Twice in the streets we saw O'Connell ; and
I remember how he raised his hat in acknowledgment
of mamma's respectful bow. When the State trials were
going on, every line in the newspapers was read or listened
to by us all with intense interest.
' O'Connell's imprisonment was a subject of family
mourning, while his liberation September 6, 1844
brought universal exultation. I have heard my mother tell
. 12] KILLOWEN
stories of '98. H er father was a captain of a merchant ship r
he was drowned at sea. Her mother married a second
time Mr. Moore of Belfast. One day, in 1798, she was
standing at the door of her house my mother was then
seven years old with a baby in her arms, when a soldier
coming up spoke rudely to her. Mr. Moore was stand-
ing by. He expostulated with the soldier, whereupon
the latter made a lunge of the bayonet at my grand-
mother, and drove the point through the baby's eye. The
child was killed on the spot : then the soldier ran away.
Mr. Moore followed him to the barracks and told what
had happened. But all the satisfaction Mr. Moore got
was that he was sent to gaol for six weeks. My mother
often told us this story, and other stories of those terrible
' We were rather piously inclined, all of us, and we had
a little association of our own, and conferences on holy
subjects. I remember the subject proposed in one of
them by Kate was, what was the best way to become a
saint, and the unanimous opinion was, to do our daily
duties as well as ever we could, and to do all in the
presence of God to please Him. A wise one surely, and
containing as high spirituality as I, for my part, have ever
learned since. We had to read each day the " Lives
of the Saints " in Alban Butler, let them be long or
' In 1842 dear Uncle Charles gave each of us a Roman
Missal, and I may date from that my first realisation of
the awful Adorable Sacrifice of the Mass. Being now
able to follow the priest in the very words he used, the
greatness of our privilege in not only assisting at those
LORD RUSSELL OF KILLOWEN [1845
awful mysteries, but in being even joined with him in the
offering up of the Sacrifice (in our degree), came home
more clearly to us.
' In 1848 Kate asked mamma's permission to enter
religion ; her inclinations led her to the Order of Charity
(Irish) ; but mamma and our holy old Bishop, Dr. Blake,
who had been the true warm friend of our holy foundress,
Mother Macaulay, preferred she should be a Sister of
Mercy. It was in the vacation time (I was at school
then) which we spent in Killowen that Kate first told me
of her wish to leave home.
' She told me then of her great desire to be a Sister
of Charity, and how it was God showed her what He
intended her to be.
' You remember well our last climb up Slieve Ban
mountain with her. We rose about five o'clock and we
were standing beside the Big Stone when the six o'clock
Angelus was said by us three for the last time together
Thus it will be seen that the young Russells were
brought up in a Catholic and an Irish atmosphere, and
that at an early age their minds were familiarised with
the truths of their religion and the history of their
country. It is curious and interesting to note that all
the children except Charles entered religion. The three
sisters became nuns. Kate (in religion Mary Baptist)
joined the Order of Mercy, and when a branch was
established in San Francisco in 1854 went thither, and
died Reverend Mother of her Convent. Elizabeth (Mary
Aquin) joined the same order and died in 1876. Sarah
(Mother Emmanuel) also became a Sister of Mercy, and
Reverend Mother of the Convent at Newry, where she
Mr. 13] DEATH OF MR. RUSSELL
still lives. Matthew became a Jesuit, and now resides
at University College, Dublin.
In 1844 Mrs. Russell went to stay for some months in
Belfast, taking all the Russell children with her, in order
that they might have such educational advantages as resi-
dence in a big town would afford. Charles was first sent
to a day school Harkin's School in Castle Street and
afterwards, in August, to St. Malachy's College. There
he seems to have worked satisfactorily, for we find his
father writing to Mrs. Russell on January 25, 1845:
1 Tell Charles I see a great improvement in his last note.
I hope he will continue to improve.
' I am particularly pleased to find that he has been so
successful in his classes. All he wants is application, for
I think he has the abilities ; so the fault must be his own
if he don't prove himself clever.'
While at St. Malachy's, Russell and another boy of
the same age (now a popular ecclesiastic and a writer of
historical books) were tyrannised over by a boy three
years their senior. This youngster came from Castle-
wellan, and compelled his ' henchmen ' to call him ' Lord
Castlewellan.' One day, in a spirit of revolt, they called
him ' Lord Castlevillain,' and got soundly thrashed in
consequence by the remorseless young despot.
In the spring of 1845 Mr. Russell, whose health had
been steadily declining, grew seriously ill. Mrs. Russell
hastened to his side, and there remained, a fond and
constant nurse until, with the word ' Margaret ' on his
lips, he passed quietly away on May 28.
In May 1845 Charles was withdrawn from St.
Malachy's, and sent to another day school Nolan's school
in Corry Square, Newry. In the following December the
LORD RUSSELL OF KILLOWEN [1846-9
family left Seafield and returned to their old house at
In September 1846 Charles went to St. Vincent's Col-
lege, Castleknock, Dublin, staying there until July 1847,
when his school and college days ended. His record at
Castleknock is creditable rather than distinguished.
According to the college register, he obtained first place
in his class in the December examinations for 1846.
At the Midsummer examinations of 1847 he took third
place ; Richard (now Colonel) Irwin was first, and Gerald
(now Monsignore) Molloy second. Of those Castleknock
days Monsignore Molloy writes :
' Charles Russell, Colonel Irwin, and I were in the
same class. Colonel Irwin was then considered the
cleverest boy in the school, and far more gifted than
Charles Russell, who was rather regarded as plodding
than pushful. At the same time, those who knew him
well had no doubt that he would achieve success in life
if he got the chance.'
Colonel Irwin writes : ' I remember Charles Russell
well as a boy, having been in the same class with him.
He was then tall for his age, with afresh complexion and
a bright pleasant face, indicating the happy possession of
the gifts of good health, good humour, and good temper
as well as intelligence. He seemed to me to have great
confidence in his own powers, without any trace of pre-
sumption or self-sufficiency ; but with a very resolute
determination to make the most of his undoubted abilities.
Though full of courage and spirit, he was not quarrelsome,
and I do not think that he ever wilfully annoyed or
offended any of his companions, by whom he was uni-
MT. 14-17] A SOLICITOR'S APPRENTICE
He came home in the midsummer of 1847. About
the end of the year he was sent to the office of a firm
of solicitors (Hamill his step-brother & Denvir) in
Newry, and in February 1849, having reached the
proper age, he was articled to Mr. Cornelius Denvir.
Charles Russell now 1848-52 mingled in the
life of the little border town, and for the first time,
perhaps, began to show signs of the stuff that was in
him. He started a debating society, took a keen inte-
rest in politics, and made himself felt among his young
companions. They were trying and stirring times.
The dark shadow of famine was upon the land, and
the storm of revolution beat fiercely around. Charles
Russell fell under the influence of the Young Ireland
The writings of Thomas Davis were the source from
which he drew political inspiration. One sentence of
the brilliant Nationalist leader was always on his lips :
' In a climate soft as a mother's smile, on a soil fruitful
as God's love, the Irish peasant mourns.' He was also
fond of repeating the well-known verse :
And oh ! it were a gallant deed
To show before mankind,
How every race and every creed
Might be by love combined
Might be combined, yet not forget
The fountains where they rose,
As fed by many a rivulet,
The lordly Shannon flows.
In more prosaic ways he made himself useful.
Dr. Cahill, a well-known lecturer, delivered a course of
lectures on astronomy under the auspices of the Royal
LORD RUSSELL OF KILLOWEN [1849-51
Dublin Society. The managing committee engaged the
services of young Russell to help them in carrying out
the arrangements ; and so well did he acquit himself at
his post that the committee presented him with a large
illustrated volume ' The Gallery of Nature,' by the Rev.
Thomas Milner a book which he religiously preserved
to the end of his days.
In 1851 the Newry Institute offered a prize for the
best essay on ' The Age we live in : its tendencies and
exigencies.' Charles Russell won the prize, and had to
read his essay in public a proceeding of which his mother
highly disapproved. Writing, on December 31, 1851, to
a friend, she says :
' I wish you were in Newry to-day, that you might give
your countenance to my son Charles at the delivery of
his essay in the Assembly Rooms. You heard, I suppose,
that the Newry Institute (of which Charles is a member)
proposed a prize for the best essay on " The Age we live
in : its tendencies and exigencies." The prize was
adjudged to him, and a request made that he would read
or deliver it in public for the benefit of the library fund
of the Institute. He could not very well refuse to comply,
but I think it was scarcely kind or judicious to ask so
young a lad to come before the public as a lecturer. It
is too trying an ordeal, and may expose him to the charge
of presumption, which, thank God, he does not deserve,
for it is with great reluctance he does so. But it is a duty
imposed upon him, and I hope he will discharge it with
He did ' discharge it ' with characteristic coolness,
pluck, and success. The chair was taken by one of his
Young Ireland companions, who says :
JET. 17-19] 'THE AGE WE LIVE IN '
' I was very nervous, and arrived late. The moment I
entered the room the gas went out a catastrophe which
increased my nervousness. Russell was in good time, and
as impatient and cross as the devil at my want of punctu-
ality. When the gas was relit I took the chair and the
performance began. I well remember Russell's opening
sentence. " Ladies and Gentlemen," said he, pointing to
me, and in allusion to the gas accident, "the entrance of
a great luminary extinguished the lesser lights!" He
then delivered his lecture, which went off right well.'
While an apprentice, Charles Russell was occasionally
consulted on ' legal points ' by the neighbours around who