John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford - Seven Years War - Lord Lieutenant of Ireland

Lord Lieutenant of Ireland

Instigated by his friends he was active in opposition to the government, becoming the leader of a faction named after him, the Bedford Whigs. After Newcastle’s resignation in November 1756, Bedford became Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in the new government led by William Pitt and the Duke of Devonshire. He retained this office after Newcastle, in alliance with Pitt, returned to power in June 1757. In Ireland he favoured a relaxation of the penal laws against Roman Catholics, but did not keep his promises to observe neutrality between the rival parties, and to abstain from securing pensions for his friends. His own courtly manners and generosity, and his wife’s good qualities, however, seem to have gained for him some popularity, although Horace Walpole says he disgusted everybody. He oversaw the Irish response to the threatened French invasion in 1759, and the landing of a small French force in northern Ireland. In March 1761 he resigned this office.

Read more about this topic:  John Russell, 4th Duke Of Bedford, Seven Years War

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