RUSSELL, Cheshunt, 19th century

August 2002

Jerri Russell Thompson (Jerrithompson @t of Alva, Florida, USA, says: My GGG Grand father was Thomas Artemidorus Russell who married Elizabeth Oliveria Cromwell in 1801 in Cheshunt parish. I am trying to figure out who Thomas father was. Thomas I figure was born about 1777. I came up with the information I have through the family bible on my Russell ancestors in America. their son John Henry Cromwell Russell married Eliza Lievesley in Middlesex in Aug 14,1823. I do not known exactly when they left for America. But the family story that was told to my mother was that they family did not approve of the marriage between John Henry and Elizabeth so they left for America.

My Dad was Edward Russell the son of John Wesley. John W was the son of John Henry Cromwell Russell and Elizabeth Lievesley. I hope you can give me some ideas

The names Thomas Artemidorus Russell and Elizabeth Oliveria Cromwell in 1801 are sufficient to suggest one is talking of at least the gentry level of society and a quick check of the standard histories of Hertfordshire, such as the Victoria County History, quickly confirms this, and you may well find more in any old histories of Cheshunt. The most useful source easily accessible to me is Cussans, and the following information comes from this source:

In the churchyard of the parish church at Cheshunt there is "a large square monument of slate, on which is a stone bearing these inscriptions, already become nearly illegible" [in about 1875]:

The Vault of Thomas Artemidorus Russell, Esq., of Cheshunt Park.

His Father, John Russell, Esq., Died 25th June, 1820, aged 82.

Elizabeth Oliveria Russell, Wife of the above Thomas Artemidorus Russell, Esq., died 6th August, 1849, aged 72.

His Father-in-law, Oliver Cromwell, Esq., died May 30th, 1821, aged 79.

Mary Cromwell, Wife of the above, died 28th June 1831, aged 87.

His Son-in-law, Lieut. Genl. Armstrong, died at Cheshunnt Park, November 19th, 1831, aged 63.

His Daughter in law, Averilla Cromwell Russell, Wife of Art: Cromwell Russell, Esq., Died August 7th, 1827, aged 21.

His Son, Artemidorus Cromwell Russell, died January 30th, 1830, aged 27, at Bayham, Suffolk, where his remains are interred.

Thomas Artemidorus Russell, died September 23rd, 1858, in the 84th year of his age.

A nearby stone may be linked to the family and records that Lieut. Edmund John Armstrong, R.N., died 12th January, 1837, aged 38. Edmund James, only son of the above, died 26th July, 1847, aged 19. Sarah, widow of the above, died 1st May, 1852, aged 51.

The book deals in detail with the history of the Manor of Theobalds (not to be confused with the nearby mansion and estate of Theobald's Park), Cheshunt, and I quote the section relating to the Cromwell and Russell families.

In June, 1736, John, second Duke [of Montagu], sold the manor to Letitia, daughter of Sir Robert Thornhill, and on her death, without issue, it came under the trusts of the wills of her father and brother Robert, to Sarah, wife of Richard Cromwell, Esq., and her sister Eleanor Hinde, widow, grand-daughters of Sir Robert Thornhill. The moiety belonging to Sarah Cromwell descended to her daughters, Elizabeth, Anne, and Letitia, and the other moiety belonging to Eleanor Hinde came to the same ladies by will. They all died unmarried, and by their wills devised their shares in the manor to their cousin, Oliver Cromwell, a solicitor in Chancery, who died at Cheshunt Park in May, 1821, leaving issue an only daughter, Elizabeth-Oliveria, who was married in1801 to Thomas-Artemidorus Russell, Esq., who died on the 23rd September, 1858. By his will dated the 7th April, 1858, and proved on the 10th November following, he devised to Thomas-Artemidorus Russell, his third son, the manor of Theobalds and the estate called Cheshunt Park, consisting of 371a. 3r. 27p for the term of his life, with remainder to his (testator's) daughter, Elizabeth-Oliveria Prescott, wife of Frederick-Joseph Prescott, Esq.; Letitia-Cromwell Whitfield (since deceased), wife of Frederick Whitfield, Esq., Surgeon; and Emma-Bridget Warner, wife of Richard Warner, Esq., formerly a Captain in the Army, for their lives in common; with remainder to Avarilla-Oliveria-Cromwell Bush, wife of the Revd. Paul Bush, Rector of Duloe, Co. Cornwall, for her life, remainder to her sons in tail male, with cross-remainders in tail, in default of male issue, to her daughters as tenants in common, with cross-remainders, remainder to his right heirs. Thomas-Artemidorus Russell, the younger, dying in 1863, the manor came under his father's will to his sisters, and it is now [1875] vested in Mrs. Elizabeth Prescott and Mrs. Emma Warner.


You should be able to find Thomas Artemidorus Russell's baptism date, parents and place of christening yourself by visiting the familysearch website and looking at the IGI index. (Try "Thomas", "Russell", "Birth/christening", "+-5 years", your guess of "1777", "Britain", "England"). The IGI Index also contains other goodies of interest to you, such as the Russell baptisms at Cheshunt in the early 1800's - and probably much more. I suspect that you would also find it useful to read the pages on this web site on family events and censuses - and if you can get access to a copy of the 1881 census (very widely available) you will be able to find several of the people mentioned above, such as Elizabeth Oliveria Prescott, who were still alive at that date. Your nearest LDS Family History Centre (there are dozens in Florida - addresses on familysearch) may well be able to help as you can access microfilms of parish registers, census returns, and many other key indexes and documents there.

Once you have filled in some more basic names, dates and places from these sources you should start looking at the wills that members of the family will have left. For instance Thomas Artemidorus Russell's will of 1858, part of which is outlined above, may well include a mention of John Henry Cromwell Russell, if only to explain why he was not a beneficiary. However John Russell who died in 1820, and Oliver Cromwell who died in 1821, may well have made wills in which they mentioned their grandson John, as this was before his (underage?) marriage so they would have no reason to disapprove. (It may be that if John Henry Cromwell Russell's actions were considered socially unacceptable he may have been bundled off to the United States with a suitable financial settlement to ensure he stayed there. I have come across a case where a troublesome son was funded to emigrate to Australia, and this case may prove to be similar.)

To find out more about the marriage you should look at the marriage register entry for the marriage of John Henry Cromwell Russell and Eliza Lievesley - and in particular look at where it said the couple lived - and who the witnesses were. Some Middlesex churches were used by eloping couples - and others (such as non-conformists) who did not want to get married in their local parish church. If the couple were married with their parents consent one would expect family witnesses to be present. A family of this social status would also normally marry by licence - and if they did you should attempt to get a copy.

Because of the standing of the family, it may be that there details of them appear in specialist directories such as Burke's Landed Gentry and they may also appear in published family trees. (Elizabeth Oliveria Russell is shown on the massive Prescott family tree published in Cussans.) There are also likely to be property related records, etc, at HALS and elsewhere. However most of these will be original manuscripts which can only be viewed by someone visiting the appropriate archive.

If you can add to the information given above tell me.