duke of John Robert Russell Bedford

duke of John Robert Russell Bedford

Bedford, John Robert Russell, 13th duke of: see Russell, family.
Henry Robin Ian Russell, 14th Duke of Bedford, DL (January 21, 1940 - June 13, 2003), became better known to the public than most of his ancestors by appearing in a television series. He was born at the Ritz in London to John Robert Russell, Lord Howland (later 13th Duke) and his first wife, Clare Gwendolyn Bridgman.


The Duke of Bedford was educated at Western Province Preparatory School and then the Diocesan College in South Africa. His father, the future 13th Duke of Bedford, had gone to South Africa in 1948 to farm in the Paarl area. He continued his education at Institut Le Rosey in Switzerland and at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. In the early 1970s he took over the running of the Woburn Estate from his father, a pioneer of the commercialisation of country houses, who retired to Monaco. The Duke continued with the modernisation of the estate, and created a leading golf and country club business called Woburn Golf and Country Club. However his plans to develop a major theme park at Woburn failed to come to fruition. He suffered a severe stroke in his early 50's, leading to a diffident nature over his last ten years. With his wife, the former Henrietta Joan Tiarks, he appeared in the BBC series "Country House", detailing the life at Woburn Abbey, the Bedfords' ancestral home in Bedfordshire, England. He succeeded his father to the dukedom in 2002, but died after another stroke in Tavistock Intensive Care Unit, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London, 2003. He had already handed over control of Woburn Abbey to his son in 2001.

Family & Children

When Marquess of Tavistock he married Henrietta Joan Tiarks, daughter of Henry Frederic Tiarks and Ina Florence Bell, on 20 June 1961. They had 3 sons:

Titles & Honours


  • The Honourable Henry 'Robin' Russell (Jan 1940–Aug 1940)
  • Henry 'Robin' Russell, Baron Howland of Streatham (1940–1953)
  • Henry 'Robin' Russell, Marquess of Tavistock (1953–2002)
  • His Grace The Duke of Bedford (2002–2003)


Deputy Lieutenant of Bedfordshire (1985–2003)

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