Oliver Russell, 2nd Baron Ampthill
|The Right Honourable
The Lord Ampthill
GCSI, GCIE, DL, JP
|Viceroy of India (acting)|
30 April 1904 – 13 December 1904
|Preceded by||The Lord Curzon of Kedleston|
|Succeeded by||The Lord Curzon of Kedleston|
|Governor of Madras|
15 October 1900 – 30 April 1904
|Governor General||The Lord Curzon of Kedleston|
|Succeeded by||Sir James Thompson (acting)|
13 December 1904 – 15 February 1906
|Governor General||George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston|
|Preceded by||Sir James Thompson (acting)|
|Succeeded by||Sir Gabriel Stokes (acting)|
19 February 1869|
|Died||7 July 1935
|Spouse(s)||Margaret (née Lygon)|
(Arthur) Oliver Villiers Russell, 2nd Baron Ampthill, GCSI, GCIE, DL, JP (19 February 1869 – 7 July 1935) was a British peer, rower and administrator who served as the Governor of Madras from October 1900 to February 1906 and acted as the Viceroy of India from April to December 1904.
Oliver Russell was born on 19 February 1869 to Odo Russell, 1st Baron Ampthill, and Lady Emily Russell in Rome and was educated at Eton and Oxford. Oliver Russell succeeded to the barony of Ampthill at the age of 15 on the death of his father.
Russell served as the Assistant Private Secretary to Joseph Chamberlain in 1895 to 1897 and then Private Secretary from 1897 to 1900, when he was appointed Governor of Madras. At the age of 31, Russell became the youngest-ever to be appointed Governor of Madras and served from 1900 to 1906. Russell also served as the Viceroy of India from April to December 1904, when Lord Curzon was re-elected for a second term.
Oliver Russell, was born 19 February 1869 in Rome, the eldest son of the 1st Baron Ampthill, and Lady Emily Theresa (née Villiers), Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria and daughter of the 4th Earl of Clarendon.
He is a very tall, very agreeable, and good-looking young man, with a long, strong back, which is worth much in a boat. He is a Freemason and a Liberal Unionist, though he has not yet become famous in the House of Lords. He intends to devote himself to the management of Foreign Affairs. He can shoot. He has many friends who call him "Dick."
In 1895, Russell was appointed Assistant Secretary to the Colonial Secretary, Joseph Chamberlain, and elevated to Private Secretary in 1897.
That last position never became permanent, as he found himself increasingly allied with Indian nationals both in South and East Africa as well as their native country, and at odds with the British Government. During the First World War, Lord Ampthill commanded a battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment and two of the Bedfordshire Regiment in France.
Governor of Madras
Russell was appointed Governor of Madras on 5 September 1900. At the age of 31, Russell was the youngest-ever to become Governor of Madras. Russell served from 1900 to 1906, his tenure almost contemporaneous with that of George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston, as Viceroy of India. As governor, he inaugurated the King Institute in Madras. Russell also inaugurated the Cochin State Forest Tramway on 3 October 1905. On 4 December 1903, he inaugurated the Rangaraya Medical College in Cocanada.
During Russell's tenure, the Oriya Movement for the creation of a separate province of Orissa gathered stream. However, Russell, as governor of Madras, was strongly opposed to the demands for separation of the Oriya-speaking tracts of Vizagapatam and Ganjam districts from Madras.
Viceroy of India
When Lord Curzon's tenure came to an end in 1904, Russell was chosen to act as the Viceroy of India until the appointment of a new Viceroy. Russell served from April to December 1904 as Viceroy of India. During his tenure, the proponments of a separate province of Orissa submitted a petition to this effect to Russell. However, Russell rejected all demands to create a separate province of Orissa and include areas from Madras Presidency in it.
As Viceroy, Russell was loyal to Curzon and successfully countered the efforts of St John Brodrick, 1st Earl of Midleton, the Secretary of State for India, who wanted to introduce anti-Curzon policies. However, he was unsuccessful against Lord Kitchener, who tightened his stranglehold over the military department.
On returning to England in 1906, Russell took up the cause of Indians in South Africa. He chaired an advisory committee on Indian students in the United Kingdom but disagreed with the Secretary of State for India John Morley on the issue of constitutional reforms. In 1909, Russell wrote an introduction to Joseph Doke's book M. K. Gandhi: an Indian Patriot in South Africa.
On 13 July 1909, Lord Ampthill was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Bedfordshire. He then went on to fight in the First World War, during which he was twice mentioned in despatches, and was one of the founders of the National Party in 1917. He retired from the service in 1926 with the rank of colonel. Lord Ampthill was President of the Magic Circle. Russell co-founded the National Party in 1917.
Lord Ampthill died of pneumonia 7 July 1935, a day before Nickalls, prompting the following anonymous epigram among the various tributes in The Times:
Oarsmen they lived, and silver goblets mark
The well-timed prowess of their trusty blades:
In death their rhythm kept, they now embark
To row their long last course among the Shades
- John Russell, 3rd Baron Ampthill (1896–1973)
- Adm Hon. Sir Guy Russell (1898–1977)
- Hon. Phyllis Margaret Russell, OBE (3 June 1900 – c. 24 May 1998)
- Wg Cdr Hon. Edward Wriothesley Curzon Russell, OBE (2 June 1901 – 1982).
married Baroness Barbara Korff and had issue
- Brig Hon. Leopold Oliver Russell, CBE, TD (26 January 1907 – 1988)
He was succeeded in the barony by his eldest son, John Russell.
Lord Ampthill started rowing at Eton. His record of rowing was one of the longest of his time at Eton and he first had an oar in the Dreadnought on 1 March 1885, going on to be Captain of the Boats in 1887 and 1888.
Ampthill raced in the Ladies' Challenge Plate at Henley Royal Regatta for Eton in 1886, 1887 and 1888. In 1889 he raced both the Grand Challenge Cup and the Silver Goblets, losing in the final of the latter by 2-foot to CUBC in a race which the Henley records for the year describe as "One of the best and closest races ever seen" . In 1890 he again competed in both events, this time racing under New College colours, and collected his first Henley medal, rowing with Guy Nickalls in the Goblets.
In 1891, racing this time as Leander, Lord Ampthill was in the crew which won the Grand Challenge Cup, setting a new course record. He also repeated his Goblets win, again with Guy Nickalls.
Lord Ampthill was elected a Steward of Henley Royal Regatta in 1896, a role he performed until 1900 then again from 1910 until 1927. 
- 1890 – Silver Goblets (rowing as New College Oxford, with Guy Nickalls)
- 1891 – Grand Challenge Cup (rowing as Leander Club)
- 1891 – Silver Goblets (rowing as Leander Club, with Guy Nickalls)
International Olympic Committee
Between 1894 and 1898, Lord Ampthill was a member of the original International Olympic Committee.
Ampthill was initiated into the Apollo University Lodge, No. 357, Oxford, in 1890. He went on to fill the chief office in several lodges, including the Bard of Avon Lodge, No. 778, Hampton Court; The Royal Alpha Lodge, No. 16, London; and the Grand Master's Lodge, No. 1. He was made Provincial Grand Master of Bedfordshire in 1900; was District Grand Master of Madras from 1901 to 1906 and was made Pro Grand Master of England in 1908. 
After his appointment as Governor of Madras, Russell was appointed a Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire (GCIE) on 28 December 1900, shortly before his departure for India. He was later appointed a Knight Grand Commander of the Star of India (GCSI) on 2 September 1904.
- "New Governor of Madras". The New York Times. 6 September 1900.
- "A Journal of the Cochin State Forest Tramway".
- The London Gazette: . 20 July 1909.
- "Margaret Russell (née Lygon), Lady Ampthill (1874–1957), Wife of 2nd Baron Ampthill; daughter of the 6th Earl Beauchamp". National Portrait Gallery, London.
- The London Gazette: . 28 December 1900.
- ^ Steward, HT (1903). Records of Henley Royal Regatta.
- ^ Parker, Eric (1914). Eton in the 'eighties. p. 92.
- ^ Ross, Gordon (1957). The Boat Race.
- ^ "Spy", Vanity Fair, 21 March 1891
- ^ Dodd, Chris (2006). Water Boiling Aft, London Rowing Club the first 150 years. p. 104.
- ^ Burnell, Richard (1989). Henley Royal Regatta, a celebration of 150 years. p. 213.
- ^ Anonymous (2003). Representative British Freemasons. pp. 12–13. ISBN 978-0766135895.
- ^ The Times, 17 July 1935: 16d
- Kidd, Charles; Williamson, David (1990). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (1990 ed.). New York: St Martin's Press. ISBN 0-333-38847-X.
- "thePeerage.com". Retrieved 11 August 2007.
- The London Gazette
- The New York Times, 2 December 1906, p. 1
- "The rowers of Vanity Fair". Retrieved 1 March 2008.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Oliver Russell, 2nd Baron Ampthill.|
|Governor of Madras
Sir Gabriel Stokes (acting)
The Lord Curzon of Kedleston
|Viceroy of India, acting
The Lord Curzon of Kedleston
The Earl Amherst
|Pro Grand Master of the
United Grand Lodge of England
The Earl of Harewood
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|