Early Life of Oliver Russell
Arthur Oliver Villiers Russell was born on 19 February 1869 in Rome to the parents Odo Russell, 1st Baron Ampthill and Lady Emily Russell, Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria. He studied at the Chignell's and Eton College. Later he completed his graduation from New College in Oxford with a third class honours in modern history.
Career of Oliver Russell
Oliver Russell was appointed as the Assistant Secretary to Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlain in the year 1985 and was promoted to Private Secretary later in 1897. He generally allied with Indian nationals in East and South Africa and in Indian as well; and was at odds with the British administration. Lord Oliver Russell Ampthill commanded a battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment as well as 2 of the Bedfordshire Regiment in France during the 1914- 1918 war.
Arthur Oliver Villiers Russell, 2nd Baron Ampthill, GCSI, GCIE, DL, JP was appointed as the Governor of Madras Presidency on 5 September 1900. The Madras Presidency, also known as the Presidency of Fort St. George and Madras Province, was an administrative sub division of British dominated India. The territory included most of southern India, such as the modern states of Tamil Nadu, the Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions of Andhra Pradesh, Lakshadweep Islands, the Malabar region of North Kerala, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangapur and Gajapati districts of southern Orissa and the Bellary, Ganjam, Dakshina Kannada, Rayagada and Udupi districts of Karnataka. Russell served in office until 15 February 1906 and was succeeded by Sir Gabriel Stokes KCSI as the acting Governor of Madras.
During his tenure, Russell inaugurated the King Institute in Madras (now Chennai). He also established the Cochin State Forest Tramway on 3 October 1905 and the Rangaraya Medical College in Cocanada on 4 December 1903.
Oliver Russell of Viceroy of India
Oliver Russell, 2nd Baron Ampthill, GCSI, GCIE, DL, JP was elected to act as the Viceroy of India after the tenure of Lord Curzon culminated in the year 1904. He served as the Viceroy from April to December 1904 until the appointment of a new Viceroy of India. During his tenure, the proponents of a distinct province of Orissa submitted a petition to this effect to Oliver Russell. However, he rejected all demands for the formation of a separate state of Orissa and incorporate regions from Madras Presidency in it. Arthur Oliver Villiers Russell was loyal to Lord Curzon and effectively countered the efforts to introduce anti-Curzon policies by the Secretary of State for India, the Secretary of State for India. Though, he was unsuccessful against Lord Kitchener who stiffened his chokehold over the military department.
Later Life of Oliver Russell
Lord Arthur Oliver Villiers Russell Ampthill GCSI, GCIE, DL, JP, was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Bedfordshire on 13 July 1909. He participated in the First World War and was twice mentioned in dispatches. Russell was one of the founders of the National Party in the year 1917. Later in 1926, he retired from the service with the rank of Colonel Lord Ampthill. He also co-founded the National Party in the year 1917.
Personal Life of Oliver Russell
Oliver Russell was married with Lady Margaret Lygon, the daughter of the 6th Earl Beauchamp in Madresfield, Worcestershire on 6 October 1894. The couple had 5 children, namely John Russell, 3rd Baron Ampthill, Adm. Hon. Sir Guy Russell, Hon. Phyllis Margaret Russell, OBE, Wg. Cdr. Hon. Edward Wriothesley Curzon Russell, OBE and Brig Hon. Leopold Oliver Russell, CBE, TD.
Arthur Oliver Villiers Russell, 2nd Baron Ampthill, GCSI, GCIE, DL, JP died on 7 July 1935 at the age of 66 years, due to pneumonia. He was succeeded in the barony by John Russell, his eldest son.
Honours of Oliver Russell
Oliver Russell was knighted with the Knight Grand Commander of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire (GCIE) on 28 December 1900 and Knight Grand Commander of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India (GCSI) on 2 September 1904.