|Bishop of Lincoln|
|Appointed||7 July 1480|
|Term ended||30 December 1494|
|Consecration||22 September 1476|
|Died||30 December 1494|
|Previous post(s)||Bishop of Rochester|
In April 1467 and January 1468 Russell was employed on diplomatic missions for Edward IV of England to Charles the Bold, at Bruges. He was there again in February 1470 as one of the envoys to invest Charles with the Order of the Garter: the Latin speech which Russell delivered on this last occasion was one of William Caxton's earliest publications, probably printed for him at Bruges by Colard Mansion.
In May 1474 Russell was promoted to be Lord Privy Seal, and retained his office even after his consecration as bishop of Rochester on 22 September 1476, and translation to the post of bishop of Lincoln on 7 July 1480.
As a trusted minister of Edward IV, Russell was one of the executors of the king's will. After Lord Chancellor Thomas Rotherham, Archbishop of York, had been dismissed due to his mishandling of the great seal, Russell was appointed to succeed him on 13 May 1483. Reportedly, Russell accepted the appointment only with reluctance. He remained chancellor under King Richard III until being dismissed on 29 July 1485.
Russell was above all things an official, and was sometimes employed by Henry VII in public affairs. But his last years were occupied chiefly with the business of his diocese, and of the university of Oxford, of which he had been elected chancellor in 1483. He died at Nettleham, and was buried at Lincoln Cathedral.
Sir Thomas More called Russell "a wise manne and a good, and of much experience, and one of the best-learned men, undoubtedly, that England had in hys time." Two English speeches composed by Russell, for the intended parliament of Edward V, and the first parliament of Richard III, are printed in Nichols's Grants of Edward V. Some other writings remain in manuscript.
- public domain: Kingsford, Charles Lethbridge (1911). "Russell, John". In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. 23 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 863. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the
- Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 96
- See Blades, Life of Caxton, i. p. vii, ii. 29–31.
- Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 268
- Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 88.
- Camden Society