Russell Road, SW19

Place name

One of a number of local streets named after British Statesmen (Gladstone Road, Palmerston Road and Grove, Derby Road, Granville Road, Harcourt Road, Cecil Road, Balfour Road). John Russell (August 18, 1792 – May 28, 1878), often better known by his courtesy title Lord John Russell was a Liberal hero who twice served as Prime Minister. It was Russell who in 1832 moved the Great Reform Act, paving the way for an end to rule by the aristocracy and landed gentry. Under his premiership between 1846 and 1852 he secured social reforms such as funding teacher training and the passage of the Factories Act 1847, which restricted the working hours of women and children (aged 13–18) in textile mills to 10 hours per day. His reforms of church finances, however, proved less popular – at least with the church. When he lost to the Conservatives he was deposed as leader by his arch-rival Lord Palmerston who later went on to become Prime Minister himself. When Palmerston died in office 1865, Russell was chosen to replace him; but his second term failed to achieve the successes of his first and his Government soon fell apart.

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