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Russell, William Armstrong (DNB00)

RUSSELL, WILLIAM ARMSTRONG (1821–1879), bishop of North China, son of Marcus Carew Russell, by Fanny Potts, was born at Ballydavid House, Littleton, co. Tipperary, in 1821, and was educated at Middleton school, Cork, and at Trinity College, Dublin. He was ordained by Bishop Blomfield in 1847, and as a missionary in connection with the Church Missionary Society went to China in that year in company with Robert Henry Cobbold, afterwards archdeacon of Ningpo. These two men were the first English missionaries in Ningpo. Russell translated into the local dialect of Ningpo the greater part of the New Testament, portions of the Old Testament, and the Book of Common Prayer, besides writing many tracts and essays. He was appointed the first missionary bishop of North China in November 1872, and on 15 Dec. was consecrated in Westminster Abbey. After his return to China he admitted four Chinamen to deacons' and priests' orders; he confirmed nearly three hundred Chinese Christians, and dedicated several mission churches. He died at Shanghai on 5 Oct. 1879. He married, in 1852, Mary Ann, daughter of Charles William Leisk.

He published ‘The Term Question, or an Enquiry as to the Term in the Chinese Language which most nearly represents Elohim and Theos, as they are used in the Holy Scriptures,’ Shanghai, 1877.

[Record, 17 Oct. 1879, p. 2; Times, 18 Oct. 1879, p. 8; Guardian, 18 Oct. 1879, pp. 1438, 1488; Dod's Peerage, 1879.]

G. C. B.