Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Born at Killough, Co. Down, 14 May, 1812; died at Dublin 26 Feb., 1880. He was descended from the Russells who held the barony of Killough of Quoniamstown and Ballystrew. He received his early education at Drogheda grammar school and Downpatrick, after which he entered Maynooth in 1826. After a brilliant course he was ordained on 13 June, 1835, and became one of the professors of humanities at the college. In 1842 he was chosen by Gregory XVI to be the first Vicar Apostolic of Ceylon, but he refused the dignity as also the Bishopric of Down and the Archbishopric of Armagh. Three years later he returned to Maynooth as professor of ecclesiastical history. Having published his translation of Leibnitz's "System of Theology" in 1850, he was occupied on his "Life of Cardinal Mezzofanti" which appeared in 1858. In 1857 he succeeded Dr. Renehan as President of Maynooth. His profound antiquarian learning caused him to be appointed a member of the Historical Manuscripts Commission in 1869, and in that capacity he acted as joint editor (with John Prendergast) of the eight-volume "Report on the Carte Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library" (1871) and the "Calendar of Irish State Papers during the reign of James I" (4 vols., 1872-77). He was also a frequent contributor to the "Dublin Review" which for thirty years he enriched by various papers, often writing more than one for the same number. The last of these were the two masterly articles on the sonnet (1876-77). He wrote many articles for "Chambers's Encyclopedia ", and two—"Palimpsests" and "Papyrus"—for the "Encyclopedia Britannica". He contributed also to many other magazines such as the "Edinburgh Review", the "Month", and "Irish Monthly". A humbler but very popular work has been his translation of Canon Schmid's "Tales for the Young" first published in 1846. Besides his literary work and all that he accomplished for Maynooth, he exercised a very powerful influence on the leading men of his age by the charm and force of his personality. Wiseman and Newman alike counted him as an intimate friend, and the latter wrote of him: "He had perhaps more to do with my conversion than any one else". Dr. Russell lived to witness the early success of his nephew Charles who subsequently became Lord Chief Justice of England.

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 2:19-22
19 So you are no longer aliens or foreign visitors; you are ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5
2 day discourses of it to day, night to night hands on the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 6:12-16
12 Now it happened in those days that he went onto the mountain to pray; ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 28th, 2016 Image

St. Jude Thaddaeus
October 28: St. Jude, known as Thaddaeus, was a brother of ... Read More