Skip to content

We ask you, humbly: don't scroll away.

Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you.

Help Now >

Charles William Russell

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

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.

Never Miss any Updates!

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

Free Catholic PDF's

How to Pray the Rosary, Hail Mary, Our Father, Saints, Prayers, Coloring Books, Novenas, Espanol and more. All FREE to download and faithful to the Magisterium.

Download Now >

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.