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John Russell (1745-1806)

John Russell was born in Guildford, Surrey, the son and grandson of mayors of the town. He was educated at the local grammar school and displayed great artistic talent at an early age. Russell was trained by a Royal Academician and became one of the most celebrated portrait-painters of his generation. His subjects included the Wesley brothers, the Countess of Huntingdon, William Wilberforce and the Prince of Wales.

Russell was converted to Methodism at the age of nineteen. He attended worship at Whitefield's Tabernacle but remained a member of the Church of England and formed a close friendship with the Wesleys that lasted until their deaths.

Source: Dictionary of National Biography and Dictionary of Evangelical Biography, edited by Donald Lewis (1995)

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