chapter  7
6 Pages

Russell

Russell was the man upon whom the responsibilities of Worcestershire’s position lay most heavily. He occupies a fitting place in the age of the three grandees, for like them he was a man without military experience, given great powers by virtue of his permanent

standing within the community. As governor of Worcester he was responsible for the defence of the shire, and as High Sheriff he was responsible for its expenses, for he received the local tax. Those expenses were considerable. Apart from the armament convoys he had to pay for the recruitment and maintenance of Hamilton’s horse, in which his own troop alone cost £52 per week, and for a dragoon regiment.10 Huge sums were also paid to support Royalist regiments passing through the county, £100 to Owen’s in December, £200 to Maurice in April.11 Russell met all these expenses, and others, but very few of them from the new local tax. Some money was gained from that collected, but not delivered, for pre-war taxation interrupted by the war,12 but the bulk of it represented ad hoc donations from Royalist sympathisers.13 This was a wasting asset, and unless the regular tax were soon collected in full, expenditure would soon exceed income.