LONDON, November 13, 1855
Great day well over.... At-half-past seven set out for Exeter Hall. John well cheered on his entrance, but not so warmly as to make me quite secure for the lecture. It was, however, received exactly as I hoped—deep attention, interrupted often by applause, sometimes enthusiastic, and generally at the parts one most wished applauded. A few words from Montague Villiers (in asking for a vote of thanks), his hope that the whole country would soon feel as that audience did towards a man whose long life had been spent in the country’s service, brought a fresh burst, waving of hats and handkerchiefs, etc. Went to bed grateful and happy.
 Afterwards Bishop of Durham.
In 1855, Lord John bought a country estate, Rodborough Manor, near Stroud in Gloucestershire, as he wished to have a place of his own to leave to his children. It was in the parish of Amberley, from which he afterwards took his second title and his eldest son, Lord Amberley, made Rodborough his home for some years after his marriage.
Lady John Russell to Lord Dufferin
RODBOROUGH MANOR, STROUD, November 16, 1855
DEAR LORD DUFFERIN,—Thanks for your letter. I began to think you meant to disclaim all connection with your fallen chief. We have just been, he and I alone, spending a week in London. In that little week he underwent various turns of fortune—hissed one night (though far less than the papers said), cheered the next day by four thousand voices, while eight thousand hands waved hats and handkerchiefs. I was not at Guildhall, but was at Exeter Hall, which was just as it should be; for, in spite of a great many noble and philosophical sentiments, which I always keep in store against the hissing days, and find of infinite service, I prefer being present on the cheering days. I hope you will think his lecture deserved its reception. His squiredom agrees with him uncommonly. He rides and walks, and drinks ale and grows fat. As for me, I have not been at all strong since I came here, but I hope I am reviving now, and shall soon be able thoroughly to enjoy a life happy and pleasant beyond expression—such peace of mind and body to us both, such leisure to enjoy much that we both do enjoy with all our hearts and have been long debarred from, are blessings of no small value, and when people tell me, by way of cheering me up under a temporary disgrace, that he is sure to be in office again soon, they little know what a knell their words are to my heart. However, che sara, sara, and in the meantime we are very happy. Yesterday I required some excitement, I must say, to carry me through the day, for alas! I struck forty! Accordingly the children had provided for it unknown to me, and acted Beauty and the Beast with rapturous applause to a very select audience. ... We are much pleased with our new home, green and cheerful and varied and pretty outside, snug and respectable inside.
Ever sincerely yours,