The arms are those of the Russell, as borne by John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford (1710-1771). He married Diana Spencer, daughter of the Earl of Sunderland in 1731, and succeeded to the Dukedom in 1732. The Duchess died in 1735, and he married secondly Gertrude, daughter of the 1st Earl Gower in 1737, the year this cruet was made.
The 4th Duke of Bedford belonged to Lamerie's most important group of patrons, the powerful anti-Walpolean Whigs related by political views and often by marriage. The silver commissioned by this group in the 1730s and 1740s constitutes some of Lamerie's most important work. Other Lamerie silver made for the 4th Duke of Bedford remains at Woburn Abbey, including a pair of cake baskets of 1737, the same year as the present cruet stand.
Lamerie's other Whig patrons include Admiral Lord Anson, his father-in-law Philip Yorke, 1st Earl of Hardwicke, his brother-in-law Sir Gilbert Heathcote, Algernon Coote, 6th Earl of Mountrath and Benjamin Mildmay, 1st Earl Fitzwater (see Christopher Hartop, "Admiral George Anson and his de Lamerie Silver," Antiques, June 1994, p. 856).
The 4th Duke's political career encompassed many offices, including first Lord of the Admiralty 1744-1748 (where he was a superior to Lord Anson), Lord Lieutenant of Ireland 1756-1761, Lord Privy Seal 1761-1763, and Ambassador to France, 1762-1763, where he signed, at Fontainebleau, the preliminaries of peace with France and Spain. On September 22 1761 he acted as Lord High Constable at the coronation of George III. Horace Walpole described the 4th Duke
"He was a man of inflexible honesty and goodwill to his country: his great oeconomy was called avarice; if it was so, it was blended with more generosity and goodness than that passion will commonly unite with. His parts were certainly far from shining, and yet he spoke readily, and, upon trade, well: his foible was speaking upon every subject and imagining he understood it, as he must ahve done by inspiration. He was always governed; generally by the duchess, though unmeasurably obstinate, when once he had formed or had an opinion instilled into him... If he could have thought less wll of himself, the world would probably have thought the better of him." (Complete Peerage)