Russell was heading towards Clyst St Mary and the rebels of the Prayer Book Rebellion.
In 1549, the Book of Common Prayer was introduced. It was in English and it replaced the Catholic Mass. This change wasn't embraced by all and there was trouble in Devon and Cornwall. The rebels called for the rebuilding of abbeys, the restoration of the Six Articles, the restoration of prayers for souls in purgatory, the policy of only the bread being given to the laity, and the use of Latin for the mass.
The rebels were defeated by the crown in a series of battles.
John Russell was made Earl of Bedford by Edward VI in January 1550 for his service to the king.
You can find out more about the Prayer Book Rebellion in an article here.
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Image: Drawing of John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford, by Hans Holbein the Younger.