Bertrand Russell's parents, Viscount and Viscountess Amberley, were progressive for their era in the late 1800s. They were advocates of birth control, for example, and Lord Amberley was an atheist. The couple asked John Stewart Mill, an English philosopher and political economist, to be their son's "secular godfather." Theirs was an aristocratic family that came into power during the Tudor Dynasty in the 1500s and was politically influential from that time forward. Russell's grandfather was twice prime minister under Queen Victoria, in the 1840s and again in the 1860s.