William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland

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The Duke of Portland

01-Bentinck William Henry Cavendish, 3rd Duke of Portland c 1774.jpg
Portrait by Matthew Pratt
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
In office
31 March 1807 4 October 1809
Monarch George III
Preceded by The Lord Grenville
Succeeded by Spencer Perceval
Prime Minister of Great Britain
In office
2 April 1783 18 December 1783
Monarch George III
Preceded by The Earl of Shelburne
Succeeded by William Pitt the Younger
Lord President of the Council
In office
30 July 1801 14 January 1805
Monarch George III
Prime Minister Henry Addington
William Pitt the Younger
Preceded by The Earl of Chatham
Succeeded by Viscount Sidmouth
Home Secretary
In office
11 July 1794 30 July 1801
Monarch George III
Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger
Preceded by Henry Dundas
Succeeded by Lord Pelham
Personal details
Born(1738-04-14)14 April 1738
Nottinghamshire, England
Died30 October 1809(1809-10-30) (aged 71)
Bulstrode Park, Buckinghamshire, England
Resting place St Marylebone Parish Church
Political party
Spouse(s)
Lady Dorothy Cavendish
(m. 1766;died 1794)
Children6, including William, 4th Duke; Lord William and Lord Charles
Parents
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford
Signature William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland Signature.svg

William Henry Cavendish Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland, KG , PC , FRS (14 April 1738 – 30 October 1809) was a British Whig and Tory politician during the late Georgian era. He served as Chancellor of the University of Oxford (1792–1809) and twice as British prime minister, of Great Britain (1783) and then of the United Kingdom (1807–09). The twenty-four years between his two terms as Prime Minister is the longest gap between terms of office of any British prime minister.

Privy Council of the United Kingdom Formal body of advisers to the sovereign in the United Kingdom

Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council of the United Kingdom or just the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. Its membership mainly comprises senior politicians who are current or former members of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords.

Fellow of the Royal Society Elected Fellow of the Royal Society, including Honorary, Foreign and Royal Fellows

Fellowship of the Royal Society is an award granted to individuals that the Royal Society of London judges to have made a 'substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science, and medical science'.

Tory A conservative political philosophy

A Tory is a person who holds a political philosophy known as Toryism, based on a British version of traditionalism and conservatism, which upholds the supremacy of social order as it has evolved throughout history. The Tory ethos has been summed up with the phrase "God, King, and Country". Tories generally advocate monarchism, and were historically of a high church Anglican religious heritage, opposed to the liberalism of the Whig faction.

Contents

Portland was known before 1762 by the courtesy title Marquess of Titchfield. He held a title of every degree of British nobility: Duke, Marquess, Earl, Viscount, and Baron. He is also a great-great-great-grandfather of Elizabeth II through her maternal grandmother.

A courtesy title is a title that does not have legal significance but rather is used through custom or courtesy, particularly, in the context of nobility, the titles used by children of members of the nobility.

Elizabeth II Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms

Elizabeth II is Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms.

Cecilia Bowes-Lyon, Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne Peeress

Cecilia Nina Bowes-Lyon, Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne was the mother of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and maternal grandmother and godmother of Queen Elizabeth II.

Biography

Early life and education

Lord Titchfield was the eldest son of William Bentinck, 2nd Duke of Portland and Margaret Cavendish-Harley and inherited many lands from his mother and his maternal grandmother. [1] [2] [3] He was educated at Westminster and Christ Church, Oxford.

William Bentinck, 2nd Duke of Portland English peer

William Bentinck, 2nd Duke of Portland, styled Viscount Woodstock from 1709 to 1716 and Marquess of Titchfield from 1716 to 1726, was a British peer and politician.

Westminster School school in Westminster, London, England

Westminster School is an independent day and boarding school in London, England, located within the precincts of Westminster Abbey. With origins before the 12th century, the educational tradition of Westminster probably dates back as far as 960, in line with the Abbey's history. Boys are admitted to the Under School at age seven and to the senior school at age thirteen; girls are admitted at age sixteen into the Sixth Form. The school has around 750 pupils; around a quarter are boarders, most of whom go home at weekends, after Saturday morning school. The school motto, Dat Deus Incrementum, is taken from the New Testament, specifically 1 Corinthians 3:6.

Christ Church, Oxford constituent college of the University of Oxford in England

Christ Church is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in England. Christ Church is a joint foundation of the college and the cathedral of the Oxford diocese, which serves as the college chapel and whose dean is ex officio the college head.

Marriage and children

Lady Dorothy Cavendish, wife of William Cavendish Bentinck. (George Romney) Dorothy Cavendish, wife of William Cavendish Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland (1738-1809) by George Romney.jpg
Lady Dorothy Cavendish, wife of William Cavendish Bentinck. (George Romney)

On 8 November 1766, Portland married Lady Dorothy Cavendish, a daughter of William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire and Charlotte Boyle. They were parents of six children:

Dorothy Bentinck, Duchess of Portland 18th-century English noblewoman

Dorothy Bentinck, Duchess of Portland was Duchess of Portland as wife of William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland, the Prime Minister of Great Britain. She is also a great-great-great-grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II through the queen's maternal grandmother.

William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire Prime Minister of Great Britain

William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire,, styled Lord Cavendish before 1729 and Marquess of Hartington between 1729 and 1755, was a British Whig statesman and nobleman who was briefly nominal Prime Minister of Great Britain. He was the first son of William Cavendish, 3rd Duke of Devonshire and his wife, the former Catherine Hoskins.

Charlotte Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington British noble

Charlotte Elizabeth Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington, 6th Baroness Clifford was the daughter of Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington and Lady Dorothy Savile. From 1748 until her death she was married to William Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington, later the 4th Duke of Devonshire and Prime Minister of Great Britain.

William Bentinck, 4th Duke of Portland British politician

William Henry Cavendish-Scott-Bentinck, 4th Duke of PortlandPC DCL, styled Marquess of Titchfield until 1809, was a British politician who served in various positions in the governments of George Canning and Lord Goderich.

Lord William Bentinck British soldier and statesman

Lieutenant-General Lord William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck, known as Lord William Bentinck, was a British soldier and statesman. He served as Governor-General of India from 1828 to 1835. He has been credited for significant social and educational reforms in India including abolishing Sati, suppression of female infanticide and human sacrifices, and ending lawlessness by eliminating Thuggee along with his chief captain, William Henry Sleeman, which had existed over 450 years. He along with Thomas Babington Macaulay introduced English as the language of instruction in India.

Algernon Frederick Greville was an English soldier, cricketer, and officer of arms who served as private secretary to the Duke of Wellington.

Through his son Charles, Portland is a great-great-great-grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II (see ancestry of Elizabeth II).

Political and public offices

Portland was elected to sit in the Parliament for Weobley in 1761 before entering the Lords when he succeeded his father as Duke of Portland the next year. He was associated with the aristocratic Whig party of Lord Rockingham and served as Lord Chamberlain of the Household in Rockingham's first Government (1765–1766)

Lord Lieutenant of Ireland

Portland served as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in Rockingham's second ministry (April–August 1782). He faced strong demands for conciliatory measures following years of coercion and taxation brought about by the British government's engagement in the American War of Independence. [6] Portland resolved to make concessions and, overcoming the resistance of Lord Shelburne, the Home Secretary to whom he reported, convinced Parliament to repeal the Declaratory Act and modify Poynings' Law. [7] Following Rockingham's death, Portland resigned from Lord Shelburne's ministry along with other supporters of Charles James Fox. [8]

First premiership

In April 1783, Portland was brought forward as titular head of a coalition government as Prime Minister, whose real leaders were Charles James Fox and Lord North. He served as First Lord of the Treasury in this ministry until its fall in December of the same year. During his tenure the Treaty of Paris was signed formally ending the American Revolutionary War. The government was brought down after losing a vote in the House of Lords on its proposed reform of the East India Company after George III had let it be known that any peer voting for this measure would be considered his personal enemy. [9]

In 1789, Portland became one of several vice presidents of London's Foundling Hospital. This charity had become one of the most fashionable of the time, with several notables serving on its board. At its creation, fifty years earlier, Portland's father, William Bentinck, 2nd Duke of Portland, had been one of the founding governors, listed on the charity's royal charter granted by George II. The hospital's mission was to care for the abandoned children in London; and it achieved rapid fame through its poignant mission, its art collection donated from supporting artists, and popular benefit concerts put on by George Frideric Handel. In 1793, Portland took over the presidency of the charity from Lord North.

Home secretary

Along with many conservative Whigs such as Edmund Burke, Portland was deeply uncomfortable with the French Revolution and broke with Fox over this issue, joining Pitt's government as Home Secretary in 1794. In this role he oversaw the administration of patronage and financial inducements, often secret, to secure the passage of the 1800 Act of Union. [10] He continued to serve in the cabinet until Pitt's death in 1806—from 1801 to 1805 as Lord President of the Council and then as a Minister without Portfolio.

Second premiership

In March 1807, after the collapse of the Ministry of all the Talents, Pitt's supporters returned to power; and Portland was, once again, an acceptable figurehead for a fractious group of ministers that included George Canning, Lord Castlereagh, Lord Hawkesbury, and Spencer Perceval.

Portland's second government saw the United Kingdom's complete isolation on the continent but also the beginning of recovery, with the start of the Peninsular War. In late 1809, with Portland's health poor and the ministry rocked by the scandalous duel between Canning and Castlereagh, Portland resigned, dying shortly thereafter.

He was Recorder of Nottingham until his death in 1809.

Death and burial

Memorial to the 3rd Duke of Portland at the family vault in St Marylebone Parish Church 3DukePortlandPlaque.jpeg
Memorial to the 3rd Duke of Portland at the family vault in St Marylebone Parish Church

The 3rd Duke of Portland died at Bulstrode Park, Buckinghamshire, after an operation to remove a kidney stone on 30 October 1809 and was buried in St Marylebone Parish Church, Marylebone, London. [11]

He had lived expensively: with an income of £17,000 a year (worth £577,000 in 2005), [12] he had debts at his death computed at £52,000 (£1.76 million in 2005), [12] which were paid off by his succeeding son selling off some property including Bulstrode. [13]

Along with Sir Robert Peel, Benjamin Disraeli, Marquess of Salisbury, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, Bonar Law, and Neville Chamberlain, he is one of seven British prime ministers to die while his direct successor was in office, and the first to do so.

Legacy

The Portland Vase of Roman glass was given its name due to its having been owned by Portland at his family residence at Bulstrode Park.

Portland parish in Jamaica was named after the 3rd Duke of Portland. The Titchfield School, founded in 1786, also in the parish is also named in his honour. The school's crest is derived from the Earl of Portland's personal crest.

North Bentinck Arm and South Bentinck Arm were named for the Bentinck family by George Vancouver in 1793, along with other names on the British Columbia Coast such as Portland Canal and Portland Channel.

The department of Manuscripts and Special Collections, The University of Nottingham holds a number of papers relating to the 3rd Duke: the 3rd Duke's personal and political papers (Pw F) are part of the Portland (Welbeck) Collection; and the Portland (London) Collection (Pl) contains correspondence and official papers of the 3rd Duke, especially in series Pl C.

The Portland Estate Papers held at Nottinghamshire Archives also contain items relating to the 3rd Duke's properties.

The Portland Collection of fine and decorative art includes pieces owned and commissioned by the 3rd Duke, including paintings by George Stubbs.

Titles and arms

Titles from birth

Arms

Cabinets as Prime Minister

First Ministry, April – December 1783

Second Ministry, March 1807 – October 1809

Changes

Related Research Articles

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John Bentinck, 5th Duke of Portland British politician

William John Cavendish-Scott-Bentinck, 5th Duke of Portland, styled Lord John Bentinck before 1824 and Marquess of Titchfield between 1824 and 1854, was a British Army officer and peer, most remembered for his eccentric behaviour. A recluse who preferred to live in seclusion, he had an elaborate underground maze excavated under his estate at Welbeck Abbey near Clumber Park in North Nottinghamshire.

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Cavendish-Bentinck is a surname associated with the Dukes of Portland and their descendants. Bentinck is a Dutch surname brought to England by William Bentinck, an advisor to William III of England. Cavendish was added to the family name by Bentinck's great-grandson the 3rd Duke of Portland, who married in 1766 Lady Dorothy Cavendish, daughter of the 4th Duke of Devonshire. By a family arrangement, she was the heiress to estates which had previously belonged to the defunct Newcastle branch of the Cavendish family, including Welbeck Abbey, which became the principal seat of the Dukes of Portland. Following the death of the 9th Duke in 1990, the family name became extinct.

William Henry Cavendish-Scott-Bentinck, Marquess of Titchfield —styled Viscount Woodstock until 1809—was a British Member of Parliament (MP) and peer. Born into the noble Bentinck family, his grandfather William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland, served as both Prime Minister of Great Britain and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Expected to succeed his father as the fifth Duke of Portland, Titchfield died at only 27 years old.

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References

  1. "Line of descent of the Earls and Dukes of Portland" (PDF). University of Nottingham . Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  2. Settlements, mortgages, litigation, Acts of Parliament etc. relating to the 'maternal' estates of the Dukes of Portland; 1583–1790 Archived 6 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine , The University of Nottingham, UK.
  3. Series of manorial papers in the Newcastle (Clumber) Collection (1st Deposit); 1357–1867 Archived 6 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine , The University of Nottingham, UK.
  4. "Harriet Catherine Greville".
  5. Caledonian Mercury 28 October 1786 Page 2
  6. Wilkinson, David (2003). The Duke of Portland – Politics and Party in the Age of George III. Basingstoke, UK and New York: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 35–8. ISBN   978-0333963852.
  7. Wilkinson pp 38–41
  8. Stephens, Henry Morse (1885). "Bentinck, William Henry Cavendish"  . In Stephen, Leslie (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography . 4. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  9. Wilkinson p 56
  10. Wilkinson p150-7
  11. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Volume 5. Oxford University Press. 2004. p. 268. ISBN   978-0-19-861355-8.
  12. 1 2 National Archives currency converter.
  13. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Volume 5. pp. 268–269.

Ancestors

Succession boxes

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
John Craster
George Venables-Vernon
Member of Parliament for Weobley
1761–1762
With: Hon. Henry Thynne
Succeeded by
William Lynch
Hon. Henry Thynne
Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl Gower
Lord Chamberlain
1765–1766
Succeeded by
The Earl of Hertford
Preceded by
The Earl of Carlisle
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
1782
Succeeded by
The Earl Temple
Preceded by
The Earl of Shelburne
Prime Minister of Great Britain
2 April 1783 – 18 December 1783
Succeeded by
William Pitt the Younger
Preceded by
The Earl of Shelburne
Leader of the House of Lords
1783
Succeeded by
The Earl Temple
Preceded by
Henry Dundas
Home Secretary
1794–1801
Succeeded by
Lord Pelham
Preceded by
The Earl of Chatham
Lord President of the Council
1801–1805
Succeeded by
The Viscount Sidmouth
New office Minister without Portfolio
1805–1806
Succeeded by
The Earl FitzWilliam
Preceded by
The Lord Grenville
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
31 March 1807 – 4 October 1809
Succeeded by
Spencer Perceval
Academic offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Guilford
Chancellor of the University of Oxford
1792–1809
Succeeded by
The Lord Grenville
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Lord North
President of the Foundling Hospital
1793–1809
Succeeded by
The Prince of Wales
later became King George IV
Preceded by
The 3rd Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne
Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire
1795–1809
Succeeded by
The 4th Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
William Bentinck
Duke of Portland
1762–1809
Succeeded by
William Cavendish-Scott-Bentinck