William Cavendish-Bentinck, 6th Duke of Portland

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"One of the loaders fell down. This caused both barrels of the gun he was carrying to be discharged, the shot passing within a few feet of the archduke and myself. I have often wondered whether the Great War might not have been averted, or at least postponed, had the archduke met his death there and not at Sarajevo the following year." [13]

From 1937 to 1943 he was Chancellor of the Order of the Garter.[ citation needed ] At the coronation of King George VI Portland carried the crown of Queen Elizabeth, whose mother (the Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne) was his cousin. It was at his estate in Langwell that the Sunderland Flying boat carrying the Duke of Kent (the King's youngest brother) crashed while en route to a RAF Base in Iceland.

Benefaction and legacies

The Duke and Duchess of Portland were custodians and collectors of fine art. They were respectful and generous to the hundreds of staff they employed. One former servant, George Slingsby, who was employed as a footman at Welbeck Abbey before the First World War, wrote that "most of their staff had a job for life, were well cared for in the estate’s own hospital block when they were ill, and at such times nothing was deducted from their wages, at a time when the working classes had no privileges, or indeed any help from the Government." [14]

His probate was sworn in 1943 at £201,516(equivalent to about £9,600,000 in 2021), with his son as his heir.

Thoroughbred horse racing

Portland inherited the estate and stud farm near Clumber Park in North Nottinghamshire. Among the horses he owned was St. Simon, who won the 1884 Ascot Gold Cup. He also bred and owned Ayrshire and Donovan, who won the 1888 and 1889 runnings of The Derby.


The Duke of Portland to the left with Rosamond Rose and an unknown man William Arthur Cavendish-Bentinck, 6th Duke of Portland, Rosamond Rose, unknown man by Lady Ottoline Morrell.jpg
The Duke of Portland to the left with Rosamond Rose and an unknown man

Portland married Winifred Anna Dallas-Yorke, daughter of Thomas Dallas-Yorke, DL, JP, of Walmsgate, Lincolnshire, on 11 June 1889. They had three children:[ citation needed ]

Portland died in April 1943, aged 85, and was interred at the traditional burial place of the Dukes of Portland in the churchyard of St Winifred's Church at Holbeck. He was succeeded by his eldest son, William. The Duchess of Portland died in July 1954, aged 90.[ citation needed ] The department of Manuscripts and Special Collections, The University of Nottingham holds estate papers of the 6th Duke in the Portland (London) Collection (Pl). [1]


The Duke of Portland
William Cavendish-Bentinck, 6th Duke of Portland, by Elliott & Fry.jpg
The Duke of Portland, circa 1900.
Master of the Horse
In office
9 August 1886 11 August 1892


Coat of arms of William Cavendish-Bentinck, 6th Duke of Portland
Coat of Arms of the Duke of Portland.svg
The title Duke of Portland was created by George I in 1716 .
A Coronet of a Duke
Out of a ducal coronet proper two arms counter-embowed vested Gules, on the hands gloves Or, each holding an ostrich feather Argent (Bentinck); A snake nowed proper (Cavendish)
Quarterly: 1st and 4th, Azure a cross moline Argent (Bentinck); 2nd and 3rd, Sable three stags' heads cabossed Argent attired Or, a crescent for difference (Cavendish)
Two lions double queued, the dexter Or and the sinister sable
Craignez Honte (Fear Dishonour)


Portland was author of the following memoirs:

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  1. 1 2 Biography of the 6th Duke, with links to online catalogues, from Manuscripts and Special Collections, The University of Nottingham
  2. 1 2 3 4 Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage, Volume II, 106th Edition. Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd. 1999. p. 2287. ISBN   2-940085-02-1.
  3. 1 2 3 Kelly's Handbook to the Titled, Landed and Official Classes, 1918. Kelly's. p. 1250.
  4. Army List.
  5. "No. 25615". The London Gazette . 10 August 1886. p. 3854.
  6. "No. 26645". The London Gazette . 19 July 1895. p. 4101.
  7. "No. 25617". The London Gazette . 17 August 1886. p. 4005.
  8. "No. 26743". The London Gazette . 26 May 1896. p. 3123.
  9. "No. 27175". The London Gazette . 20 March 1900. p. 1875.
  10. "Court Circular". The Times. No. 36092. London. 17 March 1900. p. 8.
  11. "No. 27330". The London Gazette . 5 July 1901. p. 4469.
  12. "Court Circular". The Times. No. 36945. London. 8 December 1902. p. 9.
  13. BBC Radio Nottinghamshire article.
  14. Nina Slingsby, "George: Memoirs of a Gentleman's Gentleman," Jonathan Cape, 1984: London, 73
  15. Massingberd, Hugh, ed. (1995) The Daily Telegraph Book of Obituaries. Macmillan; p. 324
  16. 1 2 3 Who Was Who, 1941-1950. A and C Black. 1952. p. 928.
Political offices
Preceded by Master of the Horse
Succeeded by
Master of the Horse
Succeeded by
Honorary titles
Preceded by Lord Lieutenant of Caithness
Succeeded by
Preceded by Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chancellor of the Order of the Garter
Succeeded by
Preceded by Senior Privy Counsellor
Succeeded by
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by Duke of Portland
Succeeded by
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Baron Bolsover
Succeeded by