Prime Minister William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck

Prime Minister William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck

Male 1738 - 1809  (71 years)    Has more than 100 ancestors and more than 100 descendants in this family tree.

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  • Name William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck 
    Prefix Prime Minister 
    Relationshipwith Francis Fox
    Born 14 Apr 1738 
    Gender Male 
    Died 30 Oct 1809 
    Person ID I132715  Geneagraphie
    Links To This person is also William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland at Wikipedia 
    Last Modified 17 Jan 2003 

    Father Duke William Bentinck,   b. 1 Mar 1709, Portland, Welbeck Abbey, Nottinghamshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1762  (Age 52 years) 
    Mother Margaret Cavendish Harley,   b. 11 Feb 1715, Welbeck Abbey, Nottinghamshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Jul 1785, Bulstrode, Buckinghamshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 70 years) 
    Married 11 Jul 1734  Oxford Chapel, St. Marylebone, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Siblings 5 siblings 
    Family ID F53853  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Maria Waldegrave,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married 1764 
    Last Modified 29 Aug 2000 
    Family ID F53854  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Anne Liddell,   b. 1737, Castle, Ravensworth, Durham, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Feb 1804, Grosvenor Square, London, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 67 years) 
    Married 1765 
    Last Modified 16 Feb 2002 
    Family ID F53855  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 3 Dorothy Cavendish,   b. 1750,   d. 1794  (Age 44 years) 
    Married Mar 1766 
    Children 
     1. William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck,   b. 24 Jun 1768,   d. 27 Mar 1854  (Age 85 years)
     2. William Edward Cavendish-Bentinck,   b. 14 Sep 1774,   d. 17 Jun 1839, Paris, Île-de-France, Fr Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 64 years)
    +3. Charlotte Cavendish-Bentinck,   b. 3 Oct 1775,   d. 28 Jul 1862  (Age 86 years)
     4. Mary Cavendish-Bentinck,   b. 13 Mar 1778,   d. 6 Nov 1843  (Age 65 years)
     5. Lt. Colonel William Charles Augustus Cavendish-Bentinck,   b. May 1780, Welbeck-Abbey, Nottinghamshire, Eng. Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Apr 1826  (Age ~ 45 years)
     6. William Frederick Cavendish-Bentinck, Lord,   b. 2 Nov 1781,   d. 11 Feb 1828, Rome Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 46 years)
    Last Modified 29 Aug 2000 
    Family ID F31846  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
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    Documents 2 Documents

  • Notes 
    • eldest son and third of six children
      3rd Duke of Portland

      Educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford. He was awarded an MA in 1757.
      It has been suggested that the Portland/Lady Grafton affair was the cause of the antagonism between the Dukes of Portland and Grafton in later years. Portland marked the end of the affair by announcing his engagement to the sixteen
      year old Lady Dorothy Cavendish,.
      Portland entered the House of Commons as MP for Weobley, Hertfordshire in 1761 but succeeded to the peerage on the death of his father the following year and was elevated to the House of Lords. He gave up his seat in the Commons without making his maiden speech: Portland's "claim to fame" is that he rarely spoke in parliament.
      In July 1765, Portland was appointed as Lord Chamberlain of the Household in Rockingham's first ministry; after Rockingham's resignation in July 1766 Portland continued in office in Chatham's ministry - which was headed by the Duke of Grafton. By December 1766, Portland decided that his position was untenable. When the Rockinghamites met, it was decided that Portland should be allowed to resign, along with other Rockinghamite members of Chatham's ministry, in an attempt to force Chatham to change his dictatorial ways or to resign. The plan failed and Portland spent the next eighteen years in parliamentary opposition.
      Portland was involved in a prolonged legal battle with Sir James Lowther over lands that both claimed in Carlisle. The case began in August 1767 and continued sporadically until a final judgement in August 1776, by which time Portland is virtually
      bankrupt as a result of legal costs. However, the case was decided in Portland's favour and Lowther lost the lands in Cumbria To add to his financial difficulties, in the same year Portland agreed to pay his mother a lease of £16,000 a year so he could continue to live at Bulstrode, his mother's property. Meanwhile, his mother continued to live at Welbeck Abbey in Nottinghamshire. This was the family seat of the Portlands. Eventually, Portland had to sell the Cumbrian lands to save himself from bankruptcy.
      In 1782 Rockingham formed his second ministry and Portland became Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, arriving in Dublin on 14 April 1782. Rockingham died on 1 July and Portland resigned his post but became the leader of the Rockinghamite Whigs through election. The Earl of Shelburne formed the ministry that succeeded Rockingham. On 24 February 1783 Shelburne resigned following a series of defeats and the Fox-North coalition took office under the nominal premiership of Portland.
      George III was less than pleased with the coalition and awaited his opportunity to cause its failure. This came in December 1783 when the king dismissed the ministry over the India Bill. George III sent out messengers to collect the seals of office
      rather than bothering to send for the PM, as was customary. Pitt the Younger was appointed as PM and Portland remained in opposition until 1794 when he became Home Secretary in Pitt's government.
      As Home Secretary, responsibility for Ireland fell within his remit: Portland appointed his friend, Earl Fitzwilliam as Lord Lieutenant in 1795. Fitzwilliam was recalled in January 1795; one major result was the Irish Rising of 1798. In 1800 Portland authorised Lord Lieutenant Cornwallis to use whatever means were necessary to pass the Act of Union. The king's refusal to countenance Catholic Emancipation led to Pitt's resignation in March 1801.
      Portland remained in office during Addington's ministry but moved to the post of Lord President of the Council so that Pelham could become Home Secretary. The loss of income caused Portland serious problems. Portland continued in office when Pitt resumed office in 1804 but retired to Bulstrode after Pitt's death in 1806. In March of the same year he underwent major abdominal surgery to have kidney stones removed - this was in an age without anaesthetics.
      The Grenville-Fox coalition and then Grenville's ministry lasted only until March 1807 when George III asked Portland to become PM. He accepted, insisting that he was still a Whig despite heading a Tory government. He called and won a general election but then left his ministers to do what they wanted. He did not speak in parliament during this ministry. It was during the Portland ministry that Canning and Castlereagh fought their celebrated duel. In August 1809 Portland had an apoplectic seizure and resigned on 4 October. He was succeeded by Spencer Perceval.
      *********************************************
      Educated at Eton and Oxford University, in 1761 Bentinck was elected to represent the Woeby constituency. After a year in the House of Commons, Bentinck's father died and he therefore became the 3rd Duke of Portland.
      In July 1765, Portland entered Lord Rockingham's Whig cabinet, where he served as lord chamberlain until the fall of the government the following year. The Duke of Portland returned to power in 1782 when Lord Rockingham appointed him as lord lieutenant of Ireland.
      For a short period in 1783 the Duke of Portland became leader of the Whig administration. The Duke of Portland's government was concerned with the power of the East India Company and in 1783 Charles Fox attempted to persuade Parliament to pass a bill that would replace the company's directors with a board of commissioners. George III made it known to the House of Lords that he would consider anyone voting with the Bill an enemy. As a result of this interference, Portland's government resigned.
      William Pitt, a Tory, replaced Portland as Prime Minister and held office for the next eighteen years. In 1794, Portland and a group of the Whigs entered a formal alliance with Pitt. Portland became Home Secretary and played an important role in the passing of the Act of Union in 1801. The Duke of Portland also served as Home Secretary under Henry Addington who was Prime Minister between 1801 and 1804.
      When Lord Grenville resigned in 1807 over the refusal of George III to accept Catholic Emancipation, the Duke of Portland agreed to form a new administration. Now sixty-nine years old and in poor health, Portland remained in office until shortly before his death in 1809.


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