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The Duke of Devonshire

Lord Steward of the Household
In office
Preceded byThe Duke of Ormond
Succeeded byWilliam Cavendish, 2nd Duke of Devonshire
Lord High Steward
for the Coronation of Queen Anne
In office
22 April 1702 – 23 April 1702
Preceded byThe Baron Somers
Succeeded by The Duke of Grafton
Personal details
Born(1640-01-25)25 January 1640
Died18 August 1707(1707-08-18) (aged 67)
Spouse(s)Lady Mary Butler
ChildrenLady Elizabeth Cavendish
William Cavendish, 2nd Duke of Devonshire
Lord Henry Cavendish
Lord James Cavendish
ParentsWilliam Cavendish, 3rd Earl of Devonshire
Elizabeth Cavendish, Countess of Devonshire
Quartered arms of William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Devonshire, KG, PC, FRS

William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Devonshire KG PC FRS (25 January 1640 – 18 August 1707) was an English soldier, nobleman, and Whig politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1661 to 1684 when he inherited his father's peerage as Earl of Devonshire. He was part of the "Immortal Seven" group that invited William III, Prince of Orange to depose James II of England as monarch during the Glorious Revolution, and was rewarded with the elevation to Duke of Devonshire in 1694.


Cavendish was the son of William Cavendish, 3rd Earl of Devonshire, and his wife Lady Elizabeth Cecil. In 1661, he was elected Member of Parliament for Derbyshire in the Cavalier Parliament.[1] He was a Whig under Charles II of England and James II of England and was leader of the anti-court and anti-Catholic party in the House of Commons, where he served as Lord Cavendish. He was re-elected MP for Derbyshire in the two elections of 1679 and in 1681. In 1684 he succeeded to the peerage as Earl of Devonshire on the death of his father and then sat in the House of Lords.[1] He was a strong supporter of the "Glorious Revolution" of 1688 which brought William III of Orange to the throne, signing as one of the Immortal Seven the invitation to William.

After the revolution, Cavendish was a leading Whig, serving as William's Lord Steward, and was created the Duke of Devonshire (1694) and also Marquess of Hartington in recognition for his services. He rebuilt Chatsworth House.

Cavendish was given an honorary MA by the University of Cambridge in 1705.[2]


Cavendish married Lady Mary Butler (1646–1710), daughter of James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Preston, on 26 October 1662. They had four children:

See also


  1. ^ a b History of Parliament Online - Cavendish, William, Lord Cavendish
  2. ^ "Cavendish, William (CVNS705W)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:"\"""\"""'""'"}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Viscount Mansfield
John Ferrers
Member of Parliament for Derbyshire
With: John Frescheville 1661–1665
John Milward 1665–1670
William Sacheverell 1670–1684
Succeeded by
Sir Robert Coke, 2nd Baronet
Sir Gilbert Clarke
Political offices
Preceded by
The Duke of Ormonde
Lord Steward
Succeeded by
The Duke of Devonshire
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Huntingdon
Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire
Succeeded by
The Duke of Devonshire
Preceded by
The Duke of Newcastle
Custos Rotulorum of Derbyshire
Preceded by
The Viscount Fitzhardinge
Lord Lieutenant of Somerset
Served alongside: The Marquess of Carmarthen
The Earl of Dorset
Succeeded by
The Duke of Ormonde
Title last held by
The Earl of Kingston-upon-Hull
Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire
Succeeded by
The Duke of Newcastle
Legal offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Kingston
Justice in Eyre
north of the Trent

Succeeded by
The Duke of Devonshire
Peerage of England
New creation Duke of Devonshire
Succeeded by
William Cavendish
Preceded by
William Cavendish
Earl of Devonshire

2 Annotations

Bill  •  Link

CAVENDISH, WILLIAM, first Duke Of Devonshire (1640-1707), eldest son of William Cavendish, third earl; styled Lord Cavendish (of Hardwicke) till 1684; educated abroad; M.P. for Derby, 1661; in Ireland, 1662; hon. M.A. Oxford, 1663; served in the fleet, 1666; envoy to France, 1669; provoked a fracas at the opera in Paris; imprisoned in the Tower for instigating a duel, 1675; a leader of the anti-court and anti-Romanist party in the Commons, 1666-78; active in the 'popish plot' proceedings, 1678-9; advocated exclusion of the Duke of York from the succession, 1680-1: made his peace with Charles II, October, 1681; succeeded to earldom, 1684; fined 30,0001. for brawling at court, 1685; built Chatsworth, 1687-1706; joined in inviting William of Orange to England, 1687 and 1688; arranged with the Earl of Danby to raise the north in favour of William of Orange; seized Derby and Nottingham, 1688; raised regiment of horse; escorted Princess Anne to Oxford; moved an address of welcome to the Prince of Orange, December, 1688 ; argued for James II's deposition, 1689; lord-lieutenant of Derbyshire, 1689; lord high steward at coronation, 1689; with William III in Flanders, 1690-2; created Duke of Devonshire, 1694; lord high steward at Anne's coronation, 1702; advocated toleration of nonconformists and the union with Scotland; of profligate private life; a patron of horse-racing.
---Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome, 1903

Bill  •  Link

Cavendish (William), the first duke of Devonshire, and one of the most distinguished patriots in the British annals, was born in 1640. In 1677, being then member for Derby, he vigorously opposed the venal measures of the court; and, the following year, was one of the committee appointed to draw up articles of impeachment against the lord treasurer Danby. In 1679, being re-elected to serve for Derby in a new parliament, Charles II. thought fit to make him a privy counsellor; but he soon withdrew from the board, with his friend lord Russel, when he found that popish interest prevailed. He carried up the articles of impeachment to the house of lords, against lord chief, justice Scroggs, for his arbitrary and illegal proceedings in the court of king's bench; and when the king declared his resolution not to sign the bill for excluding the Duke of York (afterwards James II.), he moved the house of commons, that a bill might be brought in for the association of all his majesty's protestant subjects. He also openly named the king's evil counsellors, and voted for an address to remove them from his presence and councils for ever. He nobly appeared at lord Russel's trial, in defence of that great man, at a time when it was scarce more criminal to be an accomplice than a witness for him. The fame fortitude, activity, and love of his country, animated this illustrious patriot to oppose tlve arbitrary proceedings of James II.; and when he saw there was no other method of saving the nation from impending slavery, he was the foremost in the association for inviting over the prince of Orange, and the first nobleman who appeared in arms to receive him at his landing. He was created Duke of Devonshire in 1694, by William and Mary. His last public service was in the union with Scotland, for concluding of which he was appointed a commissioner by queen Anne. He died in 1707, and ordered the following inscription to be put on his monument.

Willielmus Dux Devon,
Bonorum Principum Fidelis Subditus,
Inimicas et Invisus Tyrammis.

William Duke of Devonshire,
Of good Princes the faithful Subject,
The Enemy and Aversion of Tyrants,

Besides being thus, estimable for public virtues, his grace was distinguished by his literary accomplishments. He had a poetical genius, which showed itself particularly in two pieces, written with equal spirit, dignity, and delicacy: these are, an ode on the death of queen Mary; and an allusion to the archbishop of Cambray's supplement to Homer. He had great knowledge in the languages, was a true judge in history, and a critic in poetry; he had a fine hand in music, an elegant taste in painting, and in architecture had a skill equal to any person of the age in which he lived. His predecessor, Sir John Cavendish, was the person who killed the famous Watt Tyler in 1381.
---Encyclopedia Britannica. 3rd ed., 1797.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.