- Spencer Cavendish, 8th Duke of Devonshire
Spencer Compton Cavendish, 8th Duke of Devonshire, KG, GCVO, PC (
23 July 1833– 24 March 1908) was a British statesman, previously known (1858–1891), whilst heir to the Dukedom, as Marquess of Hartington (a courtesy title- as this was not a peerage in its own right he was free to sit in the House of Commons, as was not uncommon for the sons of peers at the time). He has the distinction of having served as leader of three political parties (in succession- as Leader of the Liberal Party in the House of Commons, 1875-1880; of the Liberal Unionist Party (1886-1903); and of the Unionists in the House of Lords(1902-1903), though the Conservatives and Liberal Unionists operated in close alliance from 1892-1903 and would eventually merge in 1912). He also declined to become Prime Minister on three occasions, not because he was not a serious politician but because the circumstances were never right.
He was the son of Lord Cavendish of Keighley, who succeeded his cousin as Duke of Devonshire in 1858, and Lady Blanche Howard. Cavendish was educated at
Trinity College, Cambridgeand entered Parliament in 1857. Between 1863 and 1874 Hartington held various Government posts, including lord of the Admiraltyand under-secretary for war under Palmerston and Earl Russell, then postmaster-general, and Chief Secretary for Irelandin Gladstone's first government.
In 1875 - the year following the Liberal defeat at the General Election - he succeeded
William Ewart Gladstoneas Leader of the Liberal opposition in the House of Commons after the other serious contender, W. E. Forster, had indicated that he was not interested in the job. The following year, however, Gladstone returned to active political life in the campaign against Turkey's Bulgarian Atrocities. The relative political fortunes of Gladstone and Hartington fluctuated - Gladstone was not popular at the time of Benjamin Disraeli's triumph at the Congress of Berlin, but the Midlothian Campaigns of 1879-80 marked him out as the Liberals' foremost public campaigner.
In 1880, after Disraeli's government lost the General Election, Hartington was invited to form a government, but declined - as did the Earl Granville, Liberal Leader in the House of Lords - after
William Ewart Gladstonemade it clear that he would not serve under anybody else. Hartington chose instead to serve in Gladstone's Second government as Secretary of State for India(1880–1882) and Secretary of State for War(1882–1885).
Hartington became increasingly uneasy with Gladstone's Irish policies, especially after the murder of his younger brother Lord Frederick Cavendish in Phoenix Park. In 1886 he broke with Gladstone altogether. He declined to serve in Gladstone's third government, formed after Gladstone came out in favour of
Irish Home Rule(unlike Joseph Chamberlain, who accepted the Local Government Board but then resigned), and after voting against the First Home Rule Bill became the leader of the Liberal Unionists.
After the General Election in 1886 Hartington declined to become Prime Minister, preferring instead to hold the balance of power in the House of Commons and give support from the back benches to the second Conservative government of Lord Salisbury. Early in 1887, after the resignation of
Lord Randolph Churchill, Lord Salisbury offered to step down and serve in a government under Hartington, who now declined the premiership for the third time. Instead the Liberal Unionist George Goschen accepted the Exchequer in Churchill's place.
Having succeeded as
Duke of Devonshirein 1891 and entered the House of Lords, he eventually joined Salisbury's third government in 1895 as Lord President of the Council. Devonshire was not asked to become Prime Minister when Lord Salisbury retired in favour of his nephew Arthur Balfourin 1902. He resigned from the government in 1903, and from the Liberal Unionist Association the following spring, in protest at Joseph Chamberlain's Tariff Reformscheme; Balfour, trying to juggle different factions, had allowed both Chamberlain and Free Trade supporters to resign from the government, hoping that Devonshire would remain for the sake of balance, but the latter eventually resigned under pressure from C. T. Ritchie and from his wife, who still hoped that he might lead a government including leading Liberals.
Hartington took great pains to parade his interest in horseracing, so as to cultivate an image of not being entirely obsessed by politics. For many years the courtesan
Catherine Walters("Skittles") was his mistress. He was married at Christ Church, Mayfair, on 16 August 1892, at the age of 59, to Louisa Frederica Augusta von Alten, widow of the late William Drogo Montagu, 7th Duke of Manchester. Upon his death, he was succeeded by his nephew. He died of pneumoniaat the Hotel Metropol in Cannesand was interred on 28 March 1908at Edensor, Derbyshire.
A statue of the Duke can be found on the east side of
style=font-size: 90%; line-height: 110%;
boxstyle=padding-top: 0; padding-bottom: 0;
1= 1. Spencer Cavendish, 8th Duke of Devonshire
William Cavendish, 7th Duke of Devonshire
3= 3. Blanche Georgiana Howard
4= 4. William Cavendish
5= 5. Louisa O'Callaghan
George Howard, 6th Earl of Carlisle
7= 7. Georgiana Cavendish
George Cavendish, 1st Earl of Burlington
9= 9. Elizabeth Compton
10= 10. Cornelius O'Callaghan, 1st Baron Lismore
11= 11. Frances Ponsonby
Frederick Howard, 5th Earl of Carlisle
13= 13. Margaret Caroline Leveson-Gower
William Cavendish, 5th Duke of Devonshire
15= 15. Georgiana Spencer
William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire
17= 17. Charlotte Boyle, 6th Baroness Clifford
Charles Compton, 7th Earl of Northampton
19= 19. Ann Somerset
20= 20. Thomas O'Callaghan
21= 21. Sarah Davis
22= 22. John Ponsonby
23= 23. Elizabeth Cavendish
Henry Howard, 4th Earl of Carlisle
25= 25. Isabella Byron
Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Marquess of Stafford
27= 27. Louisa Egerton
William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire(= 16)
29= 29. Charlotte Boyle, 6th Baroness Clifford (= 17)
John Spencer, 1st Earl Spencer
31= 31. Margaret Georgiana Poyntz
* [http://www.liberalhistory.org.uk/item_single.php?item_id=11&item=biography&PHPSESSID=32f74420ec33 Marquess of Hartington (Duke of Devonshire) 1833-1908] biography from the Liberal Democrat History Group
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Devonshire, Spencer Compton Cavendish, 8th duke of, marquess of Hartington, earl of Devonshire, Baron Cavendish of Hardwick — ▪ British statesman born July 23, 1833, Lower Holker, Lancashire, Eng. died March 24, 1908, Cannes, Fr. British statesman whose opposition to the Irish Home Rule policy of his own Liberal Party caused him to assume (1886) the leadership of the… … Universalium
Edward Cavendish, 10th Duke of Devonshire — Edward William Spencer Cavendish, 10th Duke of Devonshire, KG, MBE (May 6 1895 ndash; November 26 1950), known as Marquess of Hartington (1908–1938), was the head of the Devonshire branch of the Cavendish family. Born in the Parish of St George… … Wikipedia
Duke of Devonshire — Dukedom of Devonshire Creation date 12 May 1694 (1694 05 12) (age 317)) Created by William and Mary … Wikipedia
Duke of Marlborough (disambiguation) — Duke of Marlborough or Duchess of Marlborough may refer to: Dukes John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, an outstanding general. Any reference to the Duke of Marlborough is usually referring to him. Charles Spencer, 3rd Duke of Marlborough… … Wikipedia
Cavendish — I. biographical name Henry 1731 1810 English scientist II. biographical name Spencer Compton 1833 1908 8th Duke of Devonshire English statesman III. biographical name Sir William 1505? 1557 English statesman IV. biographical name William 1640… … New Collegiate Dictionary
House of Cavendish — Cavendish is the surname of a British noble family, also known as the House of Cavendish, descended from Sir John Cavendish of Cavendish in the county of Suffolk (c. 1346–1381), which has held the following peerages: *The dukedom of Devonshire… … Wikipedia
Lord Frederick Cavendish — Lord Frederick Charles Cavendish (30 November 1836 – 6 May 1882) was an English Liberal politician and protégé of the Prime Minister, William Ewart Gladstone, who was appointed to the post of Chief Secretary for Ireland in May 1882.LifeBorn on 30 … Wikipedia
Lord Edward Cavendish — Lieutenant Colonel Lord Edward Cavendish (28 January 1838 ndash; 18 May 1891) was a 19th century British politician.Born in Marylebone, Cavendish was the third son of William Cavendish, 7th Duke of Devonshire, by his wife, Lady Blanche Howard (a… … Wikipedia
Lord Richard Cavendish (1871–1946) — Lord Richard Frederick Cavendish CB, CMG, DL, JP (31 January 1871 ndash;7 January 1946), known as Richard Cavendish until 1908, was a British aristocrat, author, magistrate and politician. A prominent figure in the Cavendish family, he was a… … Wikipedia
John Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll — For other persons of the same name, see John Campbell (disambiguation) or Duke of Argyll. His Grace The Duke of Argyll KG, KT, GCMG, GCVO, PC … Wikipedia