Edward Cavendish, 10th Duke of Devonshire

Edward Cavendish, 10th Duke of Devonshire

Edward William Spencer Cavendish, 10th Duke of Devonshire, KG, MBE (May 6 1895 – 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 in the East, Stepney, he was the owner of Chatsworth House, and one of the largest private landowners in both the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. He was also Member of Parliament for West Derbyshire from 1923 to 1938 and a minister in Winston Churchill's wartime government.

He was Chancellor of the University of Leeds from 1938 until 1950. He was a freemason and was Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England from 1947 to 1950.


The Duke's sister Lady Dorothy was married to Prime Minister Harold Macmillan.

In 1917 he married Lady Mary Gascoyne-Cecil. They had five children:

* William John Robert Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington (1917–1944), killed in action in World War II. Married to Kathleen Kennedy, sister of John F. Kennedy.
* Lord Andrew Cavendish (1920–2004), later Marquess of Hartington (1944–1950) and Duke of Devonshire, married to Deborah Mitford.
* Lady Mary Cavendish (November 6 1922November 17 1922)
* Lady Elizabeth Georgiana Alice Cavendish (b. 24 April 1926)
* Lady Anne Evelyn Beatrice Cavendish (b. 6 November 1927), married Michael Lambert Tree


On 26 November 1950, he suffered a heart attack and died in Eastbourne in the presence of his general practitioner, Dr John Bodkin Adams, the suspected serial killer.Cullen, Pamela V., " Stranger in Blood: The Case Files on Dr John Bodkin Adams", London, Elliott & Thompson, 2006, ISBN 1-904027-19-9] Despite the fact that the duke had not seen a doctor in the 14 days before his death, the coroner was not notified as he should have been. Adams signed the death certificate stating that the Duke died of natural causes. 13 days earlier, Edith Alice Morrell — another patient of Adams — had also died. Historian Pamela Cullen speculates that as the Duke was head of the freemasons, Adams - a member of the fundamentalist Plymouth Brethren - would have been motivated to withhold the necessary vital treatment [Cullen, pp. 97-101] , since the "Grandmaster of England would have been seen by some of the Plymouth Brethren as Satan incarnate". [Cullen, p. 100] No proper police investigation was ever conducted into the death but his son, Andrew, later said "it should perhaps be noted that this doctor was not appointed to look after the health of my two younger sisters, who were then in their teens"; Adams had a reputation for grooming older patients in order to extract bequests.

Adams was tried in 1957 for Morrell's murder but controversially acquitted [Devlin, Patrick. "Easing the passing: The trial of Doctor John Bodkin Adams", London, The Bodley Head, 1985.] . The prosecutor was Attorney-General Sir Reginald Manningham-Buller, a distant cousin of the Duke (via their shared ancestor, George Cavendish). Cullen has questioned why Manningham-Buller failed to question Adams regarding the Duke's death, and suggests that he was wary of drawing attention to Prime Minister Harold Macmillan (the Duke's brother-in-law) and specifically to his wife who was having an extramarital affair with Robert Boothby at the time [Cullen, p. 617] .

Home Office pathologist Francis Camps linked Adams to 163 suspicious deaths in total, which would make him a precursor to Harold Shipman.


The Duke's surprise death meant that his estate had to pay 80% death duties, which would have been avoided had he lived a few months longer. This led to the transfer of Hardwick Hall to the National Trust, and the sale of many of the Devonshires' accumulated assets, including tens of thousands of acres of land, and many works of art and rare books.


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1= 1. Edward Cavendish, 10th Duke of Devonshire
2= 2. Victor Cavendish, 9th Duke of Devonshire
3= 3. Evelyn Petty-Fitzmaurice
4= 4. Edward Cavendish
5= 5. Emma Lascelles
6= 6. Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, 5th Marquess of Lansdowne
7= 7. Maud Evelyn Hamilton
8= 8. William Cavendish, 7th Duke of Devonshire
9= 9. Blanche Georgiana Howard
10= 10. William Lascelles
11= 11. Caroline Georgiana Howard
12= 12. Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, 4th Marquess of Lansdowne
13= 13. Emily Jane de Flahaut, 8th Lady Nairne
14= 14. James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Abercorn
15= 15. Louisa Jane Russell
16= 16. William Cavendish
17= 17. Louisa O'Callaghan
18= 18. George Howard, 6th Earl of Carlisle
19= 19. Georgiana Cavendish
20= 20. Henry Lascelles, 2nd Earl of Harewood
21= 21. Henrietta Sebright
22= 22. George Howard, 6th Earl of Carlisle (= 18)
23= 23. Georgiana Cavendish (= 19)
24= 24. Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, 3rd Marquess of Lansdowne
25= 25. Louisa Fox-Strangways
26= 26. Charles Joseph, comte de Flahaut
27= 27. Margaret Mercer-Elphinstone, 7th Lady Nairne, 2nd Baroness Keith
28= 28. James Hamilton, Viscount Hamilton
29= 29. Harriet Douglas
30= 30. John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford
31= 31. Georgina Gordon


* [http://www.thepeerage.com/p959.htm#i9587 thePeerage.com]

ee also

* John Bodkin Adams
* Gertrude Hullett
* Edith Alice Morrell

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