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William Cavendish-Bentinck, 6th Duke of Portland

William John Arthur Charles James Cavendish-Bentinck, 6th Duke of Portland KG GCVO PC TD (28 December 1857–26 April 1943), was a British Conservative politician.



Portland was the son of Lieutenant-General Arthur Cavendish-Bentinck and his first wife Elizabeth Sophia Hawkins-Whitshed. His paternal grandparents were Lord Charles Bentinck and his second wife Lady Anne Wellesley, daughter of Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley. Lord Charles was the third son of Prime Minister William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland and his wife Lady Dorothy Cavendish. Dorothy was a daughter of William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire and Charlotte Boyle.

He inherited the Cavendish-Bentinck estates, based around Welbeck Abbey in Nottinghamshire, from his cousin William Cavendish-Scott-Bentinck, 5th Duke of Portland, in 1879. He also succeeded his stepmother as second Baron Bolsover in 1893. His half sister Lady Ottoline Morrell was a society hostess and patron of the arts associated with the Bloomsbury Group.

The department of Manuscripts and Special Collections, The University of Nottingham holds estate papers of the 6th Duke in the Portland (London) Collection (Pl).

Public life

He held political office as Master of the Horse under Lord Salisbury from 1886 to 1892 and from 1895 to 1902 and under Arthur Balfour from 1902 to 1905. From 1898 to 1939 he served as Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire. At the coronation of King George VI Portland carried the crown of Queen Elizabeth, whose mother (Nina Cecilia) was his cousin. And it was at his estate in Langwell that the Sunderland Flying boat carrying the H.R.H. the Duke of Kent (the King's youngest brother)crashed while in route to a RAF Base in Iceland.

Thoroughbred horse racing

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


Portland married Winifred Anna Dallas-Yorke, on 11 June 1889 and they had three children:

  • Lady Victoria Alexandrina Violet Cavendish-Bentinck (1890–1994), married Captain Michael Erskine-Wemyss and had issue.
  • William Arthur Henry Cavendish-Bentinck, 7th Duke of Portland (1893–1977), married Ivy Gordon-Lennox
  • Francis Morven Dallas Cavendish-Bentinck (1900–1950), died unmarried.

In 1949 Portland College for the disabled in Mansfield owed much of its early development to the energy, enthusiasm and vision of Winifred.

See also

Ted Alletson, to whom the Duke presented a gold watch in honour of an outstanding cricketing achievement.


  • Kidd, Charles, Williamson, David (editors). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (1990 edition). New York: St Martin's Press, 1990.

External links

  • Post by Christopher Buyers in thread "Chancellor of the Order of the Garter", newsgroup alt.talk.royalty, 16 April 2006


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