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Posts Tagged ‘William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck 3rd Duke of Portland’

Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency (I include those who were born before 1811 and who died after 1795), today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Charles (Medows) Pierrepont 1st Earl Manvers
4 November 1737 – 17 June 1816

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Charles Medows

Charles Pierrepont 1st Earl Manvers was the great great grandson of Daniel Meadows (d.1659) whose son was Sir Philip Meadows (d.1718), the successful parliamentarian. In 1710, Sir Philip’s fellow parliamentarian, Sir John Guise, 3rd Bart., was “informed by Queen Anne that Sir Philip had been promised the position as Envoy to Hanover, the role Guise had invisaged for himself. Sir Philip Meadows was knighted in 1658, made Knight Marshal of the King’s Palace and sent as an Ambassador to Sweden and Denmark.

In 1717, Sir Philip’s son – also named Sir Philip Meadows (d.1757) – was one of the twelve members of the Board of General Officers, working with Sir Robert Walpole, the First Commissioner (Lord) of the Treasury. Earlier, on 2 July 1700 he was appointed, as his father had been, knight-marshal of the King’s Household, and was formally knighted by King William on 23 December 1700 at Hampton Court. Sir Philip’s daughter, Mary (d.1743), was a Maid of honour to Queen Caroline and his first cousin was Philip Meadows (d.1752), who had been Mayor of Norwich in 1734. On the 29th of May of that year, Prime Minister Sir Robert Walpole presented Mayor Meadows with his personal gift: the city’s new silver mace which bore Walpole’s own coat-of-arms. Like Prime Minister Walpole, Mayor Meadows had accumulated vast wealth owing to their success with the South Sea Company.

Another of Sir Philip’s sons, Sir Sidney Meadows, was also knight-marshal of the Kings Palace. Sidney died in Andover in 1792. Like his brother Philip, Sidney was Deputy Ranger of Richmond Park and worked under Prime Minister John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute who, by 1761, had been appointed Ranger by George III. At this time – shortly after he ascended the throne in 1760 – the King was sold the Rangership by his daughter Princess Amelia. King George, having appointed the third Lord Bute as Ranger, continued to keep up an interest in the park and instigated many repairs and improvements with Sir Sidney (and at times his brother Philip) as deputy. When Lord Bute died in 1792 the King took the Rangership back into his own keeping and for a short time areas were given over to farming. Sir Sydney died in 1792, aged 91, having worked alongside the King, managing the park’s agricultural and grazing branches.

Sarah Meadows Martineau was the daughter of Norwich Mayor Philip Meadows. Sarah was baptized at St George’s Church, Colegate, Norwich, Norfolk on 24 February 1725 and died in Norwich on 26 November 1800. Sarah was the subject of published poems by her friend, political writer Anna Letitia Barbauld, who had been “admired” by Horace Walpole, son of Prime Minister Walpole. Sarah Meadows Martineau is recorded as the matriarch of the Meadows of Norwich; “endowed with a strong mind and a well-cultivated understanding….her loss will be severely felt by a numerous family and by many whom her charity daily relieved and also by those who resorted to her judgement for advice”.

Educated at Oxford, Medows became a midshipman in the Royal Navy and was promoted to lieutenant on 7 August 1755. He became a commander on 5 April 1757 in Renown, a 20-gun sloop, but on 17 August the same year was promoted to post-captain in the frigate Shannon, and was ordered to join the Mediterranean Fleet. He commanded her until April 1761, when Vice-Admiral Saunders appointed him to the 50-gun frigate Isis, replacing Captain Edward Wheeler, who had been killed during the capture of the French ship Oriflamme. Medows continued on Isis, in the Mediterranean, until the end of the war in 1763, and in 1769 retired altogether from the Navy.

In 1773, Medows’s uncle, Evelyn Pierrepont, 2nd Duke of Kingston-upon-Hull, died and left his estates at Thoresby and elsewhere to his wife Elizabeth, Duchess of Kingston, the former wife of the Earl of Bristol. The duke’s nephews challenged the will on the grounds of bigamy, and the proceedings which followed established that the marriage of the Duchess had indeed been bigamous. However, this was found not to affect her inheritance, so she was able to retain the Pierrepont estates until her death, which took place in August 1788. Upon inheriting the estates, Medows adopted the surname of Pierrepont.

A watercolour sketch entitled In Captain Pierrepont’s Grounds was made by the Preston-born artist Anthony Devis (1729–1817).

His family’s political dynasty ensured that Medows was a well connected, if not terribly effective parliamentarian. As a Whig, Medows had been on good terms with Horace Walpole, the son of Prime Minister Sir Robert Walpole. Horace had voiced his concern about the impending death of Medows’ uncle, the 2nd Duke of Kingston. With the patronage of the prime minister’s protégé, Thomas Pelham Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle, Medows was returned as one of the Members of Parliament for Nottinghamshire in December 1778. He continued to sit in the Commons as a knight of the shire until he was ennobled in 1796.

In Parliament, Medows (Pierrepont) supported the Duke of Portland, whose influence helped him to be raised to the peerage as Baron Pierrepont, of Holme Pierrepont in the County of Nottingham, and Viscount Newark, of Newark on Trent in the County of Nottingham, on 23 July 1796, and on 1 April 1806 he was promoted to an earldom as Earl Manvers. In the Lords, Manvers supported agricultural reform and was vice-president of the Board of Agriculture in 1803. He died in 1816 and was buried at Holme Pierrepont.

He married Anne Orton, daughter of William Mills of Richmond, in 1774. They had five children:

  • Hon. Evelyn Henry Frederick Pierrepont (1775–1801).
  • Charles Herbert Pierrepont, 2nd Earl Manvers (1778–1860).
  • Hon. Henry Manvers Pierrepont (1780–1858).
  • Hon. Philip Sydney Pierrepont (13 June 1786 – 15 February 1864), of Evenley Hall, Northamptonshire, married on 19 August 1810 Georgiana Browne, died without issue.
  • Lady Frances Augusta Pierrepont (d. 1847), married on 20 October 1802 Admiral William Bentinck (1746–1813), married on 30 July 1821 Henry William Stephens.

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Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency (I include those who were born before 1811 and who died after 1795), today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Lieutenant-Colonel Lord William Charles Augustus Cavendish-Bentinck
3 October 1780 – 28 April 1826

Lieutenant-Colonel Lord William Charles Augustus Cavendish-Bentinck was the third son of British Prime Minister William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portlandand Lady Dorothy, daughter of Prime Minister William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire. William Bentinck, 4th Duke of Portland, and Lord William Bentinck were his elder brothers.

Bentinck was returned to Parliament for Ashburton in 1806, a seat he held until 1812. He served under the Earl of Liverpool as Treasurer of the Household between 1812 and 1826.

Bentinck married, firstly, Georgiana Augusta Frederica Seymour (baptized Elliott), daughter of the courtesan Mrs Grace Elliott on 21 September 1808; she was said to be a daughter of the Prince of Wales or of the 4th Earl of Cholmondeley, both men claiming her paternity. They had one daughter, who was raised after Georgiana’s death by Lord Cholmondeley, according to the entry on Grace Elliott. The marriage enabled Bentinck to become Treasurer of the Household in 1812, a position he held till death, despite his involvement in a notorious divorce suit and his subsequent remarriage.

In 1815 he eloped with his mistress, Lady Abdy, daughter of Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley, and Hyacinthe Gabrielle Roland, and wife of Bentinck’s friend Sir William Abdy, 7th Baronet. Lady Anne was divorced by her husband, and she and Bentinck were married on 16 July 1816. They had four children:

  • Anne Cavendish-Bentinck (d. 7 June 1888)
  • Emily Cavendish-Bentinck (d. 6 June 1850), married Henry Hopwood.
  • Reverend Charles William Frederick Cavendish-Bentinck (1817–1865). He was a great-grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Lieutenant-General Arthur Cavendish-Bentinck (10 May 1819 – 11 December 1877). He married first Elizabeth Sophia Hawkins-Whitshed. They were parents of William Cavendish-Bentinck, 6th Duke of Portland. He married secondly Augusta Browne and they had a daughter, Lady Ottoline Morrell.

Anne and Lord Charles became lovers at some point during her first marriage. They eloped on 5 September 1815, following which Abdy brought a suit for criminal conversation (crim.con. in Regency parlance) for 30,000 pounds but won only 7,000 pounds in damages. (These damages were never paid by the impecunious Bentinck). During the discussion of the divorce bill, the customary provision against remarriage was struck out in the House of Lords. Lady Abdy (or rather, her husband Sir William Abdy) was granted a divorce on 25 June 1816. Anne and Lord William were married on 23 July 1816, enabling their first child (which she was expecting) to be born legitimate three weeks later.

Bentinck died on 28 April 1826 at age 45. His wife survived him by almost 50 years and died in March 1875.

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Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

James George Stopford 3rd Earl of Courtown
15 August 1765 – 15 June 1835

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James George Stopford

James George Stopford 3rd Earl of Courtown was known as Viscount Stopford from 1770 to 1810, was an Anglo-Irish peer and Tory politician.

Courtown was the eldest son of James Stopford, 2nd Earl of Courtown, and his wife Mary (née Powys). Educated at Eton College, he served with the Coldstream Guards and achieved the rank of Captain.

In 1790, he was elected to the House of Commons for Great Bedwyn, a seat he held until 1796 and again from 1806 to 1807. He also represented Lanark from 1796 to 1802, Dumfries from 1803 to 1806 and Marlborough from 1807 to 1810. In 1793, he succeeded his father as Treasurer of the Household in the government of William Pitt the Younger, a post he held until 1806 (from 1801 to 1804 under the Premiership of Henry Addington), and again from 1807 to 1812 under the Duke of Portland and Spencer Perceval.

Courtown succeeded his father in the earldom 1810 and held office in the House of Lords as Captain of the Honourable Band of Gentlemen Pensioners under the Earl of Liverpool between 1812 and 1827 and as Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard under Sir Robert Peel in 1835. He was admitted to the Privy Council in 1793 and made a Knight of the Order of St Patrick in 1821.

Lord Courtown married Lady Mary, daughter of Henry Scott, 3rd Duke of Buccleuch and Lady Elizabeth Montagu, in 1791. They had five sons and one daughter. The two eldest sons died as infants. Their fifth and youngest son the Hon. Sir Montagu Stopford (1798–1864) was a Vice-Admiral in the Royal Navy and the grandfather of General Sir Montagu George North Stopford. Lady Courtown died in April 1823, aged 53. Lord Courtown survived her by twelve years and died in June 1835, aged 69. He was succeeded in the earldom by his third but eldest surviving son James.

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Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Brooks’s
March 1764-

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Brooks’s

In January 1762 a private society was established at 50 Pall Mall by Messrs. Boothby and James in response to having been blackballed for membership of White’s. This society then split to form the predecessors of both Brooks’s and Boodle’s. The club that was to become Brooks’s was founded in March 1764 by twenty-seven prominent Whig nobles including the Duke of Portland, the Duke of Roxburghe, Lord Crewe and Lord Strathmore. Charles James Fox was elected as a member the following year at the age of sixteen. The club premises at 49 Pall Mall was a former tavern owned by William Almack as was the neighbouring 50 Pall Mall where the society had previously met and so the club become simply known as Almack’s. These fashionable young men, known as Macaronis, would frequent the premises for the purposes of wining, dining and gambling.

In September 1777 William Brooks, a wine merchant and money lender who acted as Master, or manager, for Almack’s, commissioned Henry Holland to design and construct a purpose built clubhouse at a site on neighbouring St James’s Street. Paid for at Brooks’s own expense, the building was completed in October 1778 and all existing members of Almack’s were invited to join. Brooks’s gamble paid off as all existing members swiftly moved into the new building and the club then took on Brooks’s name as its own. Brooks himself however would not live long to enjoy this success, dying in poverty in 1782.

The new clubhouse was built of yellow brick and Portland stone in a Palladian style similar to Holland’s early country houses. The main suite of rooms on the first floor consisted of the Great Subscription Room, Small Drawing Room and the Card Room. The interiors are in neoclassical style, the Great Subscription Room having a segmental barrel vault ceiling. The interior of the building remained fairly unchanged until 1889 when neighbouring 2 Park Place, which had been purchased a few years before, was converted and adapted as part of Brooks’s.

The main historic attraction of Brooks’s was its gaming rooms. At several tables in one, gentlemen would stake fortunes on whist and hazard. Gambling all night was common; all day and all night, not unheard of. When the stakes far exceeded any ordinary expenses, all the club accounts were commonly deducted from winnings, so that no bills were rendered to members. Numerous eccentric bets were and are made in the Brooks’s betting book. One extraordinary entry from 1785 is “Ld. Cholmondeley has given two guineas to Ld. Derby, to receive 500 Gs whenever his lordship fucks a woman in a balloon one thousand yards from the Earth.” (However, there is no further indication that the bet was paid, or even how they would check it if it was claimed.)

Notable Members covered in the Regency Era’s timeframe

  • Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford (1717–1797)
  • Edmund Burke (1729–1797)
  • Edward Gibbon (1737–1794)
  • William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland (1738–1809)
  • Philip Francis (1740–1818)
  • John Ker, 3rd Duke of Roxburghe (1740–1804)
  • John Crewe, 1st Baron Crewe (1742–1829)
  • John FitzPatrick, 2nd Earl of Upper Ossory (1745–1818)
  • William Cavendish, 5th Duke of Devonshire (1748–1811)
  • Dudley Long North (1748–1829)
  • Charles James Fox (1749–1806)
  • William Windham (1750–1810)
  • Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751–1816)
  • Hugh Fortescue, 1st Earl Fortescue (1753–1841)
  • Thomas Grenville (1755–1846)
  • Lord John Townshend (1757–1833)
  • Sir Scrope Bernard-Morland, 4th baronet (1758–1830)
  • William Pitt the Younger (1759–1806)
  • William Wilberforce (1759–1833)
  • Richard ‘Conversation’ Sharp (1759–1835)
  • Sir John Lade (1759–1838)
  • George FitzRoy, 4th Duke of Grafton (1760–1844)
  • Pascoe Grenfell (1761–1838)
  • The Prince of Wales, later George IV (1762–1830)
  • Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany (1763–1827)
  • Prince William, Duke of Clarence, later William IV (1765–1837)
  • William Henry Fremantle (1766–1850)
  • Lord William Russell (1767–1840)
  • Jean-Lambert Tallien (1767–1820)
  • John Campbell, 1st Baron Cawdor (1768–1821)
  • Francis Burdett (1770–1844)
  • David Ricardo (1772–1823)
  • Charles Watkin Williams-Wynn (1775–1850)
  • Alexander Raphael (1775/6-1850)
  • Richard Temple-Grenville, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Chandos (1776–1839)
  • Henry Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux (1778–1868)
  • Beau Brummell (1778–1840)
  • John Campbell, 1st Baron Campbell (1779–1861)
  • William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne (1779–1848)
  • Thomas Moore (1779–1852)
  • James Evan Baillie (1781–1863)
  • Edward Ellice, the elder (1781–1863)
  • John Ward, 1st Earl of Dudley (1781–1833)
  • Granville Proby, 3rd Earl of Carysfort (1782–1868)
  • Hugh Fortescue, 2nd Earl Fortescue (1783–1861)
  • Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston (1784–1865)
  • Daniel O’Connell (1785–1847)
  • George Parkyns, 2nd Baron Rancliffe (1785–1850)
  • Thomas Francis Kennedy (1788–1879)
  • William Arden, 2nd Baron Alvanley (1789–1849)
  • George Nugent-Grenville, 2nd Baron Nugent (1789–1850)
  • Robert Rolfe, 1st Baron Cranworth (1790–1868)
  • Charles Compton Cavendish, 1st Baron Chesham (1793–1863)
  • George Glyn, 1st Baron Wolverton (1797–1873)
  • David Salomons (1797–1873)
  • John Townshend, 4th Marquess Townshend (1798–1863)
  • Matthew Talbot Baines (1799–1860)
  • Michael Thomas Bass, Jr. (1799–1884)
  • George Keppel, 6th Earl of Albemarle (1799–1891)
  • Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby (1799–1869)
  • Richard Bethell, 1st Baron Westbury (1800–1873)
  • Robert Vernon, 1st Baron Lyveden (1800–1873)
  • Fox Maule-Ramsay, 11th Earl of Dalhousie (1801–1874)
  • Robert Grosvenor, 1st Baron Ebury (1801–1893)
  • Charles Pelham Villiers (1802–1898)
  • Edward Stanley, 2nd Baron Stanley of Alderley (1802–1869)
  • Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton (1803–1873)
  • Edward Horsman (1807–1876)
  • Lionel de Rothschild (1808–1879)

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Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Paul Storr
28 October 1770 – 18 March 1844

Paul Storr was England’s most celebrated silversmith during the first half of the nineteenth century and his legacy lives on today. His pieces historically and currently adorn royal palaces and the finest stately homes throughout Europe and the world. Storr’s reputation rests on his mastery of the grandiose neo-Classical style developed in the Regency period. He quickly became the most prominent silversmith of the nineteenth century, producing much of the silver purchased by King George III and King George IV. Storr entered his first mark in the first part of 1792, which reflects his short-lived partnership with William Frisbee. Soon after, he began to use his PS mark, which he maintained throughout his career with only minor changes. His first major work was a gold font commissioned by the Duke of Portland in 1797 and in 1799 he created the “Battle of the Nile Cup” for presentation to Lord Nelson.

Much of Storr’s success was due to the influence of Philip Rundell, of the popular silver retailing firm, Rundell, Bridge and Rundell. Rundell’s firm nearly monopolized the early nineteenth-century market for superior silver and obtained the Royal Warrant in 1806. This shrewd businessman realised the talent of Paul Storr and began pursuing him in 1803, however it was not until 1807 that Storr finally joined the firm. After many years of working for Rundell, Storr realised he had lost much of his artistic freedom and by 1819 he left the firm to open his own shop, turning his attentions towards more naturalistic designs and soon began enjoying the patronage he desired. After only a few years of independence, Storr realised he needed a centralised retail location and partnered with John Mortimer, founding Storr and Mortimer in 1822 on New Bond Street.

Son of Thomas Storr of Westminster, first silver-chaser later innkeeper. Apprenticed c. 1785. Before his first partnership with William Frisbee in 1792 he worked in Church Street, Soho, which was the address of Andrew Fogelberg at which Storr’s first separate mark is also entered.

  • First mark entered as plateworker, in partnership with William Frisbee, 2 May 1792. Address: 5 Cock Lane, Snow Hill.
  • Second mark alone, 12 January 1793. Address: 30 Church Street, Soho.
  • Third mark, 27 April 1793.
  • Fourth 8 August 1794. Moved to 20 Air Street, 8 October 1796, (where Thomas Pitts had worked till 1793).
  • Fifth mark, 29 November 1799.
  • Sixth, 21 August 1807. Address 53 Dean Street, Soho.
  • Seventh, 10 February 1808.
  • Eighth ?
  • Ninth, 21 October 1813.
  • Tenth, 12 September 1817. Moved to Harrison Street, Gray’s Inn Road, 4 March 1819, after severing his connection with Rundell, Bridge and Rundell.
  • Eleventh mark, 2 September 1883. Address: 17 Harrison Street.
  • Twelfth and last mark, 2 September 1833.

Heal records him in partnership with Frisbee and alone at Cock Lane in 1792, and at the other addresses and dates above, except Harrison Street.

Storr married in 1801, Elizabeth Susanna Beyer of the Saxon family of piano and organ builders of Compton Street, by whom he had ten children. He retired in 1838, to live in Hill House in Tooting. He died 18 March 1844 and is buried in the churchyard of St Nicholas, Tooting. His will, proved 3 April 1844, shows an estate of £3,000.

There is a memorial to him at the church of St Mary, Otley, Suffolk put up in 1845 by his son the Rev. Francis Storr, the incumbent.

An example of his work is the cup made for presentation to the British admiral Lord Nelson to mark his victory at the Battle of the Nile.

Items from Storr’s workshops may be seen at Windsor Castle and during the summer opening season at Buckingham Palace. There are significant holdings of items in the National Silver Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum as well as in the Wellington Collection at Apsley House. Outside London there are important works at Brighton Pavilion, at the Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle and at Woburn Abbey. In the United States there are holdings of Paul Storr at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Metropolitan Museum, New York, among others. The Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama has two significant pieces, one of which is illustrated here. In Canada, there are significant pieces in the Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal and the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Australia has holdings at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. In Portugal there is a fascinating group of silver made by Storr at the Casa Museu Medeiros e Almeida, Lisbon, whereas in Russia, at the State Hermitage Museum, there is silver supplied to Tsar Nicholas I and members of the aristocracy by Hunt & Roskell, successors to Storr & Mortimer.

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Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

William Henry Cavendish-Scott-Bentinck 4th Duke of Portland
24 June 1768 – 27 March 1854

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William Henry Cavendish-Scott-Bentinck 4th Duke of Portland

William Henry Cavendish-Scott-Bentinck 4th Duke of Portland was the eldest son of Prime Minister William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland and Lady Dorothy, daughter of William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire and Charlotte Boyle, Baroness Clifford. He was the elder brother of Lord William Bentinck and Lord Charles Bentinck.

He was educated first in Ealing under the tutelage of Samuel Goodenough graduating in 1774, followed by Westminster School (1783). He attended Christ Church, Oxford for two years but did not take a degree. The third Duke, who spared no expense for his heir, sent him to The Hague in 1786 for experience working with the crown’s envoy, Sir James Harris. He returned in 1789.

He later received an honorary Doctor of Civil Law from Oxford in 1793. He also served as a Family Trustee of the British Museum; in 1810, he loaned the famed Portland Vase to the museum.

 

Portland was Member of Parliament for Petersfield between 1790 and 1791 and for Buckinghamshire between 1791 and 1809.

He served under his father as a Lord of the Treasury between March and September 1807. He remained out of office until April 1827 when he was appointed Lord Privy Seal by his brother-in-law George Canning. He was sworn of the Privy Council the same year. When Lord Goderich became Prime Minister in August 1827, Portland became Lord President of the Council, an office he retained until the government fell in January 1828. Over time the Duke became less of a staunch Conservative, softening to some of the more liberal stances of Canning.

Portland also held the honorary post of Lord Lieutenant of Middlesex between 1794 and 1841.

Portland married Henrietta, eldest daughter and heiress of Major-General John Scott of Fife and his wife Margaret (née Dundas), in London on 4 August 1795. At the time of his marriage he obtained Royal Licence to take the name and arms of Scott in addition to that of Cavendish-Bentinck. They were parents of nine children:

  • (William) Henry, Marquess of Titchfield (22 October 1796 – 5 March 1824)
  • Lady Margaret Harriet (21 April 1798 – 9 April 1882)
  • Lady Caroline (6 July 1799 – 23 January 1828)
  • (William) John, Marquess of Titchfield, later 5th Duke of Portland (12 September 1800 – 6 December 1879)
  • (William) George Frederick (27 February 1802 – 21 September 1848)
  • Lord Henry William Bentinck (9 June 1804 – 31 December 1870)
  • Lady Charlotte (14 Jan 1806 – 30 September 1889); married John Evelyn Denison, 1st Viscount Ossington
  • Lady Lucy Joan (27 August 1807 – 29 July 1899); married Charles Ellis, 6th Baron Howard de Walden
  • Lady Mary (8 July 1809 – 20 July 1874); married Sir William Topham

The Duchess of Portland died 24 April 1844. Nearly 10 years later, Portland died at the family seat of Welbeck Abbey, Nottinghamshire, in March 1854, aged 85. Two of their sons predeceased their parents; their eldest dying of a brain lesion and their third son dying of a heart attack.

The duke expressed a desire to be buried in the open churchyard in Bolsover, Derbyshire, near the other family seat at Bolsover Castle. However he was instead interred in the ancient Cavendish vault, that had previously been unopened for 138 years.

He was succeeded in the dukedom by his second but eldest surviving son, William.

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Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Sir Thomas Plumer
10 October 1753 – 5 April 1824

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Thomas Plumer

Sir Thomas Plumer was educated at Eton College and University College, Oxford, where he was Vinerian Scholar in 1777, also entering Lincoln’s Inn and being called to the bar in 1778. He was elected a fellow of University College in 1780 and was awarded the Bachelor of Civil Law degree in 1783.

In 1781, Plumer was appointed a Commissioner in bankruptcy. He acted for the defence in a number of high-profile cases: he defended Sir Thomas Rumbold in 1783, was one of the three counsel for the defence in the Impeachment of Warren Hastings, successfully defended Viscount Melville in his impeachment in 1806, and assisted in the defence of the Princess of Wales in the same year. It was there he later met Stephanie Stephanie Jean.

In 1807, Plumer was appointed Solicitor General in the Duke of Portland’s government, and knighted; a House of Commons seat was found for him in the Wiltshire pocket borough of Downton. He was subsequently promoted to Attorney General in 1812 then, in the legal reorganisation that took place the following year, was elevated to the bench to take up the new post of Vice Chancellor of England. On 6 January 1818 he was appointed Master of the Rolls, and served in that post until his death on 5 April 1824.

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