William Cavendish, 7th Duke of Devonshire was born 27 April 1808 to William Cavendish (1783-1812) and Louisa O'Callaghan (1779-1863) and died 21 December 1891 Holker Hall, Cumbria, England, United Kingdom of unspecified causes. He married Blanche Georgiana Howard (1812-1840) 6 August 1829 in Devonshire House, Piccadilly, Piccadilly, Greater London, England, United Kingdom.

William Cavendish, 7th Duke of Devonshire, KG, PC (27 April 1808 – 21 December 1891), styled as Lord Cavendish of Keighley between 1831 and 1834 and known as The Earl of Burlington between 1834 and 1858, was the great-grandson of the 4th Duke of Devonshire, grandson of the 1st Earl of Burlington, and son of William Cavendish.

He was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge.[1] He succeeded his grandfather as Earl of Burlington (2nd creation) in 1834 before succeeding his cousin as Duke of Devonshire in 1858. In 1829, he married Blanche Georgiana Howard (11 January 1812 - 27 April 1840), daughter of George Howard and Georgiana Cavendish.

He was Chancellor of the University of London from 1836 to 1856, and then Chancellor of the University of Cambridge from 1861 to 1891. At Cambridge he endowed the building of the Cavendish Laboratory, and it was named after him. He made vast (and ultimately unsuccessful) investments in heavy industry at Barrow-in-Furness, and had his nearby country house Holker Hall rebuilt in its present form after it was gutted by a fire in 1871. The 7th Duke inherited a considerable amount of property in Eastbourne from his grandfather Lord George Augustus Henry Cavendish, and his wife Elizabeth Compton. He saw through the development of Eastbourne in the 19th century with its parks, baths and squares and is commemorated by a statue at the top of Devonshire Place.[2]


Offspring of Blanche Georgiana Howard and William Cavendish, 7th Duke of Devonshire (1808-1891)
Name Birth Death Joined with
William Cavendish (1831-1834)
Spencer Compton Cavendish, 8th Duke of Devonshire (1833-1908) 23 July 1833 Belgrave Square, England, United Kingdom 24 March 1908 Hotel Metropol, Cannes, France Luise Friederike Auguste von Alten (1832-1911)
Louisa Caroline Cavendish (1835-1907) 16 March 1835 21 September 1907 Francis Egerton (1824-1895)
Frederick Charles Cavendish (1836-1882) 30 November 1836 Compton Place, Eastbourne, Sussex, England, United Kingdom 6 May 1882 Phoenix Park, Dublin, Ireland Lucy Caroline Lyttelton (1841-1925)
Edward Cavendish (1838-1891) 28 January 1838 Belgrave Square, Greater London, England, United Kingdom 18 May 1891 Emma Elizabeth Lascelles (1838-1920)

The Duke's three surviving sons became Members of Parliament: the eldest, known after 1858 by the courtesy title the Marquess of Hartington, MP for Lancashire North 1857–91, led the Liberal Party and was asked three times to be Prime Minister by Queen Victoria (he succeeded his father as 8th Duke in 1891); Lord Frederick Cavendish was MP for the West Riding of Yorkshire and Chief Secretary for Ireland and was assassinated in 1882; Lord Edward Cavendish was MP for West Derbyshire. He also had one son, Hon. William (8 October 1831 – 15 May 1834) who died as an infant, and a daughter, Lady Louisa Caroline (d. 21 September 1907), who married Adm. Hon. Francis Egerton and had issue.

Footnotes (including sources)

‡ General
₪ Wedding
  • Was in Middlesex in those days.

Robin Patterson


  1. ^ Cavendish, William in Venn, J. & J. A., Alumni Cantabrigienses, Cambridge University Press, 10 vols, 1922–1958.
  2. ^ Eastbourne Web - A short history of Eastbourne

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
The Viscount Palmerston
Sir Nicholas Conyngham Tindal
Member of Parliament for Cambridge University
With: The Viscount Palmerston
Succeeded by
Henry Goulburn
William Yates Peel
Preceded by
Francis Jeffrey
Henry Gally Knight
Member of Parliament for Malton
With: Henry Gally Knight
Succeeded by
Henry Gally Knight
Charles Pepys
New constituency Member of Parliament for North Derbyshire
With: Thomas Gisborne
Succeeded by
Thomas Gisborne
Lord George Henry Cavendish
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Ellesmere
Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire
Succeeded by
The Earl of Sefton
Preceded by
The 6th Duke of Devonshire
Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire
Succeeded by
The 8th Duke of Devonshire
Academic offices
New title Chancellor of the University of London
Succeeded by
Earl Granville
Preceded by
The Prince Consort
Chancellor of the University of Cambridge
1861 – 1891
Succeeded by
The 8th Duke of Devonshire
Peerage of England
Preceded by
William Cavendish
Duke of Devonshire
Succeeded by
Spencer Cavendish
Preceded by
George Cavendish
Earl of Burlington

NAME Devonshire, William Cavendish, 7th Duke Of
DATE OF BIRTH 27 April 1808
DATE OF DEATH 21 December 1891

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