Sunday, 4 July 2021

1st Duke of Portland


WILLIAM BENTINCK (1649-1709), KG, son of Bernard, Baron Bentinck of Diepenheim, Overijssel, first page of honour, and subsequently confidential adviser of William, Prince of Orange, accompanied his royal master into England, and, after the accession of that prince to the British throne, was sworn of the Privy Council, appointed Groom of the Stole, and First Gentleman of the Bedchamber, and created a peer of England, 1689, in the dignities of Baron Cirencester, Viscount Woodstock, and Earl of Portland.

1st Earl of Portland, Photo Credit: The National Trust

His lordship had the command of the Dutch regiment of Horseguards, and took a distinguished part as Lieutenant-General at the battle of the Boyne.

In 1697, Lord Portland was installed a Knight of the Garter.

He married firstly, Anne, daughter of Sir Edward Villiers, and sister of Edward, Earl of Jersey, and had issue,
HENRY, his successor;
Mary; Anna Margaretha; Frances Wilhelmina; Eleonora Sophia; Isabella.
His lordship wedded secondly, Jane, Dowager Lady Berkeley, sixth daughter of Sir John Temple Bt, and had further issue,
Charles John;
Sophia; Elizabeth Adriana; Harriet; Barbara.
The 1st Earl was succeeded by his eldest son,

HENRY, 2nd Earl (1682-1726), who was created, in 1716, Marquess of Titchfield and DUKE OF PORTLAND.

His Grace married, in 1704, the Lady Elizabeth Noel, eldest daughter and co-heir of Wriothesley, 2nd Earl of Gainsborough, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his successor;George;
Anne; Isabella; Amelia.
The 1st Duke died in Jamaica, and was succeeded by his elder son,

WILLIAM, 2nd Duke, KG (1709-62), who wedded, in 1734, the Lady Margaret Cavendish Harley, only daughter and heir of Edward, 2nd Earl of Oxford, and had issue,
WILLIAM HENRY, his successor;
Edward Charles;
Elizabeth; Henrietta; Margaret; Frances.
His Grace was succeeded by his elder son,

WILLIAM HENRY, 3rd Duke (1738-1809), KG, a distinguished statesman during the eventual reign of GEORGE III.

His Grace was constituted Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1782.

He filled subsequently some of the highest political offices, and was twice Prime Minister.

The 3rd Duke espoused, in 1766, the Lady Dorothy Cavendish, only daughter of William, 4th Duke of Devonshire, and had issue,
WILLIAM HENRY, his successor;
William Henry;
Charlotte; Mary.
His Grace was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM HENRY, 4th Duke 1768-1854), married, in 1795, Henrietta, eldest daughter and co-heir of Major-General John Scott, of Balcromie, Fife, and had issue,
William Henry (1796-1824);
WILLIAM JOHN, his successor;
George Frederick;
Henry William;
Margaret Harriett; Caroline; Charlotte; Lucy; Mary.
His Grace was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

WILLIAM JOHN, 5th Duke (1800-79), MP for King's Lynn, 1824-26.

On succeeding to the Dukedom, the 5th Duke became increasingly reclusive and eccentric.

A book was written about him and his time at Welbeck Abbey in 1997, entitled The Underground Man, by Mick Jackson.

His Grace died unmarried, and was succeeded by his cousin,

WILLIAM JOHN ARTHUR CHARLES JAMES, 6th Duke (1857-1943), KG, GCVO, who wedded, in 1889, Winifred Anna, only daughter of Thomas Dallas-Yorke, of Walmsgate, Lincolnshire, and had issue,
WILLIAM ARTHUR HENRY, his successor;
(Francis) Morven Dallas;
Victoria Alexandrina Violet.
His Grace was succeeded by his elder son,

WILLIAM ARTHUR HENRY, 7th Duke (1893-1977), who wedded, in 1915, Ivy, second daughter and co-heir of Colonel the Hon Charles Henry Maynard, only son of Henry, 3rd Viscount Maynard, and had issue, two daughters,
Alexandra Margaret Anne;
Victoria Margaret.
His Grace died without male issue, and was succeeded by his cousin,

FERDINAND WILLIAM, 8th Duke (1888-1980), KBE, CMG, MC, who espoused firstly, in 1912, Wentworth Frances, second daughter of William James Hope-Johnstone; and secondly, in 1950, Gwyneth Ethel, daughter of John Wesley Edward, of Chettlewood Estate and Jamaica, though the marriages were without issue.

His Grace was succeeded by his brother,

VICTOR FREDERICK WILLIAM, 9th Duke (1897-1990), CMG, who wedded firstly, in 1924, Clothilde Bruce, daughter of James Bruce Quigley, of Dallas, Texas, USA, and had issue,
William James (1925-66);
Mary Jane.
His Grace espoused secondly, in 1948, Mrs Kathleen Elsie Tillotson, without issue.

Following the death of the 9th Duke, the dukedom of Portland and the marquessate of Titchfield expired.

The 9th and last Duke was succeeded as Earl of Portland etc. by a distant kinsman, Henry Noel Bentinck, who succeeded as 11th Earl of Portland.

Former seats ~ Bolsover Castle, Derbyshire; Welbeck Abbey, Nottinghamshire; Bulstrode Park, Nottinghamshire; Bothal Castle, Northumberland.

Former London residence ~ Portland House.

 First published in July, 2017. 

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