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William Spencer Cavendish, sixth Duke ofDevonshire - on Oak Stairs at ChatsworthPhoto © A Knowles (2014)Profile
William Spencer Cavendish, 6th Duke of Devonshire (21 May 1790 - 18 January 1858), was known as the Bachelor Duke, bereason he never married. He was a patron of the Whigs, yet his taking in passions were even more cultural than political via deep interests in horticulture, literature, science and also sculpture.

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William Spencer Cavendish was born in Paris on 21 May 1790, the long-awaited kid and also heir of William Cavendish, fifth Fight It Out of Devonshire, and also his initially wife, Lady Georgiana Spencer. He had 2 older sisters, Georgiana (1783-1858) and Harriet (1785-1862). His family called him Hart (as I have throughout this post), an abbreviation of his title, the Marquess of Hartington, which he provided from birth until he ended up being Battle Each Other. Hart was baptised at St George’s Hanover Square on 21 May 1791.
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Bust of William Cavendish, sixth Fight It Out of Devonshirein Sculpture Gallery, Chatsworth© A Knowles (2014)
Two years without a mother

The connection in between Hart’s paleas was incredibly strained. They resided in a starray ménage à trois via Georgiana’s intimate frifinish, Lady Elizabeth Foster, who was additionally the Duke’s mistress and anxiety. Without a doubt, rumours circulated from time to time that Lady Elizabeth was really Hart’s mother.
Georgiana’s astronomical gambling debts endangered her marital relationship, however it was her affair via Charles Grey, later on second Earl Grey, which lugged points to a head. Georgiana became pregnant with Grey’s child and also the Battle Each Other sent her abroad in disgrace. She provided birth to her daughter Eliza in February 1792, yet she was not enabled to rerotate home until the following autumn.
For two years, Hart and his sisters were left under the care of their governess, Selina Trimmer. When Georgiana reverted, the three-and-a-half-year-old Hart did not recognise his mommy and also screamed once she tried to touch him. It later on transpired that he was profoundly deaf – the result of an infection he had actually contracted whilst she was awide. Georgiana felt so guilty for being away that she was inclined to spoil her kid.
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Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, and childafter the painting by Sir Joshua Reynoldsfrom The Two Duchesses (1898)

As a boy, Hart was temperamental and also isolated, and also his mommy deplored the fact that he seemed to favor the firm of servants. He was educated at Harrowhead School before going approximately Trinity College, Cambridge. He ongoing to shy ameans from physical contact and was inclined to hysterics if his sisters teased him.
Hart was very attached to his cousin, Lady Caroline Ponsonby, and was distraught once she married William Lamb, the future Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne, in 1805. It was, but, the act of allowing his mommy to comfort him that establimelted a friendship in between them that had actually been doing not have.
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Lady Caroline Lambfrom Wives of the Prime Ministers (1844-1906)

After Georgiana’s death in March 1806, Hart and also his sisters deeply resented Lady Elizabeth Foster taking their mother’s location and her eventual marriage via their father in October 1809. In later years, however, the brand-new Duchess seemed to reacquire the influence which she had possessed over Hart as a son.
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Lady Elizabeth Foster, later Duchess of Devonshire,in South Sketch Gallery, Chatsworth

Hart ended up being the sixth Fight It Out of Devonshire on the fatality of his father on 29 July 1811, at the age of 21. He inherited eight residences, including Chatsworth, Devonshire Housage, Hardwick Hall and also Chiswick, and about 200,000 acres of land. He took his family obligations extremely seriously and continued to pay off his mother’s debts.
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The Oak Stairs, Chatsworth © A Knowles (2014)
Politics
Hart was a Whig and a reformist, however more via patronage than from an active political career in the Housage of Lords as he was impeded by his deafness.
He was appointed Ambassador Extraplain to the Russian Empire and also checked out St Petersburg in 1826 for the corocountry of Tsar Nicholas I and also was decorated via the orders of St Anattracted and also St Alexander Nevsky in recognition of the £26,000 of his own money he invested on the occasion.
Hart was sworn in as a member of the Privy Council in April 1827 and was Lord Chamberlain to George IV (1827-8) and William IV (1830-4). He took over from his father as Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire in 1811, a place he organized until his fatality.
Hart was a friend of the Prince Regent, later George IV, and also lugged the orb at his corocountry in 1821.
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George IV in his corocountry robesfrom An authentic background of the coronationof His Majesty, King George the Fourth by Robert Huish (1821)

After his disappointment over Lady Caro Ponsonby, Hart did not embark upon any type of serious courtship – at leastern not one that is mentioned in any type of of my chief resources. He did, but, show up to have had at least one mistress. He had actually a mystery, ten-year connection with Eliza Warwick from 1827, yet bit is known about her. It has actually been argued that Hart abandoned Eliza after his conversion to Evangelical Christianity.
Hart employed the architect Sir Jeffry Wyatville to modernise and also extend Chatsworth. He built a magnificent oak stairsituation resulting in the new north wing which had a Dining Room, Orangery, personal Theatre and Sculpture Gallery. He likewise turned the Long Gallery into the Library and included ground floor windows to the Painted Gallery.
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The Library, Chatsworth © A Knowles (2014)
Redecorating Chiswick
In the 1840s, Hart lavishly redecorated the interiors of Chiswick House, making use of the firm of Crace & Son. His sister Harriet exclaimed:
Sadly, the decorations were left to decay and also the eastern and west wings were demolimelted in the 1950s. You can check out a description of the decorations on the Chiswick House website.
Hart made Joseph Paxton Head Gardener at Chatsworth and also with his help, he reoccurred the gardens. Hart was very fond of travelling and also in 1838, Paxton accompanied him on a Grand Tour of Europe. He constructed the Rockery at Chatsworth to imitate the alpine scenery. He also built the Emperor Fountain, which have the right to climb to the elevation of 90 metres, and also the Grand also Conservatory – the forerunner of Paxton’s Crystal Palace, developed for the Great Exhibition of 1851.
Hart was President of the Royal Hortisocial Society (1838-58) and also the Cavendish banana is named for him.
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The Emperor Fountain, Chatsworth © A Knowles (2014)
Hart the collector
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The Sculpture Gallery, Chatsworth © A Knowles (2014)
Hart was an excellent collector – of minerals, coins, medals, sculpture and also publications. He bought numerous complete libraries, consisting of those of Thomas Dampier, Bishop of Ely, the Battle Each Other of Roxburghe, and also John Kemble. His papers encompass correspondence with several authors consisting of Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins and also William Makepeace Thackeray.
He was passionate about marble and also formed a great friendship via the sculptor Antonio Canova. The Sculpture Gallery was produced to display screen his arsenal of contemporary sculpture and is presided over by busts of Canova and Hart.
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Bust of Canova in Sculpture Gallery, Chatsworth© A Knowles (2014)

Hart was likewise very interested in the history of his household and also of their chateaus at Chatsworth and also Hardwick. In 1844, he privately publimelted the first volume of a book called Handbook to Chatsworth and Hardwick, written in the first perchild to his sister, Harriet, Countess Granville.
Hart’s expensive actions of structure, collecting and also travelling came through a price. He ran up comprehensive debts and also was obliged to sell some of his manors to work out them.

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Hart endured a paralytic seizure in 1854 and passed away at Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire on 18 January 1858. He was buried at Edensor, Derbyshire.
He was thrived by his initially cousin, once rerelocated, one more William Cavendish, second Earl of Burlington (1808-1891).2
1. From the Chiswick House webwebsite (check out connect below).2. The 7th Duke"s father, yet one more William Cavendish (1783-1812), was Hart"s initially cousin, and also he would certainly have inherited if he had actually not already died.
Cavendish, Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire and others, The Two Duchesses, Family Correspondence, ed by Vere Foster (Blackie & Son, 1898, London)
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