William Spencer Cavendish, 6th Duke ofDevonshire - top top Oak Stairs at ChatsworthPhoto © A Knowles (2014)Profile
William Spencer Cavendish, sixth Duke the Devonshire (21 might 1790 - 18 January 1858), was known as the Bachelor Duke, due to the fact that he never married. He to be a patron of the Whigs, yet his absorbing passions to be more social than political with deep understand in horticulture, literature, science and also sculpture.

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William Spencer Cavendish was born in Paris on 21 might 1790, the long-awaited son and heir of wilhelm Cavendish, fifth Duke the Devonshire, and his first wife, Lady Georgiana Spencer. He had two older sisters, Georgiana (1783-1858) and also Harriet (1785-1862). His family referred to as him Hart (as I have actually throughout this post), one abbreviation that his title, the Marquess of Hartington, which he offered from birth till he became Duke. Hart to be baptised at St George’s Hanover Square on 21 may 1791.
Bust of william Cavendish, sixth Duke of Devonshirein Sculpture Gallery, Chatsworth© A Knowles (2014)
Two years without a mother

The relationship between Hart’s parental was an extremely strained. They stayed in a strange ménage à trois through Georgiana’s intimate friend, Lady Elizabeth Foster, who was also the Duke’s mistress. Indeed, rumours circulated from time to time that Lady Elizabeth was really Hart’s mother.
Georgiana’s vast gambling debts endangered her marriage, however it was she affair with Charles Grey, later 2nd Earl Grey, which lugged things come a head. Georgiana came to be pregnant v Grey’s child and the duke sent her overseas in disgrace. She provided birth to she daughter Eliza in February 1792, but she to be not permitted to return residence until the complying with autumn.
For two years, Hart and also his sisters were left under the treatment of your governess, Selina Trimmer. When Georgiana returned, the three-and-a-half-year-old Hart did not recognise his mother and screamed once she tried to touch him. It later on transpired the he to be profoundly hearing disabled – the result of an epidemic he had contracted whilst she was abroad. Georgiana felt for this reason guilty because that being away that she was inclined come spoil her son.
Georgiana, Duchess that Devonshire, and also childafter the painting by sir Joshua Reynoldsfrom The 2 Duchesses (1898)

As a boy, Hart was temperamental and isolated, and also his mother deplored the fact that he appeared to choose the agency of servants. He was educated in ~ Harrow School prior to going approximately Trinity College, Cambridge. He ongoing to shy far from physical contact and also was inclined to hysterics if his sisters teased him.
Hart was an extremely attached to his cousin, Lady Caroline Ponsonby, and also was distraught when she married william Lamb, the future prime Minister, lord Melbourne, in 1805. That was, however, the plot of enabling his mom to comfort him that created a friendship in between them that had actually been lacking.
Lady Caroline Lambfrom Wives of the element Ministers (1844-1906)

After Georgiana’s fatality in march 1806, Hart and also his sisters deeply resented Lady Elizabeth Foster acquisition their mother’s place and her eventual marriage with their father in October 1809. In later years, however, the brand-new Duchess appeared to regain the affect which she had possessed end Hart together a child.
Lady Elizabeth Foster, later on Duchess the Devonshire,in South map out Gallery, Chatsworth

Hart ended up being the 6th Duke that Devonshire ~ above the death of his dad on 29 July 1811, at the period of 21. He inherited eight houses, consisting of Chatsworth, Devonshire House, Hardwick Hall and also Chiswick, and also around 200,000 acres of land. He took his household responsibilities an extremely seriously and continued come pay turn off his mother’s debts.
The Oak Stairs, Chatsworth © A Knowles (2014)
Hart was a Whig and also a reformist, but an ext through patronage than from an active political career in the residence of Lords as he was impeded through his deafness.
He was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary to the Russian Empire and also visited St Petersburg in 1826 for the coronation the Tsar Nicholas I and was decorated v the assignment of St Andrew and also St Alexander Nevsky in acknowledgment of the £26,000 of his own money he spent on the occasion.
Hart to be sworn in together a member of the Privy council in April 1827 and also was mr Chamberlain come George IV (1827-8) and also William IV (1830-4). The took over from his father as Lord sublievenant of Derbyshire in 1811, a position he organized until his death.
Hart to be a friend of the Prince Regent, later on George IV, and carried the orb in ~ his coronation in 1821.
George IV in his coronation robesfrom one authentic history of the coronationof His Majesty, King George the fourth by Robert Huish (1821)

After his disappointment end Lady Caro Ponsonby, Hart did no embark upon any kind of serious courtship – at the very least not one the is stated in any of my chief sources. He did, however, appear to have had at the very least one mistress. He had a secret, ten-year partnership with Eliza Warwick indigenous 1827, but tiny is known about her. It has actually been argued that Hart exit Eliza ~ his conversion to Evangelical Christianity.
Hart work the architect teacher Jeffry Wyatville to modernise and also extend Chatsworth. He built a magnificent oak staircase causing the new north wing which contained a Dining Room, Orangery, personal Theatre and Sculpture Gallery. He additionally turned the lengthy Gallery right into the Library and added ground floor home windows to the Painted Gallery.
The Library, Chatsworth © A Knowles (2014)
Redecorating Chiswick
In the 1840s, Hart luxury redecorated the interiors that Chiswick House, making use of the certain of Crace & Son. His sister Harriet exclaimed:
Sadly, the decorations to be left to decay and also the east and also west wings to be demolished in the 1950s. You have the right to read a description of the decorations on the Chiswick residence website.
Hart made Joseph Paxton Head Gardener at Chatsworth and also with his help, the redeveloped the gardens. Hart was really fond of travelling and also in 1838, Paxton accompanied that on a Grand tour of Europe. He developed the Rockery in ~ Chatsworth come imitate the alpine scenery. He also built the Emperor Fountain, which deserve to rise come the elevation of 90 metres, and also the grand Conservatory – the forerunner of Paxton’s decision Palace, built for the good Exhibition the 1851.
Hart was President that the royal Horticultural society (1838-58) and the Cavendish banana is named for him.
The Emperor Fountain, Chatsworth © A Knowles (2014)
Hart the collector
The Sculpture Gallery, Chatsworth © A Knowles (2014)
Hart to be a good collector – the minerals, coins, medals, sculpture and books. He bought several finish libraries, including those of cutting board Dampier, Bishop the Ely, the duke of Roxburghe, and John Kemble. His documents include correspondence with number of authors consisting of Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins and also William Makepeace Thackeray.
He was passionate about marble and also formed a an excellent friendship with the sculptor Antonio Canova. The Sculpture gallery was created to display his arsenal of modern-day sculpture and is presided end by busts of Canova and Hart.
Bust the Canova in Sculpture Gallery, Chatsworth© A Knowles (2014)

Hart to be also very interested in the history of his family and also of their mansions at Chatsworth and Hardwick. In 1844, he privately published the first volume the a book called Handbook come Chatsworth and also Hardwick, created in the first person to his sister, Harriet, Countess Granville.
Hart’s expensive behavior of building, collecting and travelling came through a cost. He ran up comprehensive debts and also was obliged to market some that his chateaus to clear up them.

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Hart endured a paralytic seizure in 1854 and also died at Hardwick room in Derbyshire on 18 January 1858. That was hidden at Edensor, Derbyshire.
He was flourished by his first cousin, once removed, another William Cavendish, second Earl of Burlington (1808-1891).2
1. Indigenous the Chiswick home website (see connect below).2. The 7th Duke"s father, yet another William Cavendish (1783-1812), was Hart"s first cousin, and also he would have inherited if he had not currently died.
Cavendish, Georgiana, Duchess the Devonshire and also others, The two Duchesses, family Correspondence, ed by Vere Foster (Blackie & Son, 1898, London)