Devonshire, William Cavendish, 4th duke of

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Devonshire, William Cavendish, 4th duke of (1720–64). Cavendish came from a highly political Whig family. He entered Parliament at the age of 21 for Derbyshire, when his father was lord-lieutenant of Ireland, and supported the Pelhams. In 1751 he was called up to the Lords in his father's barony as Lord Cavendish and succeeded as duke in 1755. After serving as master of the horse 1751–5, he was made lord-lieutenant of Ireland. In the crisis of 1756, conciliatory and trusted, he was given the Garter and became 1st lord of the Treasury with Pitt as the driving force. When Pitt was obliged to come to terms with Newcastle, Devonshire was moved to be lord chamberlain 1757–62. In the new reign he and his Whig colleagues resented the ascendancy of Bute. After Newcastle resigned, Devonshire refused to attend councils and in November 1762 was dismissed by George III and his name removed from the Privy Council. Newcastle was scandalized at such treatment of a Whig grandee. Devonshire's early death, caused by a brain tumour, robbed the Whigs of a future leader.

J. A. Cannon