Henry Bentinck, 1st Duke of Portland

Henry Bentinck, 1st Duke of Portland (17 March 1682 – 4 July 1726), of Titchfield, Hampshire, styled Viscount Woodstock from 1689 until 1709, was a British Whig politician who sat in the English and British House of Commons from 1705 until 1709 when he succeeded to the peerage as Earl of Portland. He was Governor of Jamaica from 1721 to 1726.

The Duke of Portland
Member of Parliament for Southampton
In office
Member of Parliament for Hampshire
In office
Governor of Jamaica
In office
Personal details
Born(1682-03-17)17 March 1682
Died4 July 1726(1726-07-04) (aged 44)
Spanish Town, Jamaica
Resting placeWestminster Abbey
Political partyWhig
Spouse(s)Lady Elizabeth Noel
Children7, including William and George
Parent(s)William Bentinck, 1st Earl of Portland
Anne Villiers

Early lifeEdit

Bentinck was the second, but eldest surviving, son of William Bentinck, 1st Earl of Portland, and his wife Anne née Villiers. His mother was from the Villiers family, the eldest daughter of Sir Edward Villiers and sister of Edward Villiers, 1st Earl of Jersey. From 1702 to 1703, Bentinck did the Grand Tour around Europe, travelling through Italy and Germany with his tutor, the historian Paul de Rapin. On 9 June 1704, he married Lady Elizabeth Noel, daughter of Wriothesley Baptist Noel, 2nd Earl of Gainsborough and Catherine Greville at Chiswick, an heiress with a fortune of £60,000, who brought him the estate of Titchfield in Hampshire.[1]


At the 1705 English general election, Bentinck was returned in a contest as Whig Member of Parliament for Southampton. Apart from carrying out minor functions, he appears to have been inactive in Parliament. At the 1708 British general election, he was returned unopposed for Southampton and in a contest at Hampshire, and opted to sit for Hampshire. He acted as a teller for the Whigs. He succeeded his father as Earl of Portland on 23 November 1709 and vacated his seat in the House of Commons to sit in the Lords. He now owned the principal family seat of Bulstrode in Berkshire, and also inherited estates worth about £850,150 in Cheshire, Cumberland, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Sussex, Westminster and Yorkshire, In 1710, he was appointed Colonel of the 1st Troop of Horse Guards until 1713. He was created Marquess of Titchfield and Duke of Portland on 6 July 1716.[1] In 1719 he was one of main subscribers in the Royal Academy of Music (1719), a corporation that produced baroque opera on stage.[2] He was appointed Lord of the Bedchamber in 1717 and held the post for the rest of hislife.

Portland lost a huge amount of money in the South Sea Bubble in 1720. In 1721, he accepted the post of Governor of Jamaica,[1] which was a lucrative but not a very prestigious post, and one with a low survival rate.

Death and legacyEdit

Portland died in Jamaica at Spanish Town on 4 July 1726, aged 45, and his body was returned to England for burial. He was interred on 3 November 1796[3] in Westminster Abbey in the vault of the Dukes of Ormond located in the King Henry VII Chapel. Portland and his wife had three sons and seven daughters,[1] who included


  1. ^ a b c d "BENTINCK, Henry, Visct. Woodstock (c.1682-1726), of Titchfield, Hants". History of Parliament Online.
  2. ^ a b "Biography of [William] Henry Bentinck, 1st Duke of Portland (1682–1726)". University of Nottingham.
  3. ^ Chester, Joseph (1876). The Marriage, Baptismal, and Burial Registers of the Collegiate Church or Abbey of St. Peter, Westminster. London. p. 319.

External linksEdit

Parliament of England
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Southampton
With: Adam de Cardonnel
Succeeded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Parliament of England
Member of Parliament for Southampton
With: Adam de Cardonnel
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Hampshire
With: Marquess of Winchester
Succeeded by
Military offices
Preceded by Captain and Colonel of
His Majesty's Own Troop of Horse Guards

Succeeded by
Government offices
Preceded by Governor of Jamaica
Succeeded by
Peerage of Great Britain
New creation Duke of Portland
Succeeded by
Peerage of England
Preceded by Earl of Portland
Succeeded by