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Lord Charles Bentinck

Lieutenant-Colonel Lord William Charles Augustus Cavendish-Bentinck (3 October 1780 – 28 April 1826), known as Lord Charles Bentinck, was a British soldier and politician and a great-great-grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II.

Lord Charles Cavendish-Bentinck
Treasurer of the Household
In office
29 July 1812 (1812-07-29) – 28 April 1826 (1826-04-28)
Prime MinisterThe Earl of Liverpool
Preceded byViscount Jocelyn
Succeeded bySir William Henry Fremantle
Personal details
Lord William Charles Augustus Cavendish-Bentinck

(1780-10-03)3 October 1780
Welbeck Abbey, Nottinghamshire
Died28 April 1826(1826-04-28) (aged 45)
Mayfair, London
  • Georgiana Seymour
    (m. 1808; her death 1813)
  • Anne Wellesley (m. 1816)
Children4, including Charles


Bentinck was the third son of British Prime Minister William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland and Lady Dorothy (1750–1794), only daughter of Prime Minister William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire. William Bentinck, 4th Duke of Portland, and Lord William Bentinck were his elder brothers.[1]

Political careerEdit

Bentinck was returned to Parliament for Ashburton in 1806, a seat he held until 1812.[2] He served under the Earl of Liverpool as Treasurer of the Household between 1812[3] and 1826.


Bentinck married, firstly, Georgiana Augusta Frederica Seymour (baptized Elliott) (1782 – 10 December 1813), daughter of the courtesan Grace Elliott on 21 September 1808; she was said to be a daughter of the Prince of Wales or of the 4th Earl of Cholmondeley, both men claiming her paternity.[4] They had one daughter, who was raised after Georgiana's death by Lord Cholmondeley at Cholmondeley Castle:

  • Hon. Georgiana Augusta Frederica Henrietta Cavendish Bentinck (21 August 1811[5][6] – 12 September 1883), died unmarried[1][7]

The marriage enabled Bentinck to become Treasurer of the Household in 1812, a position he held till death, despite his involvement in a notorious divorce suit and his subsequent remarriage.[8]

In 1815, Bentinck eloped with his mistress, Anne, Lady Abdy, natural daughter of Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley by Hyacinthe-Gabrielle Roland. Lady Abdy was the wife of Bentinck's friend Sir William Abdy, 7th Baronet. Following the elopement, Lady Abdy was divorced by her husband; she and Bentinck were married on 16 July 1816. They had four children:

Abdy-Cavendish divorceEdit

Anne and Lord Charles became lovers at some point during her first marriage. They eloped on 5 September 1815, following which Abdy brought a suit for criminal conversation (crim.con. in Regency parlance) for 30,000 pounds but won only 7,000 pounds in damages. (These damages were never paid by the impecunious Bentinck). During the discussion of the divorce bill, the customary provision against remarriage was struck out in the House of Lords. Lady Abdy (or rather, her husband Sir William Abdy) was granted a divorce on 25 June 1816. Anne and Lord William were married on 23 July 1816, enabling their first child (which she was expecting) to be born legitimate three weeks later.[9]

Bentinck collapsed and died suddenly at age 45 while undressing at his apartment in Park Lane, and was quickly discovered by his footman. Dr. Sir Henry Halford diagnosed a blood aneurysm as cause of death.[10] His wife survived him by almost 50 years and died in March 1875.[1]



  1. ^ a b c d Mosley, Charles, ed. (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knighthood (107 ed.). Burke's Peerage & Gentry. pp. 3183–3184. ISBN 0-9711966-2-1.
  2. ^ House of Commons: Arundel to Ayrshire South
  3. ^ "No. 16632". The London Gazette. 11 August 1812. p. 1579.
  4. ^ R.G. Thorne, [1] "CAVENDISH BENTINCK, Lord William Charles Augustus (1780–1826)" reference in his biographical entry pp. 421–422 to his wife's parentage, in his book The House of Commons, see p. 421. Referenced through Google Books, 17 November 2012
  5. ^ England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538–1975
  6. ^ London, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538–1812
  7. ^ England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858–1995
  8. ^ Thorne, see above
  9. ^ R.G. Thorne, p. 422.
  10. ^ "Sudden Death of Lord Charles Bentinck". Sussex Advertiser. 8 May 1826. p. 4. Retrieved 26 February 2019.

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