William Cavendish-Bentinck, 7th Duke of Portland

William Arthur Henry Cavendish-Bentinck, 7th Duke of Portland, KG (16 March 1893 – 21 March 1977), styled Marquess of Titchfield until 1943, was a British peer and Conservative politician.

The Duke of Portland

Portrait by Philip de László, 1914
Born(1893-03-16)16 March 1893
Mayfair, London, England
Died21 March 1977(1977-03-21) (aged 84)
Welbeck Abbey, Nottinghamshire, England
(m. 1915)



Portland was the elder son of William Cavendish-Bentinck, 6th Duke of Portland, and his wife, Winifred Anna (née Dallas-Yorke). He was elected to the House of Commons as Member of Parliament (MP) for Newark in 1922, a seat he held until he succeeded his father in the dukedom in 1943, and served as a Junior Lord of the Treasury under Stanley Baldwin from 1927 to 1929 and under Ramsay MacDonald in 1932. He also held the honorary posts of Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire between 1939 and 1962 and was the second Chancellor of the University of Nottingham between 1954 and 1971. In 1948 he was made a Knight Companion of the Garter. He also held the appointment of the honorary air commodore of No. 616 Squadron RAF.[1]

Marriage and children


Portland married Ivy Gordon-Lennox, daughter of Colonel Lord Algernon Charles Gordon-Lennox and granddaughter of Charles Gordon-Lennox, 6th Duke of Richmond, on 12 August 1915. They had two daughters:[2]

He died in March 1977, aged 84, and was interred at the traditional burial place of the Dukes of Portland, in the churchyard of St Winifred's Church at Holbeck.

He was succeeded in the dukedom by his third cousin Ferdinand Cavendish-Bentinck. The subsidiary title Baron Bolsover became extinct on the death.

The heir to the Duke's titles was a distant cousin. Rather than allow the entailed estates to pass with the titles, the Duke arranged to break the entails and thus enrich his own daughters while permanently denuding the titles of both wealth and long-standing rootedness in land and country. The family seat of Welbeck Abbey passed to his elder daughter, Lady Anne, who never married; upon her death, it passed to the son of her deceased younger sister, Lady Margaret, who had died in 1955 aged 36. Lady Margaret had been married to Don Gaetano Parente, Principe di Castel Viscardo, Italy. Her son, named William Henry Marcello Parente (born 18 February 1951), inherited the estates and later served as High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire in 2003.[3] Meanwhile, the 8th Duke of Portland, who had inherited the titles, continued to live very modestly in Nairobi.

Portland was a second cousin of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.



Little is published of his wealth. His probate was sworn in 1977 at £4,391,478 (equivalent to about £34,500,000 in 2023), three times that of his father's assets passing at point of death (in real terms).[4]




Coat of arms of William Cavendish-Bentinck, 7th Duke of Portland
The title Duke of Portland was created by George I in 1716 .
A Coronet of a Duke
Out of a ducal coronet proper two arms counter-embowed vested Gules, on the hands gloves Or, each holding an ostrich feather Argent (Bentinck); A snake nowed proper (Cavendish)
Quarterly: 1st and 4th, Azure a cross moline Argent (Bentinck); 2nd and 3rd, Sable three stags' heads cabossed Argent attired Or, a crescent for difference (Cavendish)
Two lions double queued, the dexter Or and the sinister sable
Craignez Honte (Fear Dishonour)


  1. ^ Pitchfork, Graham. The RAF's first jet squadron: 616 (South Yorkshire) History 1938–57, pp. 124–125.
  2. ^ The Peerage, entry for 7th Duke of Portland
  3. ^ The Peerage, entry for Lady Victoria Margaret Cavendish-Bentinck
  4. ^ https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk Calendar of Probates and Administrations
  • http://www.nottshistory.org.uk/portland1907/portland1.htm "The Portland Peerage Romance (1907)"
  • https://web.archive.org/web/20130113035008/http://www.angelfire.com/in/heinbruins/Bentinck.html "The Descendants of Willem Bentinck and Charlotte Aldenburg"
  • Michael Rhodes "High Sheriffs for 2003-4" alt.talk.royalty, 21 March 2003
  • Kidd, Charles, Williamson, David (editors). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (1990 edition). New York: St Martin's Press, 1990, [page needed]
  • Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages [self-published source] [better source needed]
  • Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs
  • Lundy, Darryl. "FAQ". The Peerage.[unreliable source]
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Newark
Succeeded by
Honorary titles
Preceded by Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire
Succeeded by
Academic offices
Preceded by Chancellor of the University of Nottingham
Succeeded by
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by Duke of Portland
Succeeded by
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Baron Bolsover