William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland

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Periods in Office: April 2, 1783December 19, 1783
March 31, 1807October 4, 1809
Predecessors: The Earl of Shelburne
The Lord Grenville
Successors: William Pitt the Younger
Spencer Perceval
Date of Birth: 14 April 1738
Place of Birth: Nottinghamshire
Date of Death: 30 October 1809
Place of Death: Bulstrode, Buckinghamshire
Political Party: Whig, later Tory

William Henry Cavendish Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland, (April 14, 1738 - October 30, 1809) was a British Whig and Tory statesman and Prime Minister. He was known before 1762 by the courtesy title Marquess of Titchfield.

Lord Titchfield, the eldest son of the 2nd Duke of Portland, was educated at Westminster and Christ Church, Oxford and was elected to Parliament in 1761 before entering the Lords when he succeeded his father as Duke of Portland the next year. Associated with the aristocratic Whig party of Lord Rockingham, Portland served as Lord Chamberlain of the Household in Rockingham's first Government (1765-1766), and then as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in Rockingham's second ministry (April-August 1782), but resigned from Lord Shelburne's ministry along with other supporters of Charles James Fox following Rockingham's death.

In April 1783, Portland was brought forward as titular head of a coalition government whose real leaders were Charles James Fox and Lord North. He served as First Lord of the Treasury in this ministry until its fall in December of the same year.

Along with many other conservative Whigs (such as Edmund Burke), Portland was deeply uncomfortable with the French Revolution, and ultimately broke with Fox over this issue, joining Pitt's government as Home Secretary in 1794. He continued to serve in the cabinet until Pitt's death in 1806 - from 1801 to 1805 as Lord President of the Council, and then as a Minister without Portfolio.

When Pitt's supporters returned to power after the collapse of the Ministry of all the Talents in March, 1807, Portland was, once again, an acceptable figurehead for a fractious group of ministers who included George Canning, Lord Castlereagh, Lord Hawkesbury, and Spencer Perceval.

Portland's second government saw England's complete isolation on the continent, but also the beginning of recovery, with the start of the Peninsular War. In late 1809, with Portland's health poor and the ministry rocked by the scandalous duel between Canning and Castlereagh, Portland resigned, dying shortly thereafter.

The Portland Vase was given its name due to it having been owned by Portland.

Portland is a great-great-great-grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II (see Ancestors of Queen Elizabeth II).

The Duke of Portland's First Ministry, April - December 1783

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Arms of William Cavendish-Bentinck

The Duke of Portland's Second Ministry, March 1807 - October 1809

Changes


Preceded by:
The Earl Gower
Lord Chamberlain
1765–1766
Succeeded by:
The Earl of Hertford
Preceded by:
The Earl of Carlisle
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
1782
Succeeded by:
The Earl Temple

Template:Succession box one to two

Preceded by:
Henry Dundas
Home Secretary
1794–1801
Succeeded by:
Lord Pelham
Preceded by:
The Earl of Chatham
Lord President of the Council
1801–1805
Succeeded by:
The Viscount Sidmouth
Preceded by:
Minister without Portfolio
1805–1806
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
The Lord Grenville
Prime Minister
1807–1809
Succeeded by:
Spencer Perceval

Template:End box

Preceded by:
William Bentinck
Duke of Portland Succeeded by:
William Bentinck
sv:William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck, 3:e hertig av Portland
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