William Cavendish
4th Duke of Devonshire

Brief History
William was a reluctant PM. He came from a Whig family that had done a great deal to make the Hanover family welcome in Britain. George II had to persuade this reluctant politician to come to power in 1756, although actually he was little more than a front man for his Secretary of State Pitt the Elder. The start of the Seven Years War was to be the seminal event of his tenure. Two events from this war in particular would be his chief concerns namely the court martialling of navy admiral Byng for his failure to relieve Minorca, and a dispute with the Duke of Cumberland over the defence of Hanover. Devonshire resigned after a lacklustre seven months. In 1764 he died in Germany, at a younger age than any other British PM at just 44 years old.
William Cavendish
Date of Birth
William Cavendish (3rd Duke) and Catherine Hoskins
Marital Status
Married Charlotte Boyle in 1748
1751 - 3 Privy Councillor
1751 - 5 Master of the Horse
1754 - 5, 1761 - 3 Lord Treasurer of Ireland
1755 - 6 Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
1756 - 64 Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire
1756 - 7 First Lord of the Treasury
1757 - 62 Lord Chamberlain
2nd October 1764
Suggested Reading
British Politics and Society from Walpole to Pitt
Black, J.
Horace Walpole: Memoirs of King George II
Brooke, J.
The Devonshire Diary: William Cavendish
Brown, P. and Schweizer, K.
The Dynamics of Change
Clark, J.
The Memoirs and Speeches of James, 2nd Earl Waldegrave
Clark, J.

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by Stephen Luscombe