Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Cavendish, Charles

CAVENDISH, CHARLES (1620–1643), royalist general, second son of William, second earl of Devonshire [q. v.], was born on 30 May, 1620, and named after Prince Charles, his godfather. In 1638 he was sent abroad to travel with a governor; succeeded in reaching Cairo and saw a large part of Turkey. He returned to England in May 1641, and then served for a campaign under the Prince of Orange. On the outbreak of the war he entered the king's troop of guards as a volunteer under the command of Lord Bernard Stuart. At Edgehill he so distinguished himself by his valour that he was given the command of the Duke of York's troop left vacant by the death of Lord Aubigny. In consequence of a disagreement with an inferior officer, he sought an independent command, and obtained from the king a commission to raise a regiment of horse in the north. Up then established himself at Newark, and so distinguished himself by his activity against the parliamentarians, that, on the petition of the king's commissioners for Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire, he was appointed commander-in-chief of the forces of those two counties, with the rank of colonel-general. On 23 March 1643 he took Grantham. and on 11 April defeated young Hotham at Ancaster, and threatened an irruption into the eastern association. He received the queen at Newark, and escorted her part of her way to Oxford, taking Burton-on-Trent by assault during the march, 2 July 1643 (Rushworth, v. 274). But attempting to prevent the raising of the siege of Gainsborough, he was defeated by Cromwell, and fell by the hand of James Berry, Cromwell's captain-lieutenant (28 July 1643). He was buried at Newark, but thirty years later his body was removed to Derby, to be interred with his mother.

[Kennet's Memoirs of the Family of Cavendish. 1708. Kennet gives extracts from a manuscript life of Colonel Cavendish; Aubrey's Letters (ed. 1813), ii. 274; Lloyd's Memoirs of Excellent Personages, p. 672; Carlyle's Cromwell, Letter xii, and appendix ii. Waller wrote an epitaph on Charles Cavendish. which is to be found in his colleted Poems; there ia also a poem on him in the Characters and Elegies of Sir Francis Wortley.]

C. H. F.