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Cavendish, William (d.1626) (DNB00)


CAVENDISH, WILLIAM, first Earl of Devonshire (d. 1626), second son of Sir William Cavendish [q. v.], was educated with the children of George Talbot, sixth earl of Shrewsbury, whom his mother married after his father's death. The Countess of Shrewsbury showed him special favour, and made him a rich allowance in his youth. He was M.P. for Newport in 1588; high sheriff of Derbyshire, where the estates of his family lay, in 1595; and justice of the peace in 1603. He was created Baron Cavendish of Hardwicke, on the christening of the Princess Sophia in May 1605. He aided largely in the colonisation of the Bermudas, and one of the islands was called after him. His mother's death in 1608, and his elder brother Henry's death in 1616, gave him a vast fortune. He was in attendance on James I in a progress in Wiltshire in 1618, and on 2 Aug. was created Earl of Devonshire, while the court was staying at the Bishop of Salisbury's palace, He was currently reported to have paid 10,000l. for the title. He died on 3 March 1625-26, and was buried at Edensor.

His first wife was Anne, daughter of Henry Kighley of Kighley, Yorkshire, by whom he had three sons and three daughters. Of the former Gilbert, who has been credited with the authorship of 'Horae Subsecivæ' [see Brydges, Grey], died young; and James died in infancy. Cavendish's second wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Edward Boughton of Couston, Warwickshire, widow of Sir Richard Wortley of Wortley, Yorkshire, by whom he had a son, John, made a knight of the Bath when Prince Charles was created Prince of Wales in 1618. Sir John died on 18 Jan. 1617-18.

[Biog. Brit. (Kippis); Life of Duke of Newcastle, ed. C. H. Firth (1886); Doyle's Baronage; Gardiner's Hist. of England, iii. 215; Cal. State Papers (Dom.): Kennet's Memoirs of the Cavendish Family (1737).]

S. L. L.