The Cavendish/Spencer Line
Written and researched by Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewska, B.F.A.

The Cavendish Coat of Arms, featuring their famous serpent and stag. Their motto: "Safe by being cautious."

Cavendish Manor, the 16th century house of Cavendish, Suffolk, England; was reputed to be one of the early homes of this Devonshire family

Generation One:

Elizabeth ("Bess") of Hardwick (1527-1565)
married at age 15 to (1) Robert Barlow (? - 1544) Robert died on Christmas Eve of tuberculosis(?) (2) Sir William Cavendish on August 20, 1547 (1505-October 25, 1557) (3) Sir William St. Loe (?-1565), who was a member of an ancient knightly family of Somerset, England. He was a favorite of Elizabeth I's and was made Captain of the Guard and Chief Butler of England, with an annual salary of fifty marks. They were married on August 1559, but had no children. (4) George Talbot (1528?-1590), 6th Earl of Shrewsbury. She married him in 1567.

Bess was a childless widow in her early twenties. Her second marriage was to a middle-aged civil servant (age 46) who had already buried two of his wives. They were married at Bradgate Manor, Leichester; owned by Henry Grey, Marquis of Dorset and later Duke of Suffolk, and father--by his wife, Frances, granddaughter of Henry VII--of Lady Jane Gray.
Bess was the daughter of a Derbyshire farmer-squire, John of Hardwick, who farmed at Hardwick, near the ancient town of Chesterfield. Her mother was Elizabeth Hardwick. Bess worked in the household of ther Zouches, a noble Norman family. Her brother James, inherited what money the family had.

Bess's children: Frances Cavendish B: Monday, June 18, Anno 2 R. Temperance Cavendish B: 1549 and died young, Henry Cavendish B: 1550, William Cavendish B: 1551, Charles Cavendish B: Nov. 1553 and Elizabeth Cavendish who married eighteen years old, Charles Stuart, son of Margaret, Countess of Lennox. Her daughter, Arbella Stuart, was born in November 1575.

Generation Two:

William Cavendish (1552-1625), 1st Earl of Devonshire (1618) and Baron Cavendish
married(1) Anne Keighley (?-1625), daughter of Henry Keighley

Generation Three:

William Cavendish (1590-1628), 2nd Earl of Devonshire
married Hon. Christian Bruce(1595-1675), daughter of the 1st Lord Kinloss His mistress was Margaret Chatterton.

Generation Four:

William Cavendish (1617-1684), 3rd Earl of Devonshire
married Lady Elizabeth Cecil (1619-1689), daughter of the Earl of Salisbury

Generation Five:

William Cavendish (1640-1707), 4th Earl of Devonshire and 1st Duke of Devonshire (1694)
He was a famous womanizer and his last mistress, Mary Ann Campion, was a 17 year old actress, who bore him a daughter, Mary in 1706. Mary (mom) died on May 16, 1706 of hectic fever.

William married Lady Mary Butler (1646-1710), in 1662 (she was only 15 years old), daughter of the Duke of Ormonde in Kilkenny Castle.

Generation Six:

William Cavendish (1673-1729), 2nd Duke of Devonshire.
married Hon. Rachel Russell (1674-1725), daughter of William Lord Russell.

Generation Seven:

William Cavendish (1698-1755), 3rd Duke of Devonshire.
Married Catherine Hoskyn ( -1777), daughter of John Hoskyns.

Generation Eight:

William Cavendish (1720-1764), 4th Duke of Devonshire.
married Lady Charlotte Boyle (1731-1754), daughter of the 4th Earl of Cork and 3rd Earl of Burlington. He had estates in Yorkshire and Ireland.

Generation Nine:

William Cavendish (1748-1811), 5th Duke of Devonshire
his mistress: Charlotte Spencer was a Mayfair milliner ... her child was Charlotte Williams

This Sir Joshua Reynold's painting is from the private collection of Althorp. It portrays Countess Georgiana Spencer Cavendish and her daughter, Lady Georgiana, later Duchess of Devonshire
Reprinted from Charles Spencer's Althorp: The Story of An English House. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998.

married: (1)*Lady Georgiana Spencer (1757-March 30, 1806 of an absessed liver ), daughter of John Spencer, Earl Spencer in 1765 (1765-1783) and Georgiana Poyntz (1737-1814). Georgiana's brother, George John Spencer, KG (1758-1824), married Lady Lavinia Bingham(1762-1831) ... (His line goes to Lady Diana Spencer).Her sister, Henrietta Cavendish, became the Countess of Bessborough.
Georgiana's children are listed in generation nine.
Lady Georgiana had a lover. Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Gray. Their daughter was Eliza Courtney.
Lady Georgiana is buried in the Cavendish family vault at All Saints, Derby, England.

(2) married Lady Elizabeth Foster (1759-1824) on October 1809. Her children were: Caroline St. Jules and Augustus Clifford.

Generation Ten:

1.Lady Georgiana Cavendish, daughter of Lady Georgiana Spencer and William Cavendish. (1783-1858)
married George Howard (1773-1844), 6th Earl of Carlisle.

2.Lady Harriet Cavendish (1785-1862)
married 1st Earl Granville.

3.William Spencer George Cavendish (1790-January 17, 1858), 6th Duke of Devonshire. He died in his sleep, without pain. He never married. The line went to George Cavendish, son of William Cavendish/Lady Charlotte Boyle's line.

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Last updated on May 19, 2007.