Andrew Cavendish, 11th Duke of Devonshire
The Duke of Devonshire
KG MC PC DL
|Portrait by Allan Warren|
|Minister of State for Commonwealth Relations|
|Prime Minister||Harold Macmillan
Sir Alec Douglas-Home
|Preceded by||Lord Alport|
|Succeeded by||Cledwyn Hughes|
|Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations|
|Prime Minister||Harold Macmillan|
|Preceded by||Richard Thompson|
|Succeeded by||John Tilney|
|Born||2 January 1920|
|Died||3 May 2004(aged 84)|
|Political party||UKIP (2001–2004)
Social Democratic (1981–87)
National Liberal (1940s)
Andrew Robert Buxton Cavendish, 11th Duke of Devonshire KG, MC, PC (2 January 1920 – 3 May 2004), styled Lord Andrew Cavendish until 1944 and Marquess of Hartington from 1944 to 1950, was a British Conservative and later Social Democratic Party politician. He was a minister in the government of Prime Minister Harold Macmillan (who was married to his aunt), but is best known for opening Chatsworth House to the public.
Cavendish was born to Edward Cavendish, 10th Duke of Devonshire and Mary Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, the former Mary Alice Gascoyne-Cecil, daughter of James Gascoyne-Cecil, 4th Marquess of Salisbury. He was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge. In World War II, he was a major in the Coldstream Guards. He was awarded the Military Cross for his actions on 27 July 1944 when his company was cut off for 36 hours in heavy combat near Strada in Italy.
In 1941 he married the Hon. Deborah Mitford (born 31 March 1920), one of the Mitford sisters. The marriage was not without some bumps. Three of the couple's six children died soon after birth, and the Duke's extramarital affairs became public after he appeared as a witness at a burglary trial and was forced to admit, under oath, that he was on holiday with one of a series of younger women when the crime occurred at his London home. The Duke, however, claimed that much of his marriage's success was due to the Duchess's tolerance and broadmindedness. Deborah, as chatelaine, is largely responsible for the success of Chatsworth as a commercial endeavour.
He and his wife had six children, three of whom died in infancy: The Duke and Duchess of Devonshire had three surviving children: a son, Peregrine Cavendish, 12th Duke of Devonshire, and two daughters, Ladies Emma Cavendish and Sophia Topley. Among their grandchildren is the fashion model Stella Tennant. The Duke is buried in the churchyard of the village church in Edensor in the grounds of Chatsworth.
- Mark Cavendish (born and died 14 November 1941)
- Emma Cavendish (born 26 March 1943, styled Lady Emma Cavendish from 1944)
- Peregrine Cavendish, 12th Duke of Devonshire (born 27 April 1944)
- An unnamed child (miscarried December 1946, he or she was a twin of Victor Cavendish, born in 1947)
- Lord Victor Cavendish (born and died 22 May 1947)
- Lady Mary Cavendish (born and died 5 April 1953)
- Lady Sophia Louise Sydney Cavendish (born 18 March 1957)
His older brother William Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington, who would have inherited the dukedom, was killed in combat near the end of the war. With William's death, Andrew became heir and received the courtesy title of Marquess of Hartington, which he held from 1944 until 1950.
The 10th Duke died of a heart attack while visiting Eastbourne in November 1950 and Cavendish inherited the title, though he was in Australia at the time. The Duke died while being attended by suspected serial killer Dr John Bodkin Adams, who was his doctor when visiting Eastbourne. No proper police investigation was ever conducted into the death but Cavendish later said "it should perhaps be noted that this doctor was not appointed to look after the health of my two younger sisters, who were then in their teens"; Adams had a reputation for grooming older patients in order to extract bequests.
Cavendish inherited the estate but also an inheritance tax bill of £7 million, nearly 80 percent of the value of the estate. In order to meet this, the Duke had to sell off many art objects and antiques, including several Rembrandts, Van Dycks and Raffaello Santis, as well as thousands of acres of land.
Political career 
Cavendish ran unsuccessfully as a National Liberal candidate for Chesterfield in the 1945 general election and as a Conservative in the same seat in 1950. He was Mayor of Buxton from 1952 to 1954. He served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Commonwealth Relations from 1960 to 1962, Minister of State at the Commonwealth Relations Office from 1962 to 1963, and for Colonial Affairs from 1963 to 1964. He once said that these appointments by his uncle, Harold Macmillan, the then-prime minister, were "the greatest act of nepotism ever".
He joined the Social Democratic Party shortly after its foundation in 1981, but left the party when David Owen resigned as the party's leader in 1987, describing Owen as "the best of them". He then sat as a crossbencher in his rare appearances in the House of Lords.
The duke followed the family tradition of owning racehorses, the most famous of which was Park Top, the subject of the duke's first published book, A Romance of The Turf: Park Top, which was published in 1976. His autobiography, Accidents of Fortune, was published just before his death in 2004. The duke had many disputes over the years with the ramblers who used the paths near Chatsworth. Eventually though, in 1991, he signed an agreement with the Peak National Park Authority opening 1,300 acres (5 km²) of his estate to walkers. He said that everyone was "welcome in my back garden". The duke's real estate holdings were vast. In addition to Chatsworth he also owned Lismore Castle in Ireland and Bolton Abbey in North Yorkshire. He also owned the bookshop Heywood Hill and the gentleman's club Pratt's.
He was a major collector of contemporary British art, known especially for his patronage of Lucian Freud. He was one of the founders, and the chief patron of, the Next Century Foundation in which capacity he hosted the private Chatsworth talks between representatives of the governments of the Arab World and Israel. The duke was listed at number 73 in the Sunday Times Sunday Times Rich List of the richest people in Great Britain in 2004.
In 1996 he was made a Knight of the Garter.
He once told interviewer:
"Wonderful things have happened in my life — it's time my son had his turn. When I was young I used to like casinos, fast women and God knows what. Now my idea of Heaven, apart from being at Chatsworth, is to sit in the hall of Brooks's, having tea."
- Robert de Gernon, Norman nobleman, ca 1066
- Matthew de Gernon, ca 1100
- Ralph de Gernon, ca 1130–1167
- Ralph de Gernon, Sheriff of Dorset, 1160–1248
- William de Gernon, Marshal of the King's Household, 1187–1258
- Geoffrey de Gernon, ?-?
- Roger de Gernon, ca 1324, married the daughter of John Potton of Cavendish and his descendants took surname "Cavendish"
- Sir John Cavendish, ca 1346–1381 Treasurer, Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench and Chancellor of the University of Cambridge.
- John Cavendish, ?-?
- William Cavendish, d. 1433
- Thomas Cavendish, d. 1477
- Thomas Cavendish, d. 1523
- Sir William Cavendish, Treasurer of the Exchequer, 1505–1557
- William Cavendish, 1st Earl of Devonshire (1552–1626)
- William Cavendish, 2nd Earl of Devonshire (1591–1628)
- William Cavendish, 3rd Earl of Devonshire (1617–1684)
- William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Devonshire (1640–1707) was created Duke of Devonshire in 1694
- William Cavendish, 2nd Duke of Devonshire (1673–1729)
- William Cavendish, 3rd Duke of Devonshire (1698–1755)
- William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire (1720–1764)
- George Augustus Henry Cavendish, 1st Earl of Burlington (1754–1834)
- William Cavendish (1783–1812)
- William Cavendish, 7th Duke of Devonshire (1808–1891)
- Lt.-Col. Lord Edward Cavendish (1838–1891)
- Victor Christian William Cavendish, 9th Duke of Devonshire (1868–1938)
- Edward William Spencer Cavendish, 10th Duke of Devonshire (1895–1950)
- Andrew Robert Buxton Cavendish, 11th Duke of Devonshire (1920–2004)
- writing as The Duke of Devonshire: A Romance of the Turf: Park Top (2000 edition ISBN 0-7195-5482-9)
- writing as Andrew Devonshire: Accidents of Fortune [Autobiography] (2004) ISBN 0-85955-286-1
- Johnson, Frank (2004-06-19). "Notebook". The Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2011-04-16. "[...] the three dukes among Ukip's patrons – Somerset, Rutland and the late Devonshire, as well as the Earl of Bradford and Lord Neidpath, heir to the earldom of Wemyss [...]"
- Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire, Wait for Me! (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2010), pages 128–132
- Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire, Wait for Me! (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2010), pages 130
- Pamela V. Cullen A Stranger in Blood: The Case Files on Dr John Bodkin Adams, London, Elliott & Thompson, 2006, ISBN 1-904027-19-9
- Graham Stewart Nepotism on a majestic scale, The Times, 2 February 2008. Accessed 27 March 2008.
- Barber, Lynn (2002-10-20). "The original Thin White Duke". The Observer. Retrieved 2007-09-23.
- Barker, Dennis (2005-05-05). "Obituary: The Duke of Devonshire". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-09-23.
- "Obituary: The Duke of Devonshire". BBC News. 2004-05-04. Retrieved 2007-09-23.
- Daily Mail Interview with ex-prostitute Norma Levy about Lord Lambton scandal et al.
- Generations Reaching – on a delightful chance meeting with the late 11th Duke of Devonshire, and with Kathleen Agnes Kennedy and John F. Kennedy beside Lismore Castle, Co Waterford, Ireland in mid-May 2004. (chp.8 A feeling of homecoming – mythic content)
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Duke of Devonshire
|Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations
jointly with Bernard Braine 1961–1962
John Tilney 1962
|Minister of State for Commonwealth Relations
|Peerage of England|
|Duke of Devonshire