Henry Bentinck, 11th Earl of Portland
Early life and education
Bentinck was born in 1919. His father Robert Charles Bentinck, 6th Count Bentinck (1875–1932) died when Bentinck was only twelve. He was a descendant of the Honourable William Bentinck, 1st Count Bentinck  (1704–1774), younger son of William Bentinck, 1st Earl of Portland, and half-brother of Henry Bentinck, 1st Duke of Portland. His mother Lady Norah Ida Emily Noel, eldest daughter of Charles William Francis Noel, 3rd Earl of Gainsborough, died when he was 19.
He was educated at Harrow and Sandhurst Military College, but left after only a term amidst press headlines - "Count missing from Sandhurst". He worked as a cowboy in California for a year, returning to England in 1939 and marrying Pauline Ursula Mellowes in 1940. He registered as a conscientious objector, but after the death of a close friend he joined the family regiment, the Coldstream Guards, as a private soldier. He was soon commissioned as an officer and served with distinction in Italy at Camino. He was wounded twice, and a prisoner of war until 1945, when he rejoined the regiment in Trieste.
After the war he was a producer at the BBC, where he met Professor Nathaniel Shaler, who had forecast ecological catastrophe as early as the 1900s. This led to emigration from 1952 to 1955, and working as a jackaroo on a sheep station in Tasmania.
He rejoined the BBC, as producer of the Today programme presented by Jack de Manio and other series. At this time he wrote his first book Anyone Can Understand the Atom. In 1959 he joined J Walter Thompson as an advertising producer, working on over 600 commercials. He created and produced the Nimble bread balloon commercials, as well as the first campaign for Mr Kipling, himself coining the phrase, "Mr Kipling makes exceedingly good cakes".
He moved to Devon in 1974 with his second wife Jenny Hopkins to run a self-sufficient organic smallholding and guest-house for six years. Later he struck up a close friendship with James Lovelock the creator of the Gaia hypothesis, and published Life is a Sum Humanity Is Doing Wrong.
Marriages and children
He was married to Pauline Mellowes from 1940 until her death in 1967; they had three children:
- Lady Sorrel Deidre Bentinck (born 22 February 1942).
- Lady Anna Cecilia Bentinck (born 18 May 1947).
- Timothy Charles Robert Noel Bentinck, 12th Earl of Portland (born 1 June 1953). Tim is best known as an English actor most widely known for his long-running role as David Archer in the BBC Radio 4 series The Archers.
He married secondly, Jennifer Hopkins, in 1974.
In 1990, on the death of his distant cousin, the Duke of Portland, he succeeded to the Earldom of Portland through his descent from the first Earl. He used his maiden speech in the House of Lords to address environmental issues.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Earl of Portland
- Tim Bentinck's Memorial site
|Peerage of England|
|Earl of Portland
of the Holy Roman Empire
Robert Charles Bentinck
|Count Bentinck und Waldeck Limpurg