Ivy Cavendish-Bentinck, Duchess of Portland

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Ivy Cavendish-Bentinck
Ivy Gordon-Lennox by Philip de László.jpg
Ivy Gordon-Lennox by Philip de László, 1915
Born Ivy Gordon-Lennox
(1887-06-16)16 June 1887
Died 3 March 1982(1982-03-03) (aged 94)
Welbeck Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire
Title Duchess of Portland
Spouse(s) William Cavendish-Bentinck, 7th Duke of Portland
Children Lady Anne Cavendish-Bentinck
Lady Victoria Parente
Parents Lord Algernon Gordon-Lennox
Blanche Maynard

Ivy Cavendish-Bentinck, Duchess of Portland DBE (née Gordon-Lennox; 16 June 1887 – 3 March 1982) was Duchess of Portland from 1943 - 1977 and afterwards Dowager Duchess. She founded the Harley Foundation, "to encourage creativity".

Parents (Algernon and Blanche Gordon-Lennox)[edit]

Ivy Gordon-Lennox was born in London[1] on 16 June 1887, the daughter of Colonel the Hon. Lord Algernon Charles Gordon-Lennox (b. 19 September 1847, London – d. 3 October 1921) and his wife, Blanche Maynard (b. 14 February 1864, London – d. 17 August 1945), who married at Easton[disambiguation needed] on 31 August 1886. Ivy was their only child.[2][3]

Ivy Gordon-Lennox's parents parents[clarification needed] had a country house, Broughton Castle, near Banbury, which was rented from the 18th Lord Saye and Sele, and a house in London at #7 Chesterfield Street, Mayfair.[4] Lord Algernon was the second of the four sons of the 6th Duke of Richmond (1818–1903), and his obituary in The Times called him "a notable social figure, whose popularity it would be difficult to over-estimate". He served in the Royal Navy, the Life Guards, and the Grenadier Guards, and was twelve years aide-de-camp to HRH The Duke of Cambridge, Commander-in-chief of the British Army.

Like her mother, Lady Blanche Gordon–Lennox, who was knighted as a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 1919; Ivy Cavendish-Bentinck, Duchess of Portland would be created a DBE, almost forty years later in 1958.

Ivy Gordon-Lennox's maternal grandfather was Colonel the Hon. Charles Maynard, a son of the 3rd Viscount Maynard,[5] while her three Gordon-Lennox uncles included the 7th Duke of Richmond (1845–1928), Captain Lord Francis Gordon-Lennox, who died before she was born, and Lord Walter Gordon-Lennox (1865–1922), a Conservative member of parliament.[6]

On 1 January 1912, Ivy Gordon-Lennox was appointed a Maid of Honour to HM Queen Alexandra, the Queen Mother.[7] In 1915, during the First World War, she was Princess Victoria's representative in connection with proposed Nurses' Clubs in France, travelling to Étaples and Abbeville.[8]


On 12 August 1915, Ivy Gordon-Lennox married William Cavendish-Bentinck, Marquess of Titchfield (1893–1977), son of the 6th Duke of Portland and his wife Winifred Anna Dallas-Yorke.[9][10] At the time of this marriage, three portraits of the bride were painted by Philip de László.[11] The couple had two daughters, Anne (6 September 1916 – 21 December 2008) and Victoria (9 October 1918 – died 29 August 1955).[6]


From 1922 to 1943, Lady Titchfield was a political wife, her husband representing Newark in the House of Commons and serving as a Junior Lord of the Treasury under Stanley Baldwin and again under Ramsay Macdonald. In 1943, Ivy Titchfield became Duchess of Portland when her father-in-law died and her husband inherited his father's titles.[9]

In 1977, the Duchess set up the Harley Foundation intended "to encourage creativity in all of us". She intended it to help artists by providing affordable work-space in quiet surroundings, to support the survival of specialist craft skills in an age of mass production, and to improve public access to the visual arts. The Foundation was granted a long lease of some properties at Welbeck and it now maintains three sets of studios there, with space for up to thirty artists and craft-workers, plus a Gallery and craft shop.[12][13]

The Duchess died at Welbeck Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire, on 3 March 1982, aged 94.[9]


The Duke and Duchess of Portland had two daughters, Lady Anne Cavendish-Bentinck, born on 6 September 1916; and Lady Victoria Margaret Cavendish-Bentinck, born on 9 October 1918.[6]

The first daughter remained unmarried throughout her life and was known as Lady Anne Bentinck.[6] In April 2008, at the age of ninety-one, she was reported in The Sunday Times of London to be the 511th richest person in the United Kingdom, with a fortune estimated at £158 million, largely in art and land.[14] She died on 21 December 2008.

The second daughter, Lady Victoria, married the Italian Don Gaetano Parente, Principe di Castel Viscardo, on 12 April 1950. She had one son, William Henry Marcello Parente (b. 1951), and she died on 29 August 1955, aged 36.[6][9] The Portlands' only grandchild, William Parente, of Welbeck Abbey, was appointed High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire in 2003.[15]


Non-engagement in 1910[edit]

In September 1910, Lady Blanche Gordon-Lennox took firm action to quell a rumour that her daughter was engaged to marry Edward Turnour, 6th Earl Winterton. A notice to this purpose appeared in the New York Times, reading:

Winterton married the Hon. Cecilia Monica Wilson in 1924, and died childless in 1962.[17]



  1. ^ http://www.geni.com/people/Ivy-Cavendish-Bentinck/6000000003455322212
  2. ^ Ivy Gordon-Lennox profile at NPG website
  3. ^ Lundy, Darryl. "Ivy Gordon-Lennox profile at ThePeerage.com". The Peerage. [unreliable source]
  4. ^ Ruvigny & Raineval, Marquis of, The Plantagenet Roll of the Blood Royal: Clarence Volume page 238 online at books.google.co.uk, accessed 24 July 2008
  5. ^ Death of Lord Algernon Gordon-Lennox - a popular social figure, The Times, 5 October 1921, page 13.
  6. ^ a b c d e Charles Mosley, ed., Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd., 2003), volume 3, page 3336
  7. ^ The London Gazette: no. 28570. p. 209. 9 January 1912. Retrieved 2008-07-24.:"Marlborough House, 1st January, 1912. Queen Alexandra has been graciously pleased to appoint Miss Ivy Gordon-Lennox to be one of the Maids of Honour to Her Majesty in the room of the Honourable Blanche Lascelles, resigned."
  8. ^ War Diary: May 1915 from National Archives (ref. WO95/3988) at scarletfinders.co.uk, accessed 24 July 2008
  9. ^ a b c d e Lundy, Darryl. "Ivy Gordon-Lennox". The Peerage. [unreliable source], accessed 24 July 2008
  10. ^ Lundy, Darryl. "Sir William Arthur Henry Cavendish-Bentinck, 7th Duke of Portland". The Peerage. [unreliable source], accessed 24 July 2008
  11. ^ Portrait of a Lady at jssgallery.org, accessed 24 July 2008, with information Christopher Wentworth-Stanley, European Editor, The Catalogue Raisonné of Works by Philip de László
  12. ^ About us - The Harley Foundation at harleygallery.co.uk, accessed 24 July 2008
  13. ^ The Harley Gallery, Welbeck Workshop, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, S80 3LW at donowdo.com, accessed 24 July 2008
  14. ^ The Sunday Times (London), 27 April 2008, p. 61: "Bentinck, 91, who lives on a 17,000-acre (69 km2) Nottinghamshire estate, has land and property worth £58m. The daughter of the 7th Duke of Portland also owned impressive fine art treasures."
  15. ^ The London Gazette: no. 56884. pp. 3603–3604. 21 March 2003. Retrieved 2008-07-24.
  16. ^ Ivy Gordon-Lennox Not Engaged dated September 25, 1910, at nytimes.com, accessed 24 July 2008
  17. ^ Lundy, Darryl. "Edward Turnour, 6th Earl Winterton". The Peerage. [unreliable source], accessed 24 July 2008