Lady Dorothy Macmillan
|Lady Dorothy Macmillan
|Lady Macmillan waving to crowds in Accra|
|Spouse of the Prime Minister
of the United Kingdom
10 January 1957 – 18 October 1963
|Preceded by||Clarissa Eden|
|Succeeded by||Elizabeth Douglas-Home|
|Born||Dorothy Evelyn Cavendish
28 July 1900
|Died||21 May 1966(aged 65)|
Lady Caroline Faber
Lady Catherine Amery
|Parents||Victor Cavendish, 9th Duke of Devonshire
Evelyn Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire
Born Dorothy Evelyn Cavendish, she spent her first eight years at Holker Hall, Lancashire, and Lismore Castle, Ireland. She became known as Lady Dorothy from the age of eight, when her father succeeded to the dukedom, and the family moved into Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, and the other ducal estates. She received lessons in French, German, riding and golf. From the age of sixteen she lived with the family at Rideau Hall, Ottawa, where her father served as Governor General of Canada.
In 1920 she married the publisher and Conservative politician Harold Macmillan, who had been on her father's staff in Canada. Their lavish wedding, on 21 April at St. Margaret's, Westminster, was attended by royalty, aristocracy and leading literary figures, and was hailed as the social event of the London season.
Lady Dorothy was a dutiful political wife and the couple remained together (despite her long-lasting affair with the bisexual Conservative politician Robert Boothby) until her death from a heart attack at the Macmillan family estate at Birch Grove, East Sussex, in 1966. Her husband outlived her by 20 years.
She and Harold had four children:
- 1) Maurice Macmillan, Viscount Macmillan of Ovenden (1921–1984), a Conservative politician and publisher. Married The Honourable Katharine Ormsby-Gore, a daughter of the 4th Baron Harlech.
- 2) Lady Caroline Macmillan (born 1923). Married Julian Faber; five children.
- 3) Lady Catherine Macmillan (1926–1991). Married Julian Amery, later Baron Amery of Lustleigh, a Conservative politician; four children.
- 4) Sarah Macmillan (1930–1970). She had an unhappy life, which was blighted by a drinking problem.
On 26 November 1950, her brother Edward Cavendish, the 10th Duke of Devonshire had a heart attack and was attended by suspected serial killer John Bodkin Adams. He died. Adams was put on trial for murder in 1957 and the prosecution of the case has been described as half-hearted. The link with Edward Cavendish especially was not pursued, it has been suggested, because the government did not want to attract attention to Lady Dorothy's private life, and specifically her affair with Boothby.
- Charles Williams, Harold Macmillan (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2009), ISBN 978-0-297-85194-3, p. 53.
- Williams, Macmillan, pp. 53-54.
- Williams, Macmillan, p. 54
- Williams, Macmillan, p. 58
- Pamela V. Cullen, A Stranger in Blood: The Case Files on Dr John Bodkin Adams (London: Elliott & Thompson, 2006), ISBN 1-904027-19-9.
- Cullen, Stranger in Blood.
- Rodney Hallworth and Mark Williams, Where There's a Will... The Sensational Life of Dr John Bodkin Adams (Jersey: Capstan Press, 1983) ISBN 0-946797-00-5.
- Cullen, Stranger in Blood, p. 619
|Spouse of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
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