Henry Bentinck, 11th Earl of Portland
Early life and education
Bentinck was born in 1919. His father Count Robert Charles Bentinck (1875–1932) died when Bentinck was only twelve. He was a descendant of 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 the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, 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 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 then was a prisoner of war until 1945, when he was able to rejoin his regiment in Trieste.
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), married Sir John Philip Lister Lister-Kaye, 8th Baronet, and has issue.
- Lady Anna Cecilia Bentinck (born 18 May 1947).
- Timothy Charles Robert Noel Bentinck, 12th Earl of Portland (born 1 June 1953), an actor known for his long-running role as David Archer in the BBC Radio 4 series The Archers.
He married secondly, Jenifer Hopkins, in 1974. She died in 2016.
In 1990, on the death of his distant cousin the 9th Duke of Portland, he succeeded to the Earldom of Portland through his descent from the first Earl. One of the last generation of hereditary peers to take a seat in the House of Lords by direct inheritance, his maiden speech in the Lords in January 1993 was on the 9th report of the European Communities Committee on the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Legislation, when he spoke for restrained urban and population growth on ecological grounds.
- Lundy, Darryl. "Biography Henry Noel Bentinck". The Peerage.[unreliable source] - Website thePeerage.com
- Ruvigny, Melville H. (2000) . The Nobilities of Europe. Adamant Media Corporation.
- http://www.thepeerage.com/p5015.htm#i50148[bare URL]
- Death notice: Bentinck, Dowager Countess of Portland, The Telegraph, 25 March 2016
- Lords Sitting Environmental Legislation: ECC Report HL Debate 21 January 1993 (vol 541 cc966-1012 966) at hansard.millbanksystems.com/lords/, Retrieved 9 October 2016
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Earl of Portland
- Tim Bentinck's Memorial site