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Victor Cavendish, 9th Duke of Devonshire: Wikis


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Rangkronen-Fig. 06.png
His Grace
 The Duke of Devonshire
 KG, PC, GCMG, GCVO, JP, MA Cantab, LLD(hc) Alb

In office
11 November 1916 – 2 August 1921
Monarch George V
Prime Minister Canadian
  • Robert Borden
  • Arthur Meighen
  • H. H. Asquith
  • David Lloyd George
Preceded by Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
Succeeded by Julian Byng, Baron Byng of Vimy

Born 31 May 1868(1868-05-31)
Marylebone, London
Died 6 May 1938 (aged 69)
Chatsworth House, Derbyshire
Political party Liberal Unionist
Spouse(s) Evelyn Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire
Alma mater Trinity College, Cambridge
Profession Politician

Victor Christian William Cavendish, 9th Duke of Devonshire KG PC GCMG GCVO JP (31 May 1868 – 6 May 1938) was a British politician who, between 1916 and 1921, served as the Governor General of Canada. He was born the eldest son of a noble family in London, United Kingdom, and educated at Eton College before moving on to the University of Cambridge. In 1891, he entered into politics, winning unopposed the riding his father had held until he died that year, and held this seat in the British House of Commons until he inherited his uncle's dukedom in 1908, thereafter taking his place in the House of Lords, while for a period at the same time acting as mayor of Eastbourne and Chesterfield, as well as holding various cabinet posts both prior to and after his rise to the peerage.

On the recommendation of then British Prime Minister H. H. Asquith, Cavendish was appointed by George V, the king of Canada, as the Canadian viceroy, succeeding in that role Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn.[1] The designation was initially controversial, though, by the time of his departure for the UK, Cavendish had earned praise for the way in which he carried out his official duties. Following his tenure as the Canadian viceroy, he returned to political and diplomatic life, serving as Secretary of State for the Colonies between 1922 and 1924, before retiring to his estate in Derbyshire, where he died on 6 May 1938.


Early life, education, and political career

Cavendish was born in the Marylebone area of London, England, as the eldest son of Lord Edward Cavendish, himself the third son of William Cavendish, seventh Duke of Devonshire, and Emma Lascelles, the daughter of William Lascelles. As such, Cavendish's uncles were Spencer Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington (eventually the eighth Duke of Devonshire) and Lord Frederick Cavendish, and Lord Richard Cavendish was his younger brother.

Cavendish was educated at Eton College before moving on to Trinity College at the University of Cambridge,[2] during which time his father sat as the Member of Parliament for West Derbyshire. In May 1891, however, shortly after Cavendish graduated from Cambridge, his father died, and Cavendish thus entered into the race for the vacated parliamentary seat and won, becoming the youngest member of the British House of Commons at the time.[3] He married on 30 July of the following year Lady Evelyn FitzMaurice, the eldest daughter of Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, Marquess of Lansdowne, who until four years earlier had served as the fifth Governor General of Canada.[1] The couple thereafter had seven children: Edward, Marquess of Hartington (born 1895, later 10th Duke of Devonshire), Lady Maud Louisa Emma (born 1896), Lady Blanche Katharine (born 1898), Lady Dorothy (born 1900), Lady Rachel (born 1902), Lord Charles Arthur Francis (born 1905), and Lady Anne (born 1909). Through his children's eventual marriages, Cavendish became the father-in-law of Henry Philip Hunloke, James Stuart, Harold Macmillan, and Adele Astaire.

Chatsworth House, which Cavendish inherited upon acceding to the Dukedom of Devonshire in 1908.

For 17 years Cavendish held his parliamentary post, during which time, between 1900 and 1903, he acted as Treasurer of the Household, from 1903 to 1905 as Financial Secretary to the Treasury, and on 11 December 1905 was sworn into the King's Privy Council.[4] It was only when he succeeded to the Dukedom of Devonshire on 24 March 1908 that Cavendish quit his Commons seat and took his place in the House of Lords, the same year in which Cavendish was appointed as Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire. The next year he was made Chancellor of the University of Leeds, and then was elected to two mayoral offices, first to that of Eastbourne between 1909 and 1910, and then Chesterfield from 1911 to 1912. With the outbreak of the First World War, however, Cavendish ceased activities related to all but his honorific appointments, and between 1915 and 1916 sat as the Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty in the Cabinet of H. H. Asquith.[1][5]

Governor generalship

It was announced from the Office of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on 8 August 1916 that George V had, by commission under the royal sign-manual and signet, approved the recommendation of his British Prime Minister, H.H. Asquith, to appoint Cavendish as his representative. The appointment caused political problems, as Canadian Prime Minister Robert Borden had not been consulted on the matter, contrary to practice well established by that point in time. Borden thus felt insult, which led to considerable difficulties at the beginning of Cavendish's tenure, officially beginning after he was on 11 November 1916 sworn in during a ceremony held in Halifax.[1]

In that era, there was social unrest in the country. Not only was the women's suffrage movement gaining momentum in Canada, and calls were coming out of the prairies for socialist changes to the governmental system, but the World War continued to rage in Europe. Canada was providing troops and supplies, and Cavendish, shortly after his installation, and on the advice of Borden, introduced conscription; a decision that was particularly divisive between French and English Canadians and sparked the Conscription Crisis of 1917. The Canadian victory at Vimy Ridge later that year, however, helped fuel Canadian pride and nationalism at home, and the Governor General, while conscious of his role's remaining connection to the British government, used this military win to positively and publicly encourage reconciliation. At all times, Cavendish was careful to consult with his prime minister and the leaders of His Majesty's Loyal Opposition in Canada on matters related to conscription and the war effort.[1] The Governor General was soon again engaged in more sombre duties in the wake of the Halifax Explosion on 6 December; he travelled to Nova Scotia to survey the damage, and he there met with survivors and addressed the women of the Voluntary Aid Detachment.[6]

Cavendish took interest in the lives of Canadians, and conducted various tours of the country to meet with them. As a land owner himself, the Governor General was particularly focused on the development of farming in Canada,[3] and during his travels, at agricultural and horticultural fairs, shows, and sugaring-off parties in the Gatineau, discussed agricultural issues with farmers and other people in the industry. His speeches often referred to Canada's potential to lead the world in agricultural research and development, and one of his major projects while viceroy was to establish experimental farms, including the Crown's Central Experimental Farm, now completely surrounded by the city of Ottawa. At the same time, Cavendish acted as a patron of the arts; when not on tour or residing at La Citadelle – the viceregal residence in Quebec City at which the Duke enjoyed spending time – Cavendish was frequently visiting the National Gallery and hosting theatrical performances at Rideau Hall. There, on the grounds of the royal residence, during the winters, the Cavendishes also hosted tobogganing and skating parties, as well as hockey matches. Officially, Cavendish in 1918 travelled to the United States, to meet informally with President Woodrow Wilson, and the following year hosted Prince Edward, Prince of Wales, during his first tour of Canada.[1]

By the end of his tenure as governor general, Cavendish had overcome all of the initial suspicions that had surrounded his appointment; both men who served successively as his Canadian prime minister – Borden and Arthur Meighen – came to view him as a friend not only of theirs personally, but also of Canada. The former said of Cavendish: "No Governor General has come with a more comprehensive grasp of public questions as they touch not only this country and the United Kingdom, but the whole Empire."[1] The Duke left as a mark of his time in Canada the Devonshire Cup, for the annual golf competition of the Canadian Seniors Golf Association,[7] and the Duke of Devonshire Trophy, for the Ottawa Horticultural Society. For Cavendish, Canada left with his family the two aides-de-camp who had married Cavendish's daughters while the family resided in Ottawa.

Post-viceregal life

On returning to England, Devonshire worked at the League of Nations before serving from 1922 to 1924 as Secretary of State for the Colonies (with a seat in the British Cabinet) under Prime Ministers Andrew Bonar Law and Stanley Baldwin.[8] In 1922, he was also appointed by King George V to the committee that was charged with looking into how honours were to be bestowed in the United Kingdom.[9] He simultaneously continued to run his agricultural land holdings, especially around Chatsworth House, where he died in May 1938.

Titles, styles, and honours



Viceregal styles of
Victor Cavendish, 9th Duke of Devonshire
Crest of the Governor-General of Canada.svg
Reference style His Grace
Sa Grâce
Spoken style Your Grace
Votre Grâce
Alternative style Sir
  • 3 May 1868 – 11 December 1905: Mister Victor Cavendish
  • 11 December 1905 – 24 March 1908: The Right Honourable Victor Cavendish
  • 24 March 1908 – 11 November 1916: His Grace The Duke of Devonshire
  • 11 November 1916 – 19 September 1918: His Grace The Duke of Devonshire, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of the Militia and Naval Forces of Canada
  • 19 September 1918 – 2 August 1921: His Grace The Duke of Devonshire, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of the Militia and Naval and Air Forces of Canada
  • 2 August 1921 – 6 May 1938: His Grace The Duke of Devonshire

Cavendish's style and title as Governor General of Canada was, in full, and in English: His Excellency The Most Noble Sir. Victor Christian William Cavendish, Duke of Devonshire, Marquess of Hartington, Earl of Burlington, Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Justice of the Peace, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of the Militia and Naval and Air Forces of Canada, and in French: Son Excellence le très Noble Sir Victor Christian William Cavendish, duk de Devonshire, marquess de Hartington, comte de Burlington, chevalier de le nobilissime ordre de la Jarretière, chevalier grand-croix de le très distingué ordre de Saint-Michel et Saint-George, chevalier grand-croix de l'ordre royal de Victoria, Justice de paix, gouverneur générale et commandant en chef de la milice et les forces navales et aérienne du Canada. It should be noted that, for Cavendish, Commander-in-Chief was strictly a title, and not a position that he held; the actual commander-in-chief (who can also be, and is, called such) is perpetually the monarch of Canada.[10]

In his post-viceregal life, Alexander's style and title was: His Grace The Most Noble Sir. Victor Christian William Cavendish, Duke of Devonshire, Marquess of Hartington, Earl of Burlington, Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Justice of the Peace.



Honorary military appointments

Honorary degrees

Honorific eponyms

Geographic locations


See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Office of the Governor General of Canada. "Governor General > Former Governors General > The Duke of Devonshire". Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved 18 April 2009.  
  2. ^ Cavendish, Victor Christian William in Venn, J. & J. A., Alumni Cantabrigienses, Cambridge University Press, 10 vols, 1922–1958.
  3. ^ a b Hillmer, Norman, "The Canadian Encyclopedia", in Marsh, James Harley, Biography > Governors General of Canada > Devonshire, Victor Christian William Cavendish, 9th Duke of, Toronto: Historica Foundation of Canada,, retrieved 28 April 2009  
  4. ^ London Gazette: no. 27862, p. 8892, 8 December 1905. Retrieved on 26 April 2009.
  5. ^ London Gazette: no. 29651, p. 6596, 4 July 1916. Retrieved on 26 April 2009.
  6. ^ "Library and Archives Canada > MIKAN no. 3623771". Queen's Printer for Canada.,3192693,3400879,3400834,3214871,3214875,3509630,3642832,3400861,3400794&back_url=( Retrieved 27 April 2009.  
  7. ^ Golf in Canada: A History, by James A. Barclay, Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, 1992, p. 456.
  8. ^ London Gazette: no. 32982, p. 7430, 14 October 1924. Retrieved on 26 April 2009.
  9. ^ London Gazette: no. 32749, p. 6767, 22 September 1922. Retrieved on 26 April 2009.
  10. ^ Victoria (29 March 1867), Constitution Act, 1867, III.15, Westminster: Queen's Printer,, retrieved 15 January 2009  
  11. ^ London Gazette: no. 28639, p. 6371, 27 August 1912. Retrieved on 26 April 2009.
  12. ^ London Gazette: no. 29687, p. 7477, 28 July 1916. Retrieved on 26 April 2009.
  13. ^ "University of Alberta Senate > Honorary Degrees > Past Honorary Degree Recipients > C". University of Alberta. Retrieved 28 April 2009.  

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Lord Edward Cavendish
Member of Parliament for West Derbyshire
1891 – 1908
Succeeded by
Earl of Kerry
Political offices
Preceded by
Winston Churchill
Secretary of State for the Colonies
1922 – 1924
Succeeded by
James Henry Thomas
Preceded by
George Lambert
Civil Lord of the Admiralty
1915 – 1916
Succeeded by
The Earl of Lytton
Preceded by
Arthur Elliot
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
1903 – 1905
Succeeded by
Reginald McKenna
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The 8th Duke of Devonshire
Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire
1908 – 1938
Succeeded by
The 10th Duke of Devonshire
Court offices
Preceded by
Viscount Curzon
Treasurer of the Household
1900 – 1903
Succeeded by
Marquess of Hamilton
Academic offices
Preceded by
The Marquess of Ripon
Chancellor of the University of Leeds
1909 – 1938
Succeeded by
The 10th Duke of Devonshire
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Spencer Cavendish
Duke of Devonshire
1908 – 1938
Succeeded by
Edward Cavendish


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