CAVENDISH, Henry, Visct. Mansfield (1630-91), of Bolsover, Derbys. and Welbeck Abbey, Notts.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1661 - 25 Dec. 1676

Family and Education

b. 24 June 1630, 4th but o. surv. s. of Sir William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, by 1st w. Elizabeth, da. and h. of William Bassett of Blore, Staffs., wid. of Hon. Henry Howard; bro. of Charles Cavendish, Visct. Mansfield. educ. privately; travelled abroad 1644-7. m. by 1652, Frances (d. 23 Sept. 1695), da. of Hon. William Pierrepont of Thoresby, Notts., 4s. d.v.p. 5da. styled Visct. Mansfield June 1659, Earl of Ogle 16 Mar. 1665, suc. fa. as 2nd Duke of Newcastle 25 Dec. 1676; KG 17 Feb. 1677.

Offices Held

Master of the robes June 1660-2; gent. of the bed-chamber 1662-85; PC 15 June 1670-Dec. 1688; c.j. in eyre (north) 1677-89.1

J.p. Notts. July 1660-89; dep. lt. Notts. c. Aug. 1660-70, Derbys. by 1662-70; commr. for assessment, Derbys. Aug. 1660-74, Northumb. Aug. 1660-1, Northumb. and Notts. 1663-74, sewers, Hatfield chase Aug. 1660; col. of vol. horse, Notts. 1661; commr. for loyal and indigent officers, Northumb. 1662; jt. c.-in-c. of militia, Cumb., Westmld., Northumb. and co. Dur. 1667; ld. lt. Northumb. (jt.) 1670-6, (sole) 1676-89, Notts. 1677-89, Yorks. Oct. 1688-9; commr. for recusants, Derbys. 1675; custos rot. Northumb. 1675-89, Derbys. and Notts. 1677-89; recorder, Berwick-upon-Tweed 1685-6, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and East Retford 1685-Oct. 1688; col of militia ft. York Oct. 1688-d.2

Capt. indep. tp. 1666; gov. Newcastle 1666-?74, Berwick 1675-86; col. of ft. 1667, 1673-4, Oct.-Dec. 1688.3


Lord Mansfield was grandson to a younger brother of the 1st Earl of Devonshire, who acquired an estate in Northumberland by marrying Lord Ogle’s heiress. His father, the commander of the Cavalier army in the north, was exiled after the Civil war and his estates, worth over £22,000 a Year, were sold by the treason trustees. Mansfield himself, who had been with the royalist forces at Marston Moor, stood for Derbyshire at the general election of 1660. He was probably encouraged to defy the Long Parliament ordinance by his father-in-law, who considered all these measures void since the death of Charles I. According to Mansfield’s father, still in exile, ‘the Anabaptists, believing his passion to serve the King, threatened to take him, dead or alive’; but, aided by ’a trick of returning the writs and a troop of horse from Nottingham, he was successful after a contest. He presented himself to the King at Dover, and was rewarded with the mastership of the robes. He made no recorded speeches in the Convention, and his committee work was limited to the bill for restoring his father’s title and estates and the petition for a fast.4

Mansfield transferred to Northumberland in 1661, and was probably returned unopposed. Lord Wharton listed him as a friend, but he was again inactive in the Cavalier Parliament. He was appointed to 22 committees, including the committee of elections and privileges in eight sessions, and made 11 recorded speeches. He took little part in controversial measures, his most important committees in the first session being for restoring the bishops to the House of Lords and executing those under attainder; but in view of the deplorable condition of his father’s eight parks after the despoliation of the Civil War and Interregnum, he was probably more interested in the bill to prevent the poaching of deer. His ‘melancholy, splenetic apprehensions’ induced him to resign his office to Laurence Hyde, and though he was given a less exacting post in the bedchamber he was always eager for an excuse to avoid attendance at Court. Nevertheless he was listed as a court dependent in 1664, and seconded the motion of Sir John Goodricke in the Oxford session for the gift of £120,000 to the Duke of York for his naval services. In 1667 he was entrusted, together with the 1st Earl of Carlisle (Charles Howard), with the defence of the northern counties, and in his constituency, where he was apparently a stranger, he gained the character of ‘a prudent, well-tempered nobleman’. On 20 Sept. he wrote to Sir George Savile: ‘I am very sorry for the fall of my lord chancellor, and truly I am not resolved whether to go to the beginning [of the next session] of the Parliament’. A friend of Sir Thomas Osborne, who, he already predicted, would be ‘a great man in business’, he was included in both lists of the court party in 1669-71 and made joint lord lieutenant of Northumberland (with his father) and a Privy Councillor. On 14 Feb. 1671 he informed the House that the King had cancelled the patent for lighthouses in Ireland, which had been declared a grievance.5

Mansfield, styled Lord Ogle since his father’s dukedom, was again under arms in the third Dutch war, but his officers caused alarm, and his defence was clumsy:

He must choose some Roman Catholics or he cannot raise the King a good regiment. ... He has but two officers Papists in his whole regiment, and one was put upon him. It does not become us to think of so great danger of Popery. ... Northumberland ... is divided betwixt Papists and such as have fought against the King. He is the son of a father that has fought for him, and so are they also; therefore it cannot be thought amiss to employ them.

He probably introduced the bill for the enfranchisement of Durham, since he was the first Member named to the committee on 10 Mar. 1673. In the next session he was among those appointed to consider the revival of the Border Act. His name appeared on the Paston list, and on 1 Apr. 1675 his friend Osborne, now Lord Treasurer Danby, wrote to him: ‘I am by the King’s command to let you know that he will take it kindly if you would take the trouble to be here the first session of Parliament’. This tactful summons was effective. Ogle was in his place on the first day of the session and again moved for the representation of Durham. He confidently denied the charge against Danby of declaring at the council board that a new proclamation was better than an old law. He defended the Newark charter and opposed a second address against Lauderdale. A court dependent and a government speaker in the autumn session, his last in the Commons, he was among those appointed to consider illegal exactions and the duties on coal exports. During the ensuing recess he succeeded to the Newcastle peerage.6

Newcastle remained loyal to the Stuarts all his life, though with decreasing enthusiasm. His electoral interest in Nottinghamshire and Northumberland remained a potent factor, and he voted against exclusion in 1680. But his sufferings from gout increasingly rendered him ‘fit for no place but what is very private and retired’. He made little attempt to canvass support for James II’s religious policy, and was easily gulled by Danby in 1688. He evaded taking the oaths to the new regime after the Revolution on the grounds of ill health. He died on 26 July 1691 and was buried at Bolsover. The bulk of his estate, valued at £9,000 p.a., was inherited by his son-in-law, the 4th Earl of Clare (John Holles).7

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / E. R. Edwards


  • 1. CSP Dom. 1660-1, p. 26; 1661-2, p. 365; Cal. Treas. Bks. v. 573.
  • 2. C181/7/20; Kingdom’s Intell. 7 Mar. 1661; CSP Dom. 1667, p. 214; 1670, p. 353; 1677-8, p. 13; 1685, 54, 67, 86; 1686-7, p. 263; 1687-9, p. 297; Yorks. Arch. Jnl. xxix. 284.
  • 3. CSP Dom. 1665-6, p. 476; 1666-7, p. 384; 1667, p. 179; 1671-2, p. 270; 1675-6, p. 450; 1686-7, p. 260; HMC Portland, ii. 149.
  • 4. M. Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, Life of Newcastle, 127, 143-5, 253; Cal. Cl. SP, v. 1.
  • 5. Life of Newcastle, 135-6; HMC Portland, ii. 146; Browning, Danby, ii. 13; CSP Dom. 1667, p. 357; Spencer mss.
  • 6. HMC Portland, ii. 150, Grey, ii. 75-76; iii. 44, 191; Dering, 59, 95.
  • 7. HMC 14th Rep. IX, 417; Reresby Mems. 320; HMC Lords, ii. 14, 37, 114, 279; Luttrell, ii. 270.