CAVENDISH, Richard (?1703-69).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
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1761 - 1768

Family and Education

b. ?1703, 1st s. of Dr. Edward Chandler, bp. of Durham 1730-50 by Barbara, da. of Sir Humphrey Brigges, 3rd Bt., of Haughton, Salop. educ. ?Eton 1718, Wadham, Oxf. 27 Apr. 1720, aged 16; L. Inn 1719, called 1726. m. Feb. 1732, Elizabeth, da. of Lord James Cavendish of Stayley Park, Derbys., s. of William, 1st Duke of Devonshire, s.p. suc. fa. 1750. Took name of Cavendish 1752, under terms of his fa.-in-law’s will.

Offices Held

Prothonotary of common pleas for the county palatine 1737; chancellor of diocese of Durham, 1738; commr. of customs 1737-61.


Cavendish was on friendly terms with his wife’s cousin, the Duke of Devonshire, and in 1760 was recommended by him to the Duke of Newcastle for a grant on the Irish establishment. When this was refused Cavendish himself wrote to Newcastle on 18 Dec. that he would ask for nothing else, preferring to continue in the commission of the customs.1 In 1761, however, he was nominated as a Government candidate on the Verney interest at Wendover, and the Duke of Devonshire again approached Newcastle, pointing out on 7 Mar. that Cavendish must in consequence resign his commissionership of customs: ‘If he can change it for no employment he would be glad of a pension. I am very sorry to be troublesome ... but ... this is a point I cannot possibly do without and therefore I hope you will get it done; is there nobody that has a pension that would exchange?’2 No exchange took place, and Cavendish, who had been returned unopposed, was accommodated with a secret service pension of £800 a year. In April 1761 James Marriott reported to Newcastle that Cavendish was applying for an Irish peerage,3 but nothing more appears about this application. In Bute’s list Cavendish was classed a follower of Devonshire; with the rest of the Cavendish group he voted against the Bute and Grenville Administrations and lost his pension; supported Rockingham’s; and opposed Chatham’s. There is no record of his having spoken in the House. He did not stand again at the general election of 1768, and died 22 Nov. 1769.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Mary M. Drummond


  • 1. Add. 32916, f. 175.
  • 2. Add. 32919, f. 501.
  • 3. Add. 32921, f. 281.