CAVENDISH, Lord George Augustus (?1727-94).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



28 Jan. 1751 - 1754
1754 - 1780
29 Nov. 1781 - 2 May 1794

Family and Education

b. ?1727, 2nd s. of William, 3rd Duke of Devonshire, and bro. of Lords Frederick and John Cavendish. educ. Chesterfield; St. John’s, Camb. 29 May 1746, aged 18. unm. suc. to Lancs. estates of cos. Sir William Lowther, 3rd Bt., 15 Apr. 1756.

Offices Held

Comptroller of the Household Nov. 1761-Oct. 1762; P.C. 15 Feb. 1762; ld. lt. Derbys. 1766-82.


At the general election of 1754 Lord George Cavendish was returned unopposed for Derbyshire. His conduct in Parliament conformed strictly to the family line. On 11 Dec. 1755 he wrote to his brother, the 4th Duke, who had recently succeeded to the title:1

I hope you will be so good when anything of consequence is foreseen in the House of Commons to signify your inclinations to me that I may act agreeably to them. You know that I always had the greatest regard for your advice, and now your opinion is the only guide that I can direct myself by, and all that I desire is to do what you should approve.

He told Horace Walpole in February 1783 that ‘he liked an aristocracy, and thought it right that great families with great connexions should govern’.2

Lord George resigned on his brother’s dismissal; and on 10 Dec. 1762, in what James Harris described as a ‘rather cloudy’ speech, attacked the peace preliminaries. On the formation of the Rockingham Administration in July 1765 Newcastle suggested him for chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster or treasurer of the Household—‘no one man can have more merit than his Lordship’;3 but Cavendish was indifferent to his own advancement. In the absence of Conway and Dowdeswell, who had to seek re-election on taking office, he read the speech at the Cockpit meeting, 16 Dec. 1765; and on 17 Dec. seconded the Address.

He attended regularly and spoke frequently, but was not a first-rate debater; and in party councils allowed his brother John to speak for the family. Wraxall wrote of him:4

Lord George ... possessed very limited talents, but ... the hereditary probity of the Cavendish family, which in no individual of that line was more recognized than in him, supplied the place of ability.

He died 2 May 1794, aged 66.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: John Brooke


  • 1. Devonshire mss.
  • 2. Last Jnls. ii. 488.
  • 3. Newcastle to Rockingham, 12 July 1765, Add. 32967, f. 349.
  • 4. Mems. iv. 381.