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

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
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 Cavendish, 3rd Duke of Devonshire, by Catherine, da. and h. of John Hoskins of Oxted, Surr.; bro. of Lord 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. 1756.

Offices Held

Comptroller of Household Nov. 1761-Oct. 1762; PC 15 Feb. 1762.

Ld. lt. Derbys. 1766-82.


Cavendish, a veteran Rockingham Whig, continued to sit for Derbyshire on the family interest. A member of Brooks’s and an early member of the Whig Club (6 Dec. 1784), he was no longer active in the House. During the Regency crisis, he thought the Whigs were put at a disadvantage by ‘some misfortunes and perhaps some mismanagement’.1 On 2 Apr. 1791 he requested the Speaker to apologize for his absence from the House: he had thought the slave trade would be the only question of note before it and had abstained on the issue, disliking the manner in which it was pursued.2 He had also ceased to interest himself in the cause of religious dissenters by then. He attended to vote against the Russian armament, 1 Mar. 1792. Later that year he informed William Adam:

The perplexed situation of affairs I am clear is the consequence of the mistaken policy of this country, and if our rulers think that the only way to prevent the contagion that prevails abroad from spreading here to be force, they will bring on the same mischief here.

Soon afterwards he wrote that, in a situation requiring wisdom, ‘I am afraid we shall depend on nothing but cleverness’. He was listed a Portland Whig in December 1792, but the only further reference to his views, in January 1794, was to his hostility to the war with France.3

He died 2 May 1794, aged 66, on his way back to London from Holker where he invariably kept Easter. ‘In him’, wrote Wraxall, ‘the hereditary probity of the Cavendish family, which in no individual of that line was more recognised ... supplied the place of ability.’4

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. Grey mss, Cavendish to Louisa Ponsonby, 25 Dec. 1788.
  • 2. Sidmouth mss.
  • 3. Blair Adam mss, Cavendish to Adam, 23 Oct.; Grey mss, Cavendish to Louisa Ponsonby, 19 Nov. 1792; Add. 51706, Pelham to Lady Webster, 21 [Jan. 1794].
  • 4. F. L. Bickley, Cavendish Fam. 209; Wraxall Mems. ed. Wheatley, iv. 381.