Sir William Cavendish, Knight

Sir William Cavendish, Knight

Male 1507 - 1557  (50 years)

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  • Name William Cavendish 
    Title Sir 
    Suffix Knight 
    Born 1507  [1
    Gender Male 
    Occupation Member of Parliament  [2
    Residence Thirsk, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Residence Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Died 25 Oct 1557  [1, 2
    Person ID I50706  The Hennessee Family
    Last Modified 2 Feb 2018 

    Family Elizabeth Hardwick, Countess of Shrewsbury,   b. ~1527, (Hasland, Derbyshire, England) Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Feb 1608  (Age ~ 80 years) 
    Married 20 Aug 1547  [1
    Last Modified 11 Dec 2018 
    Family ID F18832  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsResidence - - Thirsk, Yorkshire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - - Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, England Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Sir William Cavendish c. 1547
    Sir William Cavendish c. 1547

  • Notes 
    • Sir William Cavendish MP (c. 1505 25 October 1557) was an English nobleman, politician, knight and courtier.[1] He was MP for Thirsk in 1547.[2]

      Born c. 1505
      Died 25 Octobre 1557
      Nationality English
      Occupation Politician, Knight, Courtier
      Title Sir
      Spouse(s) Margaret Bostock (1st), Elizabeth Parker (2nd), Bess of Hardwick (3rd).
      Children 16 (including William Cavendish, 1st Earl of Devonshire, Elizabeth Stuart, Countess of Lennox, and Mary Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury)
      Parent(s) Thomas Cavendish
      Alice Smith
      Relatives Sir John Cavendish (great-grandfather)


      He was the younger son of Thomas Cavendish (1472-1524), who was a senior financial official, the "clerk of the pipe", in the Court of Exchequer, and his wife, Alice Smith of Padbrook Hall.[1] He was the great-grandson of Sir John Cavendish from whom the Dukes of Devonshire and the Dukes of Newcastle inherited the family name of Cavendish.[1]

      He became one of Thomas Cromwell's "visitors of the monasteries" when King Henry VIII annexed the property of the Catholic Church at the end of the 1530s, in the dissolution of the monasteries.[1] This followed from his successful career as a financial expert holding public office in the Exchequer, which led to his wealth.[1] He was accused of accumulating extra riches unfairly during the dissolution. After Cromwell's fall, he was sent to Ireland to survey and value lands which had fallen to the English during the Fitzgerald Rebellion.[1][3]

      Chatsworth House, Derbyshire
      He was connected to the Seymour brothers Edward and Thomas, and via them to the family of Jane Grey, but he also took care to send tokens of goodwill to The Lady Mary. He was appointed Treasurer of the Chamber from 1546 to 1553 but, after an audit, was accused of embezzling a significant amount of money. Only his death saved the family from disgrace.

      During the reign of Mary I, a favourable biography of Thomas Cardinal Wolsey was first published, written from the perspective of one of his closest aides, the one who had taken King Henry news of Wolsey's death. Although for centuries Sir William was said to be its author, historians now attribute it to his older brother George Cavendish (14941562).[1]


      William Cavendish had a total of 16 children by three wives. His first wife was Margaret Bostock, she had five children, but only two daughters survived - Mary (died after 1547) and Ann who married Sir Henry Boynton in 1561. Margaret died in 1540. In 1542 he was married to Elizabeth Parker; she had three children, none of whom survived. She died after giving birth to a stillborn daughter in 1546.

      In 1547 he married Bess of Hardwick.[4] He sold his property in Suffolk and moved to Bess's native county of Derbyshire. He purchased the Chatsworth estate in 1549 and the couple began to build Chatsworth House in 1552.[5]

      In the ten years before he died, they had eight children, six of whom survived infancy; one of these, Elizabeth, later entered into a controversial marriage with the Earl of Lennox. Their daughter Frances Cavendish, married Henry Pierrepont. Another daughter, Mary Cavendish, married Gilbert Talbot, 7th Earl of Shrewsbury. Their daughter Alethea Talbot Howard is an ancestor of the 5th and later Dukes of Norfolk. Other of William and Bess's descendants became the Dukes of Devonshire and the Dukes of Newcastle. Their granddaughter Arabella Stuart was a claimant to the throne of England in 1603. William is also an ancestor of the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother and through her the modern British Royal Family.

      He was succeeded by his eldest son Henry, who was a Knight of the Shire for Derbyshire for over 20 years.[1]

      end of biography [2]

  • Sources 
    1. [S12236] "Bess of Hardwick", Biography & Pedigree,, revisited or retrieved, record.

    2. [S12261] "William Cavendish (courtier)", Biography,, revisited or retr.