Manuscripts and Special Collections

Lord [William] George Frederic Cavendish-Scott-Bentinck (1802-1848)

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The second surviving son of the 4th Duke of Portland, Lord George's early life was dominated by sporting and military pursuits.

As a member of the 9th Lancers, he became embroiled in a dispute with his superior officer, Captain Ker, which led to an infamous duel between the two men in Paris in May 1821. Though both men turned up for their 'meeting' in the Bois de Boulogne, their duel was prevented by the intervention of Lord George's uncle, George Canning.

Through Canning's influence, Lord George became involved in politics, being elected as M.P. for King's Lynn in 1828.

Lord George had a short, but extremely influential political career, becoming leader of the Protectionist cause in the House of Commons in 1846. He vehemently opposed the repeal of the Corn Laws, and was chiefly responsible for bringing about the fall of Peel and causing the permanent division of Peel's party.

Perhaps the primary interest in Lord George Bentinck's life, however, was horseracing. He carried on breeding, training and racing operations on an almost unparalleled scale and virtually controlled Goodwood. He was responsible for many of the reforms which helped horseracing become a more regulated sport.


Lord George never married.

Archive Collections

  • Lord George's papers are part of the Portland (Welbeck) Collection held in Manuscripts and Special Collections and include extensive personal and political correspondence
  • Details of collections held elsewhere are available through the National Register of Archives.

Published Sources

  • Disraeli, Benjamin, Lord George Bentinck: a political biography (London, 1852)
  • Kent, J., Racing Life of Lord George Cavendish Bentinck and other reminiscences (1892)
  • Kirby, Chester, The English Country Gentleman. A study of nineteenth, century types (Lord George Bentinck, Grantley Berkeley, 5th Duke of Richmond, Sir John Bennet Lawes) (London, 1937)
  • Michael Seth-Smith, Lord Paramount of the Turf: Lord George Bentinck 1802-1948 (London, 1971)

University Theses

  • Jewell, Phyllis M., The opposition of Lord George Bentinck and the Right Hon. Benjamin Disraeli to Sir Robert Peel (Liverpool University Thesis, 1929)



Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
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