Edward Devonshire
British politician
Edward Devonshire
Edward William Spencer Cavendish, 10th Duke of Devonshire, KG, MBE, TD, known as Marquess of Hartington (1908–1938), was the head of the Devonshire branch of the Cavendish family. Born in the Parish of St George in the East, Stepney, he was the owner of Chatsworth House, and one of the largest private landowners in both the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.
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  • 1950
    Age 54
    On 26 November 1950, he suffered a heart attack and died in Eastbourne in the presence of his general practitioner, Dr John Bodkin Adams, the suspected serial killer.
    More Details Hide Details Despite the fact that the duke had not seen a doctor in the 14 days before his death, the coroner was not notified as he should have been. Adams signed the death certificate stating that the Duke died of natural causes. Thirteen days earlier, Edith Alice Morrell — another patient of Adams — had also died. Historian Pamela Cullen speculates that as the Duke was the head of British freemasonry, Adams — a member of the fundamentalist Plymouth Brethren — would have been motivated to withhold the necessary vital treatment, since the "Grandmaster of England would have been seen by some of the Plymouth Brethren as Satan incarnate". No proper police investigation was ever conducted into the death, but the duke's son, Andrew, later said "it should perhaps be noted that this doctor was not appointed to look after the health of my two younger sisters, who were then in their teens"; Adams had a reputation for grooming older patients in order to extract bequests.
  • 1948
    Age 52
    He served as President of the Zoological Society of London in 1948.
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  • 1947
    Age 51
    He was a freemason and was Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England from 1947 to 1950.
    More Details Hide Details The Duke's sister Lady Dorothy was married to Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. The Duke's younger brother Lord Charles Cavendish was married to dancer Adele Astaire, sister of Fred Astaire.
  • 1936
    Age 40
    He was Chairman of the Overseas Settlement Board in 1936 and was High Steward of the University of Cambridge and Chancellor of the University of Leeds from 1938 until 1950.
    More Details Hide Details He also had company directorships with The Alliance Insurance Company of Britain and the Bank of Australasia.
  • 1920
    Age 24
    He also served as Mayor of Buxton in 1920-21.
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  • 1917
    Age 21
    In 1917 he married Lady Mary Gascoyne-Cecil, granddaughter of Prime Minister Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury.
    More Details Hide Details They had five children:
    He also served in Derbyshire local government. He was appointed a JP for the county in 1917, and a Deputy Lieutenant in 1936, ultimately becoming the county's Lord Lieutenant from 1938 until his death.
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    He was also Honorary Colonel of the 6th Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters from 1917 to 1937, and of its successor, the 40th (Sherwood Foresters) Anti-Aircraft Battalion of the Royal Engineers.
    More Details Hide Details He unsuccessfully stood as a Conservative parliamentary candidate twice, in the 1918 General Election for North East Derbyshire and in 1922 for West Derbyshire, before gaining the latter seat in 1923 and holding it until he succeeded to his father's peerage and entered the House of Lords in 1938. He was subsequently a minister in Winston Churchill's wartime government as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, for India and Burma (1940-1942) and for the Colonies (1942-1945).
  • 1916
    Age 20
    Mobilised at the outbreak of the First World War, he was an aide-de-camp (ADC) on the Personal Staff at the British Expeditionary Force's General Headquarters. In 1916, when promoted Captain, he rejoined his regiment, in Egypt, and served in the latter stages of the Dardanelles campaign.
    More Details Hide Details He then returned to France, became attached to Military Intelligence, then to the War Office and the British Military Mission in Paris, and was twice mentioned in despatches. In 1919 he served on the British peace delegation that attended the signing of the Treaty of Versailles and was awarded the MBE. He also became a knight of the French Legion of Honour. He continued serving after the war with his regiment, which became 24 (Derbyshire Yeomanry) Armoured Car Company of the Royal Tank Regiment in 1923. He was promoted Major in 1932, and became Lieutenant Colonel in command in 1935. He was awarded the Territorial Decoration.
  • 1895
    Born on May 6, 1895.
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