Profession: British Prime Minister
Why Famous: William Cavendish-Bentinch, Duke of Portland was a Whig politician who was Prime Minister twice, with a record 24 years between each term of office.
Cavendish-Bentinck was first elected to parliament in 1761 before entering the House of Lords a year later when he inherited the dukedom from his father.
The Duke of Portland first became Prime Minister in 1783 though it was Charles Fox who took the lead in parliament. Although the King dismissed the government in December of that year, Portland did oversee the signing of the Treaty of Paris, ending the American Revolutionary War.
In 1794 Portland supported William Pitt the Younger and a coalition was formed with Portland as Home Secretary.
When the ‘Ministry of All the Talents’ government of William Grenville fell in 1807 Cavendish-Bentinck once again became Prime Minister but bad health limited his effectiveness and he resigned in 1809 and was dead a month later.
- 1766-11-08 Future Prime Minister William Cavendish-Bentinck (28) weds Dorothy Cavendish (16)
- 1783-04-02 William Cavendish-Bentinck becomes Prime Minister of Great Britain after an opposition coalition of Henry Fox and Frederick North forces William Petty to resign
- 1807-03-02 William Cavendish-Bentinck, Duke of Portland becomes British Prime Minister for the second time after the fall of William Grenville's Whig government
- 1809-10-04 Spencer Perceval becomes Prime Minister of the United Kingdom after William Cavendish-Bentinck, Duke of Portland retires due to ill health