Edward William Spencer Cavendish(6 Mai 1895; 26 Novembre 1950), Marquis de Hartington de 1908 à 1938 puis dixième Duc du Devonshire, fut à la tête de la branche du Devonshire de la famille Cavendish. Il mena une carrière dans l'armée et en politique et appartenait à la franc maçonnerie. Sa mort subite, apparamment par une attaque cardiaque à l'âge de cinquante-cinq ans, fut mise sur le compte du serial killerJohn Bodkin Adams.
Jeunes années[modifier | modifier le code]
Il est le fils de Victor Cavendishet de son épouse Evelyn Petty-Fitzmaurice. Il naquit dans la paroisse de St George in the East, Stepney, London. Il passa son éducation au collège de Eton puis au Trinity College, Cambridge.
Carrière militaire[modifier | modifier le code]
Mobilisé au déclenchement de la Première Guerre mondiale, il fut nommé aide-de-camp au quartier général du corps expéditionnaire britannique en France. En 1916, promu capitaine, il rejoignit son régiment en Egypte et servit dans les dernières étapes de la campagne des Dardanelles. Puis il retourna en France, auprès du renseignement militaire, oeuvra au sein du War Office et de la mission militaire à Paris et son nom fut mentionné deux fois dans des dépêches officielles.
Après la guerre il poursuivit son service au sein de son régiment, qui changea d'appelation pour devenir la 24ème (Derbyshire Yeomanry) Armoured Car Company du Royal Tank Regiment en 1923. Promu Major en 1932, il devint Lieutenant Colonel in 1935.
Carrière politique[modifier | modifier le code]
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).
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. He also served as Mayor of Buxton in 1920-21.
Other civil posts[modifier | modifier le code]
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. He also had company directorships with The Alliance Insurance Company of Britain and the Bank of Australasia. He served as President of the Zoological Society of London in 1948.
Family[modifier | modifier le code]
- William Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington (1917–1944), killed in action in World War II. Married to Kathleen Kennedy, sister of John F. Kennedy.
- Lord Andrew Cavendish (1920–2004), later Marquess of Hartington (1944–1950) and the 11th Duke of Devonshire (1950–2004). Married to Deborah Mitford.
- Lady Mary Cavendish (6 November 1922 – 17 November 1922).
- Lady Elizabeth Georgiana Alice Cavendish (b. 24 April 1926). Never married.
- Lady Anne Evelyn Beatrice Cavendish (6 November 1927 – 9 August 2010). Married to Michael Lambert Tree
Death[modifier | modifier le code]
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. 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.
Adams was tried in 1957 for Morrell's murder but controversially acquitted. The prosecutor was Attorney-General Sir Reginald Manningham-Buller, a distant cousin of the Duke (via their shared ancestor, George Cavendish). Cullen has questioned why Manningham-Buller failed to question Adams regarding the Duke's death, and suggests that he was wary of drawing attention to Prime Minister Harold Macmillan (the Duke's brother-in-law) and specifically to his wife who was having an extramarital affair with Robert Boothby at the time.
The Duke's body was buried in the churchyard at Edensor, Derbyshire, near Chatsworth.
Estate[modifier | modifier le code]
The Duke's surprise death meant that his estate had to pay 80% death duties, which would have been avoided had he lived a few months longer.Modèle:Why This led to the transfer of Hardwick Hall to the National Trust, and the sale of many of the Devonshires' accumulated assets, including tens of thousands of acres of land, and many works of art and rare books.
Ancestry[modifier | modifier le code]
See also[modifier | modifier le code]
References[modifier | modifier le code]
- (en) Who Was Who, 1941-1950, A & C Black, , p. 310
- (en) Kelly's Handbook of the Titled, Landed and Official Classes, 1916, Kelly's, p. 714
- (en) Kelly's Handbook of the Titled, Landed and Official Classes, 1948, Kelly's, p. 626
- (en) Kelly's Handbook to the Titled, Landed and Official Classes, 1948, Kelly's, p. 626 Erreur de référence : Balise
<ref>non valide ; le nom « kelly's » est défini plusieurs fois avec des contenus différents
- Cullen, Pamela V., Stranger in Blood: The Case Files on Dr John Bodkin Adams, London, Elliott & Thompson, 2006, (ISBN 1-904027-19-9).
- Cullen, pp. 97–101.
- Cullen, p. 100.
- Devlin, Patrick. Easing the passing: The trial of Doctor John Bodkin Adams, London, The Bodley Head, 1985.
- Cullen, p. 617.
- (en) « GREAT BRITAIN: Death and Taxes », Time, (lire en ligne)
- (en)Hansard 1803–2005 : contributions de the Duke of Devonshire au Parlement du Royaume-Uni