Cavendish, Victor Christian William (1868 -1938)

Born in the Marylebone area of London in 1868, Victor Christian William Cavendish was the eldest son of Lord Edward Cavendish (the third son of the 7th Duke of Devonshire), and Emma Lascelles. His uncle was Spencer Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington, later the 8th Duke of Devonshire.

Beginning his education at Eton, he carried on his studies at Trinity College, Cambridge prior to a career in politics in 1891 on the death of his father. He succeeded his father unopposed, becoming the youngest member of the House of Commons, and holding his father’s seat, West Derbyshire until 1908.   In that same year he inherited his uncle’s dukedom.  He also acted as Treasurer to His Majesty's Household from 1900 to 1903, then Financial Secretary to the Treasury from 1903 to 1905. He was Mayor of Eastbourne 1909-1910, and of Chesterfield 1911-1912, and a Civil Lord of the British Admiralty 1915-1916.

In 1916-1921 he was appointed Governor General of Canada.  The appointment was initially controversial, but by the time of his return to Britain he had earned praise for the way in which he carried out his official duties. He lived through the Canadian victory at Vimy Ridge in 1917, and the Halifax Explosion on 6 December 1917. In more peaceful times he took a keen interest in Canadian agriculture.

On returning to Britain after his term in Canada, he worked for the League of Nations and was then Secretary of State for the Colonies until 1924.

He married Lady Evelyn Emily Mary Fitzmaurice, eldest daughter of Lord Lansdowne, Canada's fifth Governor General, and Viceroy of India, on July 30, 1892. Together, they had two sons and five daughters. Two of their daughters married aide-de-camps to their father while he was Governor General. One of his daughters, Lady Dorothy Cavendish, married Captain Harold MacMillan, who later became Prime Minister of Britain, in 1920. Their youngest son, Charles Arthur Francis, married Adele Astaire, the sister of Fred Astaire, in 1932.

On his retirement from political life, he lived on the Cavendish estate at Chatsworth in Derbyshire until his death in 1938. Lady Evelyn died in 1960

Seat / Residence(s): Chatsworth House
Stamp(s) Stamp Information
Title: Cavendish, Victor Christian William (1868 - 1938) (Stamp 1)
Crest: a serpent nowed
Dimensions (height x width): 28mm x 29mm
Coronet: Duke
Heraldic Charges: serpent