The 8th Duke of Devonshire was a statesman who served in Parliament for more than fifty years.

A significant figure in the Liberal Party, he played a leading role in the cabinets of Gladstone and later Liberal governments as the Marquess of Hartington.

He was asked three times by Queen Victoria to become Prime Minister, but each time he refused.

In 1892, at the age of 59, the Duke married Louise Frederica Augusta von Alten (1832-1911), widow of the 7th Duke of Manchester and remembered today as the 'Double Duchess'.

The Duke and Duchess entertained lavishly at Chatsworth, usually during the autumn and winter, and King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra were regular visitors.

The couple never had children, and so on the Duke's death in 1908, the title passed to his nephew Victor Cavendish.

Images 1 - 5, Spencer Cavendish as Lord Hartington, and later as the 8th Duke of Devonshire, image 6 fishing on the banks of the river Blackwater at Lismore Castle in Ireland, image 7 the Duke of Devonshire (back, centre) at a shooting party with King Edward VII (front seated, centre)

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