Sir William Cavendish came from Cavendish in Suffolk. He was a knight, MP and courtier and prospered during the 16th century as one of King Henry VIII's commissioners for the dissolution of the monasteries.

He married Bess of Hardwick (née Elizabeth Hardwick) in 1547, it was his third marriage. 

When he married Bess, she persuaded him to sell the former monastic lands he had amassed and move to Derbyshire, her home county. In 1552, they began building Chatsworth, an ambitious new house around a central courtyard with a gate tower, great hall and Chapel. The Hunting Tower followed in the 1580's.

Sir William died in 1557.

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