The Collection covers Lord William's military and official postings in some detail, with separate groups of papers concerning his career in Madras, Sicily, and Bengal. The pre-1803 series refers to his activities as a young officer in the English armies in Flanders and Italy during the Revolutionary wars. Correspondence and related papers are also present for his time with the British armies in the Penninsular War, when he took part in the retreat to Coruña under Sir John Moore.From his experience as a local landlord, there are records concerning his interest in agricultural improvement and the Fen drainage system. His life and interests after his return from India to England are also reflected, particularly his energetic efforts as M.P. for Glasgow to set up a company to promote steam ship communication with India via Suez and Socotra.
Papers of Lord William H. Cavendish Bentinck (1774-1839), soldier, politician and statesman, in the Portland (Welbeck) Collection
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 159 Pw Ja-Jg
- Dates of Creation1790-1839
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish Latin
- Physical Description203 boxes
- Direct Link
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Lord William Cavendish Bentinck (1774-1839) was the second son of the third Duke of Portland and a professional soldier. His extensive correspondence and associated official papers cover his distinguished career. He saw service in Minorca and Egypt before being posted to India in 1803 as Governor of Madras. In 1811 he returned to Europe as commander-in-chief of the British forces in Sicily, and later served in Spain. He served briefly as M.P. for Kings Lynn before returning to India in 1827 as governor general of Bengal, where he effected important financial reforms, reorganized the judicial department and extended the system of employment of natives in official positions. In 1833 he became the first governor general of India. Lord William returned to England in 1835, serving as Liberal M.P. for Glasgow from 1837.
Lord William's papers are divided according to notable stages in his career, with different finding aids devoted to the seven different series. Due to the extensive size of these series, each one is presented separately on the Manuscripts Online Catalogue. Browseable links to each of the series can be found towards the end of this catalogue record, under 'Related Record':Pw Ja. Early military career to 1803Pw Jb. Governor of Madras, 1803-1807Pw Jc. Military Service during the Peninsular War, 1807-1811Pw Jd. Envoy to the Court of Sicily, 1811-1814Pw Je. King's Lynn and political career, 1814-1827Pw Jf. Governor-General of Bombay and India, 1827-1835Pw Jg. Political Career after India, 1835-1839In most cases, the surviving papers reflect the organization of his files during his official duties.
Conditions Governing Access
Accessible to all registered readers.
Other Finding Aids
Copyright in all Finding Aids belongs to the University of Nottingham. In the Reading Room, King's Meadow Campus:4 Typescript Catalogues, 529 pp At the National Register of Archives, London:4 Typescript Catalogues, 529 pp On the World Wide Web:Catalogue accessible from the website for Manuscripts and Special Collections, Manuscripts Online Catalogue.Catalogue also available online through The National Archives Access to Archives (A2A) web site.
Conditions Governing Use
Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email email@example.com).Photocopies and photographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.
These papers form a sub-group of the Portland (Welbeck) Collection (Pw) and were received from the 7th Duke of Portland in the first deposit from Welbeck Abbey in 1949. A second deposit was received in 1968.
John Rosselli, 'Lord William Bentinck: The Making of a Liberal Imperialist 1774-1839' (Chatto and Windus, 1974)C.H. Philips, (ed.), 'The Correspondence of Lord William Cavendish-Bentinck' (2 vols., Oxford University Press, 1977)