William Spenser Cavendish, 6th Duke of Devonshire
In 1811, just short of his 21st birthday, William Spenser Cavendish (the 6th duke of Devonshire) inherited one of the largest landed estates in the United Kingdom.
During his life he devoted great energy and a vast amount of money to its improvement, including major extensions to the mansion and alterations to the gardens and park at Chatsworth. From 1840 he began a similar campaign of improvement at Hardwick modernising the Hall and improving the farms on the estate.
He spent more time at Hardwick than any of his immediate predecessors. The 6th duke never married and at his death in 1858, his title passed to a distant kinsman, who in 1868 conveyed the Hardwick estate to his eldest son, the marquess of Hartington.
Image courtesy of the Devonshire Collection, Chatsworth. Reproduced by permission of Chatsworth Settlement Trust.