Winifred Cavendish-Bentinck, Duchess of Portland

Is your surname Cavendish-Bentinck?

Research the Cavendish-Bentinck family

Winifred Cavendish-Bentinck, Duchess of Portland's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Winifred Anna Cavendish-Bentinck (Dallas-Yorke), Duchess of Portland

Birthplace: Murthly Castle, Perthshire, Perth, Scotland
Death: July 30, 1954 (90)
Welbeck Woodhouse, Welbeck Abbey, Nottinghamshire, England
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Thomas Dallas-Yorke and Frances Perry Dallas-Yorke
Wife of William Cavendish-Bentinck, 6th Duke of Portland
Mother of Lady Victoria Cavendish-Bentinck; William Cavendish-Bentinck, 7th Duke of Portland and Lord Francis Cavendish-Bentinck
Sister of Haliburton Francis Dallas-Yorke

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Winifred Cavendish-Bentinck, Duchess of Portland

Winifred Anna Cavendish-Bentinck, Duchess of Portland DBE JP (née Dallas-Yorke; was a British humanitarian and animal welfare activist.

Born at Murthly Castle, Perthshire, she was the only daughter of Thomas Yorke Dallas-Yorke of Walmsgate, Lincolnshire, and Frances (née Graham).

She served as a canopy bearer to HM Queen Alexandra at the 1902 coronation of King Edward VII, and was Mistress of the Robes from 1913 until Alexandra's death in 1925.

The Duchess was a Justice of the Peace for Nottinghamshire when based at the family seat Welbeck Abbey.

She married William John Arthur James Cavendish-Bentinck on 11 June 1889. They had three children:

Lady Victoria Alexandrina Violet Cavendish-Bentinck (27 February 1890 – 8 May 1994); she married Captain Michael Erskine-Wemyss and had issue William Arthur Henry Cavendish-Bentinck, 7th Duke of Portland (1893–1977); he married Ivy Gordon-Lennox and had issue Lord Francis Morven Dallas Cavendish-Bentinck (27 July 1900 – 22 August 1950) Winifred Cavendish-Bentinck, Duchess of Portland, was interred at the traditional burial place of the Dukes of Portland in the churchyard of St Winifred's Church at Holbeck.

The Duchess of Portland was a passionate animal lover, who kept stables for old horses and ponies, as well as dogs needing homes. In 1891, she became the first (and longest serving) president of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and was vice-president of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. She was also president of the ladies committee of the RSPCA.

She was elected as the third President of the Nottinghamshire Beekeepers' Association in 1907.

In 1889, she persuaded the duke to use a large portion of his horse racing winnings to build almshouses at Welbeck, which he named "The Winnings." She cared greatly for the local miners and supported them by paying for medical treatments, and organizing cooking and sewing classes for their daughters. She also sponsored a miner, with an interest in art, to study in London.

"In addition to the famous racing stables, where a number of the Duke of Portland's most celebrated horses (including "St. Simon") were to be seen, there is a group of substantially built almshouses, known as "The Winnings," which were erected by the Duke at the request of his wife out of the money won in seven races, viz., the Two Thousand Guineas in 1888 by "Ayrshire", the Derby and St. Leger in 1889 by "Donovan", the Oaks and St. Leger in 1890 by "Memoir", and the One Thousand Guineas in 1890 by "Semolina".

In honor of her support, the Nottinghamshire Miners' Welfare Association petitioned the king on her behalf; and in 1935 she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) on his silver jubilee.

She was also made a Dame of the Order of Queen Maria Luisa in Spain.

In 2010, a collection of jewels belonging to the Duchess was auctioned at Christies, including antique pearl and diamond brooches, and the Portland sapphire tiara.

The Portland diamond tiara, which was specially made for Edward VII's coronation, was stolen in November 2018. Links:,_Duchess_of_Portland



[S37] Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 3, page 3184. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition.

view all

Winifred Cavendish-Bentinck, Duchess of Portland's Timeline

September 7, 1863
Murthly Castle, Perthshire, Perth, Scotland
February 27, 1890
Age 26
St. George, Hanover Square, London, England
March 16, 1893
Age 29
Mayfair, London
July 27, 1900
Age 36
July 30, 1954
Age 90
Welbeck Woodhouse, Welbeck Abbey, Nottinghamshire, England