William Cavendish, duke of, an English general, born in 1592, died Dec. 25, 1676. He was the nephew of William Cavendish, founder of the ducal house of Devonshire, succeeded in 1617 to large estates, and ted himself to poetry, music, and other accomplishments. In 1620 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Ogle and Viscount Mansfield, and in 1628 was created earl of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. At the outbreak of the civil wars he sided with the king, to whose treasury he contributed £10,000, and took the field at the head of 200 cavaliers. He was intrusted with the command of the four northern counties, and raising an army of 10,000 men, he prostrated the power of the parliament in that part of England, defeated Sir Thomas Fairfax at Atherton Moor, June 30, 1643, and was made marquis of Newcastle. Subsequently he held the Scots in check at Durham, but was obliged in April, 1644, in consequence of the defeat of Col. Bellasis at Selby, to throw himself with all his forces into York, where for the next three months he sustained an investment by a greatly superior army under Fairfax. Upon the advance of the royal army under Rupert, he joined the latter with the greater part of the garrison, and endeavored to persuade him that, having raised the siege, he had better defer a battle until the arrival of the reŽnforcements. His advice was disregarded, and the battle of Marston Moor was fought, which ruined the royal cause in the north.
He then forced his way with a few followers to Scarborough, set sail for the continent, and established himself in Antwerp. His estates having been sequestrated by parliament in 1652, he lived in extreme poverty during the protectorate; but on the restoration he received substantial honors, and in March, 1664, was created earl of Ogle and duke of Newcastle. Clarendon says he was "a very fine gentleman, active and full of courage." He was the author of " A New Method to Dress Horses" (published in French, Antwerp, 1658, and in English, with alterations, London, 1667), and of several comedies; and is said to have written the more licentious passages in his wife's comedies. His duchess sketched his character and career in her "Life of the thrice Noble, High, and Puissant Prince William Cavendishe, Duke, Marquis, and Earl of Newcastle" (fob, London, 1667).
Margaret Cavendish, duchess of, second wife of the preceding, an English authoress, born at St. Johns, near Colchester, Essex, about 1625, died in December, 1673. She was the youngest daughter of Thomas Lucas, and informs us that "it pleased God to command his servant nature to indue her with a poetical and philosophical genius even from her birth, for she did write some books even in that kind before she was 12 years of age." Joining the court at Oxford in 1643, she was appointed a maid of honor to Queen Henrietta Maria, and accompanied her to Paris, where she met the marquis of Newcastle, whom she married in 1645, and accompanied to Antwerp. At the restoration they returned to England, and the remainder of their lives they spent in retirement, perpetrating an unlimited amount of bad prose and worse poetry. Both in conversation and in print, each spoke of the other as the greatest genius in the world, the duke being likened by his consort to Julius Caesar. She was the more voluminous author of the two, nothing being too high or too low for her to attempt; and as she never revised her works "lest it should disturb her following thoughts," she produced 13 folios, 10 of which are in print.
Walpole, in his " Catalogue of Royal and Noble Authors," calls her "a fertile pedant, with an unbounded passion for scribbling," and says that she kept a servant who slept on a truckle-bed in her room, and when during the night she felt inspiration, she would cry out, "John, I conceive;" whereupon he would arise and commit to paper what she dictated. The best known of her works are her two volumes of plays. She was buried in Westminster abbey.