Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/133

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

20th of May 1573. Other famous Westons were Stephen Weston (1665-1742) bishop of Exeter from 1724 until his death, and his son Edward Weston (1703-1770) the writer.

Much of the earl of Portland's correspondence is in the Public Record Office, London. For his political career see S. R. Gardiner, History of England (1883-1884), and L. von Ranke, Englische Geschichte (Eng. trans., Oxford, 1875).

PORTLAND, WILLIAM BENTINCK, EARL OF (c. 1645-1709), English statesman, was born, according to the Dutch historian, Groen van Prinsterer, in 1645, although most of the other authorities give the date as 1649. The son of Henry Bentinck of Diepenheim, he was descended from an ancient and noble family of Gelderland. He became page of honour and then gentleman of the bedchamber to William, prince of Orange. When, in 1675, the prince was attacked by small-pox, Bentinck nursed him assiduously, and this devotion secured for him the special and enduring friendship of William; henceforward, by his prudence and ability, he fully justified the confidence placed in him. In 1677 he was sent to England to solicit for the prince of Orange, the hand of Mary, daughter of James duke of York, afterwards lames II., and he was again in England in 1683 and in 168 5. When, in 1688, William was preparing for his invasion Bentinck went to some of the German princes to secure their support, or at least their neutrality, and he was also a medium of communication between his master and his English friends. He superintended the arrangements for the expedition and sailed to England with the prince.

The revolution accomplished, Bentinck was made groom of the stole, first gentleman of the bedchamber, and a privy councillor; and in April 1689 he was created Baron Cirencester, Viscount Woodstock and earl of Portland. He commanded some cavalry at the battle of the Boyne in 1690, and was present at the battle of Landen, where he was wounded, and at the siege of N amur. But his main work was of a diplomatic nature. Having thwarted the plot to murder the king in 1696, he helped to arrange the peace of Ryswick in 1697; in 1698 he was ambassador to Paris, where he opened negotiations with Louis XIV. for a partition of the Spanish monarchy, and as William's representative, he signed the two partition treaties. Portland had, however, become very jealous of the rising influence of Arnold van Keppel, earl of Albemarle, and, in 1699, he resigned all his offices in the royal household. But he did not forfeit the esteem of the king, who continued to trust and employ him. Portland had been loaded with gifts, and this, together with the jealousy felt for him as a foreigner, made him very unpopular in England. He received I5 5,000 acres of land in Ireland, and only the strong opposition of a united House of Commons prevented him obtaining a large gift of crown lands in North Wales. For his share in drawing up the partition treaties he was impeached in 1701, but the case against him was not proceeded with. He was occasionally employed on public business under Anne until his death at his residence, Bulstrode in Buckinghamshire, on the 23rd of November 1709. Portland's eldest son Henry (1680-1724) succeeded as 2nd earl. He was created marquess of Titchfield and duke of Portland in 1716.

See G. Burnet, History of My Own Time (Oxford, 1833); Lord Macaulay, History of Eng and (1854); L. von Ranke, Englische Gesrliirlzte (Eng. trans., Oxford, 1875); and especially Onno Klopp, Der Full des Hauser Sluart (Vienna, 1875-1888). See also Dr A. WJ Ward's article in vol. iv. of the Diet. Nat. Bing.

PORTLAND, WILLIAM HENRY CAVENDISH BENTINCK, 3rd DUKE or (1738-1809), prime minister of England, son of William, 2nd duke (1709-1762), and grandson of the 1st duke. His mother, Margaret, granddaughter and heiress of John Holles, duke of Newcastle, brought to her husband Welbeck Abbey and other estates in Nottinghamshire. He was born on the 14th of April 1738, and was educated at Oxford, where he graduated M.A. in 1757. In 1761, as marquess of Titchfield, he became M.P. for the borough of Weobly (Hereford), but in May 1762 he was called to the upper houseon the death of his father. Under the marquess of Rockingham he Was, from July 1765 to December 1766, lord Chamberlain, and on the return of Rockingham to power in April 1782 he was made lord-lieutenant of Ireland. After the short ministry of Shelburne, succeeding the death of Rockingham, the duke of Portland was selected by Fox and 'North as a “ convenient cipher ” to become the head of the coalition ministry, to the formation of which the king was with great reluctance compelled to give his assent. The duke held the premiership from the 5th of April 1783 until the defeat of the bill for “ the just and efficient government of British India ” caused his dismissal from office on the 1 7th of December following. Under Pitt he was, from 1794 to 1801, secretary of state for the home department, after which he was, from 1801 to ISGS, president of the council. In ISO7 he was appointed a second time prime minister and first lord of the treasury. Ill health caused him to resign in October 1809, and he died on the 30th of that month. He owed his political influence chiefly to his rank, his mild disposition, and his personal integrity, for his talents were in no sense brilliant, and he was deficient in practical energy as well as in intellectual grasp.

He married in 1766 Lady Dorothy Cavendish (17 50-1794), daughter of the 4th duke of Devonshire, and was succeeded as 4th duke by his son William Henry (1768-1854), who married a daughter of the famous gambler, General John Scott, and was brother-in-law to Canning. His son, the 5th duke, William John Cavendish Bentinck-Scott (1800-1879) died unmarried. He is notable for having constructed the underground halls at Welbeck Abbey, and for his retiring habits of life, which gave occasion for some singular stories.[1] He was succeeded by his cousin William John Arthur Charles James Cavendish-Bentinck (b. 1857) as 6th duke.

PORTLAND, a seaport of Normanby county, Victoria, Australia, 250 m. by rail S.W. of Melbourne. Pop. (1901), 2185. It stands on the western shore of a magnincent bay, 24 m. long and 12 m. broad, and is the outlet for a rich agricultural and pastoral tract.

PORTLAND, the largest city of Maine, U.S.A., the county seat of Cumberland county, and a port of entry, on Casco Bay, about 115 m. by rail N.N.E. of Boston. Pop. (1890), 36,425; (1900), 50,145, of whom 34,918 were born in Maine, 3125 in the other New England states, 4476 in Canada, and 3273 in Ireland, and 291 were negroesg (1910 census) 58,571. Portland is served by the Maine Central, the Boston & Maine, and the Grand Trunk railways; by steamboat lines to New York, Boston, Bar Harbor, Saint John, N.B., and other coast ports, and, during the winter season, by the Allan and Dominion transatlantic lines. It is connected by ferry with South Portland.

  1. 1 Public interest centred for some years round the allegation that he lived a double life and was identical with Mr T. C. Druce, an upholsterer of Baker Street, London, who, in 1851, married Annie May. The “Druce case," involving a claim to the title and estates, by Mrs Druce (widow of W. T. Druce, son of T. C. Druce by Annie May) on behalf of her son, aroused much attention from 1 897 to 1908. The duke of Portland was undoubtedly buried in Kensal Green cemetery in 1879. “Druce,” on the other hand, was supposed to have died in 1864 and been interred in Highgate cemetery, his will bequeathing over £70,000 in personal estate. Mrs Druce's claims had two aspects, both as involving the revocation of probate of T. C. Druce's will, and also as identifying Druce with the duke of Portland. But her application to have the grave in Highgate opened (with the object of showing that the cofiin there was empty), though granted by Dr Tristram, chancellor of the diocese of London, was thwarted by a caveat being entered on the part of the executor of T. C. Druce's will; and the case became the subject of constant proceedings in the law-courts without result. Meanwhile it was discovered that children of T. C. Druce by a former wife were living in Australia, and Mrs Druce's claims fell into the background, the case being taken up independently by Mr G. H. Druce as the representative of this family, from 1903 onwards. A company to finance his case was formed in 1905, and in the autumn of 1907 he instituted a charge of perjury against Mr Herbert Druce, T. C. Druce's younger son and executor, for having sworn that he had seen his father die in 1864. Sensational evidence of a mock burial was given by an American witness named Caldwell, and others; but eventually it was agreed that the grave at Highgate should be opened. This was done on December the 30th, and the body of Mr T. C. Druce was then found in the coffin. The charge of perjury at once collapsed and was withdrawn on January 6th, the opening of the grave definitely putting an end to the story of an identity between the two men.