Thursday, 25 September 2008

William Bentinck, 1st Earl of Portland (cr. 1689)



(Hans) William Bentick, KG, PC (1649- 1709), Baron Bentinck, of Diepenheim, in the Netherlands, 1st Earl of Portland, Viscount Woodstock and Baron Cirencester (cr. 1689)

The son of Bernard, Baron Bentinck and descended from an ancient and noble Flemish family became a close friend of William, prince of Orange.
Prince William of Orange sent him in several diplomatic missions to England namely, in 1677, to ask the hand of Mary, daughter of James, duke of York which would give him succession rights to the throne of England.

The alliance of some Tory peers and the Whigs against the increasingly unpopular policies of king James II led ultimately led to the invasion of England by the Dutch and the flight into exile of king James II. Lord Bentick played an important role in the preparation of the invasion and in the gathering of support for William’s cause both in England and among foreign powers.

The «Glorious Revolution» having been accomplished with the accession to the throne of William and Mary as joint monarchs, England became a constitutional monarchy with the approval of the English Bill of Rights. The new regime however had to face the «Jacobite» uprisings in Ireland and Scotland till 1745.

William Bentick’s loyalty and dedication to the new dynasty was highly rewarded by the appointment as Groom of the Stole, Privy Counsellor and created Baron Cirencester, Visount Woodstock and Earl of Portland, all in 1689.

He fought at the battles of the Boyne and Landen were he was wounded and in 1697-98, was sent as Ambassador to Paris for negotiations with Louis XIV over the partition of the Spanish monarchy, In 1697 he was installed a Knight of the Garter.

Lord Portland was further rewarded with a very large gift of crown land in Ireland leaving a huge fortune when he died.

Lord Portland was married 1stly. On 1678 Anne Villiers and 2ndly. on 1700, Jane Martha Temple, the widow of the 3rd Baron Berkeley of Stratton.

His eldest son Henry, who succeeded him, was created Marquess of Titchfield and Duke of Portland in 1716.


F. 424

Arms: Az. a cross moline ar (Bentick) surrounded by a garter with the Order’s motto.
Crest: Out of a marquess’s coronet ppr. two arms couter-embowed, vested gules on the hands, gloves or., each holding an ostrich’s feather ar. for Bentiwck.

Supporters: Two lions, double queued, the Dexter ppr. the Sinister sa.
The bookplate is dated 1704.

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