All Things Georgian

NPG D1752; William Cavendish, 5th Duke of Devonshire by John Raphael Smith, after  Sir Joshua Reynolds

Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery

You may be aware that just before William Cavendish, the 5th Duke of Devonshire married Georgiana Spencer in 1774 he had had a relationship with a Charlotte Spencer (no relation to Georgiana) and that as a result of this liaison a child was born. This child being named Charlotte, after her mother and Williams after her father, but not until her mother had died in 1781.

During the early part of her life she was provided for by the Duke but raised by her mother, a milliner, until she died. At this point Charlotte was taken into the Cavendish household and lived with him and his wife Georgiana as an ‘orphaned member of the Spencer family’. Georgiana always treated Charlotte as if she were her own child.

NPG D35170; Georgiana Cavendish (nÈe Spencer), Duchess of Devonshire published by Excelsior Fine Art Association, with permission of  Henry Graves & Co, after  Robert Graves, after  Thomas Gainsborough

Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery

Everything went well until Charlotte acquired a new governess…

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