William Cavendish, 2nd Earl of Devonshire (1590-1628)
attributed to Daniel Mytens the elder (Delft c.1590 – The Hague 1648)
William Cavendish was the son of the 1st Earl, of the same name, and Anne Keighley. He only survived his father by two years, but in his short life managed to make a sizeable hole in the Devonshire estates through his extravagance. He married Christian Bruce, daughter of Lord Bruce of Kinloss, who gained something of a reputation as a wise and witty lady. She survived her husband for many years, and nursed their properties back to financial solvency. He was a close friend of Thomas Hobbes, the philosopher and author of ‘Behemoth’ and the ‘Leviathan’. After the 2nd Earl’s premature death, Hobbes became tutor to his son, the 3rd Earl, who remained his patron and protector for the rest of his life.
Oil painting on canvas, William Cavendish, 2nd Earl of Devonshire (1590-1628), attributed to Daniel Mytens the elder (Delft c.1590 – The Hague 1648). A head-and-shoulders portrait, turned slightly to the right, gazing at spectator, in robes. Devonshire arms top left.
By descent until, following the death of Edward William Spencer Cavendish, 10th Duke of Devonshire (1895 - 1950), Hardwick Hall and its contents were accepted by HM Treasury in part payment of death duties and transferred to the National Trust, in 1959
Hardwick Hall, The Devonshire Collection (National Trust)
Marks and inscriptions
upper left 7th Earl of Shrewsbury
Makers and roles
attributed to Daniel Mytens the elder (Delft c.1590 – The Hague 1648), artist