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in the year 1698, in the new negociation set on foot for the succession of the Crown of Spain, called by the name of the partition treaty, the intention of which being frustrated by the treachery of the French king, the treaty itself fell under severe censure, and was looked upon as a fatal slip in the politics of that reign; and lord Portland was impeached by the house of commons, in the year 1700, for advising and transacting it, as were also the other lords concerned with him in it.
This same year, lord Portland was a second time attacked, together with lord Albemarle, by the house of commons, when the affair of the disposal of the forfeited estates in Ireland was under their consideration ; it appearing upon inquiry, that the king had, among many other grants, made one to lord Woodstock (the earl of Portland's son) of 135,820 acres of land, and to lord Albemarle two grants, of 108,633 acres in possession and reversion ; the parliament came to a resolution to resume these grants; and also resolved, that the advising and passing them was highly reflecting on the king's honour; and that the officers and instruments concerned in the procuring and passing those grants, had highly failed in the performance of their trust and duty; and also, that the procuring or passing exorbitant grants, by any member now of the privy-council, or by any other that had been a privy-counsellor, in this, or any former reign, to his use or benefit, was a high crime and misdemeanour. To carry their resentment still farther, the commons immediately impeached the earls of Portland and Albemarle, for procuring for themselves exorbitant grants. This impeachment, however, did not succeed, and then the commons voted an address to his majesty, that no person who was not a native of his dominions, excepting his royal highness prince George of Denmark, should be admitted to his majesty's councils in England or Ireland, but this was evaded by the king's going the very next day to the house of lords, passing the bills that were ready, and putting an end to the session. The partition treaty was the last public transaction we find lord Portland engaged in, the next year after his impeachment, 1701, having put a period to the life of his royal and munificent master, king William III.; but not without having shewn, even in his last moments, that his esteem and affection for lord Portland ended but with his life : for when his majesty was just expiring, he asked, though with a faint voice, for
the earl of Portland, but before his lordship could come, the king's voice quite failed him. The earl, however, placing his ear as near his majesty's mouth as could be, his lips were observed to move, but without strength to express his mind to his lordship; but, as the last testimony of the cordial affection he bore him, he took him by the hand, and carried it to his heart with great tenderness, and expired soon after. His lordship had before been a witness to, and signed his majesty's last will and testament, made at the Hague in 1695; and it is said, that king William, the winter before he died, told lord Portland, as they were walking together in the garden at Hampton court, that he found his health declining very fast, and that he could not live another summer, but charged his lordship not to mention this till after his majesty's death. We are told, that at the time of the king's death, lord Portland was keeper of Windsor great park, and was displaced upon queen Anne's accession to the throne: we are not, however, made acquainted with the time when his lordship became first possessed of that post. After king Williain's death, the earl did not, at least openly, concern himself with public affairs, but betook himself to a retired life, in a most exemplary way, at his seat at Bulstrode in the county of Bucks, where he erected and plentifully endowed a free-school; and did many other charities. His lordship had an admirable taste for gardening, and took great delight in improving and beautifying his own gardens, which he made very elegant and curious. At length, being taken ill of a pleurisy and malignant fever, after about a week's illness he died, November 23, 1709, in the sixty-first year of his age, leaving behind him a very plentiful fortune, being at that time reputed one of the richest subjects in Europe. His corpse being conveyed to London, was, on the third of December, carried with great funeral pomp, from his house in St. James's square to Westminster-abbey, and there interred in the vault under the east window of Henry the Seventh's chapel.
Henry, his son, second earl, was created duke of PortJand, 1716, and having incurred great loss of fortune by the South Sea bubble, went over as governor to Jamaica, 1722, and died there 1726, aged forty-five. William his son, second duke, who died in 1762, married lady Margaret Cavendish Harley, only child of the second earl of Oxford, and heiress to the vast estates of the Cavendishes,
formerly dukes of Newcastle. This lady, after the duke's death, lived with splendid hospitality at Bulstrode, which was the resort not only of persons of the highest rank, but of those most distinguished for talents and eminence in the literary world. To her, posterity will ever be indebted, for securing to the public the inestimable treasures of learning contained in the noble manuscript library of her father and grandfather, earls of Oxford, now deposited in the British museum, by the authority of parliament, under the guardianship of the most distinguished persons of the realm, easy of access, and consequently of real use to the philosopher, the statesman, the historian, and the scholar. She died July 17, 1785, and the following year her own museum, collected at vast expence to herself, and increased by some valuable presents from her friends, was disposed of by auction, by the late Mr. Alderman Skinner. The sale lasted thirty-seven days. Among the books was the fine Missal, known by the name of the Bedford Missal, of which Mr. Gough published an account, as will be noticed in his life. This splendid volume was purchased by, and is now in the very curious and valuable library of James Edwards, esq. of Harrow-on-the-hill."
BENTINCK (WILLIAM HENRY CAVENDISH), third duke of Portland, was born in 1738, and educated at Christchurch, Oxford, where he was created M. A. Feb. 1, 1757. He afterwards travelled for some time on the continent, and on his return was elected M. P. for Weobly, but in 1762 was called up to the house of peers on the death of his father. From that period, we find him generally dividing on important questions with the minority, and having connected himself with the late marquis of Rockingham, during that nobleman's short-lived administration in 1765, he held the office of lord chamberlain. In 1767-8,'his grace was involved in a long dispute with government respecting the grant of the forest of Inglewood to sir James Lowther, which had been part of the estates belonging to the duke's ancestors, but by a decision of the court of exchequer in 1771, the grant was declared to be illegal. During the progress of the American
his tinued invariably to vote with the party who opposed the measures of administration, and became perhaps more
. Biog. Brit.-Granger's letters, vol. I. p. 9–14; vol. II. p. 96.-Astle's Origin of Writing, p. xxi, &c. &c.
closely united to them by his marriage with lady Dorothy Cavendish, sister to the duke of Devonshire. When the administration of lord North, which had conducted that unfortunate war, was dissolved in 1782, and replaced by the marquis of Rockingham, and his friends, the duke of Portland was appointed lord-lieutenant of Ireland, but owing to the death of the marquis, he remained in this office only about three months. In consequence of the same event, some of the party were for earl Fitzwilliam, and some for the duke of Portland, as the ostensible head of the new arrangement, but in the mean time his majesty preferred the earl of Shelburne, Mr. Pitt, &c. The memorable coalition then took place between lord North and Mr. Fox, supported by many of the friends of the latter; but soon was not more unacceptable to his majesty than to the nation, whose confidence in public professions was shaken to a degree of indifference from which perhaps it has never since recovered. The coalition-ministry, however, having the voice of the house of commons in their favour, his majesty determined to appeal to the people by a general election, the issue of which was completely unfavourable to his grace's friends; and Mr. Pitt, who had been appointed first lord of the treasury and chancellor of the exchequer, found a decided majority of the parliament and of the country on his side. An attempt was indeed made to engage Mr. Pitt and the duke in the same admivistration, but as the latter insisted as a preliminary, that Mr. Pitt should resign, the negociation was soon broken off.
From that time his grace continued to act with the opposition until 1792, when he was, although not without opposition, elected chancellor of the university of Oxford, and soon after, being alarmed at the progress of the French revolution in the destruction of every venerable establishment, and particularly at the pains taken to disseminate disorganizing principles in this country, his grace, with the celebrated Mr. Burke, and other friends of the party, agreed to support the measures of administration. Accordingly, in 1794, he was appointed secretary of state for the home department, which he held until Mr. Pitt's administration resigned in 1801. He was then appointed president of the council, which he held until 1805. On the resignation of lord Grenville, he was appointed, in April 1807, first lord of the treasury, which he resigned soon
after, and was succeeded by Mr. Perceval. He had long been afflicted with the stone, for which he underwent the operation, apparently successfully, but the duration of the disease had undermined his constitution, and he died Oct. 30, 1809.
The duke of Portland was not a man of brilliant parts, nor considered of eminence as a speaker ; but his rank, vast property, conciliatory manners, and above all, his integrity, gave him considerable weight as a public character, and rendered his loss to the party which he left, severely felt. He uniformly enjoyed the friendship and attachment of Mr. Burkė, and, as chancellor of Oxford, was discriminating, judicious, and liberal in his patronage of men of merit. 1
BENTIVOGLIO (HERCULES), one of the best Italian poets of the sixteenth century, was born at Bologna in 1506, of one of the most illustrious families of that city and of all Italy. His father, Hannibal II. being obliged, by pope Julius II. to leave his country, of which his ancestors had been masters from the commencement of the fifteenth century, and to go to Milan, be took his son with him, then an infant. , Seven years after, he settled with his whole family at Ferrara, under the protection of the princes of the house of Este, to whom he was nearly related. His son here made rapid progress in his studies, and became distinguished at the court of duke Alphonso I. He was accomplished in music, singing, and the sports and exercises of manly youth; and to all this he added a solidity of judgment which procured him to be employed by the dukes of Ferrara in state-affairs of importance. He was employed on one of these negociations when he died, Nov. 6, 1573. His works, which were printed at first separately, and inserted in many of the collections, were published together under the title of “ Opere poetiche del sig. Ercole Bentivoglio," Paris, 1719, 12mo. They consist of sonnets, stanzas, eclogues, satires, which for easy elegance of style are inferior only to those of Ariosto; five epistles or capitoli, in the manner of Berni, and two comedies of great merit. Of these last there was a French translation by Fabre, printed at Oxford, 1731, 8vo. ?
i Gent. Mag. vol. LXXIX.--Annual Register, passim, &c.
? Biog. Universelle. -Life prefixed to the Paris edition. --Moreri,--Saxii Onomasticon.