William Henry Cavendish Bentinck Portland, 3d duke of

Portland, William Henry Cavendish Bentinck, 3d duke of, 1738–1809, British statesman; great-grandson of the 1st earl of Portland. He was lord lieutenant of Ireland (1782) and nominal head of the coalition ministry (1783) dominated by Charles James Fox and Lord North. When the French Revolution shocked the British into passing severe laws against agitators, Portland, as home secretary (1794–1801) under William Pitt, administered them. He promoted the parliamentary union (1800) of Ireland with England and was again—and uneventfully—prime minister from 1807 to 1809.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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