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Why I was made Baroness of Bolsover Castle | Baroness Bolsover

Updated: Apr 6

Spring 1880

I remember the day distinctly. The sun shone brilliantly as I was informed her majesty, Queen Victoria, had awarded me the title Baroness Bolsover of Bolsover Castle.

I was utterly thrilled. Who wouldn’t be? A title meant EVERYTHING!

Why was I given a Title

To be perfectly honest, I think they felt sorry for me. You see, in 1879 my eldest son William Arthur Cavendish-Bentinck became the 6th Duke of Portland.

His rise to Dukedom meant his brothers and sister automatically became titled Lords and Lady. I however, remained plain Mrs Augusta Cavendish-Bentinck. The reason for this was William Arthur was in fact my stepson, we had no blood ties and therefore no title went to me! How unfair!

My dear husband, Lt. Gen. Arthur Cavendish-Bentinck, had been in line to become the 6th Duke of Portland but sadly passed away before the 5th Duke died, leaving the title to go to William Arthur upon the 5th Dukes death.

A new life in the North

Along with his grand new title of 6th Duke of Portland my stepson inherited vast estates including Welbeck Abbey in Nottinghamshire, where we would make our home and the magnificent Bolsover Castle, built by our ancestors in the early 1600’s and still standing proudly today. We were so excited to leave London for the fresh air of the northern countryside.

The wreck at Welbeck

Much to our horror, we arrived at Welbeck Abbey only to find it had been left in a rather dishevelled state by the late Duke.

The young 6th Duke of Portland was ready to walk out and leave it to ruin but I persuaded my stepson that we should stay and I would take on the challenge to renovate the mansion to its former glory.

And that’s exactly what I did. Within months Welbeck Abbey was transformed into a house fit for the aristocracy. And although I practically ran the place, the fact remained I was still, plain Mrs Cavendish Bentinck, which didn’t go unnoticed by the Duke. I should be a Lady at the very least.

A favour is returned

Wishing to amend this slightly embarrassing situation the 6th Duke sent a delicately worded letter to Prime Minister Disraeli. My stepson’s predecessor had helped the Prime Minister out with a financial loan, so it was felt a little favour was owed! The Prime Minister would have a quiet word with the Queen....

A Baroness of Bolsover is born

I was of course absolutely thrilled to learn on the 23rd April 1880, my beloved Queen Victoria approved of me being given the title Baroness Bolsover of Bolsover Castle.

It’s got a great ring to it don’t you think! And it did make up for the disappointment of losing out on becoming the 6th Duchess of Portland, for that title would have been mine had my dear husband outlived his cousin the 5th Duke.

But some things aren’t meant to be, and any title is better than no title. And trust me when I say, back then a title meant EVERYTHING!


Don't miss...

Baroness Bolsover's

Town Tour & Afternoon Tea

Join the splendid Victorian Baroness for an unforgettable journey through the historic streets of Bolsover Town followed by a truly delicious Afternoon Tea.

'A joyous day of gossip, trivia and fascinating facts!' - TripAdvisor

As an added treat, you'll receive a 15% OFF VOUCHER* for entry into Bolsover Castle on the day of your Tour.

*Excludes Special Event days at the Castle

Call 07930 258 399

for Summer Specials & Private Group Tours


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