SOLD – Dollond telescope, Lord Charles Bentinck. Good royal provenance and peerage.

SOLD – Dollond telescope, Lord Charles Bentinck. Good royal provenance and peerage.




Country of manufacture

UK and Ireland

Categories: Telescopes, Telescopes - Other


SOLD – A large single draw, mahogany barrel telescope, signed near the eye-piece, ‘Dollond, London. Day or Night’, and additionally engraved, ‘LORD CHARLES BENTINCK’.

The telescope measures 20.25″ when closed and pulls out to 34.5″ with a doublet crown / flint main lens of just over 1.5″. The single draw is fully retractable. There is a dust slider to the eye-piece. It is lacking the lens cap and there is a thin crack to the barrel but it is hardly noticeable and is not much different to a large scratch. The telescope comes to focus very well.


Lord William Charles Augustus Cavendish-Bentinck, born 20 May 1780, known as Lord Charles Bentinck, was a British soldier and politician and a great-great-grandfather of Queen Elizabeth 11.
Bentinck was the third son of British Prime Minister William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland and Lady Dorothy (1750–1794), only daughter of Prime Minister William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire.
Bentinck married, firstly, Georgiana Augusta Frederica Seymour (1782 –1813), daughter of the courtesan Grace Elliott (writer and spy resident in Paris during the French Revolution), on 21 September 1808; she was said to be a daughter of the Prince of Wales or of the 4th Earl of Cholmondeley, both men claiming her paternity. They had one daughter, who was raised after Georgiana’s death by Lord Cholmondeley at Cholmondeley Castle:
The Hon. Georgiana Augusta Frederica Henrietta Cavendish Bentinck (1811 – 1883).
The marriage enabled Bentinck to become Treasurer of the Household in 1812, a position he held till death, despite his involvement in a notorious divorce suit and his subsequent remarriage.
In 1815, Bentinck eloped with his mistress, Anne, Lady Abdy, natural daughter of Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquis Wellesley (Governor General of India between 1798 and 1805). Richard was the elder brother of Arthur, 1st Duke of Wellington. Lady Abdy was the wife of Bentinck’s friend Sir William Abdy, 7th Baronet. Following the elopement, Lady Abdy was divorced by her husband. She and Bentinck were married on 23 July 1816. They had four children:
  • Reverend Charles William Frederick Cavendish-Bentinck (8 November 1817 – 17 August 1865). He was a great-grandfather of Queen Elizabeth 11 through his daughter, who married the 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne. 
  • Hon. Anne Hyacinthe Cavendish-Bentinck (1 September 1816 – 7 June 1888), christened on 14 May 1818. Died in Cannes in 1888, unmarried.
  • Lieutenant General Arthur Cavendish-Bentinck (10 May 1819 – 11 December 1877). He married first Elizabeth Sophia Hawkins-Whitshed. They were parents of William Cavendish Bentinck, 6th Duke of Portland. He married secondly Augusta Browne, 1st Baroness Bolsover, and they had three sons and a daughter, lady Ottoline Morrell.
  • Hon. Emily Cavendish-Bentinck (1820 – 6 June 1850), married Henry Hopwood.
Anne and Lord Charles became lovers at some point during her first marriage. They eloped on 5 September 1815, and Sir William Abdy brought a suit for criminal conversation for 30,000 pounds but won only 7,000 pounds in damages. (These damages were never paid by Bentinck). During the discussion of the divorce bill, the customary provision against remarriage was struck out in the House of Lords. Lady Abdy (or rather, her husband Sir William Abdy) was granted a divorce on 25 June 1816. Anne and Lord Charles were married on 23 July 1816, enabling their first child (which she was expecting) to be born legitimate three weeks later.
Bentinck collapsed and died suddenly at age 45 while undressing at his apartment in Park Lane, and was quickly discovered by his footman. Dr. Sir Henry Halford diagnosed a blood aneurysm as cause of death. His wife survived him by almost 50 years and died in March 1875.


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