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This article is about the advocate for women's education. For the Cambridge college named after her, see Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge.
Lucy Cavendish at about the time of her marriage

Lady Frederick Cavendish (Lucy Caroline; née Lyttelton; 5 September 1841 – 22 April 1925) was a pioneer of women's education.

A daughter of George Lyttelton, 4th Baron Lyttelton, she married into another aristocratic family, the Cavendishes, in 1864. Eighteen years later her husband, Lord Frederick Cavendish, was murdered in Dublin by Irish nationalists. After his death she devoted much of her time to the cause of girls' and women's education, for which she was honoured in her lifetime with an honorary degree, and posthumously when, in 1965, Cambridge University named its first post-graduate college for women after her.


Lucy Cavendish was born at the Lyttelton family house, Hagley Hall, Worcestershire on 5 September 1841. She was the second daughter of George Lyttelton, 4th Baron Lyttelton and his wife, Mary, née Glynne, whose sister married W. E. Gladstone.[1] In 1863 she was appointed a Maid of Honour to Queen Victoria, whom she attended until marrying the following year.[2]

On 7 June 1864 she married Lord Frederick Cavendish, the second son of the Duke of Devonshire. They had no children. Cavendish was elected to Parliament in 1865 and was assassinated by Irish nationalists in the Phoenix Park Murders on 6 May 1882, the day on which he took the oath of office of Chief Secretary for Ireland.[1] Though devastated by the assassination, on the day before the ringleader was hanged she sent him the small gold crucifix she had long worn, as a token of her forgiveness.[3] Gladstone was greatly moved when she told him that she could bear the loss of her beloved husband "if his death were to work good to his fellow-men, which indeed was the whole object of his life."[2] She remained a firm supporter of home rule for Ireland.[1]

After Cavendish's death, Lucy Cavendish was active in the sphere of women's education. She was of President of the Yorkshire Ladies Council of Education from 1883 to 1912. She declined the offer of the post of Mistress of Girton College, Cambridge in 1884. She was a member of the Royal Commission on Secondary Education and was a founding member of the Council of the Girls' Public Day School Company, which had been founded by her father.[1] On 6 October 1904 she received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws at the formal inauguration of the University of Leeds for "notable service to the cause of education".[4]

Lucy Cavendish died at her home, The Glebe, Penshurst, Tonbridge, on 22 April 1925. aged 83. She was buried in her husband's grave in Edensor churchyard, near Chatsworth.[1]

Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge was named in her honour in 1965.[1] She was the great-aunt of one of its founders, Margaret Braithwaite.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Boase G. C. "Cavendish, Lord Frederick Charles (1836–1882)" rev. H. C. G. Matthew, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, online edition, October 2005, accessed 23 April 2013 (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  2. ^ a b "Obituary – Lady Frederick Cavendish", The Times, 23 April 1925, p. 14
  3. ^ Lyttelton and Hart Davis, p. 40 – letter of 17 March 1960
  4. ^ "The Papers of Lucy Cavendish". 
  5. ^ Renfrew, Jane M. "Who was Lucy Cavendish?". Rooms of Our Own - Lucy Cavendish College. Retrieved 1 March 2012. 


External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucy_Cavendish — Please support Wikipedia.
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Fri, 22 May 2015 00:52:30 -0700

Three days later I find Fawn Girl (her real name is Anna) sitting at the bottom of the stairs. She is wearing pyjamas with Christmas puddings on them and big fluffy slippers. Her head is hanging down, long dark hair falling across her beautiful face. I ...


Fri, 15 May 2015 00:52:30 -0700

A week later there is a knock at the door, and I find the teenage daughter of a friend-of-a-friend – AKA my new lodger – standing on the doorstep. I take one look at her and instantly feel protective. She is tall and slim with long, long legs, flowing ...


Fri, 08 May 2015 00:52:30 -0700

Weeks after running out on a date with a man, Lucy Cavendish bumps into him. How the other half lives: the suitor Lucy Cavendish left at the races is not best pleased when he sees her in the street. Lucy Cavendish and man with whom she had a bad date ...


Fri, 01 May 2015 00:52:30 -0700

Lucy Cavendish is emotional as she collects her dog's ashes from the vet. How the other half lives: accepting the loss of a much-loved family pet is difficult for Lucy Cavendish. Lucy Cavendish is upset that her pet's ashes were not given to her in an urn.

Cambridge News

Cambridge News
Thu, 21 May 2015 23:00:00 -0700

The 24-year-old English literature student has spent the past 10 months at Lucy Cavendish, so looked back through the college's history for a tattoo inspired by its crest. She told the News: "I wanted some piece of memorabilia for my time here at ...


Fri, 22 May 2015 00:52:30 -0700

I want nice, shiny artificial grass that Edie can play on barefoot. I want a table and chairs and a small slide. And I want it now!” Harry gives me a resigned look. The kind that says I've just got my own way. • How the other half lives: Lucy Cavendish ...

Radio Times

Radio Times
Sun, 17 May 2015 23:22:30 -0700

Give your garden a touch of Chelsea Flower Show glamour. By Lucy Cavendish. Monday 18 May 2015 at 07:30AM. However big, small, unkempt, bedraggled or blooming your garden might be, there's a way to give it a bit of the Chelsea Garden show touch.


Fri, 06 Mar 2015 01:05:46 -0800

Lucy Cavendish questions her attraction to certain men. How the other half lives: does Lucy Cavendish need a new approach to choosing who to date? Lucy Cavendish wishes she was romantically interested in different men. 'My chemistry is all wonky' ...

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