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Margaret Cavendish Bentinck (née Harley), Duchess of Portland

(1715-1785), Collector of art and natural history specimens and patron of arts and sciences

Sitter in 4 portraits
As the only surviving child of Edward Harley, the Duchess of Portland inherited a considerable fortune which she spent on the biggest collection of natural history in Britain at the time. Her wealth afforded opportunities to employ experts such as the botanist Daniel Solander and even procure shells from the expeditions of James Cook. She drew the different specimens, aiming to publish a catalogue identifying and classifying each molluscan species collected. The herbarium she created is today housed at Kew Gardens. Along with her childhood friend, Mary Delany she was a member of the Bluestocking Circle and together they decorated the grotto at Bulstrode House with her collection of shells. After her death, the sale of her collection lasted for thirty-eight days.

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Margaret Cavendish Bentinck (née Harley), Duchess of Portland, by George Vertue, after  John Michael Rysbrack - NPG D14100

Margaret Cavendish Bentinck (née Harley), Duchess of Portland

by George Vertue, after John Michael Rysbrack
line engraving, 1727
NPG D14100

Duke and Duchess of Portland; Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, by George Vertue, after  Christian Friedrich Zincke - NPG D14770

Duke and Duchess of Portland; Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

by George Vertue, after Christian Friedrich Zincke
engraving, 1739 (1738)
NPG D14770

Margaret Cavendish Bentinck (née Harley), Duchess of Portland, by George Perfect Harding, after  John Michael Rysbrack - NPG D1170

Margaret Cavendish Bentinck (née Harley), Duchess of Portland

by George Perfect Harding, after John Michael Rysbrack
pencil, 1802-1853
NPG D1170

Web image not currently available

Duke and Duchess of Portland; Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

by George Vertue, after Christian Friedrich Zincke
engraving, 1739 (1738)
NPG D19170

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John Andrewartha

17 October 2018, 06:00

Daniel Charles Solander worked on Margaret Cavendish Bentinck's collection, before sailing with Joseph Banks into the Pacific.
Below is Duchess of Portland's family tree heritage with
Links to some of her colleagues of the time
*
https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Harley-358

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