Ivy, Duchess of Portland

Ivy Gordon-Lennox was born on 16th June 1887, the only child of Lord Algernon Gordon-Lennox and his wife Blanche Maynard, the younger sister of the famous Daisy Warwick. Her father, a younger son of the 6th Duke of Richmond, was a charming, popular and dandyish figure who, for 12 years, was aide-de-camp to the Duke of Cambridge, Commander-in-Chief of the British Army.



In 1912, Ivy Gordon-Lennox was appointed Maid of Honour to Queen Alexandra, and during WWI she assisted her mother nursing sick and wounded men evacuated from the western front in Stationary Hospital No.13, set up by Lady Algernon in a requisitioned sugar-beet shed in Boulogne. She also represented Princess Victoria in organising Nurses’ Clubs in war-torn France.

The Duke of Portland’s eldest son, Lord Titchfield, had attended Sandhurst before serving in the Royal Horse Guards, and, soon after the outbreak of war in 1914, was involved in a ferocious battle following the British Expeditionary Force’s retreat from Mons, his troop coming under heavy fire. Later, he was present as a Staff officer during heavy fighting at Ypres, experiencing shell shock, a combination of concussion caused by proximity to repetitive shell bursts, and psychological trauma. He also suffered from severe infections common among troops in the trenches. While with General Byng’s staff, Titchfield was occasionally sent to Boulogne to buy fish, and there he met Ivy Gordon-Lennox.

In August 1915, they were married at Welbeck Abbey with Queen Alexandra as a guest. Their first daughter, Lady Anne Cavendish Bentinck, was born in 1916 and her younger sister, Lady Margaret, in 1918. Following the war, Ivy Titchfield became a political wife when, in 1922, her husband was elected MP for Newark, remaining in that seat until 1943, when he succeeded as the 7th Duke of Portland. He was Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire between 1939 and 1962 and Chancellor of the University of Nottingham between 1954 and 1971. In all this, his wife loyally supported him, while she pursued her charitable interests, for which she was appointed DBE in 1958. The people of Welbeck held her in great affection. For them, she was always ‘our Duchess’.


Derek Adlam - Curator Emeritus 

Derek Adlam and a colleague were the first craftspeople to take up a Harley Foundation studio at Welbeck in 1982. Trained as a classical pianist, Derek had turned to the restoration, making and playing clavichords, harpsichords and other early keyboard instruments. Over time, he became involved with the administration of the Foundation, the building of the Harley Gallery and new craft studios. Having mounted a number of Gallery displays of the Portland family’s works of art, he was invited to be the curator of that great collection. Now long retired, he continues his research into Welbeck’s rich history.


Learn more about the influential Women of Welbeck.

Elizabeth Hardwick, Countess of Shrewsbury

Lady Catherine Cavendish, Baroness Ogle

Frances Cavendish, Countess of Bolingbroke

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire

Henrietta, Duchess of Portland

Winifred, Duchess of Portland

Blanche Maynard – Lady Algernon Gordon-Lennox

Lady Ottoline Morrell

Ivy, Duchess of Portland