Cavendish, Sir Henry (1707–76), financial administrator, was born 13 April 1707, eldest son of William Cavendish of Doveridge Hall, Derbyshire, England, and Mary Cavendish (née Tyrrell), granddaughter of James Ussher (qv), archbishop of Armagh. Educated at University College, Oxford (matriculated 1724), Cavendish married a Cork heiress (1730), and after serving as sheriff of Derbyshire (1741) he became collector for Cork during the lord lieutenancy (1737–45) of his relative William Cavendish (qv), 3rd duke of Devonshire, and rose to become commissioner of the Irish revenue (1747). His parliamentary candidacy for Cork city (1751) failed when it became known that customs officials had canvassed for him; he later sat for two Waterford boroughs, Tallow (1756–60) and Lismore (1761–76). On 7 May 1755 he was created a baronet in the peerage of Great Britain. From 1756 he was teller of the Irish exchequer, its ‘most important and responsible officer’ (Kiernan); though not officially salaried, he could make private use of public funds. In 1768 he became a member of the Irish privy council. At his death on 31 December 1776, a large sum of public money (£67,305. 7s. 2d. is the highest estimate) was unaccounted for. After attempts to recover this through the courts, the Irish statute 19 & 20 Geo. III, c. 51 (following proposals by his elder son Henry (qv)), vested part of his Dublin, Sligo and Monaghan estates in trustees to discharge the debt.
Cavendish married (1730) Anne Pyne of Waterpark, Co. Cork, granddaughter of Sir Richard Pyne (chief justice of king’s bench for Ireland, 1695–1709); they had one son and five daughters. His second wife (1748) was Catherine (née Prittie) of Dunalley, Co. Tipperary, widow of Sir Richard Maude; they had one son.