The earl was a great gambler, but he was wealthy enough also to spend money on improving his house at Althorp, which he beautified both within and without.
His small treatise, Considerations sur la theorie mathematique du jeu, which demonstrated that the chances of play are decidedly against the habitual gambler, published in 1802, brought him under the notice of J.
The king, himself a man of orderly life, detested him as a gambler and a rake.
His reputation as a rake and gambler was so well established at the very beginning of his career that when he was dismissed from office in 1774 there was a general belief among the vulgar that he had been detected in actual theft.
He married in 1766 Lady Dorothy Cavendish (1750-1794), daughter of the 4th duke of Devonshire, and was succeeded as 4th duke by his son William Henry (1768-1854), who married a daughter of the famous gambler, General John Scott, and was brother-in-law to Canning.
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