Spencer won the seat for North Lancashire in the 1857 election. He would serve over fifty years in Parliament. Three times
him to form a government and become Prime Minister, and he declined each time. In 1891 he became the 8th Duke of
Devonshire upon the death of his father
. In 1892, at age
fifty-eight, he married Louise von Alten, the widowed Duchess of Manchester. After 81 years without one,
again had a duchess. She and Spencer had no
children. The current (12th) Duke of Devonshire is descended from Spencer's younger brother, Edward. Spencer lived until
1908. In 1911 a statue of him was erected in Whitehall in front of Horse Guards.
In the story... On a Sunday morning when Chatsworth's garden is closed to the public and the gardeners have the day off,
Diana goes for a swim in a remote pond in the 105 acre garden. Spencer, visiting his great-uncle's home, happens to be out
for a stroll. He comes upon Diana swimming and becomes infatuated with her. She is already engaged to Alan Sterling, a
soldier in the Crimean War whose safe return becomes doubtful. Spencer's interest in Diana has to be circumspect but is
instrumental in her later ascendancy in London.