Devonshire Parish (map) lies on Main Island. North Shore, South Shore and Middle Road run through it.
It was named for Bermuda's Elizabethan patron, William Cavendish, First Earl of Devonshire (1552-1626) - see coat of arms to the left. He took his title from the southern English maritime county (Devon, not Devonshire). William Cavendish was the uncle of the Earl of Pembroke. He was born to an enormous fortune. He entered Parliament as the member for Newport in the year of the Armada and remained inconspicuous until the death of Queen Elizabeth 1 and accession of King James. He was given a barony by the King and in 1618 bought his Earldom for a further 10,000 pounds. He was a member of the Council of the Virginia Company of 1612 - which included Bermuda - and Bermuda Company of 1615. He was a gentlemen Adventurer who invested to colonize Bermuda and largest shareholder in the original Cavendish Tribe (Devonshire Parish) in 1619. He never visited Bermuda himself. He died almost unnoticed in 1626. In other Bermuda Parishes - not this one - there are areas with the prefix of Cavendish - also after the Earl. Early settlers referred to Devonshire Tribe as Brackish Pond. It was because of the large marsh in the center. Today, Brackish Pond is Devonshire Marsh. Parts of it are sightseeing attractions for naturalists.