Cavendish is a town in Windsor County, Vermont, United States. The town was named after William Cavendish, Duke of Devonshire. The population was 1,470 at the 2000 census. The town of Cavendish includes the village of Proctorsville.
Captain John Coffeen, the town’s first permanent settler, brought his family and possessions into the wilderness of Cavendish in June of 1769. They built a dwelling in the northern part of town on what is now E. I. Heald’s farm, on the lot still called the “Coffeen pasture.” The Coffeens remained the only family in Cavendish for two years. In the early 1780s, Leonard Proctor and Salmon Dutton came from Massachusetts and gave their names to the two major settlements on the Black River, Proctorsville and Duttonsville. In 1782, the first recorded town meeting occurred and Dutton was elected town clerk. He is credited with having conducted a 1784 survey for the first road from Duttonsville along the Black River to Ludlow (now Vermont routes 103 and 131). In 1786 he became the town's first justice of the peace. He also served as moderator of the town meeting, as selectman, and as town treasurer. The marriage of Redfield Proctor and Emily Dutton in 1858 joined the leading families of the two villages and promised to put an end to the former rivalry.