Duke of Marlborough

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, portrait by Sir Godfrey Kneller , circa 1705

Duke of Marlborough (German: Herzog von Marlborough ) [ ˌdjuːkəvˈmɔːlbɹə ] is a hereditary British title in the Peerage of England . The title refers to the place Marlborough in Wiltshire .

The Dukes' family seat is Blenheim Palace near Woodstock in Oxfordshire .


The title was awarded on December 14, 1702 to the famous English / British general in the War of the Spanish Succession, John Churchill (1650-1722). His wife Sarah was a close friend and influential advisor to Queen Anne . Two years later he defeated the Bavarian and French troops in the Second Battle of Höchstädt (English: Battle of Blenheim ) together with Prince Eugene . When the Duke of Marlborough is mentioned, he is almost always meant.

Since the only son of the first duke died in 1703, i.e. during his lifetime, and he was one of the most influential personalities at court, a parliamentary law on special entitlement was passed in 1706. This allows, in the absence of a male heir, the title with all rights to the daughters of the first duke in the order of their birth and their male heirs and then finally in the female line. His eldest daughter Henrietta became the second Duchess of Marlborough (in her own right) . Third Duke then became the younger daughter's second eldest son from his marriage to Charles Spencer, 3rd Earl of Sunderland .

Coat of arms of the Dukes of Marlborough since 1817

The later Dukes of Marlborough all come from this connection and therefore bear the family name Spencer . George Spencer, 5th Duke of Marlborough , received royal permission on May 26, 1817 to add that of his famous ancestor, the first Dukes, to his family name and family crest, and from then on was called George Spencer-Churchill . This double name has survived to this day.

Subordinate title

Subordinate titles to the Dukes of Marlborough are Marquess of Blandford (created 1702), Earl of Sunderland (created 1644), Earl of Marlborough (created 1689), Baron Spencer (created 1603) and Baron Churchill of Sandridge (created 1685). All titles also belong to the Peerage of England.

The later first Duke was already on May 14, 1685 to Baron Churchill of Sandridge , of Sandridge in the County of Hertford , and four years later, when he was jointly responsible for the almost bloodless Glorious Revolution , on April 9, 1689 to the Earl of Marlborough been raised. Together with the duke dignity, he was also awarded the title of Marquess of Blandford in 1702 . The third Duke inherited the two titles Earl of Sunderland and Baron Spencer , of Wormleighton in the County of Warwick, from his father.

The apparent marriage of the respective duke bears the courtesy title of Marquess of Blandford , whose marriage apparently that of the Earl of Sunderland .

Other titles

For the first Duke, the title Lord Churchill of Eyemouth , of Eyemouth in the County of Berwick , was created in the Peerage of Scotland on December 21, 1682 . However, since the special law on inheritance did not apply to this, the title expired with the death of the first duke.

After he had defeated the Bavarian and French troops together with Prince Eugene in the Second Battle of Höchstädt , Emperor Leopold I also elevated him to Imperial Prince on April 28, 1704 and Prince of Mindelheim on November 18, 1705 . When Mindelheim fell to the Electorate of Bavaria in 1713/14 , he was compensated with Nellenburg .

More famous family members

The Churchill family produced a number of other famous people besides the Dukes of Marlborough . The seventh Duke of Marlborough was the father of the well-known politician Lord Randolph Churchill and the paternal grandfather of the British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill , who mostly left out the word "Spencer".

Blenheim Palace, home of the Dukes of Marlborough

List of the Dukes of Marlborough (1702)

John Spencer-Churchill, 11th Duke of Marlborough

Heir apparent is the current Duke's eldest son, George Spencer-Churchill, Marquess of Blandford (* 1992).

Web links