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John Spencer-Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough

John Spencer-Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough

British politician
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro British politician
Countries United Kingdom
Occupations Politician
Gender male
Birth 2 June 1822 (Norfolk, East of England, England, United Kingdom)
Death 4 July 1883 (Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, West Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire)
Star sign Gemini
Father: George Spencer-Churchill, 6th Duke of Marlborough
Spouse: Frances Anne Spencer-Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough
Children: Lord Randolph ChurchillGeorge Spencer-Churchill, 8th Duke of MarlboroughAnne Innes-Ker, Duchess of RoxburgheSarah Wilson
Education Oriel College, Eton College
The details

John Winston Spencer-Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough, (2 June 1822 – 4 July 1883), styled Earl of Sunderland from 1822 to 1840 and Marquess of Blandford from 1840 to 1857, was a British Conservative cabinet minister, politician, and nobleman. He was the paternal grandfather of Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.

Background and education

John Spencer-Churchill was born at Garboldisham Hall, Norfolk, the eldest son of George Spencer-Churchill, 6th Duke of Marlborough, and Lady Jane Stewart, daughter of Admiral George Stewart, 8th Earl of Galloway. He was educated at Eton College and Oriel College, Oxford.

He commenced his career as a Lieutenant in the 1st Battalion Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars in 1843.

Political career

Spencer-Churchill was Member of Parliament for Woodstock from 1844 to 1845 and again from 1847 to 1857, when he succeeded his father in the dukedom and entered the House of Lords.

He served under Lord Derby as Lord Steward of the Household from 1866 to 1867, and under Derby and later Benjamin Disraeli as Lord President of the Council—with a seat in the cabinet—from 1867 to 1868. He was an influential Freemason; he was sworn of the Privy Council in 1866, and made a Knight of the Garter in 1868. On the formation of Disraeli's second cabinet in 1874, he was offered, but declined, the Viceroyalty of Ireland. He again held office under Disraeli as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from 1876 to 1880.

Spencer-Churchill was president of the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners' Royal Benevolent Society for many years. He died suddenly of angina pectoris at 29 Berkeley Square, London, on 4 July 1883. After lying in state at Blenheim Palace, he was buried in the private chapel on 10 July.


On 12 July 1843, Spencer-Churchill married Lady Frances Anne Emily Vane (15 April 1822 – 16 April 1899), eldest daughter of the 3rd Marquess of Londonderry and Lady Frances Anne Emily Vane-Tempest. They had eleven children:

Marlborough died on 4 July 1883, aged 61, and was succeeded in the title by his eldest son, George. His wife died sixteen years later, on 16 April 1899, aged 77.

Portrayals in film and television

Marlborough was portrayed by Cyril Luckham in the 1974 Thames TV mini-series Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill.


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