John Winston Spencer-Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough, Earl of Sunderland, Marquess of Blandford, was born 2 June 1822 in Garboldisham Hall, Norfolk, England, United Kingdom to George Spencer-Churchill (1793-1857) and Jane Stewart (1798-1844) and died 4 July 1883 Berkeley Square, Mayfair, England, United Kingdom of unspecified causes. He married Frances Anne Emily Vane (1822-1899) 12 July 1843 in St. George's Street, Mayfair, England, United Kingdom.

Garter encircled arms of John Winston Spencer-Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough, KG, as displayed on his Order of the Garter stall plate in St. George's Chapel.

John Winston Spencer-Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough KG, PC (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, peer, and nobleman. He was the paternal grandfather of Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.

Dukedom of Marlborough[]

Arms of Churchill

Duke of Marlborough is a title of English Peerage created by Queen Anne in 1702 for John Churchill the noted military leader. The name of the dukedom refers to Marlborough in Wiltshire. A good number of their descendants have married into many of the other noble hours of England.

The title Marquess of Blandford is used as the courtesy title for the Duke's eldest son and heir. The Duke's eldest son's eldest son can use the courtesy title Earl of Sunderland, and the duke's eldest son's eldest son's eldest son (not necessarily the eldest great-grandson) the title Lord Spencer of Wormleighton (not to be confused with Earl Spencer).

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 1842. [1]

Political career[]

Spencer-Churchill was Member of Parliament for Woodstock from 1844 to 1845 and again from 1847 to 1857. He was responsible for the "Blandford Act" of 1856, enabling populous parishes to be divided for purposes of Church work.[2] In 1857 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;[3] 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.[1] He again held office under Disraeli as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from 1876 to 1880.[4]

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.[1]

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.


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:

  1. George Charles Spencer-Churchill, 8th Duke of Marlborough (13 May 1844 – 9 November 1892), whose son Charles Spencer-Churchill, 9th Duke of Marlborough married into the Vanderbilt family.
  2. Lord Frederick John Winston Spencer-Churchill (2 February 1846 – 5 August 1850)
  3. Lady Cornelia Henrietta Maria Spencer-Churchill (17 September 1847 – Upper Brook Street, Mayfair, London, 22 January 1927), married 25 May 1868 Ivor Bertie Guest, 1st Baron Wimborne, by whom she had issue.
  4. Lord Randolph Henry Spencer-Churchill (13 February 1849 – 24 January 1895), married 15 April 1874 Jennie Jerome. Their issue included Sir Winston Churchill and John Strange Spencer-Churchill.
  5. Rosamond Jane Frances Spencer-Churchill (1850-1920), married 12 July 1877 William Henry Fellowes (1848-1925), 2nd Baron de Ramsey, by whom she had issue.
  6. Lady Fanny Octavia Louise Spencer-Churchill (1853-1904), married 9 June 1873 Edward Marjoribanks (1849-1909), 2nd Baron Tweedmouth, by whom she had issue.
  7. Lady Anne Emily Spencer-Churchill (Lower Brook Street, Mayfair, London, 14 November 1854 – South Audley Street, Mayfair, London, 20 June 1923), married 11 June 1874 James Innes-Ker, 7th Duke of Roxburghe, by whom she had issue.
  8. Lord Charles Ashley Spencer-Churchill (25 Nov 1856 – 11 March 1858)
  9. Lord Augustus Robert Spencer-Churchill (4 July 1858 – 12 May 1859)
  10. Lady Georgiana Elizabeth Spencer-Churchill (10 St James's Square, St James's, London, 14 May 1860 – 9 February 1906), married 4 June 1883 Richard George Penn Curzon, 4th Earl Howe, by whom she had issue.
  11. Lady Sarah Isabella Augusta Spencer-Churchill ( 4 Jul 1865 – 22 October 1929), a war correspondent during the Boer War; married 21 November 1891 Lt. Col. Gordon Chesney Wilson (son of Sir Samuel Wilson, MP), by whom she had issue.


Offspring of John Winston Spencer-Churchill and Frances Anne Emily Vane (1822-1899)
Name Birth Death Joined with
George Charles Spencer-Churchill, 8th Duke of Marlborough (1844-1892) 13 May 1844 Wilmington Crescent, Westminister, England, United Kingdom 9 November 1892 Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom Albertha Frances Anne Hamilton (1847-1932) Edith Peers-Williams (-1897) Albertha Frances Anne Hamilton (1847-1932) Edith Peers-Williams (-1897) Lilian Warren Price (1854-1909)
Frederick John Winston Spencer-Churchill (1846-1850) 2 February 1846 Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom 5 August 1850 Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom
Cornelia Henrietta Maria Spencer-Churchill (1847-1927) 17 September 1847 Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom 22 January 1927 Upper Brook Street, Mayfair, Greater London, England, United Kingdom Ivor Bertie Guest, 1st Baron Wimborne (1835-1914)
Randolph Henry Spencer-Churchill (1849-1895) 13 February 1849 Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom 24 January 1895 Grosvenor Square, Westminster, England, United Kingdom Jeanette Jerome (1854-1921)
Rosamond Jane Frances Spencer-Churchill (1850-1920) 9 November 1850 Brook Street, Westminster St James, Greater London, England, United Kingdom 3 December 1920 Westminster St James, Greater London, England, United Kingdom William Henry Fellowes (1848-1925)
Fanny Octavia Louise Spencer-Churchill (1853-1904) 29 January 1853 Brook Street, Westminster St James, Greater London, England, United Kingdom 5 August 1904 Westminster, Greater London, England, United Kingdom Edward Marjoribanks (1849-1909)
Anne Emily Spencer-Churchill (1854-1923)
Charles Ashley Spencer-Churchill (1856-1858) 25 November 1856 Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom 11 March 1858 Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom
Augustus Robert Spencer-Churchill (1858-1859) 4 July 1858 Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom 12 May 1859 London, Westminster, England, United Kingdom
Georgiana Elizabeth Spencer-Churchill (1860-1906)
Sarah Isabella Augusta Spencer-Churchill (1865-1929)


Vital Records[]

Blenheim Palace Burial[]

resting place at Blenheim Palace.

See also[]

Portrayals in film and television[]

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


  1. ^ a b c Boase 1887.
  2. ^  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed (1911). "Marlborough, Earls and Dukes of". Encyclopædia Britannica. 17 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 737. 
  3. ^ Churchill, Lord Randolph. "Churchill Freemason". Churchills who were Freemasons. freemasons-freemasonry/com. 
  4. ^ Chisholm 1911.

External links[]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Frederic Thesiger
Member of Parliament for Woodstock
Succeeded by
Viscount Loftus
Preceded by
Lord Alfred Spencer-Churchill
Member of Parliament for Woodstock
Succeeded by
Lord Alfred Spencer-Churchill
Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Bessborough
Lord Steward
Succeeded by
The Earl of Tankerville
Preceded by
The Duke of Buckingham and Chandos
Lord President of the Council
Succeeded by
The Earl of Ripon
Preceded by
The Duke of Abercorn
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
Succeeded by
The Earl Cowper
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Duke of Marlborough
Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire
Succeeded by
Sir Henry Dashwood, Bt
Peerage of England
Preceded by
George Spencer-Churchill
Duke of Marlborough
Succeeded by
George Spencer-Churchill