Charles Spencer-Churchill, 9th Duke of Marlborough


Charles Spencer-Churchill, 9th Duke of Marlborough
His Grace
The Duke of Marlborough
KG, PC
The Duke of Marlborough, ca. 1900.
Paymaster-General
In office
1899 – 11 March 1902
Monarch Victoria
Edward VII
Prime Minister The Marquess of Salisbury
Preceded by The Earl of Hopetoun
Succeeded by Sir Savile Crossley, Bt
Under-Secretary of State
for the Colonies
In office
22 July 1903 – 4 December 1905
Monarch Edward VII
Prime Minister Arthur Balfour
Preceded by The Earl of Onslow
Succeeded by Winston Churchill
Personal details
Born 13 November 1871 (1871-11-13)
Simla, British India
Died 30 June 1934 (1934-07-01)
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) (1) Consuelo Vanderbilt
(1877-1964)
(2) Gladys Deacon
Alma mater Trinity College, Cambridge

Charles Richard John Spencer-Churchill, 9th Duke of Marlborough KG, PC (13 November 1871 – 30 June 1934), styled Earl of Sunderland until 1883 and Marquess of Blandford between 1883 and 1892, was a British soldier and Conservative politician. He was often known as "Sunny" Marlborough after his courtesy title of Earl of Sunderland.

Contents

Background and education

Born at Simla, India, Marlborough was the only son of George Spencer-Churchill, 8th Duke of Marlborough, and Lady Albertha Frances Anne, daughter of James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Abercorn. He was a nephew of Lord Randolph Churchill and a first cousin of Winston Churchill.[1] He was educated at Winchester and Trinity College, Cambridge.[2]

Political career

Marlborough entered the House of Lords on the early death of his father in 1892 and made his maiden speech in August 1895.[3] In 1899 he was appointed Paymaster-General by Lord Salisbury, a post he held until 1902, and was then Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies under Arthur Balfour between 1903 and 1905.[1] He was sworn of the Privy Council in 1899.[4] He again held political office during the First World War when he was Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries between 1917 and 1918 in David Lloyd George's coalition government.[1] He made his last speech in the House of Lords in December 1931.[3]

Marlborough was also Lord High Steward at the coronation of Edward VII in 1902, Mayor of Woodstock between 1907 and 1908 and Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire between 1915 and 1934.[1] In 1902 he was made a Knight of the Garter.[5]

Military career

Marlborough was an officer in the Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars and fought in the Second Boer War as a Staff Captain in the Imperial Yeomanry and as Assistant Military Secretary to Lord Roberts; he was mentioned in despatches. He returned to active service in the First World War, when he served as a Lieutenant-Colonel on the General Staff.[1]

Family

The Duke of Marlborough.

Marlborough was married twice. His first wife was the American railroad heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt, whom he married at Saint Thomas Church in New York City, on 6 November 1895. They had two sons, John Spencer-Churchill, Marquess of Blandford, eventually the 10th Duke of Marlborough, and Lord Ivor Spencer-Churchill. (Their mother famously referred to them as "the heir and the spare.") The Vanderbilt dowry was used to restore Blenheim Palace and replenish its furnishings and library, as many of the original contents had been sold over the course of the 19th century. Many of the jewels worn by subsequent Duchesses of Marlborough also date from this period. The 9th Duke employed the landscape gardener Achille Duchene to create the water garden on the terrace at Blenheim.[6] However, the couple were divorced in 1921 and the marriage was annulled by the Vatican five years later.[1]

Marlbrough then married another American, Gladys Marie Deacon, in 1921. She was a daughter of Edward Parker Deacon and the former Florence Baldwin.[1] Artistic and a keen gardener, she had enlarged images of her startling blue-green eyes painted on the ceiling of the main portico of Blenheim Palace, where they remain today. Later in their unhappy, childless marriage, she kept a revolver in her bedroom to prevent her husband's entry.[7] The couple separated but never divorced.[8]

At the time of his death, the duke reportedly was negotiating to enter a Catholic religious order in Italy, having converted to that religion late in life.[9]

Ancestry

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g thepeerage.com Sir Charles Richard John Spencer-Churchill, 9th Duke of Marlborough
  2. ^ Churchill (Spencer-Churchill), Charles Richard John, Marquess of Blandford in Venn, J. & J. A., Alumni Cantabrigienses, Cambridge University Press, 10 vols, 1922–1958.
  3. ^ a b hansard.millbanksystems.com Mr Charles Spencer-Churchill
  4. ^ London Gazette: no. 27048. p. 681. 3 February 1899.
  5. ^ London Gazette: no. 27442. p. 3833. 13 June 1902.
  6. ^ Pevsner, Nikolaus; Sherwood, Jennifer (1974). The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 459–475. ISBN 0 14 071045 0. 
  7. ^ Mackenzie Stuart, Amanda (2006). Consuelo and Alva Vanderbilt: The Story of a Daughter and a Mother in the Gilded Age.. HarperCollins. 
  8. ^ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Gladys deacon.
  9. ^ The Catholic conversion is referenced by Stuart. Potential entry to a religious order is not. Mackenzie Stuart, Amanda (2006). Consuelo and Alva Vanderbilt: The Story of a Daughter and a Mother in the Gilded Age.. HarperCollins. 

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Hopetoun
Paymaster-General
1899–1902
Succeeded by
Sir Savile Crossley, Bt
Preceded by
The Earl of Onslow
Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies
1903–1905
Succeeded by
Winston Churchill
Preceded by
Sir Richard Winfrey
Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the
Board of Agriculture and Fisheries

1917–1918
with Sir Richard Winfrey
Succeeded by
Sir Richard Winfrey
The Viscount Goschen
Honorary titles
Vacant
Title last held by
The Earl of Halsbury
Lord High Steward
1902
Vacant
Title next held by
The Duke of Northumberland
Preceded by
The Earl of Jersey
Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire
1915–1934
Succeeded by
Vivian Smith
Peerage of England
Preceded by
George Spencer-Churchill
Duke of Marlborough
1892–1934
Succeeded by
John Spencer-Churchill

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