Churchill, Spencer- family, Dukes of Marlborough
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John Churchill (1650-1722), general and statesman, was created Duke of Marlborough in 1702, and was granted the manor of Woodstock and hundred of Wootton (Oxfordshire). He began the construction of Blenheim Palace near Woodstock in 1705. In 1678 he had married Sarah, daughter and co-heir of Richard Jennings of Sandridge (Hertfordshire). The properties inherited by her, however, together with the estates purchased by her in Surrey and other counties, passed at her death in 1744 to her grandson John Spencer, younger brother of the 5th Earl of Sunderland (see Spencer, Earls Spencer).
Estates in Wiltshire (Overton, Lockeridge, West Lavington, etc) were acquired from 1709 onwards, and estates in Buckinghamshire (Waddesdon, etc) in 1725. In 1722 the Duke of Marlborough was succeeded in the dukedom and the Blenheim estates by his eldest daughter Henrietta, wife of the 2nd Earl of Godolphin. On her death in 1733 they passed to her nephew Charles Spencer, 5th Earl of Sunderland as 3rd Duke of Marlborough (see Spencer, Earls Spencer, and, for the descent of the Godolphin estates, Osborne, Dukes of Leeds).
In 1751 the 3rd Duke purchased the Cornbury (Oxfordshire) estate, but this, with West Lavington, was settled on a younger son of the 4th Duke, created Baron Churchill in 1815. The Blenheim estates in Oxfordshire were consolidated between the late 18th and mid-19th centuries, but the remaining Wiltshire estates were reduced by sales c.1866-77, and the Buckinghamshire estate was sold to Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild in 1875. Property in Sussex was acquired by Lord Robert Spencer, third son of the 3rd Duke, in the late 18th century, but passed out of the family on his death in 1831.
Estates in 1883: Oxon 21,944 acres, Wilts 1,534 acres, Berks 33 acres, total 23,511 acres worth £36,557 a year.
|Sources of authority:||Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, Guide to principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999|
|Name authority reference:||GB/NNAF/F88850 (Former ISAAR ref: GB/NNAF/F10792 )|
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