George Spencer-Churchill, 6th Duke of Marlborough

For other people named George Spencer-Churchill, see George Spencer-Churchill (disambiguation).
His Grace
The Duke of Marlborough
Lord-Lieutenant of Oxfordshire
In office
1842  1 July 1857
Monarch Victoria
Preceded by The Earl of Macclesfield
Succeeded by The Duke of Marlborough
Personal details
Born 27 December 1793
Bill Hill, Wokingham, Berkshire
Died 1 July 1857 (1857-08) (aged 63)
Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire
Nationality British
Political party Ultra-Tory
Spouse(s) (1) Lady Jane Stewart
(2) Hon. Charlotte Flower
(3) Jane Stewart
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford

George Spencer-Churchill, 6th Duke of Marlborough DCL (27 December 1793 – 1 July 1857), styled Earl of Sunderland until 1817 and Marquess of Blandford between 1817 and 1840, was a British peer. The great-grandfather of Sir Winston Churchill, he served as Lord-Lieutenant of Oxfordshire between 1842 and 1857.

Background and education

Styled Earl of Sunderland from birth, Marlborough was born at Bill Hill, Wokingham, Berkshire (an estate his father was renting at the time), the eldest son of George Spencer-Churchill, 5th Duke of Marlborough and Lady Susan Stewart, daughter of John Stewart, 7th Earl of Galloway. He was educated at Eton between 1805 and 1811 and later at Christ Church, Oxford. He was also given an honorary Doctorate of Civil Laws by Oxford University on 15 June 1841.[1]

Political career

Marlborough became known by the courtesy title Marquess of Blandford in 1817 when his father succeeded in the dukedom. He sat as Tory Member of Parliament for Chippenham between 1818 and 1820[1][2] and for Woodstock from 1826 to 1831, from 1832 to 1835 and from 1838 to 1840, when he succeeded to the dukedom and entered the House of Lords.[1][3] In 1842 he was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, a post he held until his death.[1]


Spencer-Churchill played cricket as a young man and is recorded in one first-class match in 1817, totalling 4 runs with a highest score of 4.[4]


Lady Jane Stewart

The Duke of Marlborough married, firstly, his first cousin Lady Jane Stewart, daughter of George Stewart, 8th Earl of Galloway, on 13 January 1819. They had four children:

After his first wife's death in October 1844, aged 46, he married, secondly, the Honourable Charlotte Augusta Flower, daughter of Henry Flower, 4th Viscount Ashbrook, on 10 June 1846. They had two children:

After his second wife's death in April 1850, aged 31, he married, thirdly, his first cousin Jane Francis Clinton Stewart, daughter of the Honourable Edward Richard Stewart and granddaughter of John Stewart, 7th Earl of Galloway, on 18 October 1851. They had one child:

Marlborough died at Blenheim Palace in July 1857, aged 63, and was succeeded by his eldest son, John. The Duchess of Marlborough died at 28 Grosvenor Street, Mayfair, London, in March 1897, aged 79.[1]

Child by Harriet Churchill (1798–1834) married Karl Graf v. Westerholt in 1819.

George Spencer-Churchill, then Marquess of Blandford, and Harriet Churchill went through a false ceremony of marriage with a relative of the groom posing as a cleric. A voyage to Scotland, where they lived as husband and wife was intended by the bride and her parents to make this marriage legal under Scottish law. The sixth Duke did, however, successfully contest in a court of law that they had lived as if they had been married.[5]



Lord Almeric Athelstan Spencer-Churchill and Lady Clementina Spencer-Churchill, the children of George Spencer-Churchill, 6th Duke of Marlborough, by his second wife, Charlotte Augusta Flower.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Charles Brooke
John Maitland
Member of Parliament for Chippenham
With: William Miles 1818–1820
Succeeded by
William Madocks
John Grossett
Preceded by
John Gladstone
James Langston
Member of Parliament for Woodstock
With: Lord Ashley 1826–1830
Lord Charles Spencer-Churchill 1830–1831
Succeeded by
Lord Charles Spencer-Churchill
Viscount Stormont
Preceded by
Lord Charles Spencer-Churchill
Viscount Stormont
Member of Parliament for Woodstock
Succeeded by
Lord Charles Spencer-Churchill
Preceded by
Henry Peyton
Member of Parliament for Woodstock
Succeeded by
Sir Frederic Thesiger
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Macclesfield
Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire
Succeeded by
The Duke of Marlborough
Peerage of England
Preceded by
George Spencer-Churchill
Duke of Marlborough
Succeeded by
John Spencer
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