Charles Spencer-Churchill, 9th Duke of Marlborough
The Duke of Marlborough
|The Duke of Marlborough, ca. 1900.|
1899 – 11 March 1902
|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
22 July 1903 – 4 December 1905
|Prime Minister||Arthur Balfour|
|Preceded by||The Earl of Onslow|
|Succeeded by||Winston Churchill|
|Born||13 November 1871
Simla, British India
|Died||30 June 1934 (aged 62)|
|Spouse(s)||(1) Consuelo Vanderbilt
(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.
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, with whom he had a close and lifelong friendship. He was educated at Winchester and Trinity College, Cambridge.
Marlborough entered the House of Lords on the early death of his father in 1892 and made his maiden speech in August 1895. 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. He was sworn of the Privy Council in 1899. 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. He made his last speech in the House of Lords in December 1931.
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. In 1902 he was made a Knight of the Garter.
Marlborough was an officer in the Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars, and later served in the Oxfordshire Yeomanry Cavalry. He fought in the Second Boer War from January 1900 as a Staff Captain in the Imperial Yeomanry with the temporary rank of Captain. He was subsequently appointed Assistant Military Secretary to Lord Roberts, Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in South Africa. He was mentioned in despatches, and promoted to Major 7 December 1901. Following the war he retired from the army, but he returned to active service in the First World War, when he served as a Lieutenant-Colonel on the General Staff.
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. The couple were divorced in 1921 and the marriage was annulled by the Vatican five years later.
Marlbrough then married another American, Gladys Deacon, on 25 June 1921 in Paris. Later in their unhappy, childless marriage, she kept a revolver in her bedroom to prevent her husband's entry. The couple separated but never divorced.
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.
- thepeerage.com Sir Charles Richard John Spencer-Churchill, 9th Duke of Marlborough
- "Churchill (Spencer-Churchill), Charles Richard John, Marquess of Blandford (CHRL890CR)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- hansard.millbanksystems.com Mr Charles Spencer-Churchill
- The London Gazette: . 3 February 1899.
- The London Gazette: . 13 June 1902.
- The London Gazette: . 19 January 1900.
- The London Gazette: . 6 December 1901.
- Pevsner, Nikolaus; Sherwood, Jennifer (1974). The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 459–475. ISBN 0-14-071045-0.
- Mackenzie Stuart, Amanda (2006). Consuelo and Alva Vanderbilt: The Story of a Daughter and a Mother in the Gilded Age. HarperCollins.
- Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Gladys deacon.
- 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.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Charles Spencer-Churchill, 9th Duke of Marlborough.|
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Charles Spencer-Churchill, 9th Duke of Marlborough
The Earl of Hopetoun
Sir Savile Crossley, Bt
The Earl of Onslow
|Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies
Sir Richard Winfrey
|Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the
Board of Agriculture and Fisheries
with Sir Richard Winfrey
Sir Richard Winfrey
The Viscount Goschen
Title last held byThe Earl of Halsbury
|Lord High Steward
Title next held byThe Duke of Northumberland
The Earl of Jersey
|Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire
|Peerage of England|
|Duke of Marlborough