Winston Churchill (1620–1688)

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Arms of Sir Winston Churchill: sable a lion rampant argent on a canton of the second a cross gules[1]

Sir Winston Churchill FRS (18 April 1620 – 26 March 1688), known as the Cavalier Colonel, was an English soldier, historian, and politician.[2] He was the father of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, as well as an ancestor of his 20th-century namesake, Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.


Churchill was the son of John Churchill of Dorset, a lawyer, and his wife Sarah Winston, daughter of Sir Henry Winston. Winston Churchill was educated at St John's College, Oxford, but left university without taking a degree. Churchill was a fervent Royalist through his life and fought and was wounded in the Civil War as a Captain in the King's Horse and, after the Royalists were defeated, was forced to pay a recompense fee of £446 (equivalent to around £44,600 in the present). After the Restoration he sat as a Member of Parliament for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis from 1661 to 1679 and for Lyme Regis from 1685 to 1688.[3] Churchill was also a Commissioner of the Irish Court of Claims and Explanations between 1662 and 1668 and a Junior Clerk Comptroller to the Board of Green Cloth from 1664 to 1679. He was knighted in 1664 and made a Fellow of the Royal Society the same year. He also published a history of the kings of England, entitled Divi Britannica; being a remark upon the Lives of all the Kings of this Isle, from the year of the World 2855 until the year of Grace 1660.

Churchill died in March 1688, at age 67.


In 1643 Churchill married Elizabeth Drake, daughter of Sir John Drake (d. 25 August 1636) and wife Eleanor Boteler, daughter of John Boteler, 1st Baron Boteler of Brantfield and maternal niece of George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham. They had eleven children, seven sons and four daughters, of whom only six survived infancy; sons Jasper, and Mountjoy died in infancy, while son Winston died at the battle of Solebay in 1672 aged 20,[4] and son Theobald died in 1685 at age 22.[5] Four of their children gained distinction. The aforementioned John became a famous military commander and was created Duke of Marlborough; Charles (2 February 1656 – 1714) became a General in the Army under his elder brother and married Mary Gould (later married to the 2nd Earl of Abingdon); George became an Admiral in the Royal Navy and never married; Arabella became a mistress of King James II and mother of four of his children.


  1. ^ Debrett's Peerage, 1968, p.747.
  2. ^  "Churchill, Winston". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. 
  3. ^ History of Parliament Online - Churchill, Winston
  4. ^ ADM 33/91
  5. ^ Holmes, Richard. Marlborough: England's Fragile Genius. HarperPress. 2008.

Further reading[edit]

Parliament of England
Preceded by
Sir William Penn
Henry Waltham
Peter Middleton
Bullen Reymes
Member of Parliament for
Weymouth and Melcombe Regis
with Sir William Penn 1661–1670
Bullen Reymes 1661–1673
Sir John Strangways 1661–1667
Sir John Coventry 1667–1679
Lord Ashley 1670–1679
Sir John Man 1673–1679

Succeeded by
Sir John Coventry
Lord Ashley
Thomas Browne
Michael Harvey
Preceded by
Henry Henley
Thomas Moore
Member of Parliament for Lyme Regis
with John Pole

Succeeded by
John Pole
John Burridge