Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough

Sarah ChurchillSarah, Duchess of MarlboroughDuchess of MarlboroughSarah JenningsSarahDowager Duchess of MarlboroughLady SarahSarah Churchill, Countess of MarlboroughSarah Jennings, Duchess of MarlboroughCountess of Marlborough
Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, Princess of Mindelheim, Countess of Nellenburg (née Jenyns, spelled Jennings in most modern references; 5 June 1660 (Old Style) – 18 October 1744), was an English courtier who rose to be one of the most influential women of her time through her close friendship with Anne, Queen of Great Britain.wikipedia
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John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough

Duke of MarlboroughMarlboroughJohn Churchill
Sarah enjoyed a "long and devoted" relationship with her husband of more than 40 years, John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough.
Marriage to Sarah Jennings and her relationship with Anne ensured Marlborough's rise, first to the Captain-Generalcy of British forces, then to a dukedom.

Anne, Queen of Great Britain

Queen AnneAnnePrincess Anne
Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, Princess of Mindelheim, Countess of Nellenburg (née Jenyns, spelled Jennings in most modern references; 5 June 1660 (Old Style) – 18 October 1744), was an English courtier who rose to be one of the most influential women of her time through her close friendship with Anne, Queen of Great Britain.
Her close friendship with Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, turned sour as the result of political differences.

Henrietta Godolphin, 2nd Duchess of Marlborough

HenriettaDuchess of MarlboroughHenrietta Churchill
She later had famous disagreements with many important people, including her daughter Henrietta Godolphin, 2nd Duchess of Marlborough; the architect of Blenheim Palace, John Vanbrugh; Prime Minister Robert Walpole; King George II; and his wife, Queen Caroline.
Henrietta Godolphin, 2nd Duchess of Marlborough, Princess of Mindelheim, Princess of Mellenburg, Princess of the Holy Roman Empire, Countess of Godolphin (19 July 1681 – 24 October 1733) was the daughter of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, general of the army, and Sarah Jennings, Duchess of Marlborough, close friend and business manager of Queen Anne.

Blenheim Palace

BlenheimBlenheim ParkBlenheim Estate
Sarah tirelessly campaigned on behalf of the Whigs, while also devoting much of her time to building projects such as Blenheim Palace.
In 1678, Churchill married Sarah Jennings, and in April that year, he was sent by Charles II to The Hague to negotiate a convention on the deployment of the English army in Flanders.

Frances Talbot, Countess of Tyrconnell

Frances JenningsFrancesFrances Talbot, Countess of Tyrconnel
James's first impressions were favourable, and in 1664 Sarah’s sister, Frances, was appointed maid of honour to the Duchess of York, Anne Hyde.
1649 – 1731) was a maid of honour to the Duchess of York and, like her sister Sarah, a famous beauty at the Restoration court.

Richard Jennings (politician)

Richard JenningsRichardSir Richard Jennings
She was the daughter of Richard Jennings (or Jenyns), a Member of Parliament, and Frances Thornhurst; her paternal grandfather was Sir John Jennings, father, by his wife Alice Spencer, of an extraordinarily large family.
He was the father of Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, who was the confidante of Queen Anne.

Lady of the Bedchamber

Ladies of the Bedchamberdame du palaisstatsfru
The Duke of York returned to England after the religious tension had eased, and Sarah was appointed a Lady of the Bedchamber to Anne after the latter's marriage in 1683.
Queen Anne appointed Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough to this position; the Duchess was widely considered an influential royal favourite.

Duke of Marlborough (title)

Duke of MarlboroughDukes of MarlboroughDukedom of Marlborough
Although the new king and queen had awarded Sarah's husband the title Earl of Marlborough, Sarah and John enjoyed considerably less favour than they had during the reign of James II.
In 1678, Churchill married Sarah Jennings (1660–1744), a courtier and influential favourite of the queen.

John Jennings (St Albans MP)

Sir John JenningsJohn JenningsSir John Jennings of Sandridge
She was the daughter of Richard Jennings (or Jenyns), a Member of Parliament, and Frances Thornhurst; her paternal grandfather was Sir John Jennings, father, by his wife Alice Spencer, of an extraordinarily large family.
Sir John Jennings KB (died August 1642) of Halywell (later Holywell) House, St Albans was an English nobleman and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1628 and 1642: he is now chiefly remembered as the grandfather of Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough and of her nemesis Abigail Masham.

Martin Lister

Dr. Martin ListerLister
Her uncle (Martin Lister) was a prominent naturalist.
He was also the uncle of Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough who corresponded with him throughout her life.

Abigail Masham, Baroness Masham

Abigail MashamAbigail HillAbigail
Sarah was promptly created Mistress of the Robes (the highest office in the royal court that could be held by a woman), Groom of the Stole, the first of only two women ever (replaced by her cousin and rival, Abigail Masham, Baroness Masham) to be Keeper of the Privy Purse, and the only woman ever to be Ranger of Windsor Great Park.
She was a favourite of Queen Anne, and a cousin of Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough.

Sidney Godolphin, 1st Earl of Godolphin

Sidney GodolphinGodolphinLord Godolphin
When Anne came to the throne after William's death in 1702, the Duke of Marlborough, together with Sidney Godolphin, 1st Earl of Godolphin, rose to head the government, partly owing to his wife's friendship with the queen.
Sarah Churchill later wrote that if Anne came to learn anything about politics and statecraft, it was entirely due to Godolphin's mentoring.

Syon House

Syon ParkSion HouseSyon
Anne responded by leaving the court as well, and Sarah and she went to stay with their friends Charles Seymour, the sixth Duke of Somerset, and Elizabeth, the Duchess of Somerset at Syon House.
After the future Queen Anne had a disagreement with her sister, Mary II (wife of William III, also known as William of Orange), over her friendship with Sarah Churchill, Countess of Marlborough, Queen Mary evicted Princess Anne from her court residence at Whitehall and Hampton Court.

Holywell House, Hertfordshire

Holywell HouseHalywell (later Holywell) HouseHolywell
Sarah Jennings was born on 5 June 1660, probably at Holywell House, St Albans,
It passed through the Jennings family line, and Sarah Churchill (née Jenyns), Duchess of Marlborough was born here in 1660.

Mary II of England

Mary IIMaryQueen Mary II
She acted as Anne's agent after Anne's father, King James II, was deposed during the Glorious Revolution; and she promoted her interests during the rule of James's successors, King William III and Queen Mary II.
As a result, she was criticised by Sarah Churchill among others, for appearing cold to her father's plight.

Glorious Revolution

Revolution of 1688RevolutionGlorious Revolution of 1688
She acted as Anne's agent after Anne's father, King James II, was deposed during the Glorious Revolution; and she promoted her interests during the rule of James's successors, King William III and Queen Mary II.
On 26 November, James's younger daughter, Anne, who doubted the authenticity of her new brother, and who was greatly influenced by Churchill's wife Sarah Churchill, did the same.

St Albans

St. AlbansSaint AlbansMunicipal Borough of St Albans
Sarah Jennings was born on 5 June 1660, probably at Holywell House, St Albans,

Mistress of the Robes

head lady-in-waitingMistressMistress of the Queen's Wardrobe
Sarah was promptly created Mistress of the Robes (the highest office in the royal court that could be held by a woman), Groom of the Stole, the first of only two women ever (replaced by her cousin and rival, Abigail Masham, Baroness Masham) to be Keeper of the Privy Purse, and the only woman ever to be Ranger of Windsor Great Park.

John Churchill, Marquess of Blandford

Jack ChurchillJohn, Marquess of BlandfordLord Churchill
Sarah was called to Cambridge in 1703, where her only surviving son, John, Marquess of Blandford, was taken ill with smallpox.
He was the heir apparent to the Dukedom of Marlborough – as the only surviving son of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, an accomplished general, and Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, a close friend of Queen Anne.

Lesbian

lesbianismlesbiansSapphic
The passion she showed for Abigail, and the stubborn refusal to dismiss her, angered Sarah to the point that she implied that a lesbian affair was taking place between the two women.
Queen Anne was rumored to have a passionate relationship with Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, her closest adviser and confidante.

Ranger of Windsor Great Park

Deputy Ranger of Windsor Great ParkRanger of the Great Park
Sarah was promptly created Mistress of the Robes (the highest office in the royal court that could be held by a woman), Groom of the Stole, the first of only two women ever (replaced by her cousin and rival, Abigail Masham, Baroness Masham) to be Keeper of the Privy Purse, and the only woman ever to be Ranger of Windsor Great Park.
One of the most famous rangers was Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, who was given the position by her friend, Queen Anne, in 1702.

Keeper of the Privy Purse

Treasurer to the QueenReceiver-General of the Duchy of LancasterKeeper of His Majesty's Privy Purse
Sarah was promptly created Mistress of the Robes (the highest office in the royal court that could be held by a woman), Groom of the Stole, the first of only two women ever (replaced by her cousin and rival, Abigail Masham, Baroness Masham) to be Keeper of the Privy Purse, and the only woman ever to be Ranger of Windsor Great Park.

Whigs (British political party)

WhigWhigsWhig Party
Sarah tirelessly campaigned on behalf of the Whigs, while also devoting much of her time to building projects such as Blenheim Palace.
Anne herself grew increasingly uncomfortable with this dependence on the Whigs, especially as her personal relationship with the Duchess of Marlborough deteriorated.

Charles Spencer, 3rd Earl of Sunderland

The Earl of SunderlandEarl of SunderlandSunderland
One major political disagreement occurred when Sarah insisted that her son-in-law, Charles Spencer, the third Earl of Sunderland, be admitted into the Privy Council.
In the same year, he married Arabella, daughter of Henry Cavendish, 2nd Duke of Newcastle; she died in 1698 and in 1700, he married Anne Churchill, daughter of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough and Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough.

Cockpit-in-Court

CockpitRoyal Cockpitthe Cockpit
James still retained some influence, and he ordered that both Lady Churchill and Princess Anne be placed under house arrest at Anne's residence (the Cockpit ) in the Palace of Whitehall; both their husbands, though previously loyal to James, had switched their allegiances to William of Orange.
Anne and her closest friend, Sarah, Lady Churchill were imprisoned here during the Glorious Revolution; both their husbands, Prince George of Denmark and John, Baron Churchill switched their allegiances from James II to William of Orange.