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John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough

(1650-1722), Soldier and statesman

Later Stuart Portraits Catalogue Entry

Sitter associated with 85 portraits
Rising to become a confidential agent of James, Duke of York, once James became King in 1685, Churchill pursued a distinguished military career, playing a major role in crushing the Duke of Monmouth's rebellion in 1685. He later deserted James II in 1688, and was rewarded with an earldom by William III. Marlborough's influence at court reached its height with the accession of Queen Anne, when promoted to Commander-in Chief of the allied forces, he achieved huge victories against the French in the War of the Spanish Succession. However, the increasing unpopularity of the war and his arrogance contributed to his dismissal in 1711. He eventually regained favour with the accession of George I in 1714.

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