The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

Later Stuart Portraits Catalogue

John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough (1650-1722), Soldier and statesman

Undefeated military commander, courtier and diplomat; admitted ‘extraordinary of the Kit Cat Club’ 1709; created Lord Churchill of Eyemouth [S] 1682; Baron Churchill 1685; Earl of Marlborough 1689; KG and Duke of Marlborough 1702; c.-in-c. allied forces in the Netherlands 1702-11, achieving victories at Blenheim 1704, Ramillies 1706, Oudenarde 1708 and Malplaquet 1709; dismissed 1711, the victim of ambition and political intrigue; in 1704 Queen Anne had rewarded him with the Royal manor of Woodstock where she signified her intention of building him a house to be called Blenheim (completed after much dispute in 1725).

‘He is indeed a very handsom proper well spoken, & affable person, & supplys his want of acquired knowledge by keeping good Company: In the mean time his Ambition & love of riches has no End’ (John Evelyn, 30 December 1703).

‘His handsome and delicate countenance [engaged] every one in his favour at first sight. He is about the middle height, and has the best figure in the world; his features are without fault, fine, sparkling eyes and good teeth … In short, apart from his legs, which are too thin, he is one of the handsomest men ever seen … His ambition knows no bounds’ (Sicco van Goslinga, 1711).

This extended catalogue entry is from the National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Later Stuart Portraits 1685-1714, National Portrait Gallery, 2009, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.