– Another installment in my series
Stories of the world during the time Winston Churchill lived in it: 1873 to 1965.
His son John was presented at court and granted a commission in the army. Over the next two decades John’s abilities at court and in the field propelled him to higher and higher levels of command. By 1674 he was Colonel. By 1682 he was a Lord; by 1685 a Baron, and Major General in the army.
In the Revolution of 1688 he supported William (the winner). In 1689 he was made a privy councilor and Earl of Marlborough.
Then came the fall.
John’s wife Sarah (the one quoted above) was Lady in Waiting to the Queen’s sister, Princess Anne. Throughout these years, John, Sarah, and Anne were close friends.
The King and Queen quarreled with the Princess and blamed the Churchills. All three were banned from the Court and from public life.
In 1702 everything changed. The King died. He left no children. The throne was vacant. Princess Anne succeeded to it. Also in 1702 the French launched their greatest bid for world domination until Napoleon a century later. When the Spanish Empire joined the French, it looked like nothing could stop them.
Marlborough was promoted from Earl to Duke and from Major-General to the head of the army and sent to the continent. Back in London, Sarah and Queen Anne, together with the Churchills’ close associate, Sidney Godolphin, ran the government.
Britain, The Netherlands, The Hapsburg Empire and lesser powers composed Marlborough’s Grand Alliance. Marlborough marched his army in daring thrusts and parries. He won every battle he fought; he captured every fort he besieged. Still, the French side was so strong that the war raged for 11 years.
At war’s end, grateful rulers throughout Europe showered gifts upon him for his deeds. He built the magnificent Blenheim Place in Woodstock.
John died in 1722 and Sarah in 1744.
Other Installments of this series (in progress).