The Duke of Marlborough
|Member of the House of Lords |
as Duke of Marlborough
30 June 1934 –11 March 1972
|Preceded by||Charles Spencer-Churchill|
|Succeeded by||John Spencer-Churchill|
John Albert Edward William Spencer-Churchill
18 September 1897
|Died||11 March 1972 74) (aged|
Hon. Alexandra Mary Cadogan
(m. 1920;died 1961)
John Albert Edward William Spencer-Churchill, 10th Duke of Marlborough, DL (18 September 1897 – 11 March 1972), styled Marquess of Blandford until 1934, was a British military officer and peer.
He was born in London on 18 September 1897 as the first of two sons born to Charles Spencer-Churchill, 9th Duke of Marlborough and his first wife, the former Consuelo Vanderbilt, an American railroad heiress.  His younger brother was Lord Ivor Spencer-Churchill who joined the Royal Army Service Corps and fought in the First World War.  His parents separated in 1906 and divorced in 1921. Later that year his mother married Lt. Col. Jacques Balsan, a French balloon, aircraft, and hydroplane pilot,  and his father married the French American Gladys Deacon.  
His paternal grandparents were George Spencer-Churchill, 8th Duke of Marlborough and his first wife, Lady Albertha Hamilton (a daughter of James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Abercorn and Lady Louisa Russell). 
His mother was the eldest child, and only daughter, of William Kissam Vanderbilt, a New York railroad millionaire, and the former Alva Erskine Smith. They divorced in 1895; she married his friend Oliver Belmont and he married the widow Anna Harriman.  His maternal uncles were William Kissam Vanderbilt II and Harold Stirling Vanderbilt.
Marlborough was educated at Eton before joining the Life Guards. 
Prior to inheriting the dukedom in 1934, he was a lieutenant-colonel in the Life Guards, and served with distinction in France and Belgium during World War I. After the war, he served as Mayor of Woodstock, where Blenheim is located, from 1937 to 1942. His wife served as the first woman mayor of Woodstock.  He also served as High Steward of Oxford in 1937.  He enlisted during World War II and was a military liaison officer with the United States forces in Britain. 
In 1950, the Duke opened the grounds and many rooms of Blenheim Palace (including the bedroom in which Sir Winston Churchill was born) to the public to help defray the cost of upkeep.  Today, he is known as one of the originators of the "stately homes" business. 
On 17 February 1920, he was married to the Hon. Alexandra Mary Cadogan (1900–1961) at a ceremony at St Margaret's Church in London attended by King George V and Queen Mary.  As a wedding gift, his maternal grandfather gave him a house in London.  She was a daughter of Henry Cadogan, Viscount Chelsea, the son and heir of George Henry Cadogan, 5th Earl Cadogan.  Together, they had two sons and three daughters:
Six weeks before his death, on 26 January 1972, the Duke married his second wife, (Frances) Laura (née Charteris) Canfield (1915–1990), the widow of the American publishing heir Michael Temple Canfield (whose first wife had been Caroline Lee Bouvier, the sister of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis). Laura Canfield was the second daughter of the Hon. Guy Lawrence Charteris (the second son of Hugo Charteris, 11th Earl of Wemyss and Lady Frances Lucy Tennant). Laura's older sister, Ann Geraldine Mary Charteris, was married to the novelist Ian Fleming. Laura herself was previously married to and divorced from Walter Long, 2nd Viscount Long and William Ward, 3rd Earl of Dudley. 
The Duke died at a hospital in London on 11 March 1972,  and was succeeded by his son John Spencer-Churchill, Marquess of Blandford.  He and his first wife are buried in the churchyard of St Martin's Church, Bladon.
Through his eldest daughter, Lady Sarah (who inherited the bulk of his mother's estate upon her death in 1965),  he was a grandfather of four: Serena Mary Churchill Russell (b. 1944) (who married Neil Balfour), Consuelo Sarah Russell (b. 1946), Alexandra Brenda Russell (b. 1949), and Jacqueline Russell (b. 1958). 
Through his second daughter, Lady Caroline, he was a grandfather of three: Michael Thomas Waterhouse (b. 1949), Elizabeth Ann Waterhouse (b. 1951) (who married Sir Richard Gervase Beckett), and David Charles Waterhouse (b. 1956). 
Through his third daughter Lady Rosemary, he was a grandfather of three: Alexander Pepys Muir (b. 1954) (a godson of Princess Margaret),  Simon Huntly Muir (b. 1959), and Mary Arabella Muir (b. 1962). 
Through his youngest son, Lord Charles, he was a grandfather of three: Rupert John Harold Mark Spencer-Churchill (b. 1971), Dominic Albert Charles Spencer-Churchill (b. 1979), and Alexander David Spencer-Churchill (b. 1983). 
Duke of Marlborough is a title in the Peerage of England. It was created by Queen Anne in 1702 for John Churchill, 1st Earl of Marlborough (1650–1722), the noted military leader. In historical texts, unqualified use of the title typically refers to the 1st Duke. The name of the dukedom refers to Marlborough in Wiltshire.
Blenheim Palace is a country house in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England. It is the seat of the Dukes of Marlborough and the only non-royal, non-episcopal country house in England to hold the title of palace. The palace, one of England's largest houses, was built between 1705 and 1722, and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.
Consuelo Vanderbilt-Balsan was a socialite and a member of the prominent American Vanderbilt family. Her first marriage to the 9th Duke of Marlborough has become a well-known example of one of the advantageous, but loveless, marriages common during the Gilded Age. The Duke obtained a large dowry by the marriage, and reportedly told her just after the marriage that he married her in order to "save Blenheim Palace", his ancestral home.
Charles Richard John Spencer-Churchill, 9th Duke of Marlborough,, styled Earl of Sunderland until 1883 and Marquess of Blandford between 1883 and 1892, was a British soldier and Conservative politician, and a close friend of his first cousin Winston Churchill. He was often known as "Sunny" Marlborough after his courtesy title of Earl of Sunderland.
John Winston Spencer-Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough, styled Earl of Sunderland from 1822 to 1840 and Marquess of Blandford from 1840 to 1857, was a British Conservative cabinet minister, politician, peer, and nobleman. He was the paternal grandfather of Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.
John George Vanderbilt Henry Spencer-Churchill, 11th Duke of Marlborough, was a British peer. He was the elder son of the 10th Duke of Marlborough and his wife, the Hon. Alexandra Mary Hilda Cadogan. He was known as "Sunny" after his courtesy title of Earl of Sunderland.
Charles James Spencer-Churchill, 12th Duke of Marlborough, styled Earl of Sunderland until March 1972 and Marquess of Blandford until October 2014, and often known as Jamie Blandford or Jamie Marlborough, is an English peer and the current Duke of Marlborough.
George Spencer-Churchill, 5th Duke of Marlborough FSA, styled Marquess of Blandford until 1817, was a British nobleman, politician, peer, and collector of antiquities and books.
George Charles Spencer-Churchill, 8th Duke of Marlborough, DL, styled Earl of Sunderland until 1857 and Marquess of Blandford between 1857 and 1883, was a British peer.
Lord Ivor Charles Spencer-Churchill was the younger son of the 9th Duke of Marlborough and his first wife, the former Consuelo Vanderbilt, an American railroad heiress. His elder brother, John, was the 10th Duke of Marlborough.
Saint-Georges-Motel is a commune in the Eure department in Normandy in northern France.
Louis Jacques Balsan was a French aviator and industrialist, born at Châteauroux (Indre) in 1868, who was the second husband of society beauty Consuelo Vanderbilt, Duchess of Marlborough. He married her immediately after her divorce from the 9th Duke of Marlborough in 1921.
Edwin Fairman Russell was an American newspaper publisher who had joined the Royal Navy to fight Germany before the United States entered World War II.
Gladys Marie Spencer-Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough was a French American aristocrat and socialite. She was the mistress and later the second wife of Charles Spencer-Churchill, 9th Duke of Marlborough.
George John Godolphin Spencer-Churchill, Marquess of Blandford, styled as Earl of Sunderland until 2014, is a British aristocrat and polo player. He is a model and brand ambassador for La Martina, an Argentinean polo clothing and accessories company. As the heir apparent to the Dukedom of Marlborough, he uses the courtesy title of Marquess of Blandford.
Frances Laura Spencer-Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, was a British noblewoman and socialite. She was variously Viscountess Long, Countess of Dudley and became Duchess of Marlborough upon her fourth marriage, to John Spencer-Churchill, 10th Duke of Marlborough. She was the sister of novelist Hugo Charteris and Ann Charteris, as well as the granddaughter of Hugo Charteris, 11th Earl of Wemyss. Her third husband, Michael Temple Canfield, was the former husband of Lee Radziwill, sister of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. During World War II, she served as an auxiliary nurse.
Jane Spencer-Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, formerly Lady Jane Stewart, was the first wife of George Spencer-Churchill, 6th Duke of Marlborough.
Lady Rosemary Mildred Muir is an English aristocrat who served as a maid of honour to Elizabeth II at her coronation in 1953.
Margaret Stuyvesant Rutherfurd Murat was an eccentric American heiress, dancer and sometime actress.
Château de Saint-Georges Motel is a château in Saint-Georges-Motel, in the Eure department in northern France, that was built in the early 17th century. The Château was listed as a French historical monument on 9 June 1977.