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Duke of Marlborough

The Dukedom of Marlborough is a hereditary title of British nobility. The first holder of the title was John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough (1650 - 1722), the noted English/British general, and indeed an unqualified reference to the Duke of Marlborough in a historical text will almost certainly be a reference to this man.

The later Dukes of Marlborough are descended from the first duke, but not in the male line. Because the first duke had no sons, the title was allowed to pass to his eldest daughter in her own right. A younger daughter, Lady Anne Churchill[?], married Charles Spencer, 3rd Earl of Sunderland[?] (c. 1674 - 1722), and from this marriage descend the modern Dukes of Marlborough. They therefore originally bore the surname Spencer. However, George Spencer, the 5th Duke of Marlborough, obtained a Royal Licence[?] to assume and bear the additional surname and arms of his famous ancestor, the 1st Duke of Marlborough, and thus became George Spencer-Churchill. This double-barrelled surname[?] has remained in the family to this day.

The 7th Duke of Marlborough was the paternal grandfather of the British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.

The present Duke of Marlborough is John George Vanderbilt Spencer-Churchill, 11th Duke of Marlborough[?] (born April 13, 1926). He has married three times. His second wife was Athina Livanos Onassis[?], the former wife of the shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis. The duke married Athina on October 23, 1961, and they divorced in 1971. The duke married thirdly Countess Dagmar Douglas[?], who is a Swedish countess, and they have had three children: Richard (born 1973; died as an infant), Edward Albert Charles (born 1974), and Alexandra Elizabeth (born 1977).

List of Dukes of Marlborough

  1. John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough (1650 - 1722)
  2. Henrietta Churchill, 2nd Duchess of Marlborough[?] (1681 - 1733)
  3. Charles Spencer, 3rd Duke of Marlborough[?] (1706 - 1758)
  4. George Spencer, 4th Duke of Marlborough[?] (1739 - 1817)
  5. George Spencer-Churchill, 5th Duke of Marlborough[?] (1766 - 1840)
  6. George Spencer-Churchill, 6th Duke of Marlborough[?] (1793 - 1857)
  7. John Winston Spencer-Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough[?] (1822 - 1883)
  8. George Charles Spencer-Churchill, 8th Duke of Marlborough[?] (1844 - 1892)
  9. Charles Richard Spencer-Churchill, 9th Duke of Marlborough (1871 - 1934 )
  10. John Albert William Spencer-Churchill, 10th Duke of Marlborough[?] (1897 - 1972)
  11. John George Vanderbilt Spencer-Churchill, 11th Duke of Marlborough[?] (born 1926)

See also: Spencer family

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