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The Papers of the 7th Duke of Marlborough

Reference Code: GBR/0014/MARB

Scope and Contents

Letters to both the Duke and Frances, Duchess of Marlborough from their third son, Lord Randolph Churchill and other family letters.


  • Creation: 1863 - 1899

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holders and should seek advice from the Archives Centre staff.

Biographical / Historical

John Spencer-Churchill was born on 2 June 1822, eldest son of the 6th Duke and his first wife, Jane. He was educated at Eton and Oriel College, University of Oxford and in 1843 married Lady Frances Vane, having eleven children.

As Lord Blandford (the title of the Duke of Marlborough's heir), he became MP for the local constituency, Woodstock [Oxfordshire], from 1844-45, then 1847-57. Following his succession to the dukedom in July 1857, he moved to the House of Lords, giving up his constituency and becoming Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire (1857-83). His other positions included: High Steward of Woodstock and Lord Steward of the Household (1866-67); Lord President of the Council (1867-68); Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1876-80). He died on 5 July 1883.

His third son, Lord Randolph Henry Spencer-Churchill, was born on 13 February 1849. He was educated at Oxford and in 1874 married Jennie Jerome, having two sons, Winston and John Churchill. Lord Randolph's political career included: MP for Woodstock (1874-85) and for Paddington, London (1885-95); Secretary of State for India (1885-86); Chancellor of the Exchequer (1886). He died on 24 January 1895.


5 archive box(es)

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Other Finding Aids

A copy of this finding aid and a detailed catalogue to the letters is available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge and the National Register of Archives, London.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were deposited at Churchill Archives Centre in November 1982 by the Dowager Lady Wimborne and were originally known as the Wimborne Papers.

Related Materials

Churchill Archives Centre holds a microfilm copy of Lord Randolph Churchill's papers (GBR/0014/RCHL), while the originals are at Cambridge University Library. Please see also the Churchill Papers, GBR/0014/CHAR and CHUR ( and other Churchill related collections at Churchill Archives Centre.

Related Materials

The duke's political correspondence, 1840-80, previously held at the Archives Centre, was transferred to Cambridge University Library in 1996.


Some of the letters in the collection were used by Sir Winston Churchill in his biography of Lord Randolph and others were used by Sir Winston's son, Randolph Churchill, when he was working on his biography of his father.


This collection (fonds) level description was prepared by Katharine Thomson at Churchill Archives Centre in December 2004. Information was obtained from Burke's Peerage and Baronetage. Converted by Philip Cosgrove 2012.


Churchill, John Winston, Spencer-, 1822-1883, 7th Duke of Marlborough

2004-12-20 10:04:34.140000+00:00
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Repository Details

Part of the Churchill Archives Centre Repository

Churchill Archives Centre
Churchill College
Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB3 0DS United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 336087