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Charles Spencer, 3rd Duke of Marlborough

Charles Spencer, 3rd Duke of Marlborough, KG, PC (22 November 1706 – 20 October 1758), styled as The Honourable Charles Spencer between 1706 and 1729 and as The Earl of Sunderland between 1729 and 1733, was a British soldier, nobleman, and politician from the Spencer family. He briefly served as Lord Privy Seal in 1755. He led British forces during the Raid on St Malo in 1758. He is the great-great-great-great-grandfather of Sir Winston Churchill.

The Duke of Marlborough

3rd duke of marlborough.jpg
Lord Privy Seal
In office
MonarchGeorge II
Prime MinisterThe Duke of Newcastle
Preceded byThe Earl Gower
Succeeded byThe Earl Gower
Lord Steward of the Household
In office
MonarchGeorge II
Prime MinisterHenry Pelham
The Duke of Newcastle
Preceded byThe Duke of Devonshire
Succeeded byThe Duke of Rutland
Personal details
Born22 November 1706
Died20 October 1758(1758-10-20) (aged 51)
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Trevor
Military service
Allegiance Great Britain
Branch/service British Army
Battles/warsSeven Years' War

Early lifeEdit

A young Charles Spencer, painted by John Vanderbank.

He was the second son of Charles Spencer, 3rd Earl of Sunderland and Lady Anne Churchill, the second daughter of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough and his wife Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough. He inherited the Sunderland title from his older brother in 1729, becoming 5th Earl of Sunderland, and then the Marlborough title from his aunt, Henrietta, 2nd Duchess of Marlborough in 1733. At that time he handed over the Sunderland estates to his younger brother John, but he did not obtain Blenheim Palace until Sarah, the dowager duchess, died in 1744.[1]

On Thursday, 14 July 1737, Marlborough captained his own cricket team in a match against the Prince of Wales' XI on Kew Green. Wales' XI are known to have won the match which was apparently of minor standard although publicised because of the participants.[2] This is the only known mention of Marlborough in a cricketing connection.

He was one of the original governors of London's Foundling Hospital, the foundation of which in 1739 marked a watershed in British child care advocacy and attitudes.[citation needed]

Seven Years WarEdit

He is best known for his service in the early part of the Seven Years' War. He led the Raid on St Malo, a naval descent against the French coastal port. Following the Capture of Emden he led the British expeditionary force sent to join Ferdinand of Brunswick's Army of Observation on Continental Europe but died in 1758, leaving command to John Manners, Marquess of Granby.

Marriage and childrenEdit

He married The Hon. Elizabeth Trevor (c. 1713 – 1761), daughter of Thomas Trevor, 2nd Baron Trevor. They had five children:


Coat of arms of Charles Spencer, 3rd Duke of Marlborough, KG, PC
  • 22 November 170615 September 1729: The Honourable Charles Spencer
  • 15 September 172924 October 1733: The Right Honourable The Earl of Sunderland
  • 24 October 173320 October 1758: His Grace The Duke of Marlborough



  • Lee, Sidney, ed. (1898). "Spencer, Charles (1706-1758)" . Dictionary of National Biography. 53. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  1. ^   One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Marlborough, Earls and Dukes of". Encyclopædia Britannica. 17 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 737.
  2. ^ Waghorn, H. T. (1899). Cricket Scores, Notes, etc. (1730–1773). Blackwood. p. 18.
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Viscount Cobham
Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire
Succeeded by
The Earl Temple
Preceded by
The Earl of Godolphin
Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire
Title next held by
The Duke of Marlborough
Political offices
Preceded by
The Duke of Devonshire
Lord Steward
Succeeded by
The Duke of Rutland
Preceded by
The 1st Earl Gower
Lord Privy Seal
Succeeded by
The 2nd Earl Gower
Military offices
Preceded by
Edward Montagu
Governor of Kingston-upon-Hull
Succeeded by
James Dormer
Preceded by
Hon. Robert Murray
Colonel of Charles Spencer's Regiment of Foot
Succeeded by
Robert Dalzell
Preceded by
Humphrey Gore
Colonel of The Royal Regiment of Dragoons
Succeeded by
Henry Hawley
Preceded by
Earl of Hertford
Captain and Colonel of
The Queen's Troop of Horse Guards

Succeeded by
The Lord Cadogan
Preceded by
The Duke of Cumberland
Colonel of the Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards
Succeeded by
The Earl of Albemarle
Preceded by
The Duke of Montagu
Master-General of the Ordnance
Title next held by
The Viscount Ligonier
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Henrietta Godolphin
Duke of Marlborough
Succeeded by
George Spencer
Preceded by
Robert Spencer
Earl of Sunderland