John Churchill (1650-1722) was the 1st Duke of Marlborough. A soldier and diplomat, Marlborough rose from page to confidential agent of James, the Duke of York, and pursued a distinguised military career; he was made the Baron in 1682. He was chiefly responsible for crushing the Monmouth rebellion (lead by the Duke of Monmouth) in 1685 before leaving the opposing side lead by James II in 1688. He was rewarded with an earldom by William III.
He was appointed Commander-in Chief of the allied forces in the War of the Spanish Succession by Queene Anne. For this resounding victories over the French (Blenheim, 1704, Ramillies, 1706, Oudenarde, 1708 and Malplaquet, 1709) he was rewarded with wealth and honours, but the increasing unpopularity of the war and his personal arrogance contributed to his dismissal by Queen Anne in 1711. He was reinstated by George I in 1714.
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