John Duke of Marlborough.
In the Collection of the Honble. John Spencer. Impensis J. & P. Knapton Londidi.
Engraving. Dated in the platemark, but a later impression. 403 x 245mm. Light staining around the edges. Small tear to the bottom left-hand corner outside of the platemark.
John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough (1650-1722) was a prominent English soldier and statesman whose career spanned the reigns of five monarchs throughout the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Rising from a lowly page at the court of the House of Stuart, he loyally served the Duke of York through the 1670s and early 1680s, earning military and political advancement through his courage and diplomatic skill. Churchill's role in defeating the Monmouth Rebellion in 1685 helped secure James on the throne, yet just three years later he abandoned his Catholic mentor for the Protestant Dutchman, William of Orange. Honoured for his services at William's coronation with the earldom of Marlborough, he served with further distinction in the early years of the Nine Years' War, but persistent charges of Jacobitism brought about his fall from office and temporary imprisonment in the Tower. It was not until the accession of Queen Anne in 1702, however, that Marlborough reached the zenith of is powers, and secured his fame and fortune. Becoming de facto leader of Allied forces during the War of the Spanish Succession, his victories on the fields of Blenheim (1704), Ramillies (1706), Oudenarde (1708), and Malplaquet (1709), ensured his place in history as one of Europe's great generals. Incurring Anne’s disfavour, and caught between Tory and Whig faction, Marlborough, who had brought glory and success to Anne's reign, was forced from office and into self-imposed exile. He returned to England and to influence under the House of Hanover with the accession of George I to the British throne in 1714, but following a series of strokes in later age his health gradually deteriorated, and on 16 June 1722, at Windsor Lodge, the 1st Duke of Marlborough died.
In the NPG.
[Ref: 12661] £65.00