SPENCER CHURCHILL, George, Mq. of Blandford (1793-1857).
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Family and Education
b. 27 Dec. 1793, 1st s. of George Spencer* (afterwards Spencer Churchill), 5th Duke of Marlborough, and bro. of Lord Charles Spencer Churchill*. educ. Eton 1805-11; Christ Church, Oxf. 1811. m.1 (1) 11 Jan. 1819, his cos. Lady Jane Stewart (d. 12 Oct. 1844), da. of George Stewart*, 8th Earl of Galloway [S], 3s. 1da.; (2) 10 June 1846, Hon. Charlotte Augusta Flower (d. 20 Apr. 1850), da. of Henry Jeffery, 4th Visct. Ashbrook [I], 1s. 1da.; (3) 18 Oct. 1851, his cos. Jane Frances Clinton, da. of Hon. Edward Richard Stewart*, 1s. suc. fa. as 6th Duke of Marlborough 5 Mar. 1840.
Ld. lt. Oxon. 1842-d.
Capt. 3 R. Berks. militia 1812, 1 Oxf. yeoman cav. 1817, lt.-col. commdt. 1845.
Blandford (styled Earl of Sunderland until his grandfather’s death in 1817) was a handsome and high-spirited profligate. He was on no better terms with his father than was the latter with his, and these family dissensions spoilt his chances of obtaining a seat for the county on a vacancy in 1815, when a preliminary canvass was an abysmal failure and most of his supporters were aligned against government.2 He withdrew from a contest. On 18 Mar. 1818 he wrote to his uncle Lord Shaftesbury:
Can you not induce Lord Liverpool to call me up to the House of Peers? By what you said at our last meeting, his lordship appears to be well disposed towards me and my own principles and inclinations are, and ever have been, strong in favour of the present ministry and all their measures.3
At the election of 1818 Blandford was introduced to the electors of Chippenham by Christopher Heath, an agent who had deserted the patron, John Maitland*. He defeated Maitland’s nominee for second place on the poll. In his first Parliament he was silent. He opposed ministers, under the observation of the Grenvillite group,4 on the Windsor establishment bill, 22, 25 Feb. 1819; took three weeks’ leave of absence on 26 Mar., but was again in the minorities on taxation proposals, 8 June, and on the foreign enlistment bill, 3, 10, 21 June 1819. His only known vote with ministers was on 23 Dec. 1819, when he was one of the Members who remained in town in support of measures against radicalism. He did not contest Chippenham in 1820 and later came in for the family borough, becoming known as ‘Citizen Churchill’ from his advocacy of parliamentary reform.5 He died 1 July 1857.
Ref Volumes: 1790-1820
Author: R. G. Thorne
- 1. He went through a mock marriage with his mistress in 1817, performed by his brother, disguised as a clergyman. A. L. Rowse, The Later Churchills, 205.
- 2. Add. 38458, f. 200; 51827, Shaftesbury to Holland, 17 Aug. 1815.
- 3. Add. 38574, f. 19.
- 4. Buckingham, Regency, ii. 323.
- 5. Croker Pprs. ed. Jennings, ii. 100.