GODFREY, Francis (1681-1712).
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
bap. 15 June 1681, o. s. of Charles Godfrey*. unm. suc. uncle George Churchill* 1710.1
Cornet, 6 Drag. Gds. 1700; capt. and lt.-col. 1 Ft. Gds. 1703; col. 16 Ft. 1705–11; brig.-gen. 1710.
Groom of bedchamber to Prince George of Denmark 1706–8.2
Godfrey followed his father into a career in the army. In Anne’s reign he benefited from the patronage of his uncle, the Duke of Marlborough (John Churchill†). Thus, Godfrey acquired a regiment in March 1705 and served at Blenheim. His parliamentary career owed much to the interest of his brother-in-law, Hugh Boscawen II*, at St. Mawes, where he was returned in 1705. As Godfrey sat in the Commons at the same time as his father, who also used the title colonel, it is difficult to differentiate between the two men. However, Godfrey was classed as a ‘Churchman’, and more importantly as a ‘gain’ by the Earl of Sunderland (Charles, Lord Spencer*). He voted on 25 Oct. 1705 for the Court candidate as Speaker, and supported the Court on 18 Feb. 1706 during the regency bill proceedings. In July 1706 he was given a post in the bedchamber of Prince George, upon which Marlborough thanked the Queen and the Prince for ‘remembering Godfrey’. Early in 1708 he was classed as a Whig, but later that year he lost office upon the death of Prince George, at whose funeral he officiated. In 1708 he was probably the ‘Colonel Godfrey’ who accompanied the Queen of Portugal from The Hague to England. In May 1710 he inherited a moiety of the fortune of Marlborough’s brother, George Churchill, reputedly amounting to about £10,000, but was unable to secure a seat in Parliament. In February 1711 it was reported that he had sold his regiment for £7,000, possibly in pique at the precedence given to two other brigadiers in the dating of their commissions. However, he then had trouble in collecting the money from the purchaser, one Colonel Durell. Godfrey died on 6 Oct. 1712, and was buried in Canterbury Cathedral.3