Marlborough, p.63
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       Marlborough, p.63

           Richard Holmes

  11 Sir Tresham Lever Godolphin, His Life and Times (London 1952) p.127.

  12 G.M. Trevelyan England Under Queen Anne: Blenheim (London 1946) p.182.

  13 Ibid. p.178.

  14 Thomas Babington Macaulay History of England (8 vols, London 1858) Vol. II passim.

  15 John Paget The New ‘Examen’ (London 1934) p.31.

  16 I would not wish to seem churlish to my old mentor, who wrote in a ‘military commanders’ series. But the notion is still a preposterous one.

  17 Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough Private Correspondence of the Duchess of Marlborough (2 vols, London 1838) II pp.119–20.

  18 David Chandler and Christopher L. Scott (eds) ‘The Journal of John Wilson …’ in David Chandler et al. (eds) Military Miscellany II (Stroud, Gloucestershire 2005) p.43.

  19 David Chandler (ed.) A Journal of Marlborough’s Campaigns … by John Marshall Deane, Private Sentinel in Queen Anne’s First Regiment of Foot Guards (London 1984) p.7.

  20 Frances Harris ‘The Authorship of the Manuscript Blenheim Journal’ in Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research LV 1982.

  21 Tallard to Chamillart 4 September 1704 in G.M. Trevelyan (ed.) Select Documents from Queen Anne’s Reign Down to the Union with Scotland (Cambridge 1929) pp.120, 122.

  22 Baron de Montigny-Languet ibid. p.133.

  23 Sicco van Goslinga Mémoires relatifs à la Guerre de Succession de 1706–1709 et 1711 (Leeuwarden 1857) p.44.

  24 Edwin Chappell (ed.) The Tangier Papers of Samuel Pepys (London 1935) p.311.

  25 William Bray (ed.) The Diary of John Evelyn Esq FRS from 1641 to 1705–6 (London 1890) p.586.

  26 Ibid. p.598.

  27 Margaret Whinney and Oliver Millar English Art 1625–1714 (Oxford 1957) p.174.

  28 Donald Adamson (ed.) Rides Round Britain: John Byng, Viscount Torrington (London 1996) p.161.

  29 Arthur Symonds (ed.) Sir Roger de Coverly and other essays from The Spectator (London 1905) p.vii.

  30 John Tincey Sedgemoor 1685: Marlborough’s First Victory (Barnsley 2005) p.110.

  31 Evelyn Diary p.268.

  32 Bishop Burnet’s History of His Own Times (6 vols, Oxford 1833) III p.62.

  33 Symonds Sir Roger de Coverly p.7.

  34 The Spectator 13 July 1711.

  35 Drake Amiable Renegade p.319.

  36 Ibid. p.49.

  37 Ibid. p.83.

  38 John Childs The British Army of William III (Manchester 1979) pp.45–6.

  39 Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research Vol. 4 1925 pp.11–12.

  40 Sir George Murray (ed.) Letters and Dispatches of John Churchill … (5 vols, London 1845) IV p.499. See, in contrast, some desperate Marlburian stonewalling in his letter to Sir John Shaw of 16 December 1708 in Murray V p.359. There is no doubt where the duke’s sympathies lay, and one wonders how Sinclair ‘found means to get away’. He later received a royal pardon, but joined the Jacobite rebellion in 1715, was attainted and never succeeded to the peerage.

  41 Evelyn Diary p.52.

  42 The Craftsman Collected Edition (London 1737) Vol XI p.16.

  43 Whinney and Millar English Art p.331.

  44 Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough An Account of the Conduct of the Dowager Duchess of Marlborough from her first coming to court to the year 1710 (London 1742) pp.180–1.

  45 Sarah Duchess of Marlborough Private Correspondence II p.81.

  46 Wentworth Papers p.197.

  47 Ibid. p.121.

  48 Ibid. p.165.

  49 Ibid. pp.198–9.

  50 Memoirs of Thomas, Earl of Ailesbury (2 vols, London 1890) I p.23.

  51 The Earl of Dumbarton’s Regiment, lineal ancestor of the 1st of Foot, the Royal Scots.

  52 Ailesbury I p.20.

  53 Ibid. p.87.

  54 Pepys Diary p.847.

  55 This unlovely cul de sac culminates in the back entrance to my club, and often eludes even those knowledgeable folk of the London licensed cab trade.

  56 Ailesbury I p.215.

  57 Marlborough Account of the Conduct p.110.

  58 Peerages of Great Britain appeared after the Union with Scotland.

  59 Oxford was restored to his offices after the fall of James. He died without male heirs, leaving his ancient title extinct, but his daughter Diana married Charles Beauclerk, Earl of Burford and Duke of St Albans.

  60 Ailesbury I p.286.

  61 Mark Bence-Jones and Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd The British Aristocracy (London 1979) p.22. In 1799 Richard, Earl of Mornington, the future Duke of Wellington’s elder brother, was created Marquess Wellesley for his services as governor-general of India. It was an Irish peerage, and he referred to it scornfully as ‘my double-gilt potato’. But his earldom was Irish, so the promotion was not wholly unreasonable.

  62 John Laffin Brassey’s Battles (London 1986) p.42.

  63 G.M. Trevelyan England Under Queen Anne: The Peace and the Protestant Succession (London 1946) pp.197–8.

  64 Lever Godolphin p.269.

  65 A member of the great ducal house of Northumberland, and thus very much a lady in her own right.

  66 Lt Gen the Hon Sir James Campbell of Lawes ‘A Scots Fusilier and Dragoon under Marlborough’ Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research No. 58 (summer 1936).

  67 Cadogan to Marlborough 23 February 1716, Cadogan Papers.

  68 Letters Patent in the Cadogan Papers.

  69 Historical Manuscripts Commission MSS of the Duke of Somerset, the Marquess of Ailesbury … (London 1888) p.188.

  70 HMC Somerset pp.191, 195–6, 204.

  71 Ibid. p.105.

  72 Quoted in Trevelyan Blenheim pp.195–6.

  73 Private Correspondence I p.xix.

  74 Trevelyan Blenheim p.190.

  75 Trevelyan, with scrupulous fairness, initially suspected that the accusation that Wharton had ‘indecently profaned a church’ was the work of Tory pamphleteers. He later concluded that the story – based on an incident when Wharton led a group of late-night revellers into Barrington church, Gloucestershire – was in fact true.

  76 Tim Harris Revolution: The Great Crisis of the British Monarchy, 1685–1720 (London 2006) p.16.

  77 The Spectator 20 July 1711.


  Young Cavalier

  1 For Churchill genealogy see Kate Fleming The Churchills (London 1975) and G. Cokayne et al. (eds) The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom … (13 vols, London 1910–59) VII p.491.

  2 Peter Young (ed.) ‘The Vindication of Richard Atkyns’ in Military Memoirs: The Civil War (London 1967) p.23.

  3 Churchill Marlborough I p.22.

  4 A.L. Rowse The Early Churchills (London 1956) p.11.

  5 See 01/htm. This suggests that an Elizabeth Drake married Winston Churchill: elsewhere her name is given as Ellen, Elinor and Helen. In the contemporary way, her mother’s maiden name is sometimes spelt Butler.

  6 Churchill Marlborough I p.17.

  7 Ibid. p.27 and Louisa Stoughton Drake The Drake Family in England and America 1360–1895 (Boston 1896) and Coxe Marlborough I p.1 are among those favouring Ashe House. For a contrary view see W.G. Hoskins Devon (London 1954), currently supported by the Devon Libraries Local Studies Service.

  8 Churchill Marlborough I p.26 suggests that there were twelve children in all; my figure is from Burke’s Peerage and http://www.

  9 Anon. The Lives of the Two Illustrious Generals (London 1713) p.18.

  10 Ophelia Field The Favourite: Sarah Duchess of Marlborough (London 2002) p.6

  11 Lady Drake’s sister was married to James Leigh (or Ley), 1st Earl of Marlborough of the first creation: James, the royalist admiral, was the 3rd Earl, and William, who died in 1679, the last of that creation.

  12 ‘The Declaration of Breda’ in S.R. Gardiner (ed.) Constitutional Documents of the Puritan Revolution 1625–1660 (Oxford 1962) pp.465–7.

bsp; 13 Pepys Diary pp.52–3.

  14 Evelyn Diary p.165.

  15 Gardiner Constitutional Documents p.lxiii.

  16 Churchill Marlborough I p.44.

  17 ‘Flavius Vegetius’ in Gérard Chaliand (ed.) The Art of War in World History (Berkeley, California 1994) p.217. Flavius Vegetius Renatus probably lived in Constantinople in the late fourth century AD, and dedicated his Epitoma rei militaris (its proper title) to the Emperor Theodosius.

  18 Pepys Diary pp.476, 556, 1006–7.

  19 Catharine MacLeod and Julia Marciari (eds) Painted Ladies: Women at the Court of King Charles II (London 2001).

  20 Burnet History I p.273.

  21 Pepys Diary p.320.

  22 Henry Hanning The British Grenadiers (London 2006) p.13.

  23 John Childs The Army of Charles II (London 1976) p.196.

  24 In practice the cabal was not a unified ministry, for its members, though loyal servants of the king, rarely agreed with one another.

  25 ‘The English Brigade in French Service 1672–8’ Appendix D to Childs Army of Charles II.

  26 The Diary of Dr Edward Lake (London 1846) Charles was actually being even more bawdy than we might think. In contemporary parlance ‘to ride the St George’ was the precise opposite of the missionary position, and Charles may have believed that the weedy-looking William would be well advised to surrender himself to the rather sturdier Mary.

  27 Norman Tucker (ed.) ‘The Military Memoirs of John Gwyn’ in Military Memoirs: The Civil War (London 1967) pp.99–100.

  28 Anthony Bruce The Purchase System in the British Army 1660–1871 (London 1980) p.6.

  29 Ibid. p.20. Officer ranks began with ensign in the infantry and cornet in the cavalry: these gentlemen, with the lieutenants, who took seniority immediately above them, were, then as now, termed subalterns. Captains, the next rank up, commanded troops in the cavalry or companies in the infantry: thus ‘to buy a company’ meant to purchase the rank of captain. During and after the Civil War the next rank up was formally styled sergeant major, and its holder was the regiment’s principal drillmaster. A Devon militia commission of 1677, for instance, appointed ‘Edward Greenwood, gentleman, ensign of the militia, in the company of foot of which Arthur Tremayne, sergeant major, is captain, and of which Sir Edward Seymour, Bart, is colonel’. The rank was more generally known as major tout court, and a generation later the sergeant major emerged as the senior non-commissioned member of the regiment. The lieutenant colonel deputised for the colonel, who might have weighty duties elsewhere which kept him away from the practical exercise of regimental command, or who might (like the Duke of Grafton with 1st Foot Guards) not really know much of what he was about. In the British service at this time most regiments had a single battalion, and battalions might be combined into brigades commanded by the senior colonel, sometimes styled brigadier by courtesy, or given a formal commission as brigadier general.

  Major generals confusingly ranked beneath lieutenant generals: the latter were, as the title of their rank suggests, expected to stand in for their general, just as lieutenants could take their captain’s place and lieutenant colonels deputised for colonels. The rank of field marshal did not then exist in the British service, but the army’s overall commander enjoyed the title of captain general. This being the British army, there were numerous exceptions and variations, notably in the Life Guards, to understand whose rank system one must consult Barney White-Spunner’s majestically produced Horse Guards (London 2006).

  All of the above held a commission signed by the monarch, the captain general, or (for militia officers) the lord lieutenant of their county, and at the time were styled ‘commission officers’. Non-commissioned officers were corporals and sergeants, appointed by their colonels.

  30 Liza Picard Restoration London (London 1997) p.3.

  31 Lever Godolphin p.45.

  32 Evelyn Diary p.465.

  33 Ibid.

  34 Burnet History II p.482.

  35 Whinney and Millar English Art pp.322–3.

  36 Churchill Marlborough I p.52.

  37 See The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (Oxford 1996) p.446. There are many versions of this quotation, but there will be few soldiers reading these lines who do not understand precisely what the lady meant.

  38 Coxe Marlborough I p.3.

  39 Pepys Tangier Papers p.90.

  40 Ibid. p.93.

  41 Ibid. p.96.

  42 Childs Army of Charles II p.142.

  43 Churchill Marlborough I p.56. Roger Palmer was created Baron Limerick and Earl of Castlemaine in December 1661, with a remainder limited to his heirs male by Barbara, ‘the reason whereof everybody knows’, muttered Pepys.

  44 Ibid. p.57.

  45 For contrasting views see Childs Army of Charles II p.72 and N.A.M. Rodger The Command of the Ocean (London 2004) p.129.

  46 Sir Charles Lyttelton to Christopher Hatton 21 August 1671, in E.M. Thompson (ed.) Correspondence of the Family of Hatton … (2 vols, London 1878) I p.66.

  47 S. Wynne ‘The Mistresses of Charles II and Restoration Court Politics, 1660–1685’ (unpublished PhD thesis, University of Cambridge 1997) p.32.

  48 Pepys Diary pp.353–4.

  49 Maurice Ashley Charles II (London 1973) p.150.

  50 S.M. Wynne ‘Palmer, Barbara’ in The New Dictionary of National Biography.

  51 Rowse Early Churchills p.144.

  52 Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield, Letters (5 vols, London 1892) I p.232.

  53 Ashley Charles II p.161, Churchill Marlborough I p.61, Bryan Bevan Marlborough the Man (London 1975) pp.26–7.

  54 Philip W. Sergeant My Lady Castlemaine (London 1912) pp.207, 214, 271.

  55 John B. Wolf Louis XIV (New York 1968) pp.218–19.

  56 For a scintillating glimpse of Louis and his ladies see Antonia Fraser Love and Louis XIV (London 2006).

  57 Wolf Louis XIV pp.213–15.

  58 Evelyn Diary p.210.

  59 The best account is Anne Somerset The Affair of the Poisons (London 2003).

  60 Nancy Mitford The Sun King (London 1966) p.72.

  61 Fraser Love and Louis XIV p.259.

  62 Rodger Command pp.82–3.

  63 Churchill to Richmond 15 October 1692, BL Add Mss 21948.

  64 David Chandler The Art of Warfare in the Age of Marlborough (London 1976) p.234.

  65 Captain George Carleton Military Memoirs (London 1929) p.49.

  66 Ian A. Morrison ‘Survival Skills: An Enterprising Highlander in the Low Countries with Marlborough’ in Grant G. Simpson (ed.) The Scottish Soldier Abroad (Edinburgh 1992) p.93.

  67 Carleton Memoirs p.50.

  68 ‘That’s ripe, that’s nice and ripe.’

  69 Chandler Art of Warfare pp.245–6.

  70 Richard Kane Campaigns of King William and Queen Anne … (London 1745) pp.26–8. For the Danish account see J.H.F. Jahn De danske Auxiliairtropper (2 vols, Copenhagen 1840) II pp.29, 150ff. I am indebted to Dr Kjeld Galster for this reference.

  71 Alington to Arlington SP 78/137 f.142. As if the names of the writer and the addressee are not perplexing enough, in the original Villiers is spelt ‘Villars’, which often gives rise to confusion. He was probably the Hon. Edward Villiers, Lord Grandison’s son, and so Barbara Castlemaine’s brother: he died as a brigadier in 1690. The fact that his family name was easily mistaken for that of Louis Hector de Villars (also present at the siege as a French officer, and later commander of the army that Marlborough beat at Malplaquet) meant that it is probably Edward’s brother who was nicknamed ‘the marshal’. D’Artagnan was the real-life model for the hero of Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers.

  72 Christopher Duffy The Fortress in the Age of Vauban and Frederick the Great (London 1985) p.10.

  73 Burnet History III p.55.

  74 Childs Army of Charles II p.246. Churchill’s amalgamated regiment was apparently given seniority over the existing Royal English Regiment, which had Monmouth as its colonel in chief and Robert Scott as
its commanding officer, because many of its recruits had been drafted in from Guards regiments. However, more work needs to be done on these British regiments in French service.

  75 Historical Manuscripts Commission Le Fleming Papers (London 1890) p.108.

  76 Field Marshal Viscount Wolseley The Life of John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough … (2 vols, London 1894) I p.146.

  77 J. Laperelle Marshal Turenne (London 1907) pp.318–19.

  78 Ibid. p.331.

  79 Raguenet Vie de Turenne pp.259, 268.

  80 C.T. Atkinson Marlborough and the Rise of the British Army (New York 1921) p.53, Churchill Marlborough I pp.108–9. For a French view see Capt. J. Revol Turenne: Essai de Psychologie militaire (Paris 1910) pp.319–22.

  81 Atkinson Marlborough pp.57–8.

  82 Troops of horse, the equivalents of companies of infantry, continued to carry their own standards long after infantry companies had ceased to have their own colours. In this passage Churchill actually calls the standards ‘colours’, an easy enough slip for an infantry officer to make.

  83 Laperelle Turenne p.340.

  84 Coxe Marlborough I p.8. As Winston S. Churchill points out, the dates do not quite add up: the widow thanks Churchill for his kindness ‘thirty-four years ago’, whereas Turenne’s devastation actually took place thirty-seven years before.


  From Court to Coup

  1 Sarah and some of her contemporaries actually spelt her surname ‘Jenyns’, which is probably how they pronounced it.

  2 Churchill Marlborough I p.116.

  3 Ibid. p.118.

  4 Colonel John Churchill to Sarah Jennings, undated, BL Add Mss 61427 f.13.

  5 Colonel John Churchill to Sarah Jennings, undated, BL Add Mss 61427 f.33.

  6 Colonel John Churchill to Sarah Jennings, undated, BL Add Mss 61427 f.10.

  7 John Childs lists Churchill as the lieutenant colonel commanding his regiment. Monmouth was colonel in chief of his own regiment, and its commander was styled (in a direct read-across from French practice) the colonel lieutenant. The post that Churchill was being canvassed for was that of colonel lieutenant of Monmouth’s Royal English, in place of the rapacious Robert Scott, Churchill’s own regiment having apparently been amalgamated with Monmouth’s in May 1775. The job in fact went to Justin MacCarthy, later Lord Mountcashel, who had served with Churchill at the siege of Maastricht. Churchill does not seem to have served with the French army after the winter of 1674–75. He was in Paris, probably on a diplomatic mission, in August 1675, and in September the following year sat on the court-martial which tried Lieutenant Morris for assaulting the governor of Plymouth.

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