Historical and Commemorative
Collection of Benjamin Weiss
JOHN CHURCHILL, DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH
DASSIER, Jean: England ca.1733, Bronze, 43 mm
John Churchill, First Duke of Marlborough (1650-1722), the son of Sir Winston Churchill, was one of England's greatest generals. Indeed, historians have contended that he never besieged a town he did not take nor fought a battle he did not win. Churchill advanced rapidly both at court and in the army. He went with the English troops sent in 1672 to assist Louis XIV against the Dutch and was appointed colonel of the English regiment by Louis XIV. On the accession of James II in 1685, he was made a lieutenant general and commander in chief. Marlborough demonstrated his political acumen by allying himself to the Dutch Prince of Orange (William III), who rewarded him with the earldom of Marlborough and membership in the Privy Council. However, in 1691, Marlborough was suddenly removed from all his appointments and was for a short time imprisoned in the Tower. In 1701, when Louis XIV again advanced his claims upon the now vacant throne of Spain and the Spanish empire, William III appointed Marlborough to lead the struggle against Louis XIV. On her accession, Queen Anne ordered Marlborough to cross to the continent to undertake the first of 10 successive campaigns, notably at Blenheim (1704), Ramillies (1706), and Oudenaarde (1708). But early in 1708 a political crisis occurred in which Marlborough, who had already found himself increasingly isolated under the Whig government, was stripped of all appointments. After 1711 he took no further part in public life under Anne, retiring abroad when condemned by the Commons for misappropriation of public money. Although restored to favor under George I, Marlborough was already a sick man and lived in retirement up to his death (at 72, not 74 as the medal indicates).
LINK to Portrait and Biography of John Churchill (from Wikipedia)