Rising to become a confidential agent of James, Duke of York once James became King in 1685, Churchill played a major role in crushing the Duke of Monmouth's rebellion. Just three years later he abandoned his Catholic king in favour of the Protestant William of Orange. His influence at court reached its height with the accession of Queen Anne. Promoted to Commander-in-Chief of the allied forces, he achieved huge victories against the French in the War of the Spanish Succession. However, the increasing unpopularity of the war and Marlborough's arrogance contributed to his dismissal by Anne in 1711. He eventually regained favour with the accession of George I in 1714.
Where to see this painting?
National Portrait Gallery, London
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