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1685 - Appointment from James II making Churchill Lord of the Bedchamber - a highly prized position at court giving him the ear of the monarch.
A rediscovered archive of Royal correspondence from the first Duke of Marlborough has revealed Winston Churchill’s ancestor was equally adept in the dark arts of politics.
The documents, several of which have been transcribed for the first time, reveal how military genius John Churchill, later made 1st Duke after his defeat of Louis XIV in the War of the Spanish succession, gained favour with no fewer than three English Kings, an English Queen and even the French King himself.
The unique charters and appointments, held in the archives at Blenheim Palace - gifted to him by a grateful nation following his stunning victories against the French - show how he expertly navigated the ever-changing and often, ruthless world of court politics.
They include a Commission from Louis XIV making Colonel Churchill Commander of a Regiment in 1674, his appointment to Brigadier of the Foot by Charles II in 1678, his promotion to Colonel of the Royal Regiment of Dragoons by James II in 1684, his appointment as General & Commander in Chief to William II and permission from Queen Anne to wear the Star of the Garter during his victorious European campaigns in 1702.