Winston Churchill (Cavalier)

Sir Winston Churchill, MP FRS (18 April 1620 – 26 March 1688), known as the Cavalier Colonel, was an English soldier, nobleman, historian, and politician.[2] He was the father of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, as well as an ancestor of his 20th-century prime minister, Sir Winston Churchill.

Winston Churchill

Portrait of Sir Winston Churchill
Born18 April 1620
Died26 March 1688
OccupationSoldier, historian, politician
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Drake
Children11, including:
John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough
George Churchill
Charles Churchill
Arabella Churchill)
Parent(s)Sir John Churchill
Sarah Winston

Life and career

Churchill was the son of Sir John Churchill of Dorset, a lawyer and politician, and his wife Sarah Winston, daughter of Sir Henry Winston. Churchill was educated at St John's College, Oxford, but he left university without taking a degree. The main reason of it was the beginning of the Civil War.

Churchill was a fervent Royalist throughout his life. He fought and was wounded in the Civil War as a captain in the King's Horse and, after the Royalists were defeated, was forced to pay a recompense fee of £446 (equivalent to around £44,600 in the present day).

After the Restoration, he sat as a Member of Parliament for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis from 1661 to 1679 and for Lyme Regis from 1685 to 1688.[3] He was also a Commissioner of the Irish Court of Claims and Explanations between 1662 and 1668, and a Junior Clerk Comptroller to the Board of Green Cloth from 1664 to 1679.

Churchill was knighted in 1664 and made a Fellow of the Royal Society the same year. He also published a history of the kings of England, entitled Divi Britannici; being a remark upon the Lives of all the Kings of this Isle, from the year of the World 2855 until the year of Grace 1660. He died in March 1688, at the age of 67.

Marriage and children

On 26 May 1648[4], Churchill married Elizabeth Drake, daughter of Sir John Drake (d. 25 August 1636) and his wife, Eleanor Boteler, daughter of John Boteler, 1st Baron Boteler of Brantfield, and maternal niece of George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham.

They had eleven children, seven sons and four daughters, of whom only six survived infancy. Of their sons, Mountjoy died in infancy, while Winston died at the Battle of Solebay in 1672, aged 20.[5] Jasper attended Queen's College, Oxford,[6] and was commissioned in the Duke of York's Regiment in 1678,[7] but he appears to have died soon thereafter. Theobald also attended Queen's College, took holy orders, became chaplain in his brother's regiment (Churchill's Dragoons) in 1683, but he died in 1685 at age 22.[8]

Four of their children gained distinction:

A common theme is rather obvious with Churchill's surviving children. Arabella became mistress of James, Duke of York in about 1665. In 1667, on most accounts, James obtained a commission for John in the Guards and, in 1675, John was commissioned captain in the Duke of York and Albany's Maritime Regiment. Charles was commissioned Ensign (in 1674) and Captain (1679) in the Duke of York's Regiment. George although pursuing a mainly Admiralty career, was commissioned Ensign (1676) and Lieutenant (1678) in the Duke of York's Regiment. Jasper was commissioned ensign in 1678, in the Duke of York's Regiment. Theobald, the cleric, stood out: he was commissioned Chaplain in November 1683, but in the King's Own Royal Regiment of Dragoons commanded then by John, Lord Churchill. Fifteen months after that, James, Duke of York, was king.


  1. Debrett's Peerage, 1968, p.747.
  2. Henderson, Thomas Finlayson (1887). "Churchill, Winston" . In Stephen, Leslie (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 10. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 342.
  3. History of Parliament Online - Churchill, Winston
  4. London Metropolitan Archives, St Peter Paul's Wharf, Composite register: baptisms 1607 - 1653, marriages 1607 - 1622 and 1625 - 1649, burials 1607 - 1653, P69/PET3/A/001/MS05721, Item 001
  5. ADM 33/91
  6. "Oxford University Alumni".
  7. Dalton's English Army List and Commission Register. 1.
  8. Holmes, Richard. Marlborough: England's Fragile Genius. HarperPress. 2008.
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Sir William Penn
Henry Waltham
Peter Middleton
Bullen Reymes
Member of Parliament for
Weymouth and Melcombe Regis

With: Sir William Penn 1661–1670
Bullen Reymes 1661–1673
Sir John Strangways 1661–1667
Sir John Coventry 1667–1679
Lord Ashley 1670–1679
Sir John Man 1673–1679
Succeeded by
Sir John Coventry
Lord Ashley
Thomas Browne
Michael Harvey
Preceded by
Henry Henley
Thomas Moore
Member of Parliament for Lyme Regis
With: John Pole
Succeeded by
John Pole
John Burridge
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