1st duke of Marlborough, John Churchill
(1650—1722) army officer and politician
English general. He was appointed commander of British and Dutch troops in the War of the Spanish Succession and won a series of victories over the French armies of Louis XIV, most notably Blenheim (1704), Ramillies (1706), Oudenarde (1708), and Malplaquet (1709), which effectively ended Louis's attempts to dominate Europe. The building of Blenheim Palace, Marlborough's seat at Woodstock in Oxfordshire, was funded by Queen Anne as a token of the nation's gratitude for his victory.