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Thinks She's in Charge

  • Sarah Jennings was daughter of a country gentleman from Hertfordshire. She lived in Stuart Times.
  • Her father had contacts at the Royal Court. They got her a job working for Prince James and then his daughter Princess Anne.
  • Sarah was Anneís servant called a Lady of the Bedchamber. The two became great friends. They were inseparable. When apart, they would write to each other using secret pen-names.
  • Sarah agreed to marry a gentleman soldier from the West Country. His name was John Churchill. He was ten years older than her. He was made a Lord.
  • Sarah was a very strong character. She was always telling her husband and Princess Anne what to do.
  • But she also liked to get involved in politics & persuaded Parliament to give Princess Anne lots of money.
  • When Anne became Queen, she gave Sarah lots of important Government jobs with big salaries.
  • One of these jobs was Ranger of Windsor Great Park. This came with a big house called Cumberland Lodge. It was very close to the Anneís home at Windsor Castle.
  • John Churchill was made Duke of Marlborough and Captain-General in charge of the Britain Army. Sarah became a Duchess.
  • Sarah became very rich & powerful. She continued to tell Queen Anne what to do. She was often very rude to the Queen in front of everyone.
  • John spent most of his time in Europe fighting the War of the Spanish Succession for Britainís friends. He was a big hero and won the war. Parliament built him Blenheim Palace as a reward, but it took a long time to finish. The Duke & Duchess continued to live at Cumberland Lodge.
  • Sarah kept meddling in politics & she fell out with the Queen over this. The two began to argue. The Queen found a new friend in a servant called Abigail Masham. She was Sarahís cousin!
  • Sarah was sacked. She & John went off partying in Europe with their friends there.
  • They returned to England & retired to Cumberland Lodge after Queen Anneís death. They were good friends with the new King George I.

       What happened next at Cumberland Lodge?


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