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The General in WinterThe Marlborough-Godolphin Friendship and the Reign of Anne$
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Frances Harris

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198802440

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198802440.001.0001

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(p.16) 1 1660–1688
The General in Winter

Frances Harris

Oxford University Press

The first chapter traces the friendship of Godolphin and Marlborough from their early years at the Restoration court, through the Exclusion crisis until the Revolution of 1688. Both marry for love at a time when many men with no inherited fortune regard wives and families as encumbrances they cannot afford, but Margaret Godolphin dies early in childbirth. They share a diplomatic mission to William of Orange in 1678, and afterwards their friendship enables them to work in different ways towards his intervention to defeat the Catholicizing policies of James II, so that England can participate in a European alliance against the expansionism of Louis XIV. When James flees to France in 1688 both Churchill and Godolphin accept William and Mary as de facto monarchs, though their strongest loyalties are to Mary’s sister Anne, with whom Sarah Churchill has become a favourite.

Keywords:   John Churchill, Sarah Churchill, Sidney Godolphin, Margaret Godolphin, Restoration court, marriage, Exclusion crisis, William of Orange, Revolution of 1688, Princess Anne (Queen Anne)

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