The formidable partnership of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, and his wife Sarah can fairly be said to have dominated English politics and government in the first decade of the 18th century. While Marlborough waged war in Continental Europe, winning a succession of major victories over the armies of Louis XIV, Sarah was fighting her own political battles in the closets and salons at home.
The great archive of Blenheim Palace has long attacted historians of the period. The documents detail the diplomacy, struggles and logistics of Marlborough's war effort and the no less arduous struggles of his duchess to keep the confidence of Queen Anne and advance the Whig cause. It also includes the papers of the Marlboroughs' son-in-law, Charles Spencer, 3rd Earl of Sunderland, a front-rank Whig politician in his own right.
The Blenheim Papers comprise the papers of the Duke of Marlborough. His voluminous correspondence with his colleague and close friend, Lord Treasurer Godolphin, with other ministers and officials, and with diplomats and foreign powers across Europe, affords a comprehensive view of the course of the war and the making of policy. Domestic politics, high and low, are fully represented as well, with illuminating material on such great questions of the day as the union of Scotland, and on the less dramatic but equally essential duties of any 18th-century politician, the management of Parliament and the distribution of patronage.
Part One: First Duke of Marlborough
Additional Manuscripts 61101-61158 and 61160-61166
Part Two: First Duke of Marlborough
Selected from Additional Manuscripts 61167-61303
Part Three: First Duke of Marlborough
Additional Manuscripts 61306-61315, 61319-61321, 61363-61373, 61378, 61380-61402, 61408 and 61411-61413
Complete Collection: 62 reels
"The Blenheim Papers constitute a quite indispensable source for historians of early 18th-century Britain and Europe."
-- Dr. David Hayton, History of Parliament Trust