Henrietta Godolphin, 2nd Duchess of Marlborough

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Her Grace
The Duchess of Marlborough
Portrait of Henrietta Godolphin
Preceded by John Churchill, 1st Duke
Succeeded by Charles Spencer, 3rd Duke
Personal details
Born Henrietta Churchill
(1681-07-19)19 July 1681
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Harrow, Middlesex
Great Britain
Resting place Westminster Abbey
Spouse(s) Francis Godolphin, 2nd Earl of Godolphin
Children William Godolphin, Marquess of Blandford
Lord Henry Godolphin
Lady Margaret Godolphin
Henrietta Pelham-Holles, Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Mary Osborne, Duchess of Leeds
Parents John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough
Sarah Jennings

Henrietta Godolphin, 2nd Duchess of Marlborough (19 July 1681 – 24 October 1733) was the daughter of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, general of the army, and Sarah Jennings, Duchess of Marlborough, close friend and business manager of Queen Anne.

She was born Henrietta Churchill, and became The Hon. Henrietta Churchill when her father was made a Scottish Lord of Parliament in 1682 and Lady Henrietta Churchill in 1689, when her father was created Earl of Marlborough. She married The Hon. Francis Godolphin in 1698, becoming Lady Henrietta Godolphin. She became Viscountess Rialton in 1706 when her father-in-law was created Earl of Godolphin, and Countess of Godolphin in 1712 when her husband succeeded as 2nd Earl of Godolphin.

An act of English parliament in 1706 allowed the 1st Duke's daughters to inherit his English titles. Following his death in 1722, Lady Godolphin became suo jure Duchess of Marlborough.

She bore five children during her marriage to Lord Godolphin:

The Duchess died in 1733, aged 52, in Harrow, Middlesex, and she was buried on 9 November 1733 in Westminster Abbey. Her titles passed to her nephew, the 5th Earl of Sunderland.

Titles and styles

  • 1681–1682: Miss Henrietta Churchill
  • 1682–1689: The Honourable Henrietta Churchill
  • 1689–1698: The Lady Henrietta Churchill
  • 1698–1706: The Lady Henrietta Godolphin
  • 1706–1712: Viscountess Rialton
  • 1712–1722: The Right Honourable The Countess of Godolphin
  • 1722–1733: Her Grace The Duchess of Marlborough

The Duchess did not inherit her father's Imperial princely title as the Empire operated Salic Law, preventing female succession. However, she was a princess of the Holy Roman Empire and a Princess of Mindelheim, and subsequently a Princess of Mellenburg after her father's lands in the empire were exchanged for one another.



Peerage of England
Preceded by
John Churchill
Duchess of Marlborough
Suo jure

Succeeded by
Charles Spencer