The Decorated Duchess

A very happy birthday to Sarah Churchill, first Duchess of Marlborough, and one of the most influential women in English history. She was born Sarah Jennings on June 5, 1660. Sarah’s father, Richard, was a Member of Parliament who was friendly with the Duke of York (the future James II). As a result of the friendship, Sarah was appointed a maid of honor to James’s … Continue reading The Decorated Duchess


On 11 March 1708, a piece of legislation known as the Scottish Militia Bill found its way to the desk of Queen Anne, having already been passed by both the Commons and the House of Lords. Anne, however, acted on the advice of her ministers and withheld Royal Assent, effectively killing the bill where it stood. Apparently, she worried that the proposed militia would be … Continue reading Veto

Trivia Thursday: The Scandalous PM

This Week’s Question: William Lamb overcame what huge 1812 scandal to become Prime Minister and mentor to Queen Victoria? Last Week’s Question: What malady kept the future Queen Anne from attending her sister Mary’s wedding to William of Orange? Answer: J. G. Burdette was right—it was smallpox, that scourge of the 17th and 18th centuries. Although Anne survived (obviously), her governess, Lady Frances Villiers, contracted … Continue reading Trivia Thursday: The Scandalous PM