The First Churchills (1969) (mini)
Director: David Giles.
Starring: Susan Hampshire (Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough), John Neville (John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough), James Villiers (Charles II), John Westbrook (James, Duke of York, later James II), John Standing (Sidney Godolphin), Margaret Tyzack (Queen Anne), Frederick Peisley (Lord Shaftesbury), Job Stewart (Lord Shrewsbury), Alan Rowe (William, Prince of Orange, William III), Lisa Daniely (Mary II), James Kerry (James, Duke of Monmouth), Richard Pearson (Robert Harley), Moira Redmond (Barbara, Duchess of Cleveland), Richard Warwick (Francis Godolphin), Polly Adams (Henrietta Churchill/Godolphin).
John Churchill and his wife Sarah Jennings, ancestors of Winston Churchill
Scene 1. Captain Churchill.
This is the Duke of Marlborough's history. The Duke of Marlborough was none other than Winston Churchill whose estate was plundered in the English Civil War by Parliament. John Churchill, son of Winston Churchill, became an Ensign in the army and rose through the ranks. He was stationed at Tangier and he fought in the sea battles against the Dutch at Solebay. There he was made Captain. In the same war he served on the French side of the Siege of Mastrit under the Duke of Monmouth (illegitimate son of King Charles II ).
In a battle scene John says: "The Dutch are out. We'll take then in the flank." The "Sun King", the French King was on the side of the English or vice-versa.
John comes to the Palace of Whitehall (King Charles II's palace). It is said that John advanced because of his sister Arabella. She took care of the children of the Duchess and Duke of York (called Jamie by his brother King Charles II.) Later John worked for the Duke of York.
Scene 2. Beloved Cousin.
Charles took Marlow as his mistress. Buckingham's doing it to spite her. Goes to France. Betty Villiers tells John Churchill that they are second cousins once removed. John is having an affair with Barbara who is the mistress of Charles II. Barbara's servants comes in to warn her that the King is coming. Barbara tells the servant to stop the King. To avoid letting the King see him, John jumps out of the window. The King comes in and asks Barbara what ails here? Barbara says His Majesty hasn't been near her for four months. The King is looking for her possible bedmates.
Scene 3. Sarah Jennings.
Sarah is the maid of honor to the second Duchess of York, who is no step mother to Mary and Ann, daughters of James, the Duke of York, and his first wife. The children want to learn the game 21. Sarah is very willing to teach them. Many use it when gambling. Sarah becomes of a favorite of the two young daughters.
Scene 4. Battle Talk.
The village of Ensheim was the site of the battle. John Churchill won the day, but there were many casualties. Charles II speaks with John. He heard the French King made John a Colonel.
Sidney Godolphin meets with John. They are best friends. John asks if Godolphin is back at court? The talk turns to the recent battle. John says the damnable thing was that after so much fight there was no decisive result and he hates that. The English mercenaries fought more than the French did. Godolphin turns the topic to Margaret (called Meg). Godolphin likes her a great deal.
Scene 5. Prettiest Boy.
John Churchill finds Meg crying and asks her what is wrong. She tells him that her Lady lent her an endowment broach and now it has been stolen. John says that this is of not great manner.
Some wonder what Mr. Church is doing here. John likes Sarah Jennings. Want wants to speak with her. And that would give Godolphin a chance to be alone with Meg. John tells Sarah "You're the prettiest boy I've ever seen." But Sarah doesn't seem to want anything to do with him.
John shows Sarah Sidney and Meg kissing. He closes the door. Now Sarah is in a better mood. He asks her if she will go to the ball with him. She agrees.
There's an urgent message for the King. Buckingham and Shaftesbury request and audience with the King. He will see them.
At the ball Barbara makes fun of Sarah for dancing in her work clothes. She didn't change her clothes. Barbara also asks: Since when did Maids of Honor wear britches? She uses her fan to knock Sarah's glass so that it spills on her. But this bring her to the King's attention and he fawns over her. He says he will help clean her up. Barbara is mad and upset at the attention Sarah is getting now.
Part II. Bridals.
Scene 1. Politics.
Sarah says that she did not know much of politics in those days. But she knew that Lord Danbury, head of the Treasury and a very able man, opposed Shaftesbury and the Duke of Buckingham and their policies. A group of them had split off and established the Country Party, later called the Whigs.
Lord Shaftesbury meets with the King and his advisers. Shaftesbury is disturbed about having Jamie, Charles II's brother, is present at the meeting. He says that Jamie is not on the Privy Council and he is a Papist, so he should not be present at the meeting.
The French ambassador is coming. Godolphin is to be married three weeks from today. He tells Johan that it must be kept secret. John says Sarah wrote him a not telling him not to speak to him.
In the meeting Shaftesbury wants an alliance with the Prince of Orange of Holland. He tells Charles that Parliament will be dissolved anyway.
The Duke of Monmouth is a Protestant. Shaftesbury mentions a Protestant organization called the Green Ribbon Club. He would like the Duke of Monmouth to come and join them
Scene 2. Love Letters.
John has written Sarah twenty-one love letters. She tells John:
"I treasure them" Sarah wants John to know that she and her family have no
fortune. John isn't concerned about that. He asks: "Sarah,
could you love me?" He goes much farther than that. He tells Sarah
that he wants to marry her. Sarah's mother comes out and is very rude to
John. She does not want Sarah hanging around John. She tells her
daughter that Winston will make John marry Catherine Sedley anyway.
Churchill is not for her. Sarah's mother wants her daughter to marry the
Earl of Lindsey. But Sarah doesn't want him. Mother tells her:
"You are a fool!" She adds that Barbara Cleveland has been
keeping John Church8ll for the past four years. Sarah says: "It's a
Scene 3. Correspondence.
The House of Commons has the duty of asking Charles II when he needs more money. The scuttlebutt is that Lord Danbury will be impeached. Not only that. If impeached, he will surely go to the tower and have his head loped off.
The Duchess of York throws a pall. A number of bigwigs are there, including the Duke of Monmouth. Henrietta Wentworth, his mistress, is there, much to the vexation of his Scot wife. Princess Mary made her debut. She and her sister Anne are both Protestants.
Monmouth wants Churchill to be Lt. Col. in his regiment. But Churchill presently is more concerned about the possibility of losing Sarah Jennings.
Scene 4. Barbara's Plan.
john Churchill has a visitor at home. It's Barbara Cleveland. He tells her that she shouldn't have come here. Barbara wants Churchill to marry Katherine, his father's pick. She knows for certain that she will accept John. So it's okay with Barbara to marry Katherine and then John can be with her still. But John says he will never marry Katherine. Then who? Barbara suddenly realizes that he's probably talking about Sarah Jennings. She says: "No Sarah Jennings!" She laughs. John says he has no desire for Barbara at all now. This makes Barbara very angry and she calls him a stinking boy and a bastard. She then throws a cup at him, which he catches.
Scene 5. Marriage Talk.
Parliament wants the alliance with the Dutch. This is sure to upset the French King Louis XIV. The Prince of Orange will be coming over to visit in England.
John has not heard from Sarah Jennings for awhile. The Duchess of York tells him to come in and sit. He then tells her to go in the other room and asks Sarah Jennings to please come in. She has both of them sit down. The Duchess asks Sarah is she wishes to marry Mr. Churchill? She says Churchill will not marry Katherine Sedley. Barbara Cleveland has taken off to Europe. She offered Winston a position, but he refused. The Duchess says: "So Sarah would you marry a pauper?" Yes, says Sarah. The Duchess in effect gets these two people back together.
Princess Anne has smallpox. Princess Mary is introduced to her husband, the Prince of Orange. He is not a handsome man, but not ugly either. But Mary starts crying when she sees him.
John and Sarah have married. It will be their first night together. His friends put the two to bed. After the friends are gone, John tells Sarah: "I shall never wary of you."
Part III. Plot Counter-Plot.
Scene 1. Orders.
John kept his lodgings in German Street. Since they had no home of their own, they lived with his parents at Minton. But that certainly would not serve for long.
Mrs. Godolphin has come to visit Sarah. She is pregnant and her husband is in Brussels or at the Hague. In case of her death she gives a letter to her husband to Sarah to hold. Meg tells Sarah says that John has been ordered overseas to command the English troops under Monmouth. He will be Brigadier of foot and will be at the Hague tomorrow. Sarah is upset that the whole town knows but she did not know. In fact, she is the last to know. When John comes home Sarah tells him that she is not happy to be the last to know. He tells her he will keep her more informed, but the cannot tell her about his military movements.
John and Sarah discuss the peace an Niemagen. John says that the King wants peace and he'll have it too. He says Parliament won't let the King to toe New Market. There is said to be a plot out there by the Jesuits against him. The Privy Council now insists the rogue be questioned.
The rogue is named Titus Oates. he pretended to be a Doctor of Divinity, but Sarah says he was the worst of liars. Oates claims that he knows all about the plot. He says he has all the names. Father Conyers to stub His Majesty. Other Lords involved are Wardoff, House, Peetrie, Stafford and Berosis, the commander-in-chief. Charles II does not believe Titus Oates. He tells the others of the Privy Council to keep Titus Oates away from him. He says the man makes his flesh creep.
The mob is out to harass the Catholics. A woman in a small coach is stopped and someone shouts that she is Louise Carnell, the French whore. The mob boos the whore. But the woman speaks up and says she is not the French whores. the man then recognizes her and shouts: "It's Nell Gwynne, the Protestant whore!" The audience cheers her.
Lords Shaftesbury says that this plot runs slowly. Bring Titus Oates to see me. they will use Titus to destroy Danbury and York and the king if need be. Montague goes to France. If there is peace, the blame will be on Danbury. What about Churchill? Maybe. Lord Shaftesbury says that if there was a marriage document dated 1648 between Charles II and a Welsh slut named Lucy Water, then the Duke of Monmouth could be a protestant heir.
Scene 3. News.
The Duke of Monmouth says there's john Churchill and Godolphin. Churchill speaks of the battle. The French left all of a sudden. Apparently, peace was signed at Niemagen three days before the battle. The Duke of Monmouth says he's not good at war.
John gives Godophin the letter from his wife to him. Then Churchill gives Godolphin a similar letter for his wife just in case of his death in battle.
Princess Mary cried once when she saw her husband to be. But now she is in love the the Prince of Orange. William and Mary arrives. William tells John Churchill that in the peace the Netherlands gained nothing. Now he wants to know will the English keep her alliance with the Netherlands and provide them with troops? John says he will be honest. There is no hope of this. He says for their country their only frontier is the sea. They will definitely fight it the sea lanes are threatened. But England fears and detests armies and all who serve in them because they remember Cromwell and the Major General. England smells a tyrant in the army. The English army will undoubtedly be dismantled.
Scene 4. Purpose of Marriage.
John comes up to his wife. She says she wants to have sex. She says the purpose of marriage is to have children. She wants four sons at least and they will all be tall and beautiful like John.
Meg Godolphin has a son named Francis. But now she has a raging fever and is likely to die. Sydney Godolphin cries.
There are letters from Danbury that have been uncovered. If the letters are read in Parliament, they will surely impeach Danbury for treason. The letter are read in Parliament. Danbury made a secret treaty with the French in a time of War! That is treason indeed. Impeach him!
Charles II says that he will prevent the impeachment of Danbury. He also says that the King of France has paid everybody to blast away at Danbury.
Scene 5. Old Cavalier.
The house has voted for the impeachment of Lord Danbury. About his father, John Churchill says that his father is an old cavalier. He suffers from caring for his honor. Sir Winston didn't vote maybe because the thought it wrong, he says.
Princess Anne is not even fifteen years old. He sister is married and now a widow.
Lord Shaftesbury wants to meet John Churchill. But John will have nothing to do with Shaftesbury and the stench of corruption that goes with his plan. He tells Shaftesbury: "You are on the wrong road, sir and I will not follow you."
Shaftesbury speaks to the King. Shaftesbury wants him to divorce and marry again. Get a protestant heir. The monarchy depends on this. The king says: "I shall enforce the laws against Popery." He will insure the safety of the Protestant religion. But he will not put away the Queen and he'll pardon Danbury if he is impeached. Furthermore, he will never agree to change the law regarding succession to the throne.
Shaftesbury says there is another choice. The King could in regards to the Duke of Monmouth, who is a Protestant loved by the people, pronounce him legitimate. The king says though his son id dear to him he will not make him legitimate. Shaftesbury then says that they are talking to no purpose at all. Jaime, the Duke of York was listening to all this. The King says that perhaps Jamie could convert and become a Protestant.
In court Titus Oates says he does accuse Edward Coleman, past secretary to the Duchess of York, of Popery. Later the man is found guilty. He will be hanged by the neck, taken down while still alive, have his balls cut-off and burned in front of his eyes and then have his body quartered by being torn apart. Then Titus Oates goes on to condemn other. They all are found guilty.
The crowd praises the Duke of Monmouth. Lord Shaftesbury kisses his hand. He tells Monmouth that with the help of people like these they will make him king.
Part IV. The Lion and the Unicorn.
Scene 1. Brotherly Love.
The rage against Popery was such tat no man believed himself safe, says Sarah. Ladies carried pistols for fear of the Jesuits. But for her part she thinks the nation has gone "stark mad". Catholics are hanged everyday on the evidence provided by the charlatan Titus Oates.
After the election, the new Parliament was filled with Whigs and as the Duke of York was a known Papist they were hot against him. Jamie says to his brother that he has three daughters and a dead son. Charles tells him to cheer up. He has a wife that can provide him with many sons. Charles is thinking that Jamie will be the next king. But for right now, Jamies has to go into exile. Danbury is in the tower and if he releases him, Parliament will have Danbury's head. He ways he has lost his Lord Treasurer.
Godolphin gives Charles some advice. He says that the King king should embrace the Whigs. Then he should appoint them to the Privy Council. And make Shaftesbury the President of the Council. This will mean that the Whigs will be responsible to Parliament for the king's policies. "They can hardly impeach themselves." if the King does not the decisions of the Privy Council, he can always resign. This then will discredit the Privy Council in particular and the Whigs in general. Godolphin says this is what they call pragmatism. Charles says goodbye to his brother Jaime.
The Churchill are first going to the Hague. Then they will spends some months in Brussels, Belgium. Meanwhile, Jaime was put up in the Holleyroo Palace. Jaime "ruled that poor country with great severity" says Sarah.
Scene 2. Scotland.
Jaime has a man named Pringle tortured. They wants him to give the names of the men he met at the Conventicle and especially the name of the minister who preached against the law of this realm. John is disgusted with torture and leaves. He complains to his wife about the gruesomeness of torture. He says he would like to get out from underneath the Duke of York.
Godolphin shows up to speak with John and Sarah. Sarah tells him the good news that she is go have a child in June. They talk about the Popery scare run by Titus Oates. Godolphin thinks he see signs that the people, at least in the countryside, are beginning to be ashamed of all these trials and hangings. Sarah says she is glad to hear that. Charles is not having a good time of it. There is definitely a lack of funds for his purposes. And the Duke of Monmouth, who was banished, is now back in England. Even Charles's mistresses have abandoned him. And now Jaime wants to come back to England. Godolphin says that Jamie is ruled by the Jesuits. Jamie wants an alliance with Catholic France.
Scene 3. Move to Oxford.
The King is of the opinion that the privy Council is ruled by faction, no business can be done in the Parliament and there is just not enough revenue. So Parliament will be dissolved. When they are recalled Parliament will sit at Oxford, where the King will be. Shaftesbury and his group don't like it one bit, but they are powerless to change it. His group leaves the privy Council. After the meeting Charles talks to his son, the Duke of Monmouth. He asks him if he has heard of a black box being found that is said to contain a marriage certificate of the king with Monmouth's mother. Charles says none of it is true. He never married his mother.
Monmouth says if a Catholic comes to the throne, there will be civil war. Nevertheless, Charles says he will not make his son's birth legitimate. The son says his father does this to shame him, but Charles says he does it to keep him from infamy and danger. He then asks Monmouth to sup with him. Monmouth refuses saying that tonight he dines with his friends.
Scene 4. Temper.
Sarah gets very mad at her servant Jessie who broke a comb given to her by John. The servant gets insulted by Sarah's scolding and walks out. John sees her walk out. He then asks his wife and all this is over a comb? The problem is not the comb, but that Sarah does not like their new home. It is too small and too dirty. She says she wants her own house and she will not wait. She says she wants it now! Then she goes into her room and cuts off all her beautiful golden locks. She brings them out to the kitchen area and leaves them for John to see.
John goes into the room and sees his wife with short blonde hair. But he doesn't say a word about it. He only says that he has to report to Whitehall. He will back within an hour. He leaves. Jessie comes back in. Sarah looks so forlorn and she is about to cry. She tells Jessie: "I'm such a food." Jessie comforts her.
Charles says to the French Ambassador that he is having a little trouble with his brother. The Ambassador then writes to Louis XIV. The letter says that the King proclaimed the bastardy of the Duke of Monmouth. Parliament has been summoned. The big fear for France is an alliance of England with William of Orange. The Ambassador writes that the Prince of Orange is willing to withdraw from the alliance against France in return for a substantial subsidy and the promise that the French will not attack the Netherlands.
Oxford. Parliament rejected the idea of Jamie becoming King. Instead, they vote for exclusion. But, on the other hand, Charles won't accept Monmouth as the King. Shaftesbury says this can only mean civil war. Charles says he wants to speak to both houses of Parliament. When everyone is together Charles announced that Parliament is dissolved. Shaftesbury is arrested.
John Churchill is summoned to Edinborough, Scotland. Lady Anne will be there also with her stepmother and father. It is reported that she is very anxious to see Sarah again.
Scene 5. Serenade.
Lord Mulgrave enters the room of Princess Anne. She tells him that he could be in deep trouble for this, but that does not discourage him. He sings some songs to her. But then in comes Jaime, the stepmother and Sarah. Anne's father is furious at the invader. He tells John Churchill to put the man under guard until he can deal with him.
Dad then tells Anne that she is to be wed to George Hanover. Anne is very upset. She says she will marry anyone but George Hanover. She met him once and did not like him. Her father lectures her on her duties as a royal princess. But then he tells her that she is to be wed to Prince George of Denmark. Anne is so relieved. It is said so relieved that she already fell in love with George of Denmark simply because he wasn't George Hanover.
Churchill is now Baron Churchill of Eyemouth in the peerage of Scotland. He won't, however, sit in the House of Lords.
Prince George of Denmark arrives to meet Princess Anne. Anne tells Sarah that her father has agreed that Sarah will be the lady of the Bedchamber. Sarah gladly accepts and Anne is ecstatic. She says now she is perfectly happy.
Anne goes to meet the Prince. He kisses her on both cheeks and then on the mouth. Everyone claps for the couple.
Part V. Rebellion.
Scene 1. High Favorite.
As my Lord foresaw, says Sarah, the victory over the Whig faction brought a period of quiet and Churchill and she were able to build a home at Hollywell at St. Albans. Here the Churchills' second daughter was born. She was named Anne after the Princess of Denmark. Anne Of Denmark had miscarried, but was successful on her second try. They stayed in Whitehall Palace in a section known as the cockpit. The Princess had an annual income of 20,000 pounds, while the Prince brought in 10,000 pounds, but because they were very generous and because they gambled and lost a lot of money, they were always in debt. John Churchill's brother Charles came with the Prince of Denmark and served in the army for the rest of his life. Sarah Churchill was a high favorite at court. She and her husband also had lodging at the cockpit.
When Sarah has Anne alone, she says she would like to tell her something critical of her. She says Anne shows her too much favor. Anne says Sarah is "dearer to me than a sister." Anne is pregnant with child. The other thing Sarah tells Anne is that she gambles too much money and loses too much money. Anne thanks her for her remarks and tells her that when they are separated, Sarah must write her everyday. Anne creates new names for each of them. Sarah will be Freeman and Anne will be Marley.
Scene 2. Near Death.
Godolphin goes to see King Charles, but learns that he is ill. Charles comes in walking very slowly. Sitting down he suddenly acts as if he was struck by lightning. He has to be placed in bed. Churchill is to stand guard at the door. A Catholic priest is snuck in to give the King the final rites.
Scene 3. Noble Declaration.
Jaime comes in. He tells his Lords that it his duty to tell them that the King is dead. Jaime will be succeeding his brother to the throne. He says he will treat the people like his brother did: with great clemency and tenderness. He pledges to preserve the same church and state relationship as before. The Lords like Jaime's statements and the Lord President of the Council says they will have it printed up and distributed to the people.
Princess Mary talks with her husband Prince William of Orange. She mentions Elizabeth Fillers, but then regrets saying that name. She apologizes for her remark. Her husband says it would be well if she just forgot that name. Mary asks why William is so cold to her? She says he rejects her body and despises her mind. Mary also says that it isn't her fault that they have no children. Monmouth comes in to see William. They both agree that Jaime's declaration was a brave declaration indeed. But will he stick to it? Jaime has Sunderlund as Secretary of State; Godolphin as Chamberlain to the queen; Halifax is Lord President; and Clarendon has the privy seal. Rochester is the Lord Treasurer and Chief Minister.
William says he has some bad news for Monmouth. Monmouth must leave the Netherlands. It is the wish of Jaime. Monmouth says he will be gone in three days.
Monmouth is going to have plans of his own. Argyll is leaving for Scotland. And Monmouth will be returning to England soon.
Scene 4. Baron.
The King made Churchill a Baron at the coronation. Churchill is going to work with the new king, but he says that if Jaime tries to push Catholicism down the throats of Englishmen, he will break with the king.
Churchill has word that Monmouth has sailed for Dorset. The next news is that Monmouth commands the town and that thousands of men are joining his cause. The King has a 5,000 pound reward out for Monmouth. Jaime makes Churchill Brigadier General. But Sunderlund doesn't trust Churchill. He says it's his people in Dorset and he's worked too closely with Monmouth to be trusted. Sarah gets a letter from John. He tells her that Lord Feversham has been placed over him. Churchill resents this a great deal.
Scene 5. Night Attack.
Col. Kirk describes the battle situation to Churchill. He says that Monmouth is concentrated at Bridgewater, while their own forces are widely spread out. He criticizes the overall commander for this bad situation. Churchill learns that Argyll has been captured and beheaded. He tells the Colonel to make sure that everyone in Bridgewater knows about this. Most of them won't care, but Monmouth certainly will.
Monmouth feels he's running out of options. He thinks that they must attack tonight because another such favorable set of circumstances will not come again.
Feversham is in bed. Churchill says that Monmouth will attack this very night. And sure enough, a sentry shoots at some of Monmouth's men, who are mostly farmers and are poorly armed. One man, for instance, has to fight using a long rake. That is no match for a sword. As soon as Monmouth hears the shot, he orders his men to attack. It's a virtual massacre of the poor farmers. Monmouth is completely defeated. Churchill says poor Monmouth; he loved him when they were young..
Jaime and Sunderlund are very pleased at Monmouth's defeat. Jeffries has been appointed justice of the West Country. Few will escape his vengeance, whether man or woman. Monmouth has been captured and is brought in before Jaime and his wife and Sunderlund. Jaime wants to know who helped him? The only man that Monmouth points out is Sunderlund, who, he says, swore he would be Monmouth's Chief Minister. Jaime doesn't believe him. Jaime says Monmouth must ask for mercy from the Queen. So Monmouth turns to the Queen, but she says that she has an abhorrence for his conduct. If Monmouth had won the battle, she does not think that she and her husband would have survived. Monmouth prays for her forgiveness and pardon, but the upset Queen walks away from him. So Monmouth turns to the King. He says: "I am not prepared to die! . . Give me back my life!"
Part VI. The Protestant Wind.
Scene 1. No Parliament.
The Duke of Monmouth goes to his death. But he has one thing to say. A scandal was created around Henrietta Wentworth. He says: "I have committed no sin with her." Sarah Churchill comments that soon Henrietta died of a broken heart.
James II has created a big army. He believed he could bring in Popery and rule England as an absolute monarch. Jaime decides to repeal a number of popular English laws. Some of his advisors tell him that Parliament will not go along with his plans. Jamie replies then Parliament will be banished. He also says that he is above the law. The advisers all say they themselves are not above the law.
Lord Halifax comes to see John Churchill. He has left the government. Sarah and her mother are fighting once again. Lord Halifax congratulates Sarah on having a boy.
The French Ambassador writes to King Louis XIV. He says that King James II continues to make havoc among the Protestants and Sunderlund rules all. Catholics are replacing Protestants in many key governmental posts.
Scene 2. Pretty in Black.
Princess Anne of Denmark waits on her husband. She is all dressed in black. Her husband says she looks pretty in black. Anne tells her husband that he's been ill for a month. The doctor told her that her husband would die, hence the black. The Prince of Denmark says that he's very hungry and Anne tells him that now she knows that he is better. Anne leaves the room and Sarah asks her if she told the Prince. No, she has not. The news is that both their children have died. Sarah says Anne must tell her husband what happened.
Anne's sister Mary speaks with her husband, the Prince of Orange. Marry talks about her sister's loss of her children. Mary herself has had no children after nine years of marriage. William of Orange tells his wife that her dad wants a statement of their support for him. He wants support for his idea of repealing the Test Act. But William wants to tell her father that these measures he speaks of are ill-advised. Mary agrees with him. William says that her father has lost all his friends. He adds that he is now getting lots of letters asking him to come over to England with an army. And now William wants assurance from his wife that if she becomes Queen of England, she will appoint him to a high position. She says, of course. Then she says that she only wants her husband to love her.
The Queen of England will announce her pregnancy soon. Some Protestant are afraid that the Jesuits will eventually rule over all the people of England. John Churchill says he thinks this fear is exaggerated. He advises that they all wait upon events.
Scene 3. Traitorous Assembly.
Danby holds a meeting of the supporters of the Protestant cause. Among them are Lord Halifax, Godolphin and Rochester. Danby approached Nottingham, but he declined. And now Danby says that the purpose of the meeting is to bring over the Prince of Orange. The other men are absolutely astonished. Godolphin says that this will only end in civil war. Rochester says count him out. Churchill and Lord Halifax are a little more neutral.
Anne and Sarah go to see the Queen. Mary had asked about the pregnancy of the Queen and Anne is going to try to find out something about the pregnancy. The Queen says that it's six weeks more until the birth of her child. She then says that Anne will go to Bath and Sarah can go with her. The two women agree to go. Anne approaches the Queen and asks if the baby is kicking much. She starts to touch her belly and the Queen goes ballistic. She screams that Anne will not touch her. Anne leaves the room crying followed by Sarah. She is sorry she even tried to get the information for her sister Mary. The Queen is also upset and cries.
King James II tells Sunderlund to give him a Parliament stacked with Catholics and non-conformists and he will be very happy. John Churchill tries to warn Jamie about pushing Catholicism too far. He says the people are afraid that they will be forced to suffer like the Huguenots (French protestants in France) after King Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes. The King says that he is the King and he will be obeyed by the people. After Jamie and Sunderlund leave, Churchill says: "Silly!"
Scene 4. Draw the Curtains.
The Queen prepares to give birth. She asks that the curtains around her four-corner bed be drawn. The Queen says she wants her privacy. Rochester says to Godolphin that this is very strange. He has never before seen the curtain drawn at a birth of a child. The Queen insists the doctors are wrong and that she has reached full-term. But to Rochester it seems very much to be a premature confinement.
The Queen screams and screams and then the King says that the Queen has given birth to a son. But there is a lot of suspiciousness surrounding the birth. Many wonder if a dead baby or no baby was replaced by a live baby from someone else.
The news of the day is that the Protestant bishops were all acquitted. Jamie is not pleased at the news. John tells Sarah that he has committed himself in writing to the Prince of Orange.
Scene 5. Now or Never.
William of Orange is told that the French armies have moved south to Cologne. The Netherlands are safe until winter. And the States-General sent their permission for William's descent on the English. William says: "At last!" A little later he adds: "It is now or never!"
Sarah says at the end of October 1688 the prince of Orange sailed to England with a great fleet. The fleet was driven back by storms, but then they caught a fair wind, which people called the Protestant Wind. Jamie gets his army together. As advisers he has John Churchill, the Earl of Feversham (Churchill's superior officer) and the Prince of Denmark. The Protestant army has advanced down to Salisbury. Feversham advises Jamie to withdraw. Generals Kirk and Churchill say stay and fight. Churchill adds that Jamie should negotiate with the Prince of Orange and make him an ally. Jamie is disgusted at the very idea of "negotiating". Jamie's nose starts to bleed. He comments that his nose has bled every hour for the last three days. Jamie makes his decision. They will withdraw.
Now John Churchill goes over to the side of the Prince of Orange. He takes 400 men with him. They head for Axeminster. Churchill kisses the hand of the Prince of Orange. When Jamie learns of Churchill's going to the other side, he is very upset.
The Queen comes to see Sarah. The Queen says she has come to do Sarah a favor. The King is very mad about her husband's defection and he wants Sarah to be arrested. The Queen tells her to be gone before daylight. During the night, Sarah and Anne get on a coach and leave.
Jamie cries. He says that even his children have forsaken him. The Queen herself is going to France. Jamie will join her a few days later. After the Queen leaves, the King cries again.
The Prince of Orange and his retinue enter the King's meeting room. William sits down in the King of England's chair.
Part VII. Trial of Strength.
Scene 1. Royal Highnesses.
Parliament declared King James II to have abdicated the throne. And now Parliament has named William and Mary, King and Queen. Princess Anne is uneasy about the Prince of Orange being the King of England for live. William and Mary take the oath to be King and Queen. William makes a brief speech in which he says that he will follow the lead of the two houses of Parliament.
Lord Danby goes to visit the Archbishop of Canterbury. He tells the Archbishop that William and Mary were wondering why he did not make it to the oath-taking ceremony. All officials will take the oath. He also says that Churchill is now the Earl of Marlboro. The Archbishop says that he won't take the oath; he will not crown the King and Queen; and he will not send the royal couple his blessing. His sympathies seem to be with James II. The Archbishop probably won't be lasting long at his post.
Godolphin hands a letter to Queen Mary. He says the other letter is for Princess Anne. Mary tells him: "Go then!" Mary is very upset by the letter. In it her father, James II, curses her for accepting the crown of Queen. He not only curses her, but says she will also have the curse of God. Mary now wonders whether she should even go through with the coronation ceremony.
Scene 2. Doubts.
Anne now also wonders if she should even go to the coronation ceremony. Sarah and Godolphin speak with her and convince her to go to the ceremony. John Churchill comes in with bad news. Anne's father is in Ireland. He's been there for ten days. He and a body of French officers landed at Kinsale, Ireland. There the Irish rose to join them. James II now holds most of Ireland except the far north.
When John and Sarah are alone, Sarah says that John shouldn't have told Anne the bad news. She is six months pregnant and has enough worries. John says such news could never be kept quiet. Soon everyone will know. John is not being sent to Ireland. Rather he is headed over to Flanders to serve under the Dutchman the Prince of Valdek. John is to leave next month.
The French Ambassador to England tells King Louis XIV that all goes well in Ireland. Schaumburg makes no progress. James II wants 15,000 French soldiers, but the French King says absolutely no: the man will just lose all the troops. He believes they should let James II stay in Ireland and tie down English troops. Other news is that Princess Anne has a son. Louis is not worried by Valdek, but he is very concerned about the presence of Churchill who is a fighter.
On the battlefield John Churchill is slightly wounded. He led the last charge of the battle and helped win a victory for his side. It is said that there are 2,000 enemy dead and six guns captured. John gets a letter from Sarah. She has had a baby girl. She says the Prince of Orange has been very mean to Princess Anne and that has created a great coldness between Mary and her sister. The new King wants to make Princess Anne completely dependent on him by having the annual monies going to Anne be from the King's purse and at his discretion. Anne does not want to be dependent on her sister and brother-in-law and wants to get her money through Parliament.
Scene 3. Shrewsbury.
Sarah remains very faithful to Princess Anne, even though the more powerful side is that of the new King and Queen. Godolphin speaks to Sarah and tells her that the majority of Parliament will support Anne if she remains firm. From the King, Shrewsbury comes to talk with Sarah. He says that there has been a big stir over this matter of Anne's revenue. The King will give Anne 50,000 pounds now and 50,000 pounds annually from his own purse. The King wants Sarah to convince Anne to see things his way. Anne refuses to do so. She herself says that she supports Princess Anne standing firm. Anne wants the Parliamentary salary. She insists on her independence. Shrewsbury admires Sarah's frankness and courage to go up against the King and his wife.
King William III is going to go to Ireland. The Prince of Denmark wants to go with him, but the King says no. He doesn't have a high military position the Prince could take. The Prince keeps pleading and William is bothered by it and tells him: "Oh, all right!"
William speaks with Mary. He says that Shrewsbury has resigned. The man says he's ill.
Anne comes to speak with Mary. Mary is mad at Anne for wanting the monies from Parliament and she speaks very harshly to her sister. Sarah tries to defend Anne, but the Queen tells Sarah to be quiet. She already knows where Sarah stands on the matter. Anne feels insulted and starts to leave. The Queen becomes very offended that her sister would dare turn her back to the Queen. Anne comes back and apologizes. Now Mary leaves. Lady Fitzharding tries to catch the Queen. She shouts to the Queen that she has much to tell her.
Scene 4. Ireland.
The French King receives the bad news of the Battle of the Boyne. It was a definite defeat of James II and his forces.
Alone now with her husband in Ireland, Mary sits with the Privy Council. She says that she agrees with the majority on the Privy Council not to approve Churchill's plan to attack and take the key areas of Cork and Kinsale. However, Mary has received a letter from her husband William and he gives approval to Churchill for the attack. John is very happy to hear this. He then asks the Queen if he might be excused to get started on the invasion. The Queen lets him go. Godolphin is also excused.
The French King is amazed at Churchill' successes. He captured both Cork and Kinsale within twenty days. King Louis says about Churchill that he is loyal but changeable. The French Ambassador says that most political officials in England have written to James II to cover their bases just in case.
Halifax meets with Churchill in a local pub. John complains that the King has given him nothing. He has refused John any employment at all. So John backs the idea that the House of Commons will give an address to the crown about eliminating all foreigners in key posts in England. John says he himself will introduce the plan to the House of Lords. Halifax warns him that the King will see this as a direct act of hostility. Godolphin and Shrewsbury sit down with Halifax and Churchill. John knows a lot of the King's men are in the pub and he wants to tell them what he thinks so it will get back to the King. He criticizes the King for not appointing Englishmen to any high posts in his government, especially in the military. He also says that legally speaking James II is the King. Colonel Bulkeley shows up to say hello to the four men at the table. Godolphin wonders who the heck is this Bulkeley character? Churchill tells him he's a Jacobite agent fresh from St. Germaine.
William says that Carmarthen believes that Churchill plots with the Jacobites to bring James II over. But, the King wonders, what's in it for Churchill? William tells Mary about Anne and then tells Mary: "Bring her to heel!"
Scene 5. Sisterly Advice.
Mary goes to speak with Anne, who is pregnant again. Mary thinks her sister is getting pregnant too many times. Then Mary gets down to business. She says she is mad at Anne because her people have been making fun of her husband William. They call him a "monster" and a "Dutch abortion". And the worst offender is Sarah Churchill. Anne asks Mary who told her these things, but Mary will not say. Instead, she says to Anne: "Fire Sarah Churchill from your service." Anne says "no". Mary goes ballistic saying that the Queen is to be obeyed. Anne stands firm. Mary threatens to make Anne suffer the consequences for her stand. They could cut her monies by 10 or 20 thousand pounds. Mary leaves the room.
Mary speaks to her husband. She says that Anne is so stubborn, a real mule. She cries saying to William: "I can do no more!" William tells her to not get so upset: "There's more than one way to kill a cat."
John goes to see Sarah. The news is brought to them that John has been fired from the Privy Council. He has also been fired as Lord of the Bedchamber. And, finally, he is forbidden access to the court and that includes where John and Sarah live when in London, the cockpit area.
Part VIII. The Queen Commands.
Scene 1. Thrown Out.
Sarah is mad about the odious man who delivered the bad news to her husband. She says the man was gloating over John's disgrace. John says he doesn't think it was a "disgrace". After all, he opposed the Dutch in and out of Parliament. The King is suspicious because he senses a plot to make Lady Anne the Queen. Anne herself comes to visit with the Churchills. She too is angry about what has happened to John Churchill. The Duke of Somerset has offered her Sign House at Branford. Sarah says there is one simple remedy: She asks permission from Anne to leave her employment. Anne is shocked and says she won't hear of it.
Scene 2. Queen's Request.
The Princess is at Branford. She is very depressed because her child died a few minutes after birth. Her sister Queen Mary barges in with Lady Sunderland. She complains that everyone is gossiping about their feud, so: "This feud must end!" Mary's manner is rude and abrupt. Anne says: "I hope you might have some compassion." Mary did not say a word about Anne just having lost her child. The Queen, however, ignores that comment and insists that Sarah be dismissed. "I am to be obeyed!", says Mary. Anne still refuses and the Queen leaves in a huff.
Rochester shows up and tells Sarah to persuade Anne to obey the Queen. He adds that the Queen would be very grateful. Sarah refuses.
James II convinces King Louis XIV that a descent on England would be successful. He say that Admiral Russell would "yield up" the British fleet. James's army of Irish and French gather at La Hague.
Mary meets with the Privy Council. They discuss the steps to be taken to repel the invasion. The Queen has sent messages to all the officers that she expects everyone to do their duty. And now fear starts to grip the nation. They start arresting people of "questionable loyalty". This panic atmosphere opens the door to charlatans much like Titus Oates. New plots are invented daily. The most successful plot is made up by Robert Young, a clever forger, from his cell in Newgate jail. He speaks with his henchman Blackhead. He tells Blackhead the rules of a successful plot. The most important part is to accuse one great man to bring down. This must be a man that many already want to get rid of. The man is John Churchill.
Young gives a note that he forged to Blackhead and tells him to plant it in one of the flower pots of the Archbishop. When the authorities come to search the houses of the members of the "plot", they will find the note implicating the seven men that Young has chosen.
Scene 3. High Treason.
A warrant for the arrest of John Churchill is made ready. Godolphin says he will not sign. But several of the Privy Council agree to sign the document. John is arrested for high treason. As quick as she can, Sarah comes to see her husband. The suspicion is that the source of the "plot" is one Robert Young. The idea of the plot is supported by John's enemies. John says he still has some good friends. Devonshire, Bradford and Montague did not sign the warrant.
John says he is going to make use of the new law of Habeas corpus. This limits the time a man can be held without charging him with something. And his enemies are going to have trouble finding real evidence against John. Godolphin arrives to see John. They discuss the battles to come. John says he believes that Lord Russell will fight. Godolphin spoke to Lord Halifax and he will support John. Turning to Sarah, Godolphin tells Sarah that her husband has some good friends. They are watching this man Blackhead.
Something goes wrong with Young's plan. The searchers of the house of the Archbishop do not find the note.
Shrewsbury and Godolphin talk with John. In the battle with James II the French were scattered. Russell fought just as John said he would. Thirteen French ships were burned, destroying any hopes of an invasion of England. And since the danger is over, the Privy Council's mood has now changed toward Churchill.
Scene 4. Blackhead.
Blackhead has to appear before members of the Privy Council. The council members keep telling Blackhead it will go better for him if he just tells the truth. So Blackhead becomes cooperative. A false letter had been sent to the Archbishop. Why did Blackhead want to see the study of the Archbishop? Was it to hide a paper somewhere? Blackhead admits he had a message from Mr. Young. The council members agree that they must speak with this Young.
Using the Habeas corpus law, John Churchill demands to be put on trial. This forces the hand of the authorities. William is furious. Churchill is already out of confinement. Some of John 's friends provided the bail. William gives the order to strike off the names of Halifax and Shrewsbury from the Privy Council for providing bail monies.
Princess Anne visits with Sarah. John arrives. After an exchange of pleasantries, Anne leaves Churchill and Sarah alone. They hug each other.
Scene 5. Troubled.
John is very angry because of the recent news that in battle his old division was cut to pieces. He had carefully trained and cultivated that division. A letter from Steinkirk from Charles Churchill says that 3,000 Englishmen were killed or wounded. John shouts: "I should have been there!"
Sarah narrates that for two more years King William threw away his armies in costly defeats. And Queen Mary never again saw the face of her sister.
There is something wrong with the Queen. She sends for the King.
Anne sent an unanswered note to her sister and now she realizes that Mary has no desire for any sisterly reconciliation whether she lives or dies. The Queen has smallpox. and is near death. William is very upset and starts to cry. He gets up, wipes his eyes and starts to go into the room where Mary lays on her death bed. But he reels away from the door just as he gets to it and starts to collapse. Someone catches him before he hits the floor. The Queen is dead.
Anne attends a ball at court. Henrietta Churchill is there. This is her first court ball. Anne walks slowly up to the King with everyone watching. She curtsies. The King holds her close and kisses her slowly on both cheeks making sure no one missed his performance.
Part IX. Reconciliation.
Scene 1. Policy.
William is with Anne in private discussion. He tells her that between her and him there can be no friendship. Anne immediately says she knew that a long time ago. The King continues. He says he embraced her because of "policy". He goes on to say that Anne is next in line for the throne. Anne, of course, is very aware of this. William says he wants to promote Anne so that she will be accepted by the people, as Mary was accepted by them. This will help insure that Anne, a Protestant, comes to the throne and his beloved republic of the Netherlands stays secure.
William says Anne will now live at St. James's Palace. And she will be at court often, particularly when he is away. Her boy should be taken out of the care of women. Anne objects that he is only seven years of age. So William says he will be left alone alone for now, but he will put him in the Order of the Garter. Anne should now wear the Queen's jewels, but she will have no part in the government. Anne comments: "I desire none." He says they should go out again so everyone can see "our perfect reconciliation."
The war had continued for eight years. Finally, after much hard bargaining, the Peace of Rieswyck was signed. In the House of Commons Robert Harley was the star. He once was a Whig but changed over to become a high Tory. Harley questions the need for a 30,000 troop army. And he says the four regiments of Dutch guards should be sent home.
Scene 2. Robert Harley.
John Churchill says to Godolphin that Robert Harley could be useful to them. The basis for the expansion of the army still remains. In fact, Harley has persuaded Parliament to accept the principle of a standing army and that makes him the first man to do so. Sarah does not approve of Harley. She says people call him "Robin the Trickster: and advises the two men to have nothing to do with him. Sarah's cousin, Abigail Hill, knows Harley and thinks he's okay. .
Henrietta Churchill is in the garden with Francis Godolphin. They talk about their coming marriage. Henrietta is only eighteen years of age. Francis kisses Henrietta.
John Churchill is to have a private audience with the King.
Scene 3. At Peace.
King William talks with John Churchill. They are about the same age. The King says that six years ago Churchill was his enemy. But now things have changed. He asks John what he thinks of the peace? John is worried about the "disastrous" disbanding of the army. The King turns the subject to King Charles of Spain. He is childless and without heir. There will be a fight over the Spanish succession. The King says he spent his whole life fighting the French. Then he turns to the subject of Anne's seven year old. He says he wants the Duke of Gloucester out from under the care of women and in his own household. And he wants John to be in charge of this. He will be one of the Lord Justices and act as Regent to the boy. John is also restored to the Privy Council and to his rank in the army.
John accepts. He says that the ambition of King Louis XIV is boundless. The Prince of Bavaria, a young child, could possibly succeed to the throne.
King Louis XIV finds out that the Prince of Bavaria is dead. He comments that this means one less claimant to the Spanish throne.
Scene 4. Little Prince.
Anne's boy is with Sarah's boy playing soldier. Sarah comments: "Were that his legs were as stout as his brains." Cousin Abigail Hill now works for Princess Anne. Abigail is very grateful to Sarah. Princess Anne arrives to speaks to the women briefly before her and her husband watch their boy at play. Lady Sunderland asks Sarah about the progress on the possible marriage of her son John Spencer to Churchill's daughter Anne. Sarah tells her that her husband is opposed to the marriage. He says Anne is too young for him. In fact, he objects to everything. Lady Sunderland sighs and guesses that the wedding will not happen. Sarah says: "Did I say that?" No. Just wait and she will bring her husband over to her side.
Some years later. John Spencer and Anne Churchill have been married for six months. Francis Godolphin and Henrietta have been married much longer. They have a child already. The two couples meet Robert Harley. Bad news arrives. The Duke of Gloucester is sick and is not expected to live.
Anne loses her boy and stays up at night. She is very sad and Abigail begs her to go back to bed. Anne says about her child: "He was such a good boy." Now there is no successor to the British throne after Anne. The crown will go to the House of Hanover.
King Charles of Spain dies. King Louis XIV says his grandson will be King of Spain.
Scene 5. Outdate Politics.
William is not pleased at the Spanish handover of their forces in the Netherlands to the French. The Dutch troops in their garrisons have been imprisoned by the French. Rochester tells William that he is very opposed to any British involvement in war on the Continent. He says he will be damned if . . . and the King interrupts with: "So be damned!" Rochester feels insulted and leaves.
The King and Churchill are going to the Hague on July 1. Churchill will be the commander-in-chief of the English forces. His primary duty will be to avert war with France. But if he is not successful at this, he has the freedom to make alliances with other possible allies and prepare for a possible autumn campaign and a spring campaign.
Sarah tells Anne that a treaty will be signed in ten days. And in two days Sarah will go to be with her husband. At a ball Sarah in introduced to a lot of important diplomats, the Grand Pensionary and Count Wratislaw. They go into another room for the formal signing of the treaties.
Godolphin brings bad news. William is dead. Anne, therefore, is Queen.
Sarah helps tend to Queen Anne. The Queen comments: "Look, Sarah, our sun shinny day."
Part X. A Famous Victory.
Scene 1. Sovereign Lady.
At the Peace of Ryswyck, Louis XIV had accepted William as the King of England. When James dies, Louis recognized Jamesís son as the Prince of Wales. This more than anything united Britain in the war that followed.
Anne was accepted as the Queen. She preferred the Tory Party, calling them the Church Party. Rochester thought he would be treasurer and was disappointed when it was given to Godolphin.
Sarah is a grandmother now. She corners Shrewsbury and tells him that she wants him to join the team. But Shrewsbury says heís a moderate Whig. Sarah replies that they are moderate Tories. Shrewsbury says heís going back to Italy because he so craves the sunshine there.
Sarah goes to speak with Anne and Godolphin. She tells them that Shrewsbury wonít be in a high Tory government. Sarah goes on to say that the High Tories will oppose all the Queenís policies. Anne says: "Yet, they support the church." Sarah tells her that unless the Queen get rid of the most bigoted Tories, they will make her life very uneasy and Sarahís husbandís task impossible. She says bring in one or two Whigs and the rest will support the Queen.
Anne seems unsuited for politics. She lives in a dream world of her own making. She says that she doesnít care about politics.
Scene 2. Strategic Plan.
John Churchill says to his staff that he does not believe in defensive war. Prince Eugene has already started battler in Lombardy, Italy. Churchill himself is in the Netherlands. He has a master plan. He says they will makesuses of the seas. They need a southern base, so they will take Cadiz, Spain. Admiral Rourke set sail with 14,000 English and Dutch infantry. Then they will take Gibraltar, Barcelona and, above all, Port Mahon.
Charles Churchill talks about the northern campaign. The French under Bouffler and Ta,llard threaten Niemegan. The Allies will head south through the too extended French lines.
King Louis looks at the map and doesnít like what he sees. He says Venloo, Stefansberg and Liege are all gone. Churchill has done better in four months than William did in six years.
Queen Anne will make Churchill a Duke. Sarah does not like the idea. If Anne makes him a Duke, then she shall tell her husband that he should not accept the position. The reasons for this is that they do not have the estate to support a Dukedom. Anne says she will give the Duke 5,000 pounds a year for his lifetime. This will also apply to his heirs.
Rochester in Parliament protests that Churchill is to be made Duke and the same revenue will also go to his heirs. He says itís a scandalous proposal.
Henrietta says sheís bored in the country. And her husband isnít much help.
Since Parliament is so upset with Anneís grant of monies to all of Churchillís heirs, Anne backs down. But she has decided to give Churchill 2,000 extra pounds from her Privy purse. John and Sarah turn down the money.
Johnny Churchill, Sarahís son, tells his mother that he wants to go to war with his father. Sarah says no. He is going to Cambridge to study. Johnny protests some more, but Sarah tells him that she is not going to have two men at war at the same time.
Scene 3. Henry St. John.
"Hereís damnation to all Whigs," toasts Robert Harley. He is with fellow politician Harry Synjin, who has a bill of his own. Symjin says he is going to win influence by saying the Whigs are a threat to the church.
Abigail Hill, Sarahís cousin, comes to speak with Harley and his friend Harley asks about Sarah. Sheís at Cambridge with her son. John Churchill has been summoned there for their son has smallpox. At Cambridge John comes in to see his wife and son. Sarah throws down a bowl and cries. Her son is dead.
March 1704. Charles Churchill explains that unless the Allied military receive the aide they need, Vienna will fall. By deserting the Emperor and going over to the French side, the elector of Bavaria has shifted the whole balance of power in Europe. Now Englandís enemies include the Rhine, Italy, the Turks, Bavaria and the French army. Vienna will fall and with it the Grand Alliance.
Godolphin says that Churchill will divert the French from Bavaria by moving the army away form the Dutch and heading south into Germany. The Prince of Denmark says that the high Tories will burst with rage when they find out. Godolphin says Churchill needs to move the Allied troops to wherever they are needed. So he has requested that all Imperial commanders be placed under himself. Anne agrees to sign the document giving the okay.
Scene 4. Orders are Clear.
At the Dutch States-General meeting the sentiment is that John Churchill has asked for more power than has ever been given. They protest that Churchill will leave the Netherlands naked to face the French alone.
John Churchill tells the Dutch that there will be no more argument. Either the Dutch go with the English or he will go without the Dutch troops. He will take out all the English troops from the Netherlands. The meeting ends. Some say to Churchill that he will get his Dutchmen.
The English and Dutch will leave Overkirch in May and march for Coblenz on the Rhine. They march past Verloo, Mestricht and Liege. Now there are supply bases in Frankfurt and Nuremberg.
May 16, 1704. They go from Bedburg to Coblenz.
May 28. A French messenger tells army command that the English are on the move. A dispatch is send to Paris. King Louis XIV demands daily update reports from now on.
June 7. The Allied troops go southeast to Mainz (southeast of Frankfurt) and then down to Heidelberg to Wiesloch. Churchill is going to the Danube and on to Bavaria.
Louis tells his main general to cross the Rhine at Strasbourg and then march south and east. Meanwhile the English go from Eppingen to north of Stuttgart to Labinsheim.
June 25. Prince Eugene and John Churchill agree on everything. They will combine forces and attack the strong French position on the Shellenburg above Blenheim. Churchill says that they must take the position.
Scene 5. Victory.
The Allies have had a great victory. They are masters of the towns on the Danube. The Elector of Bavaria can no longer threaten Austria. In England the bells ring out to honor the victory. But many in Parliament and elsewhere says the carnage was too much. Out of 4,000 soldiers, 1,500 were either killed or wounded even if they did route the Bavarians.
The French think that Churchill is now heading north in a general withdrawal. But the French canít do much because their forces are so scattered.
August 10. The enemy forces meet west of Blenheim.
August 12. The Elector and Marsha Myerson have 60,000 troops versus 56,000 Allied troops. John Churchill is with the Prince of Savoy. The French general still thinks that Churchill is retreating. The attack by the Allies begins at 12:30 pm. Churchill is able to maneuver the troops so that they gains numerical superiority in the center. So the attack now goes up the center. News arrives that it is a total disaster right down the center for the French and they are now running away. The Allies capture Tallard. Churchill sends a note to Sarah.
In London Sarah takes the letter to Anne. Itís a great victory for the Allies! Anne is very pleased.
Part XI. Breaking the Circle.
Scene 1. Rewards.
All England rejoiced on that night. John Churchill got the Principality of Mainelheim as a Prince of the Holy Roman Empire. For this honor he was charged 4,000 pounds. He will also get the Royal Manor of Woodstock which has 15,000 acres. The Castle of Blenheim is to be built there.
The Lines of Brabant. 1705.
Ramillies 1706. The French army in Flanders is totally destroyed. Prince Eugene drives the French out of Italy. Charles Churchill says that the one battle of Ramillies has altered the whole face of Europe.
Sarah goes to speak to Anne. Now both houses of Parliament are ruled by Whigs following the recent election. Sarah reminds Anne that now the Whigs control the money, including hers. Again Sarah argues that Anne should appoint some more Whigs to her government. The Whigs would like to have the position of Secretary of State and the holder of the position would be Sunderland. Anne says that Sunderlandís father was a treacherous man. If she gives in to one position for the Whigs, then where will it end? She doesnít want a Whig government. Anne is mad that Sarah does not support her, but keeps pushing her own agenda.
Scene 2. Obstacle.
Abigail Hill listens in to the conversation between the Queen and Sarah. When Sarah leaves Abigail goes in to comfort Anne. She rubs Anneís shoulders and tells her that she needs peace and quiet.
Abigail is sad and Anne asks her whatís the matter. She says that she likes Mr. Samuel Masham, but there is an obstacle to their marriage. And that obstacle is Sarah. Abigail has to get Sarahís approval to marry. And why would Sarah oppose the marriage? Spite, pure spite, says Abigail.
Sarah is also harsh with Godolphin. He notes there is a real lack of money for the government and Sarah just tells him to get it from the Queen. Godolphin would like Sinjin and Harley to accept Sunderland as secretary. Harley says: "Anne will never consent."
Scene 3. Harrietís Crowd.
Henrietta (or Harriet for short) goes to her mother saying that her husband doesnít love her. He is just capable of a little affection and thatís it. Sarah says she is sorry to hear that. She asks her daughter if she keeps a lover? Henrietta looks offended and says: "No, I do not." Mom then tells Henrietta that her conduct in London has become "notorious". She has some very questionable friends, like Lady Oxford who lives a scandalous life. And then there are the idle spongers like Congreve. Sarah protests that they are wits and very bright. Sarah says they are "dissolute rogues". She adds: "You owe the Queen a duty to behave discreetly."
Insulted, Henrietta responds that her mother has tried to run her husbandís life and Queen Anneís life. She goes on to say: "Well, I tell you madam, you shall no longer rule me." She walks out of the room in a huff. Seconds later John comes in.
Sarah asks John if she is such a monster that her daughter hates her? No, of course not, says John. He wants to know the nature of the quarrel. After Sarah tells him, he says that Sarah has to remember that Henrietta is a woman all right, but one without the strength of her mother. And remember that Henrietta doesnít have the support of a caring husband. Changing the subject, Sarah says that Godolphin has urged her to try to convince the Queen to accept Sunderland.
Anne speaks with Godolphin and John Churchill. She stills insists that she will not take Sunderland. So Godolphin tells her that he wants to retire. Sidney leaves. Anne turns to Churchill and asks him what is she to do? Churchill says if Godolphin resigns, the government falls. And with it Churchill also falls. He tries to get Anne to take Sunderland. He says: "Itís only one Whig!" If Anne doesnít take him, how is she to get the $5 million pounds she needs this year? So Anne finally gives in.
Abigail talks about Anne to Synjin and Harley. Synjin tells Abigail to, above all, give the Queen hope.
John Churchill goes to see Sarah. He tells her that he is growing old. Sarah asks him if he remembers Danvers who nursed the Queen? Yes. Danvers is ill and has asked to see Sarah. Itís something about Abigail Hill.
Scene 4. The Truth.
Sarah tries to talk to Mr. Masham, but he avoids her by saying His Highness, the Prince of Denmark, expects him. Sarah finds that behavior curious. Abigail Hill comes out. Now Sarah confronts Abigail. She says the Queen must be told that Abigail is now married to Mr. Masham. Abigail tells her: "The Queen knows." She has been married for three months.
Sarah now realizes that she has been end-runned by both Abigail and the Queen and sheís angry. She goes in to see the Queen. Sarah asks why all the secrecy about this marriage? She also asks: "Do you not think I should have been told?" Anne says: "I shall not be questioned further!" That, of course, is not good enough for Sarah. She says that Anne has trusted her for twenty-five years and Anne used to beg and beg Sarah to give advice to her. Sarah leaves the room. Anne cries and says to herself: "I will not be questioned!"
Churchill says that the French have moved their troops back into France. And yet the fools in Parliament insist that what needs to be done is to capture Spain, depose Philip and replace him with Charles. "The fools!" says Churchill. "Spain is a bottomless pit where whole armies are swallowed up whole." Churchill says that a success at Toulon, followed by a success in Flanders will have King Louie suing for peace in three months.
John gets a letter from Sarah. She says that Abigail Hill Masham has become an absolute favorite at court. The Queen herself was present at Abigailís wedding.
Harley meets with the Queen. He tells her that Godolphin must go. The man has no support in Parliament or the country, he says. Then he brings up a different subject. He says Parliament is concerned about the number of troops sent to Spain. And Shrewsbury will demand the figure in the House of Lords. It is sure to cause a big furor.
Godolphin tells the Queen that her government has been deliberately destroyed by two of the governmentís chief ministers. Sydney scolds her for this. He adds that Harley is going around saying that a new government will be formed and he will be the head of it. Anne only says: "I choose my own ministers!" Godolphin says that his service ends here and itís all due to a "treacherous colleague and a back stairís intrigue." The Queen feels offended and tells Godolphin to leave her presence. Churchill chimes in with: "Not yet!" Goldophin meant no insolence. He says that Godolphin "is not to be dismissed like a thieving coachman." John adds he will not serve in a ministry with such a man as Robert Harley. Both Churchill and Godolphin refuse to go with the Queen to the Privy Council.
Scene 5. Vexed.
In the Privy Council Harley says he has estimates for the army. Someone stands up and asks: How can we deliberate without John Churchill and Sydney Godolphin? Things start to get out of hand as everybody seems to start shouting their opinions. The Prince of Denmark is concerned for his wife and tells the men: "You distress the Queen!" He helps the Queen leave the room. It all seems to have blown up in Harleyís face. He sits there as if bewildered about just what happened.
The Prince Consort, Prince of Denmark, is not well. Sarah forces Anne up. Anne tells Sarah to let her be alone for one hour and then send for Abigail. Sarah goes to speak with Abigail. She tells her that the Queen will be needing her (and not Abigail). Abigail strikes back at Sarah by saying: Iím sure she loved you once.
Part XII. Not without Honor.
Scene 1. Whigs Rule.
Malplaquet 1709. The Allies win but there is a lot of slaughter. The Tories demand peace. Whigs still fill the Privy Council much to the Queenís displeasure. She was forced to dismiss Mr. Harley, but it is rumored that she sees him often and take his council in all things.
John Churchill wants to be General for Life. Harley tells her that he is using war to his own advantage. He also says Churchill courts the common folk as a rival to Her Majestyís authority. Furthermore, there is a plot to set up a new Cromwell. Anne tells Harley that Sunderland and Godolphin will go. Harley promises her a Parliament of "good, honest Tories". He adds: "Then Madame, you shall be Queen indeed."
Anne turned John Churchill down. And now John has to put unworthy people in positions for which they are not qualified. Earl River for instance. And then there is the brother of Abigail Hill Masham. He is a junior officer and is incompetent. Churchill tells the Queen that he will not give the Oxford Regiment to Hill. But Anne refused to hear any argument. Therefore, John has written a letter to Anne in which he says that Anne will either get rid of Mr. Hill or he, John, will resign. He shows his colleagues, including Godolphin, the letter. He tells them that the French have recovered their spirit and the will to go on. John says he himself only has energy enough for one more campaign.
Godolphin tells John to take out the threat of his resigning and the Queen will surely agree to drop Mr. Hill. John tears up the letter saying he will write a more moderate letter.
Sarah tells John that Queen Anne will not see her privately any more. She wants to write Anne a letter, but John tells her donít write and donít complain. Be cold and formal to the Queen as she is to Sarah. John doesnít want Sarah to give the Queen any pretext to dismiss her. He goes on to say for her not to do anything to make his burden any heavier than it already is.
The Queen speaks to John Churchill. She lightly scold him for making something so trivial into a serious thing, but she will drop Mr. Hill. John tells her that he is leaving for Holland next week.
Scene 2. No Answer.
Sarah waits and waits to see the Queen. The Queen asks Harley if she should see Anne. Harley says to see her, but donít give her any answer because in her letter she said that she was not asking for a response. Sarah finally gets in to see the Queen. The Queen tells Sarah if she has anything to say to her, put it in writing. Sarah protests that she has served the Queen for nearly thirty years. She wants to know what crimes she is accused of. Anne tells Sarah that she did not desire an answer, so she will have none. Sarah wants to know the why of this situation, but Anne just keeps telling her that she will have no answer. Sarah cries and then leaves.
Scene 3. Dismissals.
Abigail tells Harley, Synjin and Shrewsbury that Sarah has not seen the Queen since that last night. And now Abigailís husband will be keeper of the Privy purse. Sunderland resigns. Anne offers him a pension of 3,000 pound per year, but he refuses it.
Charles Churchill is mad about Sunderland being sacked. John says that he is going to continue on in his post. He received a letter signed by all the Whig Lords begging him to stay on. He even got a letter from the King of Prussia wishing the same.
Queen Anne asks Godolphin to go. Godolphin breaks his staff and throws it into the fire in the fireplace.
John write Sarah telling her to be careful of her comments and watch her temper.
Sarah sees Sir John, the architect of Blenheim. He complains to her that there is no more money for Blenheim. Sarah says that Harley is now the Chancellor of the Exchequer and it is Mr. Harley who has stopped the payments. Nevertheless, the architect wants a letter from Sarah saying that whatever happens the workmen will not suffer. Sarah tells the architect that she now wishes the construction of Blenheim had never started.
Scene 4. Excellent News.
Anne is so happy following the recent election. She says it is a great victory for the Church Party (the Tories). The Whigs have lost over a hundred seats in Parliament. She finally has a loyal House of Commons. Harley will be the Treasurer and Sinjyn will be the Secretary of State.
John Churchill comes to see the Queen. The Tory leaders talk to him first. John says whatever policies go into effect, he will still do his military duty as always. But Sinjyn threatens John that there may be scandals that will follow him Ė scandals that will not be silenced by another military victory.
John goes in to see the Queen. The Duke and Duchess of Somerset are there. John says the couple may hear things they shouldnít hear and asks that they leave. Queen Anne consents to their withdrawal. Alone John talks about his wife and the Queen. He says that Sarahís appeal to her was not for herself, but for him, John. He says that the resignation of his wife has caused his image in Europe to be lessened. Anne says that resignation is not a disgrace. She insists that Sarah turn in her gold key in three days. John protests, so Anne says John should tell Sarah to turn in the key in two days. Before leaving, John says: "I am ashamed, Madame, and you ought to be."
Sarah is upset that her husband was humbled by the Queen, but John says that none of that matters. John says he is tired and perhaps too weary to go on. Sarah wants him to continue for the Prince of Hanover depends on him for the succession. John says he will continue. Sarah gives him the key to turn in immediately.
Bachain, 1711. Harley says that Churchill claims Bachain as his finest victory. Harley, Sinjyn and Shrewsbury tell the Queen to remove Churchill. She can do so with a strict inquisition into his accounts. Sinjyn claims that Churchill was putting public monies into his own pocket. Then they will have a vote of censure. When it passes it will provide the Queen with enough ammunition to dismiss Churchill. Anne asks Shrewsbury his opinion. He says he doesnít like it at all, but since the peace negotiations may take up to a year and Churchill will not be restrained in the field, then he must go.
King Louis XIV learns that Masham will be made a Peer. And Churchill has been dismissed. Louis is very pleased. He says because of three jealous women, they have been given all that they could desire.
Harriet and Francis visit Sydney Godolphin. The Queen has not paid Sydney any pension monies. Harriet wants to leave to avoid seeing her mother, but as she starts to leave in comes Sarah. The daughter says a few pleasantries and then leaves. Sarah comments to Sydney: "Ungrateful child."
John comes in to see Sydney. He says the Tories found no corruption in his record. Sydney says that the Queen canít live on much longer. He says civil war is a t least possible. Sydney urges John to keep close to George of Hanover and bide his time. He urges John and Sarah to travel abroad for awhile. He says: "Donít wait for peace."
Scene 5. Prince Hanover.
In the Privy Council, Sinjyn says that the Treasurer Harley is absent. Harley comes in and sits down. Sinjyn wants to talk about the Prince of Hanover. He says that certain Lords, such as Harley, have invited Hanover to England. This angers Anne. She says while she is alive George of Hanover will not come to England. Harley gets desperate and denounces Sinjyn as a Jacobite and a traitor. He says that Sinjyn is trying to bring over the Jacobite Pretender to replace Queen Anne now. Anne responds: "Silence, Sir. You are offensive." The Queen starts to feel ill and leaves the Privy Council. Just outside the door she collapses.
The news of the day is that the Elector of Hanover will be proclaimed King. Shrewsbury will be the Treasurer replacing Harley and gives Shrewsbury the staff of the Treasury.
John and Sarah are at a fancy ball. John wonders if he shall ever see Blenheim finished. Sarah tells him itís not that big of a deal.
Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.
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