Family Group Sheet
Family Group Sheet
NameFrancis GODOLPHIN 2ND EARL OF GODOLPHIN
Birth1678
Death1766
MotherMargaret BLAGGE (1650-1678)
Marriage1698
SpouseLady Henrietta CHURCHILL, DUCHESS OF MARLBOROUGH
Birth1681
Death1733
MotherSarah JENNINGS (1660-1744)
Children
Notes for Francis GODOLPHIN 2ND EARL OF GODOLPHIN
Francis Godolphin, 2nd Earl of Godolphin, PC (3 September 1678 – 17 January 1766) was a British politician, styled Viscount Rialton between 1706 and 1712. Thomas Hobbes' work, Leviathan, was dedicated to him.

Biography

Godolphin, only child of Sidney Godolphin, 1st Earl of Godolphin, was born in Whitehall, London, on 3 September 1678, and baptised the same day. His mother, Margaret Godolphin, died six days later on 9 September. John Evelyn, who had been her most intimate acquaintance, transferred his friendship to her infant son, took charge of the general superintendence of his education, and continued to take an interest in his welfare as he grew.

Francis Godolphin was educated at Eton, and at King's College, Cambridge, where he took his M.A. degree in 1705.[1] His first public appointment was that of joint registrar of the court of chancery on 29 June 1698, which he held to 20 January 1727, holding also the place of one of the tellers of the exchequer from 1699 to 1704. He was chosen representative for East Looe in Cornwall on 1 December 1701, but on 4 February 1701–2 elected to serve for Helston, and sat for that constituency till 21 September 1710. As cofferer of the household he was in office from 1704 to 1711, and acted as lord warden of the stannaries, high steward of the duchy of Cornwall, and rider and master forester of Dartmoor from 1705 to 1708. He was known under the courtesy title of Viscount Rialton from 29 December 1706 till 1712. He sat for the county of Oxford from 1708 to 1710, and for Tregony in Cornwall from the latter date until he was elevated to the upper house as second Earl of Godolphin on the death of his father on 15 September 1712.

He was again cofferer of the household 1714–23, lord-lieutenant of the county of Oxford 1715–1735, lord of the bedchamber to George I 1716, high steward of Banbury 1718, and a privy councillor 26 May 1723. To George II he was groom of the stole, and first lord of the bedchamber 1727–35. He was named high steward of Woodstock 18 March 1728, and the same day appointed Governor of the Scilly Islands.

On 23 January 1735 he was created Baron Godolphin of Helston in Cornwall, with special remainder, in default of his own issue, to the heirs male of his deceased uncle, Dr. Henry Godolphin, dean of St. Paul's. During the king's absence from Great Britain in 1723, 1725, and 1727 he acted as one of the lords justices of the United Kingdom. Finally, as lord privy seal, he was in office from 14 May 1735 to 25 April 1740. The pocket borough of Helston, not far from his ancestral home, Godolphin House, was under his patronage for many years, and sent his nominees to parliament. In return for this complaisance he rebuilt Helston Church in 1763, at an expense of £6,000, and it was also his custom to pay the rates and taxes for all the electors in the borough. It is said that he only read two works, Burnet's ‘History of my own Time’ and Colley Cibber's ‘Apology.’ When he had perused them throughout he began them again. He died on 17 January 1766, and was buried in Kensington Church on 25 January, when the earldom of Godolphin, viscounty of Rialton, and barony of Godolphin of Rialton became extinct; but the barony of Godolphin of Helston devolved upon his cousin Francis Godolphin, 2nd Baron Godolphin of Helston.

Godolphin married, in March 1698, Lady Henrietta Churchill, eldest daughter of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough and Sarah Jennings. She was born 20 July, and baptised at St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, London, 29 July 1681. On the death of her father, 16 June 1722, she became Duchess of Marlborough, and dying 24 October 1733 was buried in Westminster Abbey on 9 November. She acquired much notoriety by her attachment to William Congreve, the dramatist.
Godolphin was one of the founding Governors of the charity called the Foundling Hospital, created in 1739. The charity aimed to tackle the problem of child abandonment in London by providing an orphanage where parents could leave babies they considered themselves incapable of raising.He also had the distinction of owning one of the founding thoroughbred sires, the Godolphin Arabian.
Notes for Lady Henrietta CHURCHILL, DUCHESS OF MARLBOROUGH
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:
William Godolphin, Marquess of Blandford (c. 1700–1731), married Maria Catherina de Jong, no issue
Lord Henry Godolphin (b. c. 1700)
Lady Margaret Godolphin (b. c. 1703)
Lady Henrietta Godolphin (d. 1776), married the 1st Duke of Newcastle, no issue
Lady Mary Godolphin (1723–1764), married the 4th Duke of Leeds and had issue. (It is strongly suspected that Lady Mary Godolphin was not the daughter of the 2nd Earl of Godolphin, but rather of the Duchess of Marlborough's lover, the playwright William Congreve.)

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.
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