First Churchills 1971 | TV Show Watchlist

First Churchills

The life of John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough, is the subject of a 12-part 1971 serial that launched PBS's venerated `Masterpiece Theatre.'

Premiered: January 10, 1971

Rating: None

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Latest Full EpisodesSee all »

Not Without Honour Season 1, Episode 12 $3.99

The queen continues to depend on John's military skill but coldly dismisses Sarah. Harley and St. John eventually undermine the ailing queen's trust in John, and she strips him of all his offices. John and Sarah live abroad until Anne's successor, King George I, reinstates them and invites them home to live out their days.

Breaking the Circle Season 1, Episode 11 $3.99

Queen Anne rewards John by giving him land at Woodstock and directing that a great palace be built there. Sarah vehemently presses the queen to appoint moderate Whigs to the government to support John. The queen refuses, and the rift in their relationship is adroitly exploited by Sarah's cousin, Abigail Hill.

A Famous Victory Season 1, Episode 10 $3.99

After a string of victories, John is made Duke of Marlborough by a grateful Queen Anne and given an income to support his new social standing. Sarah and John suffer a crushing personal tragedy, but the next spring John leads the allies to a brilliant victory at Blenheim.

Reconciliation Season 1, Episode 9 $3.99

William publicly embraces Anne but privately makes it clear his motives are purely political. Eager to maintain the fragile peace with France, the king also reconciles with John, reinstating him as privy counselor and appointing him to oversee the education of the young Duke of Gloucester. Sarah arranges for her cousin, Abigail, to become an aide to Princess Anne.

Video ClipsSee all »

The First Churchills Season 1
At a time when most marriages were motivated by money and position, Sarah Jennings and John Churchill married for love. Their union lasted through lon (more…)