During my recent trip to Northern Ireland, Scotland and England, I had the opportunity to visit the birthplace of my great great grandfather at Pencarrow House, Egloshayle, Cornwall, England. I had forgotten how much fun it was to work on my family genealogy. With this and other visits to sites like Blenheim Palace, I have rekindled my interest in genealogy, particularly in His Grace The Duke of Montrose’s family tree.

Having researched the Montrose family tree extensively, the author noted that Elizabeth Spencer (born 1718), the daughter of Edward Spencer (born in 1695 and died March 25, 1728), was the grandmother of Lady Caroline M. Montagu, wife of the 3rd Duke of Montrose. Lady Caroline was the daughter of the 4th Duke of Manchester, George Montagu (born April 6, 1737 and died September 6, 1788).

Our present Duke of Montrose is also related to the 7th Duke of Manchester William D. Montagu (1823-1890). The Duke of Manchester’s granddaughter, Mary Louise Douglas Hamilton, (1884-1957) married the 6th Duke of Montrose James Graham (1878-1954).

However, it was this Spencer line that intrigued me to try and find a possible connection to the Dukes of Marlborough family line with our Grace’s. It would have been nice to see if the I could find a link to such notable personages, such as Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, the former Prime Minister of England, and Lady Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales, and the Dukes of Marlborough (Spencer-Churchill), also known as the Blenheim connection.

I traced Elizabeth Spencer’s family line to as early as 1556 and found Robert Spencer in Naunton Hall, Rendlesham, Woodbridge, Suffolk, England. With such an early date I began to compare this line with the known Spencer-Churchill Dukes of Marlborough line.

The Spencer-Churchill and the Dukes of Marlborough lines were traced back as far as Baron John Spencer (1546-1599) in Wormleighton, Warwickshire, England, their family home for many generations and before Althrope, Northampton, Northamptonshire, England, the current residence of the present Earl Spencer.

I note that it was William Spencer (1591-1636) that was first at Althrope, Brington, Northamptonshire, England, and through which Lady Diana Spencer’s line is traced.

Tracing the Montagu and Spencer-Churchill Lines simultaneously I found John Montagu, 2nd Duke of Montagu, had married Lady Mary Churchill (1689-1751) and thought that this might bring in the connection. Together they had two daughters, Isabella (died December 20, 1786) and Mary (born circa 1711 and died May 1, 1775).

Lady Isabella Montagu married first William Montagu, 2nd Duke of Manchester and had no issue. She married secondly Edward Hussey-Montagu, 1st and last Earl Beaulieu and had a son, John Hussey-Montagu (born January 18, 1747 and died June 25, 1787) and styled Lord Montagu. John died unmarried with no issue, and so our promising lead died with him.

Although disappointed, I continued to review the Spencer-Churchill Dukes of Marlborough line and found the 1st Duke’s daughter Anne (born 1684 and died 1716) married Charles Spencer KG, 3rd Earl Sunderland. Charles and Anne’s son John Spencer is styled “the Ancestor” of the Earl Spencer.

I began looking deeply into our Chief’s family line and found that the 8th Duke of Hamilton also had a Spencer in the family tree. This Spencer was Ann Spencer (1718-1791) who was the daughter of Edward Spencer (born circa 1680) of Rendlesham Hall, Rendlesham, Woodbridge, Suffolk, England.

The Rendlesham Hall, located close to Woodbridge and north east of Ipswich, was built in the Gothic Revival Style in 17801and two lodges, Woodbridge Lodge and Ivy Lodge, were added in 1792. The hall was acquired by Peter Thellusson, a wealthy banker 1796. The hall was torn down in 1949.

This Spencer connection shows that the Dukes of Manchester and Hamilton are related through the Spencer family line of Naunton/Rendlesham Hall, Rendlesham, Woodbridge, Suffolk, England, family lines with no apparent linkage to our Grace’s family to the Althrope, Brington, Northamptonshire, England, Spencer line. Perhaps further back in the vast dawn of history, these two Spencer families are related, but we see no near linkage.

As the author has noted in several articles to previous editions of The Clan Graham News that Gary Boyd Robert and William Addams Reitwiesner of the New England Historic Genealogical Society in their book “American Ancestors and Cousins of the Princess of Wales” (1984, pages 13 and 14), they established that the Princess is my 11th cousin along with her brother, the Earl Spencer.

My unexpected surprise came in a two-fold manner: first by birth and the second by marriage. By birth, Frances Ruth Burke Roche is my 10th cousin, mother of the Princess of Wales Lady Diana Francis Spencer, my 11th cousin; Prince William Arthur Philip Louis Windsor, son of Prince Charles and my 12th cousin; and Honorable Edmund James Burke Roche, 5th Baron Fermoy of Fermoy, Ireland. By marriage, John Churchill the 1st Duke of Marlborough, is the 6th great grandfather of the husband of 10th cousin; the present and 11th Duke of Marlborough 6th cousin twice removed of husband of 1st cousin once removed; and Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill is the 6th cousin of husband of my 10th cousin.


  1. [S37] Charles Mosley, editor, Burke’s Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: “Burke’s Peerage” (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 1. Hereinafter cited as “Burke’s Peerage and Baronetage,” 107th edition.
  2. [S37] Charles Mosley, “Burke’s Peerage and Baronetage,” 107th edition.
  3. [S6] G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, “The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant,” new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume VIII, page 494. Hereinafter cited as “The Complete Peerage.”
  4. [S3409] Caroline Maubois, “re: Penancoet Family,” e-mail message to Darryl Roger Lundy, 2 December 2008. Hereinafter cited as “re: Penancoet Family.”
  5. [S8] Charles Mosley, editor, “Burke’s Peerage and Baronetage,” 106th edition, 2 volumes (Crans, Switzerland: Burke’s Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 1999), volume 2, page 1867. Hereinafter cited as Burke’s Peerage and Baronetage, 106th edition.
  6. [S6] Cokayne, and others, “The Complete Peerage,” volume VIII, page 496.
  7. [S6] Cokayne, and others, “The Complete Peerage,” volume II, page 58.
  8. [S6] Cokayne, and others, “The Complete Peerage,” volume III, page 15.


  • “American Ancestors and Cousins of the Princess of Wales,” by Gary Boyd Robert and William Addams Reitwiesner of the New England Historic Genealogical Society 1984, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. 1001 N. Calvert St.,Baltimore, Md. 21202
  • New England Historic Genealogical Society, 101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116

Originally printed in the Spring 2011 Clan Graham News was the above article by Clan Graham Society member John J. Graham who was doing research on our Chief’s family and ended up on his family completely unexpected. He wrote this after attending the 2010 Annual General Meeting with the 8th Duke of Montrose and “Robin” Graham of Gartmore. John hopes his story inspires fellow members to get involved with their own family history because one will never know what our ancestors were up to!