CHURCHILL, John (1657-1709), of Colliton House and Fordington, Dorchester, Dorset.
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Family and Education
bap. 10 Feb. 1657, 2nd s. of William Churchill† of Muston, Dorset by his w. Grace. educ. Trinity, Oxf. 1676; I. Temple 1675, called 1683. m. settlement 8 July 1693, Anne (d. 1722), da. of Roger Clavell of Smedmore, Dorset, wid. of John Darrel, s.p.1
Both Churchill’s father and uncle had represented Dorchester, where the family owned property, and John inherited part of an estate nearby, at Fordington. A practising lawyer, Churchill was returned for the borough in 1708, alongside his distant kinsman, the bookseller Awnsham Churchill*. There was also a more tenuous connexion between the two men, since John’s wife was the daughter of a cousin of a prominent stationer of London. John should not, however, be confused with Awnsham’s brother and publishing partner of the same name. The presence of other members of the Churchill family in the House also makes it difficult to be certain about John Churchill’s activity in Parliament, for the very short time that he was there. He was probably a Whig, for he was marked by Lord Sunderland (Charles, Lord Spencer*) as a gain for the party, and although another list has the label ‘Court Tory’ written near his name, this may have referred to Sir Nathaniel Napier, 2nd Bt.*, whose seat he had taken. Another clue to Churchill’s political sympathies is that he appears to have been recommended in 1689 for a place as collector of excise for Dorset. He died on 24 Apr. 1709, leaving his estate in the first place to his wife, and upon her death to his brother Charles. He was buried in the Temple Church, London.2