Photo Competition: The Park at Blenheim Palace
John Churchill (1650-1722) had a military and diplomatic career that lasted nearly 40 years and skillfully survived the treacherous reigns of Charles II, James II, William III and Mary and Queen Anne. Considered one of England's greatest generals, Churchill's most famous victories were in the campaign against France's King Louis XIV at Blenheim (1704), Ramillies (1706) and Oudenaarde (1708). Political controversy and charges of public corruption brought his retirement from public life in 1711. Having been given the manor of Woodstock by a grateful nation, Churchill had the huge Baroque mansion named for his great victory was built between 1708 and 1722 by architect John Vanbrugh.