|Birth||July 19, 1681|
|Death||October 24, 1733 (Harrow, London Borough of Harrow, Greater London, England)|
|Authority||Library of congress id VIAF id|
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.
Titles and styles
- 1681–1682: Miss Henrietta Churchill
- 1682–1689: The Honourable Henrietta Churchill
- 1689–1698: The Lady Henrietta Churchill
- 1698–1706: The Lady Henrietta Godolphin
- 1706–1712: Viscountess Rialton
- 1712–1722: The Right Honourable The Countess of Godolphin
- 1722–1733: Her Grace The Duchess of Marlborough
The Duchess did not inherit her father's Imperial princely title as the Empire operated Salic Law, preventing female succession. However, she was a princess of the Holy Roman Empire and a Princess of Mindelheim, and subsequently a Princess of Mellenburg after her father's lands in the empire were exchanged for one another.