Following the example of his father who had sold the Sunderland Library, George Charlies Spencer-Churchill sold many 'Old Masters'. The funds raised from this were used for Palace maintenance and improvements to the Estate. These actions caused his brother Randolph to refer to him as 'The Wicked Duke'.
The 8th Duke was a scientist. He constructed his own laboratory where his startling experiments sometimes caused the more impressionable staff to view him as a magician. He introduced gas, electricity, central heating and an internal telephone system of his own design to the Palace.
The 8th Duke’s brother, Randolph, was father to Sir Winston Churchill, who was born at the Palace in November 1874.
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