CHARLES SPENCER, THIRD EARL OF SUNDERLAND (1675-1722), son of Robert Spencer, 2nd Earl of Sunderland, and son in law of the Duke of Marlborough; was a Secretary of State in Queen Anne's reign during 1706-1710, and in the following reign, as leader of the Whigs, exercised unbounded influence over George I.; narrowly escaped, chiefly through Walpole's help, being found guilty of accepting heavy bribes from the South Sea Company; lost office, and was displaying his father's propensity to underhand scheming by intriguing with the Tories and the Pretender's party when death cut short his career.
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