Kings and princes from across Europe had to confess that even their palaces could not compare with the stately home of the Spencer Churchills, Dukes of Marlborough. The bells of Woodstock rang out in deferential celebration: baby Winston could be a future Duke of Marlborough. The span of Churchill's life virtually coincided with the dramatic expansion and contraction of the British Empire. Lord Salisbury, the incoming Conservative successor to Rosebery, kept his head down at Hatfield and did not repeal the death duties which he had so deplored when introduced by the previous Liberal government. Lord Randolph could not be said to have been particularly concerned with the welfare of his constituents over the preceding few years. The Liberal Cabinet looked so powerful and Northcote, the Conservative leader in the Commons, so weak. Churchill's success in South Paddington had not been sufficiently repeated by Conservatives elsewhere in the country.