Britain’s formidable wartime leader, Sir Winston Churchill, was born in late November 1874 at Blenheim Palace. But why Blenheim Palace?
The Churchill Connection with Blenheim Palace?
For those folks who know a thing or two about Winston Churchill, perhaps visited his home Chartwell in Kent. Will perhaps be aware Churchills oratory and written skills where put to some use over his life time to help pay the bills. So what then is the connection to one of the largest stately homes in England, Blenheim Palace. What’s more, the only non-royal palace in the country.
Winston’s father Lord Randolph Churchill was a descendant of the first Duke of Marlborough John Churchill who designed Blenheim Palace. The project was initially partly funded by Queen Anne in reward to John Churchill’s success in many military campaigns, including the Battle of Blenheim.
Blenheim Palace would become and be known as the home of the Duke of Marlborough. In 1874 John Spencer-Churchill was the7th Duke of Marlborough, cabinet minister and Winston Churchill’s paternal grandfather. John Spencer-Churchill also had a successful career in the military starting in 1842 to become Lieutenant in the 1st Battalion, Queen’s own Oxfordshire Hussars. He was also a politician and cabinet minister.
Where was Churchill meant to be born?
Lord Randolph Churchill rented the fashionable house on Charles Street in London’s Mayfair as a base for the Churchills metropolitan life in the early part of the1870s’. The impressive buildings along Charles Street where built between 1745 and 1750 by the Carpenter John Philips. The street is just west of Berkeley Square.
Had things turned out differently maybe this house would have had a blue plaque on the wall designating the birth place of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
The Rough Trip to Blenheim where Churchill was Born
Randolph later referred to the trip to Blenheim was particularly rough horse ride which triggered his wife into labour 2 months ahead of schedule. Blenheim Palace was holding a St Andrew’s Day ball where Lord and Lady Randolph had left their home in London to attend.
Was Churchill born 2 months early and unexpectantly?
Winston Churchill was born in the last quarter of the Victorian era on November 30th 1874. His parents married just over 7 months earlier on the 15th of April 1874 in Paris. It was not the done thing to have children out of wedlock, though the stories at the time, was one that the babies delivery was significantly early, even so far to have been published in the Times News Paper. There are clear pieces of evidence to suggest otherwise, including the doctor who was in attendance at the birth.
One could be forgiven for the small white lie to protect ones honour, so was Blenheim the planned birth place all along? Well that might never be known. One things for sure Lady Randolph’s own physician was contacted to come quickly to Blenheim, but due to the time tabling of Victorian railways was unable to make it until a day after Churchill was born, relying instead on the palaces local doctor.
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill KG, OM, CH, TD, DL, FRS, RA Birthplace: Blenheim Palace
One could conclude the birth was not exactly 2 months early nor was it particularly planned to take place at Blenheim, but one thing that one could not deny, what a entrance to the world, only to be matched 90 years later when he departed on the 24th January 1965.
The bedroom in Blenheim Palace where Lady Randolph Churchill gave birth is open to visitors at Blenheim Palace https://www.blenheimpalace.com/
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill KG, OM, CH, TD, DL, FRS, RA – membership and honours explained
- KG – Order of the Garter – is an order of chivalry founded by Edward III 1348
- OM – Order of Merit recognising distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, literature, or for the promotion of culture. Est by King Edward VII
- CH – The Order of the Companions of Honour, founded on 4 June 1917 by King George V as a reward for outstanding achievements
- TD – The Territorial Decoration, military medal awarded for long service in the Territorial Force and its successor, the Territorial Army
- DL – deputy lieutenant, a Crown appointment and one of several deputies to the lord lieutenant of a lieutenancy area
- FRS – Fellow of the Royal Society granted by the Royal Society to individuals who have made a substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge; mathematics, medical science and engineering science
- RA – Membership of the Royal Academy of Arts
Winston Churchill Facts
- Full Name: Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill
- Parents, Lord Randolph Churchill, and Lady Randolph Churchill (Jennie Spencer-Churchill)
- Born: 30th November 1874, Blenheim Palace
- Place of birth: Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire and is the residence of the Duke of Marlborough, built between 1705 – 1722
- Education, Prep school, Harrow in 1888 at 12, Royal Military College at Sandhurst
- Who could have been PM before Churchill: Halifax, declined the position of Prime Minister as he reasoned Churchill a more suitable war leader
- Churchill was voted out of office before the end of World War 2, making way for Clement Attlee to succeed
- Churchill became Prime Minister twice, 10th May 1940 26th July 1946, 26th October 1951 – 5th April 1955
- Churchill’s Foreign Secretary: Anthony Eden
- Churchill’s successor: Anthony Eden
- Died: 9 am 24th January 1965, at his London home, Kensington
- Buried: 30th January 1965, St Martin’s Church, Baldon
- Churchill Wife: Clementine Churchill
- Accomplished painter
- Author: Authored 43 books, winner of the Nobel prize for literacy
- Churchill famously said he made two important decisions at Blenheim Palace, being born and choosing to marry there
- Churchill’s first book: The story of the Malakand Field Force (1898)
- Churchill’s Speeches: Winston S. Churchill: The Complete Speeches, 1974 running at 9,000 pages in 8 volumes contains almost the entire collection of speeches.
- Winston Church was behind the tank, floating mulberry dock, the term ‘Iron Curtain’ and much more
- Winston Churchill famous Quotes: (There are many)
The Lord Mayor’s Luncheon, Mansion House, “The End of the Beginning”, November 10, 1942
Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. Henceforth Hitler’s Nazis will meet equally well armed, and perhaps better armed troops. Hence forth they will have to face in many theatres of war that superiority in the air which they have so often used without mercy against other, of which they boasted all round the world, and which they intended to use as an instrument for convincing all other peoples that all resistance to them was hopeless.