Winston Churchill knighted

Winston Churchill knighted

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Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, the British leader who guided Great Britain and the Allies through the crisis of World War II, is knighted by Queen Elizabeth II on April 24, 1953.

Born at Blenheim Palace in 1874, Churchill joined the British Fourth Hussars upon his father’s death in 1895. During the next five years, he enjoyed an illustrious military career, serving in India, the Sudan, and South Africa, and distinguishing himself several times in battle. In 1899, he resigned his commission to concentrate on his literary and political career and in 1900 was elected to Parliament as a Conservative MP from Oldham. In 1904, he joined the Liberals, serving in a number of important posts before being appointed Britain’s First Lord of the Admiralty in 1911, where he worked to bring the British navy to a readiness for the war he foresaw.

In 1915, in the second year of World War I, Churchill was held responsible for the disastrous Dardanelles and Gallipoli campaigns, and he was excluded from the war coalition government. He resigned and volunteered to command an infantry battalion in France. However, in 1917, he returned to politics as a cabinet member in the Liberal government of Lloyd George. From 1919 to 1921, he was secretary of state for war and in 1924 returned to the Conservative Party, where two years later he played a leading role in the defeat of the General Strike of 1926. Out of office from 1929 to 1939, Churchill issued unheeded warnings of the threat of Nazi and Japanese aggression.

READ MORE: Winston Churchill's World War Disaster

After the outbreak of World War II in Europe, Churchill was called back to his post as First Lord of the Admiralty and eight months later replaced the ineffectual Neville Chamberlain as prime minister of a new coalition government. In the first year of his administration, Britain stood alone against Nazi Germany, but Churchill promised his country and the world that the British people would “never surrender.” He rallied the British people to a resolute resistance and expertly orchestrated Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin into an alliance that eventually crushed the Axis.

In July 1945, 10 weeks after Germany’s defeat, his Conservative government suffered an electoral loss against Clement Attlee’s Labour Party, and Churchill resigned as prime minister. He became leader of the opposition and in 1951 was again elected prime minister. Two years later, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature for his six-volume historical study of World War II and for his political speeches. In 1955, he retired as prime minister but remained in Parliament until 1964, the year before his death.

READ MORE: 10 Things You May Not Know About Winston Churchill

Anthony Eden

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Anthony Eden, in full Robert Anthony Eden, 1st earl of Avon, Viscount Eden of Royal Leamington Spa, also called (until 1961) Sir Anthony Eden, (born June 12, 1897, Windlestone, Durham, England—died January 14, 1977, Alvediston, Wiltshire), British foreign secretary in 1935–38, 1940–45, and 1951–55 and prime minister from 1955 to 1957.

After combat service in World War I, Eden studied Oriental languages (Arabic and Persian) at Christ Church, Oxford. He was elected to the House of Commons in 1923 and was appointed undersecretary of state for foreign affairs in 1931, lord privy seal (with special responsibility for international relations) in 1934, and minister for League of Nations affairs (a cabinet office created for him) in June 1935. He became foreign secretary in December 1935 but resigned in February 1938 to protest Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.

On the outbreak of World War II in September 1939, Eden reentered Chamberlain’s government as dominions secretary. When Churchill became prime minister on May 10, 1940, Eden was named secretary of state for war, but from December 23, 1940, until the defeat of the Conservatives in July 1945, he served once more as foreign secretary. On October 27, 1951, after Churchill and the Conservative Party had been returned to power, Eden again became foreign secretary and also was designated deputy prime minister. In 1954 he helped to settle the Anglo-Iranian oil dispute, to resolve the quarrel between Italy and Yugoslavia over Trieste, to stop the Indochina War, and to establish the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO).

In 1953 he became seriously ill, and, although he underwent several operations, he never fully regained his health. Succeeding Churchill as prime minister on April 6, 1955, he attempted to relax international tension by welcoming to Great Britain the Soviet leaders Nikita Khrushchev and Nikolay Bulganin. His fall began on July 26, 1956, when Gamal Abdel Nasser, head of the Egyptian state, nationalized the Suez Canal Company, in which the British government had been a principal stockholder since 1875. This action led to an Anglo-French attack on Egypt on November 5, one week after an attack on Egypt by Israel.

British public opinion was more favourable to Eden’s show of force than the Labour and Liberal parties had expected his supporters regretted, however, that he did not fulfill his intention of occupying the key positions of Port Said, Ismailia, and Suez. By December 22, partly through U.S. pressure, British and French forces had been supplanted by UN emergency units, but the canal was left in Egyptian hands rather than subjected to international control. The next month, on January 9, 1957, Eden resigned, giving ill health as his reason.

Eden was knighted (K.G.) in 1954 and created earl of Avon in 1961. Eden’s memoirs were issued in three volumes: Full Circle (1960), Facing the Dictators (1962), and The Reckoning (1965).

This article was most recently revised and updated by Adam Augustyn, Managing Editor, Reference Content.

Winston Churchill’s Military School Begins

In the month of April 1888, Churchill started to attend Harrow School, which was a boarding school near London. Within weeks of his enrollment, Winston joined the Harrow Rifle Corps, putting him on a path to a military career.

But, even this proved difficult. It took Winstom three attempts to finally pass the entrance exam into the British Royal Military College. Once in, it was smooth sailing. Churchill would end up graduating 20th out 130 students in his graduating class.

Winston Churchill Life Summary: A Short Bio

The product of an alcoholic, syphilitic father and promiscuous American mother, Winston Churchill was one of the greatest figures of the twentieth century. Ironically, he would never have come to greatness but for his contemporary and bitter rival Adolf Hitler.

Descended from the Dukes of Marlborough, Churchill was primed for success despite his parental problems. He graduated from the Sandhurst military academy in 1895 and embarked upon a dizzying army career. He reported news from Cuba, served in India, and in 1898 he fought in the battle of Omdurman in Sudan, where he rode in one of the last great cavalry charges. The following year he was a newspaper correspondent in South Africa, covering the Boer War. Not yet twenty-five, he received a thousand dollars a month plus expenses—a staggering amount, but London’s Morning Post considered him worth it. He was audacious and innovative, and as a later biographer said, ‘‘Churchill used the English language as if he invented it.’’ He also provided drama: captured by the Boers, he completed a daring escape and returned to safety despite a bounty on his head.

Government posts came Churchill’s way almost automatically. Before the Great War he sat in Parliament as a Conservative, Tory, and Liberal. He became Undersecretary of the Colonies, president of the Board of Trade, and Home Secretary. He also found time to marry the Honorable Clementine Hozier in 1908. They had a son and two daughters.

In 1911 Churchill became First Sea Lord, bringing important changes to the Royal Navy. He recognized the potential of the submarine and airplane, learned to fly, and established the Royal Naval Air Service. However, in 1915, during World War I his ambitious strategy for the Dardenelles led to the debacle at Gallipoli. Forced from the cabinet, he cheerfully returned to the army and commanded a Scottish battalion on the western front. He also was a major factor behind development of the armored fighting vehicle—which he named, for all time, the tank.

Churchill was back in the cabinet by mid-1917 and finished the war as minister of munitions. He opposed postwar accommodations with Indian separatists such as Gandhi and was involved in other international affairs as colonial secretary, including establishment of the Iraqi nation in 1921. Over the next several years he was in and out of Parliament and government, earning an exceptional living from writing.

During the 1930s Churchill expressed growing concern over the resurgence of German nationalism. After Adolf Hitler assumed power in 1933, the former sea lord urged strengthening the Royal Navy, but few Britons heeded him. However, as the German Führer went from success to success, it became apparent that Nazi ambition could not be contained. Churchill had only contempt for appeasers like Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and U.S. ambassador Joseph Kennedy, but with declaration of war in September 1939 Churchill the warhorse felt justified in returning to harness. When he resumed his position as First Sea Lord after twenty-four years, the Admiralty signaled the fleet, ‘‘Winston is back.’’

With Chamberlain’s policies and moral authority irrefutably discredited, Churchill became prime minister on 10 May 1940. Immediately faced with the fall of France and the possible invasion of England, Churchill directed his immense energy and ability to defense of Shakespeare’s ‘‘scepter’d isle.’’ He shrugged off suggestions by some right-wing politicians and allegedly a few members of the royal family to reach an accommodation with Hitler. Through the summer and fall the Battle of Britain was fought and won in English skies, and the Nazi invasion fleet—such as it was—never sailed. Churchill’s masterful oratory gripped the world’s attention in concert with the epic events unfolding about him.

The following year was equally crucial, witnessing Germany’s attack on Russia and America’s entry into the war. Churchill had already established a warm relationship with President Franklin Roosevelt and put aside an instinctive dislike and distrust for Soviet premier Joseph Stalin. Churchill, a firm anticommunist, knew Stalin for what he was—unlike Roosevelt, who consistently made allowances for the Soviet dictator, fondly calling the genocidal despot ‘‘Uncle Joe.’’ Despite their personal and national differences with respect to communist Russia, Churchill and Roosevelt remained staunch allies throughout the war. They quickly decided on a ‘‘Germany first’’ strategy, but in early 1942 the main threat was from Japan, which was rolling up easy victories in the Philippines, Singapore, and Malaya.

In December 1943 the first Big Three meeting was held in Tehran, Iran, agreeing upon the Anglo-American landings in northern France sometime in the summer of 1944. Churchill and Roosevelt maintained almost daily contact by phone and mail, with some 1,700 messages between the two leaders a frequent topic was Overlord and its myriad details.

Despite his enthusiasm and aggressiveness, Churchill retained doubts about Overlord. Perhaps he still stung from the Gallipoli failure twenty-nine years before, but in any case Churchill was atypically cautious. He favored a Mediterranean approach, up the boot of Italy via the ‘‘soft underbelly of Europe.’’ Even when the Italian campaign bogged down he told Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, ‘‘If [by winter] you have secured the port at Le Havre and freed beautiful Paris from the hands of the enemy, I will assert the victory to be the greatest of modern times.’’

Once the decision had been made, Churchill was Overlord’s fierce advocate. He reveled in the tactics and gadgets that characterized the greatest amphibious operation yet attempted—he was especially taken with the Mulberry portable harbors. He also informed Eisenhower of his intention to observe the landings from a British cruiser. The supreme commander replied that Churchill was far too valuable to risk and prohibited it. Churchill calmly replied that as a British citizen he would sign on aboard one of His Majesty’s ships, whereupon Eisenhower’s headquarters contacted Buckingham Palace. King George thereupon called Churchill, declaring that if the prime minister went to Normandy, the monarch could do no less. Churchill relented.

While largely unstated, one of Churchill’s major concerns was limiting Soviet territorial gains in Europe. Having an eye toward the postwar world, he did not want Stalin in control of formerly democratic nations. However, geopolitics required further cooperation with his unlikely ally, and Churchill met Roosevelt for the last time in Stalin’s domain—Yalta in the Crimea, in February 1945. Victory in Europe was visible by then, though with more hard fighting to come in the Pacific. Roosevelt’s premature death in April ended the original Big Three.

The English-speaking world was stunned when Churchill was turned out of office in July 1945. What appeared to be staggering ingratitude by the British voters probably was better explained by the approaching peace. Winston Churchill was a warrior by instinct and by preference his countrymen recognized that fact and considered Labour’s candidate, Clement Atlee, better suited for peacetime challenges. With Japan’s surrender in September, those concerns became even more immediate. He regained the prime ministership in 1951.

Churchill finally retired in 1955 at the age of eighty-one. He continued writing, speaking, and painting for the next decade, gaining additional honors. His multivolume history The Second World War received the 1953 Nobel Prize for literature, but he wrote twenty other histories and biographies as well. That same year he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth. He was made an honorary American citizen in 1963.

Sir Winston Churchill died in his ninetieth year, on 24 January 1965. Two generations mourned him kings, queens, and presidents paid him tribute, and historians acknowledged their debt.

Churchill’s place in history is assured with Hitler he remains a towering political figure of the twentieth century. His courage, determination, and leadership during Britain’s greatest peril mark him for the ages. However unlikely the success of a German invasion of Britain in 1940 now seems—‘‘Overlord in reverse’’—it did not seem so at the time. When some of his fellow Britons and not a few Americans called for capitulation or accommodation, Winston Churchill chomped his cigar, flashed his V-for-victory sign, and uttered a defiant ‘‘No!’’ that echoes down the ages.

This article is part of our larger selection of posts about Winston Churchill. To learn more, click here for our comprehensive guide to Winston Churchill.

Winston Churchill

"Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France. We shall fight on the seas and oceans. We shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. We shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches. We shall fight on the landing grounds. We shall fight in the fields and in the streets. We shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender."

Winston Churchill - known to the Russians as "The British Bulldog" for his unyielding tenaciousness and his awesome ability to train killer attack hounds to run up and bite Fascists in the jugular when they weren't looking - was one of the most badass world leaders of the modern era. This dude was a totally righteous asskicker who enjoyed puffing on Cuban cigars, shooting guns, drinking copious amounts of booze, and kicking Nazis in the fucking balls with a Size 10 steel-toed boot, and he didn't give a crap about anything that didn't further his goal of accomplishing one of those four tasks. He fought hard, partied hard, wore a lot of totally awesome suits, and pretty much always looked like he'd just stepped out of a badass 1930s pulp fiction detective story.

Winston was directly descended from an epic 17th century face-wrecker named John Churchill. John will eventually have a page on this site as well, but since I haven't gotten around to writing it yet here's a brief rundown of that dude's life: He was born into extreme poverty, joined the army as a lowly page, worked his way up through the ranks to command the entire British military, was knighted, became a Duke, served under five different Kings, beat the snot out of Louis XIV's allegedly-invincible army, and is now remembered (along with Wellington) as Britain's greatest and most brilliant military commander. So that guy was a tough act to follow. Winston didn't disappoint.

Winston Churchill graduated from the Royal Military Academy in 1894, and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the 4th Queen's Own Hussars cavalry regiment. He was his school's fencing champion (no small feat considering that every man there was actively training in the arts of war) and the best polo player in the entire regiment (almost equally as impressive seeing as how you'd think professional cavalrymen would be pretty fucking good at polo). As part of the 4th Hussars, Churchill saw action on battlefields in Cuba, India, and Afghanistan. When he wasn't stabbing motherfuckers in the neck with a saber or trampling them beneath the hooves of his Epic Mount, he worked as a war correspondent for a newspaper back in England. This, of course, was back in the days when war reporters weren't interested in stupid shit like impartiality, staying out of the crossfire, and not shooting peoples' faces off with a rifle. Churchill out go out, fight the battle, kill a bunch of people, and then go back to base to write an article about how awesome it was. He'd then send his story out, the British papers would print it, and everybody would think that he was the fucking balls.

Well one day a dude claiming to be the Mahdi (the Shi'a Islamic messiah) incited a massive rebellion in the Sudan and started having British governors beaten down like garter snakes during Whacking Day, so Winston Effing Churchill was transfered to the 21st Lancers and shipped out to Africa to dish out some vigorous assbeatings. "The British Bustnuts" was on the field during the Battle of Omdurman in 1898, and holds the distinct honor of participating in the last great cavalry charge of the British Empire. 400 of Churchill's Lancers were chasing down a small group of fleeing Mahdists, when all of a sudden a giant group of about 2,500 dervishes came out of nowhere ambushed them. The Lancers didn't even break stride – they fucking plowed into the enemy line, despite being outnumbered six-to-one, and somehow actually managed to drive the defenders from the field. According to legend, Churchill turned the tide of the fight when he activated his special attack and skewered ten Mahdists with his magical Lightning Spear of Dervish-Slaying +2.

A couple years later, Winston was unleashed upon South Africa to fight in the Boer Wars. Things were going pretty well for a while, until one day Churchill decided to be completely awesome and start riding around in an armor-plated Death Train. The Boers ambushed the train, and Churchill fought them off for a while, but he was eventually overpowered, captured, and sent to a prison camp in Pretoria. Well fuck that shit. Churchill busted out of there pretty much immediately, probably by smashing through a ten-foot high brick wall with his forehead, and made his way 300 miles through uncharted enemy territory until he made it back to English lines. He rejoined the army, fought in the Siege of Ladysmith, and returned to Pretoria as an officer in a British cavalry regiment. He raced ahead of the main body of the army and personally accepted the surrender of 52 camp guards from the prison in which he had been incarcerated.

Churchill’s Spencer Ancestry

TRACING our ancestors has become a popular pastime, hobby or, in my case, way of life. But no matter who you are, there are bound to be skeletons in the cupboard because our predecessors were not always honourable. Personally I find it adds spice to a family history, but I know there are some who resist digging up the past if they get so much as a whiff of anything unsavoury in their antecedents.

I remember the apocryphal story of one lady who had a pair of duelling pistols as family heirlooms. Yet, when some enthusiastic member of the family started to trace the ancestral tree and found there had been a highwayman in their family, she would have nothing more to do with them.
I make this preamble because Sir Winston Churchill was no exception. Obviously there were rogues and blackguards in his ancestral past and it is as well to study all aspects of his background to be able to truly assess him for what he was: a great man, yes perfect, no. It is the complexity of our genes inherited from the beginning of mankind that makes us what we are today, and accounts for the very nature of our being. Thus all Sir Winston’s ancestors played a part in fashioning his looks, character, thoughts, etc: each and every one contributed in some way to the make-up of this remarkable man.

Over the decades much has been written of Churchill his family tree has been pored over by genealogists seeking obscure lines of descent. A recent article on this subject referred to the Medici, Bardi and Guicciardini families in his florentine background (Genealogists’ Magazine Vol. 21 Nos. 2 & 3), which stem from Lady Frances Vane, wife of the 7th Duke of Marlborough. This article, however, concentrates on the Spencer line.

There does seem to be some doubt about the origins of the early Spencers. The earliest known member of the family would appear to be Sir John Spencer of Wormieighton, Warwickshire who bought Althorp in Northamptonshire, was granted arms in 1504, and died in 1522. He was knighted by Henry VIII and left large estates at Wormleighton and Althorp. He had been very successful in breeding sheep from which he had derived his wealth. It had been widely held that this Sir John was a descendant of Robert le Despenser, Steward to William the Conqueror in the eleventh century, and ancestor of the infamous Hugh le Despenser, Earl of Winchester, friend of King Edward II. Randolph Churchill in Volume I of his father’s biography (Youth 1874-1900 Ch. 1 P. 9) states just that.

However, I was browsing through some Spencer papers at the Society of Genealogists one day and came across a cutting from the Daily Telegraph — undated — showing a letter from Patrick W. Montague-Smith, Assistant Editor of Debretts, in which he declared that Churchill’s ancestry from Robert le Despenser had been disproved by Dr. J. Horace Round, an early eminent genealogist. Round attributed the Spencer ancestor to be one William Spencer of Radborne, Warwickshire. I cannot find Dr. Round’s treatise neither have I been able to find any evidence that would agree with his theory. It is possible, of course, that William Spencer was himself a descendant of the Despensers, so a. word about this family might still not come amiss.

The origin of the surname is interesting. Reaney’s The Origin of English Surnames gives many examples of surnames derived from offices of state, including those from Norman times. For example, “Butler” (O.Fr.bouteillier) meant the servant in charge of the wine cellar — usually the head servant. Likewise “le Despenser” came from the Old French “despensier” — dispenser (of provisions), a butler or steward. Thus we get Robert le Despenser, Steward to William the Conqueror.

The next sighting of this surname would appear to be Hugh le Despenser, found in the early records as sheriff and custodian of castles between 1224 and 1237. Descendant of Robert? Nobody knows for sure. Neither can we be sure that the Hugh le Despenser entrusted with Hareston Castle in Derbyshire in 1256 was a direct descendant of the other Hugh. But it would not be stretching the bounds of belief to say at least that they were related.

The younger Hugh became Justiciary of England and was killed at the battle of Evesham in 1265, having been summoned to Simon de Montfort’s parliament the previous year. By his wife, Alvira, daughter of Sir Philip Basset, a Royalist, he had a son, Hugh, Earl of Winchester. Both this Hugh, known as “the elder” (1262-1326) and his son, Hugh “the younger,” were prominent men in Edward II’s reign. As the King’s favourites, they were powerful, albeit hated.

The Queen, too, hated the Despensers, and because of their hold over her husband she left the country to go to her brother Charles IV in France, vowing not to return until Ed-ward had rid himself of both Hughs. There was talk of war between the two countries at one time and when the King would not bow to her wishes, she gathered an army in France and landed in England in September 1326 with the intention of ridding the country of the two Despensers. The King retreated before her and she had her men marched to Gloucestershire and Bristol in pursuit. Here Hugh the elder was captured and on 27th October was sentenced as a traitor and sent to the gallows outside the town at the age of 64. Incidentially, his head was sent to Winchester!

Hugh the younger accompanied Edward II when he fled before the Queen’s army but was eventually captured in Wales where he had retreated to one of his castles. On 24th November 1326 he was brought to trial at Hereford. Found guilty of being a traitor, he was condemned to death. Having been hung, drawn and quartered, his head was sent to London and displayed on London Bridge whilst his quarters were sent to four other towns.

For my own part, I had thought for some time that the Spencer line had come down from the Despensers through the inter-marriage with the Percy, Nevill and Berkeley families. Further research, however, revealed that Edward Nevill, who married Lady Elizabeth Beauchamp (greatgranddaughter of Elizabeth le Despenser and her husband, Maurice Berkeley), was not the ancestor of Robert Spencer, 2nd Earl of Sunderland (of whom more later) as recorded in the Dictionary of National Biography: it was indeed his brother George Nevill, Lord Latimer, who was the Spencer ancestor he descended from John of Gaunt and this line did, in fact, involve the Nevill and Percy families.

Let me begin with the Spencer line proper. Sir John, mentioned above, married Isabel, the daughter and co-heiress of Walter Grant of Snitterfield. He gained his wealth by enclosing lands and converting arable land into pasture. With thousands of sheep he was no common shepherd — more a farming entrepreneur.

Their son, Sir William Spencer, obit. 1532, married Susan, daughter of Sir Richard Knightley of Fowsley, Northants. William and Susan’s son, Sir John Spencer, who died in 1586, married Katherine, the eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Kitson, a wealthy merchant. This couple had a son, Sir John Spencer (not to be confused with the Lord Mayor of London of the same name) who was knighted in 1588 and died on 9 January 1599/1600 he married Mary, daughter of Sir Robert Catlin, Chief Justice of England.

Robert Spencer, 1st Baron Spencer of Wormleighton, was their only son. He was Sheriff of Northamptonshire in 1601 and reputed to be the wealthiest man in England at the succession of James I. He died on 25 October 1627 and is buried at Brington, Northamptonshire, having married Margaret, daughter of Sir Francis Willoughby of Wallaton, Northants, who died on 17th August 1597. His correspondence and papers can be found in the British Museum as Add.MS. 25079 ff.43-94. Incidentally, I note that he was a subscriber to the Virginia Company.

Robert and Margaret had four sons and three daughters. Their second son, William, was born 1591/2 and succeeded as 2nd Baron he died 19 December 1636. He was married to Penelope, daughter of Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton, who had been politically supported by Robert in the past she died in 1667. Their son, Henry, 3rd Baron, was born in 1620. He was a bright young man who achieved an M.A. (Oxon) in 1636. A staunch Royalist, he was trusted by Charles I. Created Earl of Sunderland in June 1643 he had little time to hold the title because he was killed at the Battle of Newbury on 20 September that year and buried at Brington, Northants. There is, I believe, a portrait of him at Althorp.

At the age of 19, Henry had married Dorothy Sidney on 20 July 1639 at Penshurst in Kent. She had been born at Sion House, Isleworth, Middlesex on 5 October 1617, died in February 1684 and was buried in the Spencer chapel at Brington church. Waller immortalised her as “Sacharissa” in his poems. She was the daughter of Robert Sidney, 2nd Earl of Leicester and Dorothy, daughter of Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland and Dorothy De

reux (the latter being the widow of Sir John Perrot, ancestor of the author).

The only son and heir of Henry was Robert Spencer, 2nd Earl of Sunderland. Born in Paris on 4 August 1640, he died at Althorp on 28 September 1702 and is also buried at Brington. In 1665 he married the beautiful Lady Anne Digby, youngest daughter of George Digby, 2nd Earl of Bristol and Anne Russell (daughter of Francis Russell, 4th Earl of Bedford). More wealth came their way when Anne inherited all her brother’s estates in 1698.

Robert was a lady-killer and had several mistresses, whilst his wife was little better: she had her gallants. Throughout his career, Robert, known as Sunderland, showed himself to be an intriguer — treacherous, profligate and rapacious. He supported James II whilst maintaining secret meetings with William of Orange. On James’ fall he declared he was a protestant and so, in April 1697, he was made Lord Chamberlain, although he resigned the following December. Sunderland and Anne had three sons and four daughters. One of these sons was the Statesman and Bibliophile, Charles Spencer, 3rd Earl of Sunderland, Whig M.P. for Tiverton. He was born in 1674 and died on 19 April 1722. He held high office under Queen Anne and George I, being prime minister in 1718 until he was ruined by the South Sea Bubble. This man was thrice married: 1) in 1695 to Lady Arabella Cavendish, who died 1698 2) in January 1700 to Lady Anne Churchill, 2nd daughter of the Duke of Marlborough and Sarah Jennings. (Anne is said to have converted her mother to Whiggism and was her father’s favourite. Sadly she died at the age of 28 in April 1716) 3) on 5 Dee. 1717, Judith, daughter of Benjamin Tichborne, a very wealthy man. When Charles Spencer died, Judith married Robert Sutton, K.B. and died herself in 1749.

From his second marriage, to Anne Churchill, Charles had issue including Charles Spencer, who succeeded his aunt Henrietta as 3rd Duke of Marlborough, and the Hon. John Spencer (1708-1746), ancestor of Diana, HRH The Princess of Wales. The third Duke was born 22 November 1706 and died, aged 52, of fever at Munster on 20 October

1758. He was a brigadier general and had commanded a brigade at Dettingen in 1743. His wife was Elizabeth Trevor, whom he had married in 1732 and who died in 1761 she was the daughter of Thomas, 2nd Lord Trevor of Bromham, who had been created a peer specifically to assist Parliament get the Treaty of Utrecht onto the books in 1713.

Their son, George Spencer, became the 4th Duke of Marlborough at the age of nineteen. He was born on 26 January 1739 and died at Blenheim on 29 January 1817. During his lifetime he was Ensigny in Coldstream Guards 1755, Captain of 20th Foot 1756, Lord Lieutenant of Oxford 1760, Bearer of Sceptre and Cross at the coronation of George III, Lord Chamberlain 1762 and instituted as a Knight of the Garter in 1771. On 23 August 1762 he married Lady Caroline Russell, daughter of John, 4th Duke of Bedford she died on 26 November 1811.

We now have a change of surname because their son, George, 5th Duke of Marlborough, took the additional name of Churchill by royal license in 1817. The Churchill surname is interesting in its origin and could perhaps be the subject of another article. Burke’s Peerage gives the family origin as coming from Gitto de Leon whose son was Wandril de Leon, Lord of Courcil. The name then changed from “de Courcil” to “de Chirchil” and ultimately “Churchill”. But I digress.

George was born on 6 March 1766 and died at Blenheim on 5 March 1840, having married in 1791 Susan, 2nd daughter of John Stewart, 7th Earl of Galloway. Lady Soames has written an excellent biography, The Profligate Duke (London: Collins 1987).

The 6th Duke of Marlborough became the title of their son, George Spencer Churchill, born 1793 and died 1857. He too married three times. His first wife, Lady Jane Stewart, daughter of the Earl of Galloway, was mother to his son, John Winston Spencer Churchill, 7th Duke but he later married Charlotte Flower, daughter of Viscount Ashbrook and then Jane, daughter of the Hon. Edward Stewart.

As I mentioned earlier in this article, the 7th Duke married Frances Vane, daughter of the Marquis of Londonderry. He was born at Garboldisham Hall, Norfolk on 2 June 1822 and died on 5 July 1883 in London. He was married on 12 July 1843 and became Tory MP for Woodstock in 1844, adding the office of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from 1876 to 1880.

Their third son, Lord Randolph Henry Spencer Churchill, was born on 13 February 1849 at Blenheim and died on 24 January 1895 (the same day that his son Winston was to die seventy years later). This eminent statesman married Jennie, daughter of Leonard Jerome of New York, at the British Embassy in Paris on 15 April 1874. After his death, Jennie married George Cornwallis West in July 1900.

Churchill’s descent from John of Gaunt came through the lineage of Dorothy Sidney, wife of Henry Spencer, Earl of Sunderland: her mother was a Percy and her great-grandfather, Henry Percy, 8th Earl of Northumberland, married Catherine Nevill, daughter of John Nevill, 4th Lord Latimer. The Nevills were descended from Ralph Nevill, Earl of Westmoreland, who married Joan Beaufort, daughter of John of Gaunt and Catherine Swynford. With lines of descent from all of these families it is possible to create more and more charts of Sir Winston’s ancestry. Indeed I share many of these lines with him, as do countless thousands of other people.

Have you traced your family tree yet? If not, I suggest you try and see what surprises lay in store for you. Remember that if we all take our ancestral lines back to, say, the era of William the Conqueror, it is inevitable that many shall find they share the same ancestors. After all, there were not that many people living in the Western hemisphere at the time to account for the millions of ancestors needed to sustain all our lines. Never have we owed so much to so few!


Robert DESPENCER, Steward to William the Conqueror Ancestor of Despencer family — favourites of Edward II

or William SPENCER of Radborne, Warcs. (Dr. J H Round)

Sir John SPENCER of Wormleighton, Warcs, d. 1522 Granted arms 1504 bought Althorp

= Isabel, d/ch. Walter GRANT of Snitterfield

Sir William SPENCER, ob. 1532

= Susan, d o Sir Richard KNIGHTLEY of Fowsley, Northants.

Katherine, d o Sir Thomas KITSON

Sir John SPENCER, Kt. 1588, d.1599/1600

= Mary, d o Sir Robert CATLIN

Robert SPENCER, 1st Baron Spencer of Wormleighton only son d.1627

Sheriff of Northampton 1601.

= Margaret, d. 17 Aug. 1597 d o Sir Francis WILLOUGHBY of Wallaton, Northants.

(1591/2-1646) succeeded as 2nd Baron

= Penelope, d. 1667 d o Henry WRIOTHESLEY, 3rd Earl of Southampton

John of GAUNT Catherine SWYNFORD Joan BEAUFORT Ralph NEVILL, Earl of Westmoreland

Richard NEVILL, 2nd Lord Latimer, d. 1530

= Anne, b. 1468 d o Sir Humphrey STAFFORD of Grafton, Worcestershire

John NEVILL, 3rd Lord Latimer, (c1490- 1543)

= 2) Dorothy, d. 1526/7, d o Sir George de VERE

John NEVILL, 4th Lord Latimer, d. 1577

= Lucy, d o Henry SOMERSET, Earl of Worcester

= Henry PERCY, 8th Earl of Northumberland

Henry PERCY, 9th Earl of Northumberland, KG, d. 1632 = Dorothy, sister of Earl of Essex and widow of Sir Thomas PERROT (ancestor of the author)

Lady Dorothy PERCY, d. 1650

= 1616, Robert SIDNEY, 2nd Earl of Leicester

Henry SPENCER, 3rd Baron, Earl of Sunderland 1639 Penshurst, Dorothy SIDNEY (1617-1684) (1620-1643)

Robert SPENCER, 2nd Earl of Sunderland (1640-1702)

= 1665 Lady Anne DIGBY, younger d o George DIGBY, 2nd Earl of Bristol & Anne RUSSELL (d o Francis RUSSELL, 4th Earl of Bedford)

Charles SPENCER, 3rd Earl of Sunderland (1674-1722)

= 1)1695, Lady Arabella CAVENDISH, d. 1698

2) 1700, Lady Anne CHURCHILL (1688-17 16) 2nd d o Duke of Marlborough & Sarah JENNINGS 3)1717, Judith, d. 1749 d o Benjamin TICHBORNE she mard. 2) Sir Robert SUTTON, K.B.

Charles SPENCER, 3rd Duke of Marlborough (1706-1758)

= 1732, Elizabeth TREVOR, d. 1761 d o Thomas, 2nd Lord TREVOR

Hon. John SPENCER (1708-1746)

Ancestor of Diana, Princess of Wales

George SPENCER, 4th Duke of Marlborough 1762, Lady Caroline RUSSELL, d. 181 d o John, 4th Duke of Bedford (1739-1817)

George Spencer CHURCHILL, 5th Duke of Marlborough 791, Susan, 2nd d o John STEWART, 7th Earl of Galloway (1766-1840)

George Spencer CHURCHILL, 6th Duke of Marlborough (1793- 1857)

1) Lady Jane STEWART, d o Earl of Galloway.

2) Charlotte, d o Viscount ASHBROOK

3) Jane, d o Hon. Edward STEWART

John Winston Spencer CHURCHILL, 7th Duke of Marlborough 12 July 1843, Lady Frances Anne Emily, d o Charles William
(1822-1883) Vane STEWART, 3rd Marquis of Londonderry
Gr-father of Sir Winston Spencer CHURCHILL

Janet Daniels, together with her husband Roy, are active members of ICS United Kingdom, and attended the 1989 Churchill Tour in England and France. They reside in Pinner, Middlesex.

Churchill Family Tree: From Winston to the Duke of Marlborough

Winston Churchill cared deeply about the Churchill Family Tree, because he believed that the past held the keys of understanding the future.

His simple and frequently repeated advice can be boiled down to two words “Study history, study history.” He added, “In history lie all the secrets of statecraft.” It was a familiar lesson for those close to Churchill. He gave the same advice to his grandson, Winston S. Churchill II, when the boy was only eight years old. “Learn all you can about the past,” Churchill wrote to his grandson in 1948, when the younger Winston was away at boarding school, “for how else can anyone make a guess about what is going to happen in the future.”

A careful review of Churchill’s own historical works, starting with his magisterial biography of his forebear John Churchill, the first duke of Marlborough, and continuing with his multi-volume works on the two world wars and his History of the English-Speaking Peoples, will show that it was not merely the repetition of past patterns of history that he could see. History for Churchill was a source of imagination about how the future would change, which is why he wrote, “The longer you look back, the farther you can look forward.”

Churchill Family Tree: An Overview

Below is an extract from an article on about the family tree of Winston Churchill.

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill was born into the aristocratic family of the Dukes of Marlborough, a branch of the noble Spencer family on November 30, 1874 to Lord Randolph Churchill and Jennie Jerome. Jennie Jerome, was an American socialite who was the daughter of American millionaire Leonard Jerome. Leonard Jerome was known as ‘The King of Wall Street”, he held interests in several railroad companies and was often a partner in the deals of Cornelius Vanderbilt. He was a patron of the arts, and founded the Academy of Music, one of New York City’s earliest opera houses.

Lord Randolph Churchill was a charismatic politician who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer. His title was a courtesy title only, and therefore was not inherited by his eldest son, Winston Churchill. In 1885, he had formulated the policy of progressive Conservatism which was known as “Tory Democracy”. He declared that the Conservatives ought to adopt, rather than oppose, popular reforms, and to challenge the claims of the Liberals to pose as champions of the masses.

Winston Churchill was the grandson of John Spencer-Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough. He was Member of Parliament for Woodstock from 1844 to 1845 and again from 1847 to 1857, when he succeeded his father in the dukedom and entered the House of Lords.

Randolph Frederick Edward Spencer-Churchill was the son of Sir Winston Churchill and his wife Clementine. He was a Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Preston from 1940-1945. Randolph’s wife from 1939-1946 was Pamela Harriman who later became United States Ambassador to France and they were the parents of Winston Churchill III. Winston was a British Conservative Party politician.

Sarah Churchill, daughter of Winston and Clementine, was a British actress and dancer. She was named after Winston’s ancestor, Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough. During World War II, she joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. Churchill is known for her role in the film Royal Wedding (1951) as Anne Ashmond, starring opposite Fred Astaire.

This article is part of our larger selection of posts about Winston Churchill. To learn more, click here for our comprehensive guide to Winston Churchill.

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5. Attitudes towards Jews

In 2012 there were objections to a proposed Churchill Centre in Jerusalem on the basis that he was "no stranger to the latent anti-Semitism of his generation and class".

Sir Martin Gilbert, Churchill's official biographer, countered that "he was familiar with the Zionist ideal and supported the idea of a Jewish state".

But being anti-Semitic and a Zionist are not incompatible, says Charmley.

"Churchill with no doubt at all was a fervent Zionist," he says, "a fervent believer in the right of the Jewish people to a state of their own and that state should be in what we then called Palestine."

But he also "shared the low-level casual anti-Semitism of his class and kind", he says. If we judged everyone of that era by the standards of 21st Century political correctness, theyɽ all be guilty, he notes. "It shouldn't blind us to the bigger picture."

A 1937 unpublished article - supposedly by Churchill - entitled "How the Jews Can Combat Persecution" was discovered in 2007. "It may be that, unwittingly, they are inviting persecution - that they have been partly responsible for the antagonism from which they suffer," it said. "There is the feeling that the Jew is an incorrigible alien, that his first loyalty will always be towards his own race."

But there was immediately a row over the article, with Churchill historians pointing out it was written by journalist Adam Marshall Diston and that it might not have represented Churchill's views at all accurately.

"Casual anti-Semitism was rampant," agrees Dockter, "[but] it's inconceivable to pitch him as anti-Semitic."

In a 1920 article, he wrote: "Some people like Jews and some do not but no thoughtful man can doubt the fact that they are beyond all question the most formidable and the most remarkable race which has ever appeared in the world."

Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, 1874-1965

  • Born 30 November 1874 at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. Attended Harrow and Sandhurst before embarking on army career, seeing action in India, and Sudan
  • Became Conservative MP in 1900, but in 1904 joined the Liberal Party. Cabinet member from 1908, he was First Lord of the Admiralty from 1911 until the disastrous Dardanelles expedition in early part of WW1. Served on Western Front for a time, before rejoining government from 1917-1929
  • Opposition to Indian self-rule, warnings about the rise of the Nazis and support for Edward VIII left Churchill politically isolated during 1930s. After WW2 broke out, he replaced Neville Chamberlain as prime minister, where his reputation as inspirational wartime leader was cemented
  • Lost power in 1945 election but was returned to power in 1951, and continued as prime minister until 1955. Died 24 January 1965 and was given a state funeral

Winston Churchill quotes on success

Success and failure are two sides of the same coin and Churchill has talked about both. These Winston Churchill failure quotes and Winston Churchill quotes success are all about how success and failure must not diminish your soul but push you towards achieving more. Read these to gain a new inspiration in life.

You must put your head into the lion’s mouth if the performance is to be a success.

If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time-a tremendous whack.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.

The problems of victory are more agreeable than those of defeat, but they are no less difficult.

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

Watch the video: Winston Churchill, Ο Μεγάλος Άνδρας, πολιτικός και ηγέτης, Ντοκιμαντέρ


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