A search for Lady Randolph Churchill’s obscure last husband turns up another relation who was “Faithful but Unfortunate”
ON 1 June 1918 the 64-year-old Lady Randolph Churchill married Montagu P. Porch, relatively unknown to Churchillians, whose fortunes were closely involved with the history of the Nigerian protectorate.1
Montagu was born in 1877 to Reginald Porch, the third son of the then head of the Porch family of Glastonbury, Somerset. Though there was clearly no question of Montie becoming head of the family, he undoubtedly belonged to landed gentry and had private means. He was educated in Bath and at Magdalene College Oxford, (MA1904).2 In 1900 he joined the Imperial Yeomanry as a trooper and served in the South African War. After that he joined the Flinders Petrie expedition 1903-04, looking for archaeological remains in Sinai.
Long before the age of political correctness, some Churchills delighted in extolling the legend of their Native American blood, believed to have been introduced through Jennie Jerome’s maternal grandmother, Clarissa Willcox. Despite the much-mooted Indian features of some of Clarissa’s descendants, there is no genealogical evidence to support Indian ancestry in the Jerome lineage. Read More >
“One of the greatest of causes is being fought out, as fought out it will be, to the end. This is indeed the grand heroic period of our history, and the light of glory shines on all.” -WSC, 27 April 1941
BY JUDY BARRETT LITOFF Finest Hour 113
In February 1945 at Yalta in the Crimea, Winston Churchill met with Franklin Roosevelt and Josef Stalin to plan for the postwar world. As Churchill pressed for free elections in Poland and the establishment of democratic governments in other liberated nations, his young American cousin, 21-year old Staff Sergeant James Colgate Jerome of Bennington, Vermont, made history of another sort as he fought with the famous 10th Mountain Division in the Apennine Mountains of northern Italy. Read More >
WHILE recently assembling my grandfather’s writings on America into a single volume entitled The Great Republic (reviewed in this issue. Ed.), I used it as the opportunity to research further my family’s American forebears.
Winston Churchill was half American by birth – a fact of which he was deeply proud. In his first address to a joint session of the United States Congress, on 26 December 1941, he teased the assembled Senators and Representatives with the mischievous suggestion, “If my father had been American and my mother British, instead of the other way ’round, I might have got here on my own!” Read More >
I am a member of the New England Historic and Genealogical Society, The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, The Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants and The Churchill Center. I have a fairly complete set of documents on Churchill’s American ancestry, viz… 1) “The American Ancestry of the Right Honorable Winston Churchill,” by Conklin Mann, New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 31, July 1942. 2) Francis Cooke of the “Mayflower”: The First Five Generations, by Ralph V. Wood, Jr., 1996. 3) “Six Generations of the Anglo-American Ancestry of Sir Winston Churchill,” by Scott C. Steward, Nexus, the Newsmagazine of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, Vol. XIII, No. 5, September October 1996. 4) The Churchills, Pioneers and Politicians, by Elizabeth Snell, 1994. Read More >
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. Read More >
MANY are the fashionable women ‘birds of paradise’ who speak, sing, or wheedle the electors into a state of enthusiasm for a husband, son or relation who, left to himself would not create a spark.” Such were Lady Randolph Churchill’s thoughts on women’s influence in politics. The story of Jennie’s support to her husband, Lord Randolph Churchill, one of the most brilliant politicians of the late Victorian age, and to her son Winston Churchill, the greatest British statesman of the twentieth century, is significant and worth telling. Read More >
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