The Place to Find All Things Churchill

Winter 1882-83 (Age 8)

Lord and Lady Randolph’s political and social prospects were improving. Lord Randolph had decided that the Fourth Party should fill a vacuum on the political left and “steal the Radicals’ clothes.” He and Sir John Gorst accelerated their attacks on the Gladstone Liberals, and their own party.

Lady Randolph, recuperating from an illness more serious than she realized, planned the move into 2 Connaught Place, near Marble Arch. On the same site only 40 years before, criminals had been publicly executed; in fact, when alterations were made, a mass grave was found in the cellars! At the time, however, it was better known as one of the first private homes in London to have electric lighting.

The Churchills were gradually being accepted back into a society which had ostracized them because of a dispute involving the Prince of Wales. Some historians have stated that reconciliation took place at this time, and that Winston and Jack were presented to the Prince at a dinner given by Lord and Lady Randolph. According to the official biography the reconciliation did not take place for another year; though Lady Randolph accepted an invitation to attend the Queen at Windsor on 14 March, there is no record of Lord Randolph having accompanied her.

Lady Randolph wrote her husband that Winston had returned from his unsuccessful first term at school “slangy and loud,” that he was taking great pleasure in teasing “baby. Jack,” and that Lady Randolph would have to “take him in hand.” Even Jack was accusatory. Asked by Sir Henry Drummond Wolff if was being good, the little boy replied, “Yes, but brother is teaching me to be naughty.”

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