– Another installment in my series
Stories of the world during the time Winston Churchill lived in it: 1873 to 1965.
When the first Duchess of Marlborough read the first history of the Churchill family just before her death in 1744, she wrote,
This History takes a great deal of Pains to make the Duke of Marlborough’s Extraction very ancient. That may be true for aught I know; But it is no matter whether it be true or not in my opinion. For I value nobody for another’s merit.
That last sentence made her point. But the sentence immediately preceding it unintentionally revealed another. In just three generations the Churchills had come from nowhere to the top of society.
When the first Churchill to enter our story was born sometime around 1600 the family was blacksmiths or something similar. John Churchill went to London and became a successful lawyer.
This enabled his son, Winston Churchill (the first one) to make an advantageous marriage with Elizabeth Drake. The Drake family had connections with the higher reaches of society. A century earlier, the family had included Sir Francis Drake, the buccaneer.
The Civil War broke out in 1642. The 21 year old Winston Churchill joined the king’s army. He fought for the king throughout the war. The cause was lost. Others deserted. Not Churchill. He fought on. As the king’s followers dwindled, he raised Churchill to the rank of Colonel.
By 1646 it is was all over. Defeat was total. In 1649 the king was beheaded. Oliver Cromwell ruled.
The discredited Royalist retired to the home of his mother-in-law, Lady Drake. The bad news for him was that he had to spend the next ten years living in his mother-in-law’s home. The good news was that she had supported Parliament and Cromwell in the war. Thus Winston got by and here a new generation of Churchills was born. John was born in 1650.
In 1660 came The Restoration. Charles II took back the throne and he remembered Winston Churchill, who had stayed with his father to the bitter end.
Other Installments of this series (in progress).