Scope and Contents
The letters included in this section of the collection shed light on the closeness of Lady Randolph and her sons, especially the letters in PCHL 1/5 which touch on her plans to marry George Cornwallis West, and she freely and frequently confides details of her financial worries. She reflects also on Winston Churchill's career plans and encourages Jack to further his own career and to think carefully about the options which are available to him. The letters also provide evidence of the highly social aristocratic lifestyle which Lady Randolph led as many of the letters are written from grand country houses where the parties included members of the aristocracy. There are typewritten transcripts of the letters prepared by Celia Lee filed next to the originals, in PCHL 1/1-1/5. There are also two bound volumes used as guest and visitors' books.
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge.
Biographical / Historical
Jennie [Jeanette] Jerome was born in Brooklyn, New York, on 9 January 1854, the daughter of Leonard and Clara Jerome. She married Lord Randolph Churchill on 15 April 1874, with whom she had two sons, Winston Spencer Churchill and John Strange Churchill (known as Jack). Lady Randolph moved in aristocratic circles and supported Lord Randolph's political career and later that of her son Winston, using her influence and contacts to promote him. In 1899, Lady Randolph founded and edited a magazine, The Anglo Saxon Review, which lasted for 10 issues but was not a commercial success. During the Boer War, she chaired a committee which set up a hospital ship, Maine, and sailed to South Africa on it (her son Jack was one of her patients on board). She married George Cornwallis West in 1900, he was only two weeks older than Winston Churchill, and the marriage ended in divorce in 1913. In 1918, she married her third husband, Montagu Porch, a colonial administrator in Nigeria, and their marriage lasted until her death on 29 June 1921.