Autumn 1884 (Age 10)

Perhaps because Mrs. Everest had seen the results of the birchings, young Winston was removed from St. George’s to a Brighton school run by the sisters Kate and Charlotte Thomson. His memories of Brighton were happier: “There was an element of kindness and of sympathy. ..I was allowed to learn things which interested me: French, History, and lots of Poetry by heart, and above all Riding and Swimming.”

Winston’s memories notwithstanding, his initial report card did not indicate a successful beginning. Indeed in most subjects he was at or near the bottom of the class. But the ever-supportive and positive schoolmistress was not concerned. She noted “a decided improvement in attention to work towards the latter part of the term” and advised his parents that the marks “are almost valueless as frequent absence from the schoolroom made competition with other boys very difficult.”

Lord Randolph was meanwhile embroiled again in political controversy, most notably riots at Aston Park in Birmingham. Both he and Lady Randolph were escorted from danger when

Liberal followers of Joseph Chamberlain broke up a Tory rally.

The incident led to an intense cooling of relations between the Churchills and the Chamberlains.

Tory prospects at the forthcoming general election were excellent and, in anticipation of his appointment as Secretary of State for India, Lord Randolph set out on a tour of that subcontinent in December.

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