Summer 1891 (Age 16)

Winston proudly read the letters his father published in the Daily Graphic about his experiences and impressions in South Africa.

In early July Winston went to stay with his Grandmama Marlborough in Grosvenor Square because his mother’s social life was too full to accommodate him in his own home in Banstead. When Reverend Welldon of Harrow suggested that Winston should go to France and Germany for the summer in order to prepare to enter Sandhurst the boy began a campaign to circumvent that plan. He wrote his mother that he was sure that she would not send him to live with “some horrid French Family.” His preference was to study at home with a governess or even, as he quoted his father, “a German scullery maid. “

Lady Randolph was unable to find an appropriate Governess and determined to send him to the continent but changed her mind when she found “a rather nice young man from Cambridge. ” There is no record that this young man was of much assistance. A highlight of the summer was a visit with Count Kinsky, a friend of his mother, to the Crystal Palace to see the visiting German Kaiser.

Winston temporarily tired of his preparations for Sandhurst and suggested that he might be better suited for the church. In My Early Life he returned to this thought: “I might have gone into the Church and preached orthodox sermons in a spirit of audacious contradiction to the age.” Later, his own son speculated on how “some ingenious writer might come to indite a thesis on the supposition that Winston Churchill had taken Holy Orders and had pursued a career in the Church of England: of how he had later crossed the aisle and joined the Church of Rome and had become a cardinal; and how in his old age he had reconciled himself to the Church of England. The theme could concern the reunification of Christian Churches around the year 1937 after the summoning of an ecumenical conference, and the avoidance of the Second World War; with his own acceptance in 1940 of the Papal Tiara and his installation as the first English Pope since Adrian III, 1154-59. This might have been celebrated by the retrocession of the Papal States to the Vatican by that magnanimous and pacific statesman Signor Mussolini; and by the consequent political unification of Europe under the double leadership of Britain and the Church of Rome.” 

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