Lord Randolph Henry Spencer Churchill (1849-1895)
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Lord Randolph Henry Spencer Churchill (1849-1895)

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I have four departments - the Prime Minister's, the Foreign Office, the Queen, and Randolph Churchill; the burden of them increases in that order.
Lord Salisbury, 1886, in David Cecil, The Cecils of Hatfield House.

Additional Information on
Lord Randolph Henry Spencer Churchill (1849-1895)

Lord Randolph Churchill was the youngest son of the 7th Duke of Marlborough. He entered the House of Commons in 1874 as the Conservative member for Woodstock. In the same year he married an American heiress named Jennie Jerome, and together they had a son, Winston, who was to become the famous Prime Minister who led Britain during and after World War II.

After six years of passive membership in Parliament, Churchill was voted into action as the leader of the new 'Fourth Party'. This was set up in 1880 on the fall of the Conservative government, and included a small group of Conservative and Tory members. Before long Churchill had distinguished himself as a dazzling orator and debater, with ferocious attacks on Gladstone's foreign and domestic policies. Lord Hartington claimed that Churchill 'knew the House of Commons better than the House of Commons knew itself'.

In the new Conservative government of 1885, Churchill was appointed as Secretary of State for India (where he was noted for the annexation of Burma), and in July 1886 he was made Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader of the House of Commons. His office was successful, but arguments within the party led to his resignation in December 1886.

From this point on, Churchill is known to have been seriously ill. His public role diminished and a later attempt at return to Parliament proved too strenuous. He was a shadow of his former self and died of a wasting disease, claimed by some to have been syphilis.


He might have been a great leader. In retrospect he appears a great nuisance.
- A.J.P. Taylor, Observer, Winston's Father, 1981.

All great men make mistakes. Napoleon forgot Blücher, I forgot Goschen.
- On himself, in Lady Dorothy Nevill, Leaves from the Notebooks.

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