When Was Winston Churchill Born


Laurel King, Contributor

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when was winston churchill bornEven at his birth, Winston Churchill displayed the impatience he would be famous for later in life, being born two months prematurely on November 30, 1874 at approximately 1:30 in the morning. There are debates about what Winston's infamously independent mother was doing just prior to his birth, with two favorites competing: either she was attending a ball being held at the Long Library, or she was gallivanting about with a shooting-party in the nearby park. Originally, he was to be born at his parents' home in London, but a somewhat rough carriage ride could have led to his early arrival. Regardless, Churchill's place of birth was a bedroom in Blenheim Palace, city of Woodstock, in Oxfordshire, England. The bedroom where he was born is just west of the Great Hall, where the 1st Duke of Marlborough's Chaplain used to stay.

From birth, he was part of a very aristocratic family: the Dukes of Marlborough, which was a branch of the Spencer family. As with many aristocratic families, there is history in a name. Originally named Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, he later used only "Churchill" in public life, as his father did. The hyphenated name was changed to Spencer-Churchill in 1817 by his ancestor – George Spencer – when he became Duke of Marlborough, to pay homage to his being descendant from John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough.

His father, Lord Randolph Churchill – third son to John Spencer-Churchill – was a politician. He came from an established, politically-inclined English family. His mother, Lady Randolph Churchill (formerly Jennie Jerome) was actually the daughter of an American millionaire, Leonard Jerome. She was a very independent socialite from New York, with an American father and British mother, who originally worked as a magazine editor and was an amateur pianist, tutored by one of Chopin's friends (Stephen Heller).

However, Winston Churchill's birthplace is not the same place he spend his early childhood. From the ages of two through six, he spent his life in Dublin, Ireland, while his grandfather – the 7th Duke of Marlborough, John Spencer-Churchill – served as Viceroy, and his father served as private secretary to the Viceroy. While living in Dublin, his brother – John Strange Spencer-Churchill – was born.

His mother was completely uninvolved in his early upbringing, relegating the task to nannies (as was the custom for the wealthy, at the time). Because of his father's consistent involvement in politics, he spent very little time around him, also. Instead, while in Dublin, he was taught by a governess – the basic fundamentals of reading, writing, and arithmetic – and became extremely close to his nanny. This nanny, Elizabeth Anne Everest, was more of a mother to him than his own, and he affectionately referred to her as 'Old Woom'. They spent countless hours playing together in an urban park – Phoenix Park – about 3 km west of Dublin, and just north of the River Liffey.