ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Women in History-Jennie Churchill

Updated on August 20, 2011

Jennie Churchill was the wife of Lord Randolph Churchill and the mother of the famous (and infamous!) Winston Churchill. She's one of the most fascinating women in British history, and in many ways, a lesson to us all.

Jennie Churchill was born in Brooklyn,New York, USA, the daughter of Leonard and Clara Jerome. Her father was a financier; he was reputed to be the natural father of American opera singer Minnie Hauk. (More on her, later.) On her mother's side, she may have been one-eighth Iroquois Indian; she also was the granddaughter of New York State Assemblyman Ambrose Hall. Her father, who was very successful in his speculations, purchased the Bathgate Mansion; he built the Jerome Park Racetrack on the site. Jennie loved horseback riding, and was an expert equestrienne.

Jennie Jerome was a famous beauty, as a debutante. She took the fashionable world by storm. She was both famous and notorious for collecting influential lovers; including The Prince of Wales, a Hungarian Count Charles Kinsky, and Lord d'Abernon.

Jennie married her first husband, Lord Randolph Churchill, who was the second son of the 7th Duke of Marlborough. They had two sons, Winston Churchill being the eldest. Winston was born less than 8 months after the marriage of Jennie and Randolph. Some say that Winston Churchill was not, in truth, Lord Randolph's son, but rather the son of "Star" Boscawen, the 7th Viscount Falmouth, with whom Jennie had a major fling. Look at the two pictures below, of Winston and his father Randolph. I see such a resemblance that I seriously doubt that Winston was not Lord Randolph's son:

Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Lord Randolph Churchill
Lord Randolph Churchill

Lady Randolph, as Jennie Churchill was styled after her marriage to Lord Randolph, continued to take influential lovers to her bosom after her marriage. Society didn't frown so severely on this--on the contrary, Jennie's relationship with King Edward VII of England helped to advance her son Winston's career. Edward's wife, Alexandra, knew of the relationship and was a deep admirer of Jennie's, anyway. Apparently no one in society at that time expected fidelity in a marriage.

Jennie Churchill did everything she could to advance Winston Churchill's political interests. I doubt he would have been the statesman and leader he later became, without his mother's help, support and influence. Winston's early career was not marked with glory; on the contrary, he made quite a few enemies and very few friends. He was an "arrogant, ambitious and opportunistic young man", who, as an officer-in-training at Aldershot, had a disgraceful record of pranksterism, race-fixing, and hazing. One of the hazing incidents led to a lawsuit. Winston was a very courageous soldier, however. He was criticized, and possibly unjustly, for being a "glory hound", a "medal-hunter"; Winston was also either brave enough or foolhardy enough to criticize his superiors' military strategies in his newspaper dispatches; for that I give him credit rather than otherwise.

Back to Jennie: she was definitely the power behind Winston in his rising political career. She was also the merry widow: Lord Randolph died in 1895; in 1900, Jenny at the age of 46 years, married George-Cornwallis-West, who was the same age, about, as Winston. ( I believe Winston was 16 days older than George, and the two did NOT get along!) Jenny also:

  • Started a literary magazine in 1898
  • Got, funded and outfitted a hospital ship for the men wounded in the Boer war
  • Wrote a memoir and several plays, the first play, "His Borrowed Plumes", made its debut in the Globe theatre.
  • Developed an Elizabethan Theme Park in the middle of London, complete with a full-size replica of Drake's ship.

She divorced George in 1913, and in 1918, Jennie went on to marry an even younger man--this man was three years younger than Jennie's oldest son, Winston. Jennie was 64 years old; the man, Montague Porch, was just about 40 years old. Good for Jennie!

Jennie, ever a slave to fashion, had to try out the new Italian high-heeled shoes. It was the death of her. While wearing her fancy new shoes, Jennie slipped and fell down a staircase, breaking her leg. The leg became gangrenous and was amputated; but to no avail. Jennie died of a hemorrhage at the age of 67, on June 9, 1921. She is buried next to her first husband, Lord Randolph Churchill, in Bladon, Oxfordshire, at the Churchill family plot.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)