CHURCHILL, WINSTON

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CHURCHILL, WINSTON - Winston Churchill Writes Lloyds Bank on a Financial Matter
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CHURCHILL, WINSTON - Winston Churchill Writes Lloyds Bank on a Financial Matter

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CHURCHILL, WINSTON. (1874-1965). British statesman and author; Prime Minister from 1940-45 and 1951-55. TLS. (“Winston S. Churchill”). 1p. 4to. Chartwell, November 9, 1957. On Chartwell stationery. To Mr. A.L. Ball of Lloyds Bank.

 

“I signed a cheque yesterday for ₤1,000 in favour of Captain Soames. Would you kindly arrange for it to be drawn on my Deposit Account?”

 

Churchill’s personal financial history is checkered; He gambled, could be profligate with money and lost heavily in the 1929 Wall Street crash. He kept himself afloat by writing incessantly and receiving large sums from friends. “A common thread of exceptional risk-taking unites Churchill’s financial dealings and his political career. This was never more clearly on display than in the 1930s, when he was a married man in his fifties with four dependent children and already borrowing today’s equivalent of more than ₤2.5 ($3.75 million). Yet, during the decade, he gambled heavily enough on his holidays to lose an average of ₤40,000 each year in today’s money… Whatever the driving force behind the risks he took, Churchill left behind him a trail of financial failures that required numerous rescues by family, friends and acquaintances,” (No More Champagne: Churchill and His Money, Lough). Our letter concerns transactions carried out by Lloyds Bank where Churchill kept his deposit and investment accounts.

 

Christopher Soames was a Sandhurst-educated World War II veteran, Conservative MP, Admiralty secretary, and Churchill’s son-in-law, having married his daughter, Mary, in 1947. Our check is likely for his father, Captain Arthur Granville Soames(1886-1962), who served with HM’s Coldstream Guards in World War I and was brother-in-law of Scouting founder Robert Baden Powell. The elder Soames was thrice married and likely in need of funds when he sold an estate he inherited from his brother in Sheffield Park, Sussex as well as its extensive library in 1953. His son enjoyed an illustrious political career, serving as Secretary of State for War, British Ambassador to France and European Commissioner for Trade and External Relations. During Margaret Thatcher’s government he was Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Lords and, briefly, governor of South Rhodesia.

 

Folded into quarters with a file hole in the upper left corner. Minor creasing and in very fine condition.


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