Clement-Jones family v2/21 - Person Sheet
Clement-Jones family v2/21 - Person Sheet
NameJennie JEROME , 6703
FatherLeonard JEROME , 6702 (1817-1891)
MotherClarissa “Clara” HALL , 6707 (1825-1895)
ChildrenWinston Leonard Spencer , 6705 (1874-1965)
 John Strange “Jack” , 6706 (1880-1947)
Notes for Jennie JEROME
Lady Randolph Churchill, CI, DStJ (January 9, 1854 – June 9, 1921), born Jeanette "Jennie" Jerome, was the American-born wife of Lord Randolph Churchill and the mother of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Early life

Jeanette "Jennie" Jerome was born in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn in 1854,[1] the second of three daughters of financier, sportsman, and speculator Leonard Jerome and his wife Clarissa (always called Clara[2]), daughter of Ambrose Hall, a landowner and sometime New York State Assemblyman. She was raised in Brooklyn and other parts of what would become New York City. She had two sisters, Clarita and Leonie. Leonard Jerome was rumored to also be the father of the American opera singer Minnie Hauk.

A noted beauty (an admirer, Lord d'Abernon, said that there was "more of the panther than of the woman in her look"[4] ) Jennie Jerome worked as a magazine editor in early life. Hall family lore insists that Jennie had Iroquois ancestry, through her maternal grandmother[5]; however, there is no research or evidence to corroborate this.[6]
[edit]Marriage and personal life

Jennie Jerome in the 1880s.
Long considered one of the most beautiful women of the time, she was married for the first time on April 15, 1874, aged 20, at the British Embassy in Paris, to Lord Randolph Churchill, the second son of John Winston Spencer-Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough and Lady Frances Anne Emily Vane.[7] By this marriage, she was properly known as Lady Randolph Churchill and would have been referred to in conversation as Lady Randolph. The Churchills had two sons: Winston (1874–1965), born less than eight months after the marriage, and John (1880–1947). Jennie's sisters believed the latter's biological father was Evelyn Boscawen, 7th Viscount Falmouth.[8] Lady Randolph had numerous lovers during her marriage, including Karl Kinsky, King Edward VII of the United Kingdom and King Milan I of Serbia.[citation needed]
As was the custom of the day, Lady Randolph played a limited role in her sons' upbringing, relying largely upon nannies, especially Mrs. Elizabeth Everest. Winston reportedly worshipped his mother, writing her numerous letters during his time at school and begging her to visit him, which, however, she rarely did. After he became an adult, she and he became good friends and strong allies, to the point where Winston regarded her almost as a political mentor, more as a sister than as a mother. She was well-respected and influential in the highest British social and political circles. She was said to be intelligent, witty, and quick to laughter. It was said that Queen Alexandra especially enjoyed her company, despite the fact that Jennie had been involved in an affair with her husband, Edward VII, a fact that was well known by Alexandra.[9] Through her family contacts and her extramarital romantic relationships, Jennie greatly helped Lord Randolph's early career, as well as that of her son Winston. In 1909 when American impresario Charles Frohman became sole manager of the The Globe Theatre, the first production was His Borrowed Plumes, written by Lady Randolph Churchill.

Later marriages

Lord Randolph died in 1895, aged 45. On July 28, 1900, she married George Cornwallis-West (1874–1951), a captain in the Scots Guards who was the same age as her elder son Winston. Around this time, she became well known for chartering a hospital ship to care for those wounded in the Boer War, and in 1908, she wrote The Reminiscences of Lady Randolph Churchill. She separated from her second husband in 1912, and they were divorced in April 1914, whereupon Cornwallis-West married the actress Mrs. Patrick Campbell. Jennie dropped the surname Cornwallis-West, and resumed, by deed poll, the name Lady Randolph Churchill. Her third marriage, on June 1, 1918, was to Montague Phippen Porch (1877–1964), a member of the British Civil Service in Nigeria, who was three years Winston's junior. At the end of World War I, Porch resigned from the colonial service, and in 1921, he returned to Africa to find his fortune.


In June 1921, while Montague Porch was away in Africa, Jennie slipped while coming down a friend's staircase while wearing new high-heeled shoes, breaking her ankle. Gangrene set in, and her left leg was amputated above the knee; soon afterward she died at her home in London on June 9, 1921, following a haemorrhage of an artery in her thigh (resulting from the amputation). She was 67 years old.

She was buried in the Churchill family plot at St Martin's Church, Bladon, Oxfordshire, next to her first husband.


According to legend, Jennie Churchill was responsible for the invention of the Manhattan cocktail. She allegedly commissioned a bartender for a special drink to celebrate the election of Samuel J. Tilden to the governorship in 1874. However, she was in Europe at the time of the 1874 election, about to give birth to her son Winston later that month.[citation needed]
Jennie Churchill was portrayed by Anne Bancroft in the film Young Winston (1972) and by Lee Remick in the British television series Jennie, Lady Randolph Churchill (1974).
Last Modified 22 Jan 2012Created 11 Feb 2021 using Reunion for Macintosh