Charting Churchill: River Glyme, Blenheim Palace

River Glyme, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock 2014 by Leslie Hossack

River Glyme, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock 2014

© Leslie Hossack

Winston Churchill was sent to boarding school at the age of seven, and he missed his parents greatly. Even when he was home in London, Lord & Lady Randolph Churchill were frequently conspicuous in their absence, as they busily pursued their own social and political interests. Young Winston often spent school holidays with his grandparents at Blenheim Palace. There his paternal grandmother, Frances, 7th Duchess of Marlborough, took an active interest in his well-being and played a personal role in his upbringing.

On September 15th, 1883, Winston wrote to his mother from Blenheim. “My dear Mamma I hope you are quite well. I went out fishing today. I caught my first fish by myself. Jack and I are quite well. With love and kisses Winston.” That day, eight-year-old Winston was likely fishing in the Main Lake located just beyond the bend in the River Glyme pictured above. At that time, Winston was on holiday at Blenheim with his younger brother Jack and his twelve-year-old cousin Sunny. “Sunny” Marlborough was known as the Earl of Sunderland until 1883, the year this letter was written. Born Charles Richard John Spencer-Churchill, Sunny went on to become the 9th Duke of Marlborough and he remained a close lifelong friend of Sir Winston Churchill.

The image featured above is part of the limited edition collector’s portfolio created by Leslie Hossack to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Winston Churchill. She presents locations that chart Churchill’s personal and political life, from his birth at Blenheim Palace in 1874 until his death in London in 1965. THE CHURCHILL PHOTOGRAPHS are part of Hossack’s larger body of work that explores Nazi architecture in Berlin, Stalinist structures in Moscow, contested sites in Jerusalem, a Cold War bunker in Ottawa, NATO’s Headquarter Camp in Kosovo, and buildings linked to the Japanese Canadian internment during World War II.

To view more photographs, please visit Leslie’s website.

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