CHURCHILL IN HIBERNATION, WEEK 10
Our auction with Sotheby’s has done the trick. The results this past Wednesday were more than gratifying. They have given us the infusion we’d hoped for, until we fully get back to business.
Winston Churchill knew this feeling.
In February 1937, Winston Churchill revealed to his wife Clementine that he was considering an offer to sell his beloved home, Chartwell. “There is a lady nibbling around for a house like Chartwell and even mentioning Chartwell,” he informed Clementine. “If I could see £25,000 I should close with it. If we do not get a good price we can quite well carry on for a year or two more. But no good offer should be refused . . . our children are almost all flown, and my life is probably in its closing decade.”
Churchill, in the end, resisted the immediate need to sell. Still, he found it impossible to keep up with his bills. In March 1938, a precipitous drop in the value of his American stock holdings left him with a sudden and altogether insurmountable £18,000 deficit. Clearly, he would now not merely have to sell Chartwell (its placement on the market was announced on April 2 in the Times), Winston Churchill would have to abandon politics altogether.
Only the intervention of an old friend, the Austrian-born banker Sir Henry Strakosch, saved Churchill (and, undoubtedly, Britain and the Free World) from this calamity. Strakosch — who had already secretly supplied Churchill with vital data on Germany’s rearmament and clearly viewed Churchill as a last bastion against Hitler — stepped in and assumed Churchill’s stock positions in full.
A bullet was dodged.
Health and safety, as ever, we wish you, along with our hope that we dodge this bullet together.
Do not hesitate to contact us for any reason at all.