TYPED NOTE SIGNED FROM WINSTON CHURCHILL TO JOHN “JOCK” COLVILLE
Initial Signed: “Yours Ever, W”
5 x 8 inches
Item Number: 211260
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A typed thank you note on 28 Hyde Park Gate notepaper, dated “3 December, 1958” (three days days after Churchill’s 84th Birthday), to John Colville, Churchill’s Principal Private Secretary during World War II, and after, right through Churchill’s second stint as Prime Minister. No one was closer to Churchill at work than Sir John Rupert Colville (1915-1987), familiarly known as “Jock.”
Dear Jock, Thank you so much for the book about Dilke. I look forward to reading it very much, and it was most kind of you to choose such an interesting present for my birthday. Yours ever, (In ink, all in Churchill’s hand:) W.
The gift book would appear to have been DILKE: A Victorian Tragedy, by future Churchill biographer Roy Jenkins, which was published in 1958. Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke was a noted Radical Liberal politician whose career was destroyed by a scandalous divorce case in 1886. Churchill’s son, Randolph, in Volume I of the Official Biography cites from Jenkins’ Dilke biography, that: “after a walk at Mentmore with Lord Roseberry one Sunday afternoon in May 1880, Dilke noted that he ‘came to the conclusion that Roseberry was the most ambitious man I had ever met.’ Many years later Dilke wrote in the margin alongside this opinion: ‘I have since known Winston Churchill.’”